Non-Degree Program

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Explore Fels courses without committing to a full degree

The Fels Non-Degree program is designed to give individuals the opportunity to enroll in Fels elective courses without committing to a full degree program. Elective courses apply the signature Fels approach of context, analysis, and practice to specific topic and skill areas, including negotiations, public communications, nonprofit administration, public finance, data science, and other areas. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and students may begin in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.

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Students who are later admitted to a Fels degree program may transfer up to two courses taken as a Non-Degree student to their degree program, subject to course eligibility. Admission to the Non-Degree program does not guarantee admission to a degree program. For more information, contact felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu.

Application requirements

Applications to the Fels Non-Degree program must include the following materials. All students are required to fill out the online application.

The admissions team will not review an application until all necessary materials are received. No exceptions will be made. Please note that all application materials become the property of the University of Pennsylvania and will not be returned. Remember to retain a personal copy of your application.

  • $75 nonrefundable application fee :Any applicant who is on active duty or a veteran of the US Military Service is eligible for an application fee waiver. The application fee will be automatically waived in the application for students meeting the criteria.
  • Personal statement and essay: Please discuss your interest in enrolling in a course at the Fels Institute of Government. (Max 250 words). Upload your document to the online application system.
  • Resume or CV
  • Transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended
    • Applicants may upload unofficial copies of domestic transcripts to the online application system. If admitted to the Fels Non-Degree program, applicants are required to submit official copies of transcripts and should do so upon notification of admission.
  • Standardized test scores
    • Standardized test scores are not required for admission to the Fels Non-Degree program.
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): 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 (U Pennsylvania Coll Lib Prof Stdy). To locate a testing site near you or schedule an exam, visit the TOEFL website.
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): 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.
    • A written request to have the TOEFL/IELTS requirement waived: Please note that a TOEFL/IELTS score is rarely waived. We frequently get requests for waivers from people who have worked in the US for many years or have a degree from a school where the instruction was in English; this alone is not enough to qualify for a waiver. If you think you may qualify for a waiver, please be aware that the waiver request can cause delays in completing your application. If the application deadline is near, you may want to schedule the test just so that it will not delay you from submitting a complete application on time. To submit a request for a waiver, first submit all other documents required for your application. Then, send a written request to lps-admissions@sas.upenn.edu. Please include information on why the requirement should be waived, including how much education you have received in English schools, scores you may have earned on the TOEFL/IELTS previously (send unofficial scores, if possible), grades earned in writing-intensive courses, and any other information that you feel is relevant.

Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326
felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu