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University of Pennsylvania

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By the OnlineU team | Updated 6/2/2023



As one of the eight Ivy Leagues, the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) is a private, nonprofit institution in historic Philadelphia serving approximately 28,000 students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). A small percentage of Penn students attend online, enrolling in one of its ten online degrees, including one online bachelor's degree, eight online master's degrees, and one online doctoral degree. It also offers dozens of online non-degree programs. Penn's low 6:1 student-to-faculty ratio allows for small class sizes and active engagement between peers and instructors. 

Find an Online Degree:

Salary Score for Online Degrees at University of Pennsylvania

Certificate Degrees

Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing Not Reported $129,916 100

Bachelor's Degrees

Communication and Media Studies $20,459 $50,120 100
Business Administration, Management and Operations $17,925 $75,634 100
Cognitive Science $17,500 $60,724 97
Urban Studies/Affairs Not Reported $46,426 89

Master's Degrees

Health and Medical Administrative Services $66,000 $169,238 100
Computer and Information Sciences, General $68,900 $117,143 97
Public Health $64,351 $56,228 57

FAQs About University of Pennsylvania

Is The University of Pennsylvania Online?

Yes, Penn is online, offering a handful of degrees, mainly at the graduate level. Disciplines range from nursing and technology to social work and education. According to the NCES, 5% of Penn undergraduates and 14% of its graduate students take advantage of these distance learning opportunities. 

Penn offers an online liberal arts bachelor's degree in applied arts and sciences. Its online master's degrees include animal welfare and behavior, nonprofit leadership, urban education, and healthcare innovation, among others.

Is The University of Pennsylvania a Good School?

Penn is an excellent school. It's one of eight Ivy League schools in the northeastern U.S., known for being incredibly competitive while offering a top-notch education. According to U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard data, Penn has a near-perfect 97% graduation rate. 

Penn is also included in several of our rankings lists, including #1 for Best Online Colleges in Pennsylvania and #2 for Best Online Liberal Studies Degrees. This signifies that it is in good standing in terms of alumni salary after graduation. 

It's no wonder that Penn also has a favorable accreditation status that includes programmatic and institutional accreditation by 18 agencies. To provide the most trustworthy results, OnlineU only includes accredited online institutions on its site. 

Penn is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This accreditation status signifies that MSCHE finds Penn's financial practices sound and that its academic programming meets federal quality standards.

What Is The University of Pennsylvania Known For?

Founded in 1740, Penn is known for being one of the nation's oldest and most established universities. It hosts 12 schools, including the Carey Law School, Annenberg School for Communication, and the Wharton School of Business — all known for the high-quality education each provides and the talent that graduates. Penn is also known for being an RI Carnegie-classified university due to its high research activity.  

Which Degrees at The University of Pennsylvania Provide the Highest Earnings for Graduates?

According to College Scorecard data, Penn's bachelor's degrees in general computer and information sciences, finance, and computer science provide the highest earnings for graduates. Median annual salaries range from approximately $146,400 to $247,000. While these degrees are unavailable online at the undergraduate level, Penn does offer an online master's degree in computer and information technology. Penn's overall median earnings are over twice that of other four-year schools, at approximately $112,800, regardless of major.

Additionally, OnlineU's proprietary Salary Score ranks colleges by how much their alumni earn compared to graduates with the same degree nationwide. Out of a 100 potential score, Penn has a near-perfect bachelor's salary score of 98, 88 for its master's degrees, and 87 for its doctoral degrees.

Is Getting Into The University of Pennsylvania Difficult?

Getting into Penn is incredibly difficult. College Scorecard data shows only 6% of undergraduate applicants are accepted, which is among the lowest acceptance rates of all schools featured on the OnlineU site. However, entrance exams are currently optional, which may make it more accessible for some. Admitted students who choose to submit exam scores generally have combined SAT scores between 1480 and 1570 and ACT scores between 33 and 35. 

When picking a college, it helps to choose one that aligns with your high school academic record. It also helps not to choose a school that is so competitive that your chances of being accepted are low. For example, many schools have open admission policies that don't require entrance exams or minimum GPAs, which can help level the playing field.

What GPA Do You Need To Get Into The University of Pennsylvania?

While it's unclear what minimum GPA you need to get into Penn, the higher the GPA, the better your chances for admittance, especially if you choose not to submit entrance exam scores. 

What Are the Admission Requirements for The University of Pennsylvania?

Not surprisingly, Penn has strict admission requirements for its first-year students, including:

  • An application
  • A $75 application fee
  • Official high school transcripts
  • A school report
  • Three letters of recommendation from high school counselors and teachers
  • An interview

Supplemental materials include SAT/ACT scores, an additional letter of recommendation, and any other items individual degree programs may require. An admissions advisor can help when applying to college online in order to ensure you meet all requirements.

If you're still exploring schools, we've identified some of the most popular online colleges to help with your search.