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Eligibility and Requirements icon-olus-circle

Applicants should be college graduates with an undergraduate (BA or BS) or master's degree, or a health professions degree in a relevant field (e.g., Psychology, Neuroscience, Health Promotion, Biology, Microbiology, Epidemiology, Biobehavioral Health, or others). A competitive candidate will tend to have: a 3.5 GPA or higher (3.0 minimum required ); GRE scores at 50th percentile or higher in all three core domains; three strong letters of recommendation; research or lab experience; and at least some basic training in statistical /quantitative methods (e.g., Introductory Statistics and Research Methods). Coursework or a Master’s degree is not required but is recognized as valuable. Similarly, publications and other accomplishments are valued but not required.

GRE scores are required for all prospective students. International students must also demonstrate competency in English (details below).

Start Your Application icon-olus-circle

You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials. When all materials have been received, we will notify you about your status and provide guidance about the next steps in becoming a Penn State student.

For guaranteed full consideration, please submit all application materials for the BBH graduate program (to start Fall semester) by December 1st. (Note, applications submitted after this date may be considered; eligibility for certain fellowships happens very early in December).

Application Materials icon-olus-circle

Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee.

You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:

A copy of an official transcript from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. For institutions outside the U.S., documents may include marksheets, record of courses, degree/study certificate, original diploma, etc. If the language of instruction is not English, an official English translation is required. Applicants will be directed to upload digital copies of documents during the electronic application process. Upon admission and your acceptance of admission, you will be asked by the Graduate School to send official transcripts.

Official scores from Graduate Record Examination Aptitude Test (GRE). Typical candidates have a GRE score at 50th percentile or higher in all three core domains. The GRE institution code is 2660.

Biographical sketch or curriculum vitae - applicants will be directed to upload digital copies of documents during the electronic application process

Personal statement / essay - applicants will be directed to upload digital copies of documents during the electronic application process

Minimum GPA - applicants should have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.

Three letters of recommendation. You will need to initiate the referral process through the online application by entering names and email addresses of three references. Upon submission of your application, those individuals will each receive an email asking them to complete a recommendation letter/form for you. Please inform all references that they must submit their recommendation for your application to be complete. (If you are not submitting your application until close to the deadline, it is strongly suggested that you notify your references well in advance, so they know to expect the email asking them to complete the recommendation for you by Dec. 1).

Student Interest Form - please complete this student interest form and upload to the electronic application

If admission is offered and accepted:

Determination of Eligibility

The Graduate School confirms eligibility for admission of all graduate degree applicants, while programs select and recommend applicants for offers of admission. Final approval of admission to all graduate degree programs lies with the Graduate School.

Official Transcript Requirement

Applicants will be required to arrange for official transcripts/documents (for institutions outside the U.S. documents may include marksheets, record of courses, degree/study certificate, original diploma, etc) to be sent from all post-secondary institutions attended and official English translation if the language of instruction is not English).

Graduate School Review of Official Transcripts

The Graduate School will review all official documents to consider the offer of admission. An offer of admission will be revoked if official transcripts/documents are not received by the Graduate School within specified deadline(s), or if official transcripts/documents differ in any substantive way from the copies uploaded by the applicant prior to the offer of admission. However, for applicants whose degree conferral is in progress at the time of uploading copies of transcripts/documents, the deadline specified for receipt of official transcripts/documents will allow for the passage of the reported date of degree conferral, and that conferral must be confirmed on the official transcripts/documents received by the Graduate School, in order for the offer of admission to be finalized. 

Transcript Falsification

If at any time, including after an applicant has enrolled in the Graduate School and commenced coursework, it is discovered that false information, omissions, and/or misstatements are made in an application – including but not limited to the uploading of copies of transcripts that differ in any substantive way from the official transcripts/ documents – admission, registration, and credit(s) for course work completed may be voided, and information relating to the false information, omissions, and/or misstatements may be distributed to other academic institutions, governmental agencies, and/or other third parties.

 

International Applicants Only icon-olus-circle

Academic Eligibility Requirements

For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold a degree from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.  Degree must be a:

  1. Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or
  2. Tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution.

To view the admission requirements from a selected country, choose a country from the drop-down list below. The requirements listed for each country are seen most often from institutions within the selected country. Academic credentials will be reviewed on an individual basis to determine degree comparability and eligibility for admission.

The language of instruction at Penn State is English. All international applicants must take and submit scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), with the exceptions noted below.

Acceptable Test Scores

TOEFL

Internet-based test (iBT) - a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section for the internet-based test (iBT). Applicants with iBT speaking scores between 15 and 18 may be considered for provisional admission, with Graduate School approval, which requires completion of specified remedial English courses ESL 114G (American Oral English for Academic Purposes) and/or ESL 116G (ESL/Composition for Academic Disciplines) and attainment of a grade of B or higher within the first semester of enrollment.

Paper-based test (taken July 2017 or later) – a combined total of the 3 sections evaluated must be 60 or greater.

IELTS – The minimum acceptable composite score for the IELTS Academic Test is 6.5.

Please have scores sent to institution code 2660.

Exemptions from English Proficiency Testing

International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement who have received a baccalaureate or a master's degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the United States, and Wales.

Please note that specific graduate plans of study may require all international applicants to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score, regardless of their academic background and country of origin.

Application Deadlines

The Graduate School does not have a deadline for processing applications. (Exception: International applicants must submit materials at least four months before the beginning of the semester for which they are applying.) Applicants should ascertain application deadlines by contacting the individual graduate program. Applications should be submitted as early as possible.

Determination of Eligibility

The Graduate School confirms eligibility for admission of all graduate degree applicants, while programs select and recommend applicants for offers of admission. Final approval of admission to all graduate degree programs lies with the Graduate School.

Official Transcript Requirement

Applicants will be required to arrange for official transcripts/documents (for institutions outside the U.S. documents may include marksheets, record of courses, degree/study certificate, original diploma, etc) to be sent from all post-secondary institutions attended and official English translation if the language of instruction is not English).

Graduate School Review of Official Transcripts

The Graduate School will review all official documents to consider the offer of admission. An offer of admission will be revoked if official transcripts/documents are not received by the Graduate School within specified deadline(s), or if official transcripts/documents differ in any substantive way from the copies uploaded by the applicant prior to the offer of admission. However, for applicants whose degree conferral is in progress at the time of uploading copies of transcripts/documents, the deadline specified for receipt of official transcripts/documents will allow for the passage of the reported date of degree conferral, and that conferral must be confirmed on the official transcripts/documents received by the Graduate School, in order for the offer of admission to be finalized. 

Transcript Falsification

If at any time, including after an applicant has enrolled in the Graduate School and commenced coursework, it is discovered that false information, omissions, and/or misstatements are made in an application – including but not limited to the uploading of copies of transcripts that differ in any substantive way from the official transcripts/ documents – admission, registration, and credit(s) for course work completed may be voided, and information relating to the false information, omissions, and/or misstatements may be distributed to other academic institutions, governmental agencies, and/or other third parties.

If you are an international student who is interested in applying to the Graduate School at Penn State, please refer to the University Office of Global Programs for detailed information regarding the admissions process, essential pre-arrival information and other useful information for international students who are exploring the possibility of applying to Penn State.

Final approval of admission to all graduate degree programs lies with the Graduate School.