Applying to an ELP program

How to Apply

While LPS values creating a community of diverse lived experiences, in considering your application for admissions, LPS has not in the past and will not in the future consider racial or ethnic identity as a factor in the admissions decision. We are in the process of revising our application language. Applicants are not required to respond to any questions regarding race or ethnicity.

To apply to the Intensive Program or the Institute for Academic and Professional Studies, please use our online application form. Review the useful resources on this page, including the application checklist. Please be sure to review the requirements for the program you are applying to:

If you have any questions during the application process, please contact us by emailing

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Application checklist

  • Completed online application form
  • Photocopy of passport (name, date of birth, and photo)
  • Financial support documentation (statement from bank or sponsor)
  • Wire transfer for $500
    • Non-refundable payment includes $90 enrollment fee and $410 tuition deposit
    • Make payable to: Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Electronic copy of color passport photo for university ID (jpg format; at least 300 x 380 pixels)
  • Additional documents for transfer students
    • Official transcript from current school
    • Copies of student visa, I-20, and CBP admission stamp (or printout of I-94 admission number from your Arrival/Departure Form)
    • Local address in the US (include on the enrollment form)
    • Proof of Academic Success Form (PDF)
    • After you submit your application, ELP will provide you with a transfer form to complete via email.

Acceptance to an ELP program does not constitute admission to any other program at the University of Pennsylvania. You must turn 18 years old within six months of the first day of the program, and you must have graduated from high school.  

Visa FAQs

Full-time students in the following ELP programs are eligible for F-1 student visas (Form I-20):

  • Intensive Program, including University Connection and University Connection Plus
  • Institute for Academic and Professional Studies

Students enrolled in part-time study are not eligible for F-1 visas (Form I-20).

If a student is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, they do not need a visa for these programs.

The University of Pennsylvania issues a Form I-20 for study at the English language Programs. The Form I-20 is used by the student to apply for the F-1 student visa. We encourage all students to apply early to allow enough time for the visa process.

  1. Complete the enrollment form and send all required documents (copy of passport, financial support documentation, and electronic photo) to
  2. If you are a self-pay student, you will be required to send a non-refundable $400 deposit ($90 enrollment fee and $310 tuition deposit) via wire transfer.
  3. Upon receipt of these documents, the ELP will provide you with a testing code. All students entering the Intensive Program at the ELP must take this test before they are sent their I-20s. Applicants scoring below level 300 on our pre-arrival placement test will not be admitted and will receive a full refund.
  4. If an applicant scores at level 300 or above, the ELP will request a Form I-20 for you.
  5. Within one week, the ELP will email you a welcome letter and your Form I-20 to the email address provided on the enrollment form.
  6. Review your Form I-20 to make sure all information matches your passport. Then, print and sign the Form I-20 before traveling to the United States.
  7. If you have any concerns about your Form I-20, please contact the ELP by email at

Please note: If you enter the US using a Form I-20 from the University of Pennsylvania English Language Programs, you must report to the ELP upon arrival in the US.

The US Department of Homeland Security outlines the procedures to apply for an F-1 student visa. Please visit the US Department of Homeland Security website for additional details. 

F-1 visa holders must comply with certain regulations. Learn more at Penn’s International Student and Scholar Services website

What’s next?

After we receive your materials, we will send you an acceptance packet via email. Your packet will contain:

  • An admission letter with instructions on how to get to the University and when and where you should report for the start of your program
  • Form I-20 (if you have requested an F-1 visa)
  • Instructions on how to apply for your F-1 student visa
  • Reminder: All students must pay their SEVIS fee prior to their visa appointment.

Once you have completed your enrollment, you should apply for housing. Applications for housing are sent directly to housing providers.