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Applications must be submitted through the Penn State Graduate School application portal. Per University policy, an applicant may only apply to one graduate degree program at a time.

Questions about the application process may be directed to the Admissions Coordinator,

Renee Bailey,

Application Due Date: December 1, 2019

Please note that we are in the Eastern Standard Time zone. If you are submitting on December 1st and doing so from another time zone please take this into account when determining the submission deadline.

Required Application Materials

  • Learn about Penn State's Graduate School's requirements
  • When you are ready to apply you may go to the application at the Grad School Admissions and Program Information Portal, which will guide you through the materials required by the University, as well as program-specific required documents.
    • All applicants must submit GRE scores. You will be asked to report your scores as well as having official scores sent by ETS (institution code 2660).
    • Scientific Writing Sample. Please submit a document you wrote alone or took the lead in writing. For example: a literature review; an honor’s thesis; or a manuscript published, accepted for publication, or submitted for publication. For international students, your writing sample must be in English. Submissions will not be returned.
    • A copy (front and back) of all official transcripts/documents from all post-secondary institutions attended. Only a photocopy is needed at the initial application stage, official verification will be required before a student is permitted to enroll.
    • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
    • Statement of Professional and Career Plans. This statement should not exceed 3 pages (double spaced) in length. The statement should address the following questions: (1) Why are you interested in Penn State's HDFS program? (2) What are your professional and career plans? (3) How will your educational/research experiences at Penn State contribute to your career plans? (4) Which faculty members in HDFS are you interested in working with and why?
    • Three letters of recommendation. Letter writers will submit their letters directly to the application portal. Letter writers should be individuals who can attest to your academic skills, readiness for graduate school, and potential for success.
  • Applicants from outside of the U.S:
    • Visit the Office of Global Programs for information related to being an international student at Penn State.
    • Applicants residing in a country in which English is not the national language must also take an English language exam. The University will accept the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). For requirement information pertaining to a specific country, visit the Admission Eligibility by Country page on the Graduate School website.
    • Applicants who completed their prior education in a language other than English will need to have their transcripts officially translated to English for consideration by the admissions committee.