Application Overview for Non-Penn Students
Prospective students who are not currently working toward a graduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania may apply for the Graduate Certificate in Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN) through Penn’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS).
Study toward the SCAN certificate begins in the fall semester each year. To apply through LPS, your application including all transcripts, letters and test scores, are requested by June 1, 2019*. Enrollments and applications for the SCAN certificate are accepted on a rolling basis. Candidates may be invited to interview with a member of the Admissions Committee on campus or remotely. Please note that students admitted to the SCAN Certificate Program in this fashion may either enroll in the program immediately for the following fall or defer their enrollment for 1 year. After deferral for 1 year, admitted students must enroll for SCAN courses or will be required to reapply to the program and will incur additional fees in order to be eligible to enroll in courses after that point.
*If there is a need for an extension, contact us by e-mail and our program team will review extensions on a case-by-case basis.
|Admission Cycle||Preferred submission|
|Fall 2019 (priority admission)||April 1, 2019|
|Fall 2019||June 1, 2019|
Applications may only be submitted through our online application system. To get started, you must create an account in our online application system CollegeNet. When you start the application, you can find our program by choosing “School of Arts & Sciences, College of Liberal and Professional Studies” and then selecting “Graduate Certificate in Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.” Or, you can type “SCAN” in the search bar to select our program.
Application materials checklist for prospective students
The majority of your application must be submitted through the online application system. Some hard copy materials*, like official transcripts and standardized test scores can be sent to the College of Liberal and Professional Studies Admissions Office. The requirements of these documents are listed in the online application.
All hard copy documents should be mailed to the College of Liberal and Professional Studies Admissions, 3440 Market Street, Suite 100, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335.
*Unsolicited material will not be used for review.
Applications must contain all of the following to be considered complete:
- Completed online application
- Current résumé uploaded through the online application system
- Nonrefundable application fee
- Personal statement (details below) uploaded through the online application system
- Unofficial transcripts from each post-secondary school attended uploaded through the online application system
- Standardized test scores (details below)
- Two letters of recommendation (details below)
After a complete application is received and reviewed, candidates under serious consideration are invited to interview with a member of the Admissions Committee on campus or remotely. If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us by e-mail and arrange a time to speak with Program Director Martha Farah and Associate Director Hilary Gerstein.
Please write a personal statement of 400-750 words addressing the following points:
- Your professional achievements and goals for the future
- How neuroscience is relevant to your field of work, and the way(s) in which you plan to use neuroscience in your career
- Your current level of familiarity with social, cognitive and affective neuroscience and where you acquired this familiarity
Letters of recommendation
Each applicant submits two letters of recommendation. Letters should come from individuals in a position to evaluate your professional and academic work, such as a supervisor or professor, and who know of your desire to enter the Graduate Certificate in Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. Recommendations may be submitted online (preferred) or by mail. For online recommendations, please follow the instructions in the Recommendations section of the online application.
Standardized test scores
Standardized test scores are required for admission to the SCAN program. We accept scores from the GRE, the LSAT, the GMAT and the MCAT. For the GRE, you may request that your scores be sent to the College of Liberal and Professional Studies, using ETS institutional code 2986. LSAT, GMAT and MCAT score reports can be uploaded directly through the online application system.
A strong command of the English language is necessary for successful study at Penn. Applicants for whom English is a second language must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores to demonstrate English proficiency. Please note that the TOEFL is rarely waived; therefore, we encourage applicants to take the test to avoid delays in completing the application. The minimum TOEFL scores required for admissions consideration are: 100 (iBT), 250 (CBT) or 600 (PBT). The TOEFL must be sent from ETS using the institutional code 2986. To locate a testing site near you or schedule an exam, visit the TOEFL website. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is also accepted, and the minimum score for consideration is a 7. You may upload a copy of your IELTS test to the standardized test score section of the application, but ALL official copies of IELTS must also be mailed directly from the testing center to the College of Liberal and Professional Studies Admissions, 3440 Market Street, Suite 100, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335.
Upon review of an applicant’s file, the Admissions Committee reserves the right to request TOEFL scores.
International transcripts from institutions outside the United States
If your post-secondary credentials are from an institution outside the US, you must submit all post-secondary credentials (undergraduate and graduate) to World Education Services Inc. (WES), a third-party verification agency, for a course-by-course evaluation.
World Education Services Inc. must complete a course-by-course evaluation of all post-secondary credentials. The course-by-course evaluation should include the comparability level of your education and list each of your courses along with the equivalent US marks and credit. Please select the WES basic course-by-course evaluation (with GPA and course levels) and request that WES send your evaluation to Penn’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies Admissions. The school can be found by searching “the University of Pennsylvania” and then selecting “College of Liberal and Professional Studies.” The evaluation becomes an official academic record and sole property of the University upon its receipt.
World Education Services Inc. evaluations are reviewed by our administrators, and the determination of degree equivalency to US degrees is at the discretion of the College of Liberal and Professional Studies. For additional information about the WES application and their review process, you may visit their website.