Frequently Asked Questions

Questions? Get details about the Penn LPS Online learning experience, tuition, and more by browsing the Frequently Asked Questions below.

If you don't find the answer to your question here, the Penn LPS Online team is available to help you explore your options, get started with your degree application or navigate the open enrollment process for courses or certificates. Contact us.

Online learning

Online courses offer many of the same benefits on-campus courses can offer. Using the tools provided by the online learning platform, online students can participate in group discussions, chat one-on-one with professors and engage with course materials through text, audio and video media. Unlike on-campus courses, online courses do not require students to travel to campus for scheduled meetings, which allows students to complete coursework at times of day that suit their schedules. To learn more, review Am I Ready For Online Learning?

 

Interactions in an online learning environment tend to fall into two categories. Synchronous learning is real-time, live communication between students and instructors via audio, webcam and text-based chat. Some Penn LPS Online courses require students to participate in scheduled sessions of synchronous class time. In most courses, our online platform facilitates asynchronous learning, which allows students to engage with course material or complete assignments at times of day that suit their schedules. Some asynchronous courses offer optional synchronous sessions scheduled by instructors. Our course descriptions will indicate whether synchronous learning is required.

Most course activities can be performed in standard desktop or laptop web browsers; some activities can be performed on mobile devices. To evaluate your device, learn about our system requirements.

Penn LPS Online certificates are short programs of study for academic credit, designed to enhance personal or professional capabilities within a specific skill set. Certificates are ideal for individuals who would like to earn a credential instead of completing a bachelor’s degree. You will receive a credit transcript for the courses you complete as part of the certificate. View available Penn LPS Online certificates
 

The Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) program is an online, accredited bachelor’s degree designed for working adults and other non-traditional students who want to pursue an Ivy League education. Continue scrolling on this page to view Frequently Asked Questions about the BAAS program, or visit the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences page for more details.

 

Penn LPS Online is designed to meet the unique needs of diverse students, including those who wish to complete courses, certificates or an undergraduate degree without interrupting their careers. Students should consider the demands of their personal and professional obligations when making enrollment decisions to be sure they are positioned for success.

Penn LPS Online is designed to meet the unique needs of diverse students, including those on active duty in the military. Students should consider the demands of their personal and service obligations when making enrollment decisions to be sure they are positioned for success. Our academic advisors can help you explore your options and answer any questions you might have.

Yes. Your advisor can help you plan a course of study to avoid conflicting schedules.

Online tutoring, academic advising, and career services are available to all Penn LPS Online students.

All Penn LPS Online students have online access to library resources, including online databases and e-journals. Those in the Philadelphia area can access the University of Pennsylvania Libraries in person.

Getting started

Whether you already have a degree, some college, or a high school diploma or GED, you can enroll in Penn LPS Online courses and certificates. Enrollment is open and easy: complete and submit the enrollment form and non-refundable fee ($25), accessible through our online application system. Once enrolled, students may be required to meet a minimum GPA in Penn LPS Online courses to complete one of our certificate programs. Some courses, like science and quantitative courses, also have some prerequisites to ensure students have the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful. Please note that students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts at Penn’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies are not eligible to enroll in Penn LPS Online courses. Courses delivered through Penn LPS Online count toward a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in LPS, but do not count toward a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Pennsylvania or toward graduate degree programs at Penn.

There are two pathways to admission into the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences program: prospective students can complete the standard application process or "prove their way in" by demonstrating academic ability in designated gateway courses.
 

All Penn LPS Online students, even those enrolled in individual courses, are assigned a contact on the Penn LPS Online team. Your advisor can help you select courses, clarify university policies and procedures, address academic questions and problems, identify resources and support services, and navigate certificate requirements, general degree requirements or the transfer credit process (if applicable). Students will find their advisor's contact information listed in their electronic record in Penn InTouch.
 

Courses are offered in either an accelerated (8-week) or classic (11- or 12-week) format. Visit the Course Schedule for specific enrollment and course dates.
 

Students who enroll in certificates or individual courses will have access to an online orientation in Canvas, Penn LPS Online's robust and interactive learning management platform. New Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences students will also be invited to a comprehensive online new student orientation that is available each fall, spring, and summer term to ensure that they have the tools and strategies to successfully launch their Penn career. To learn more, visit the Information for Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences Orientation page.

Yes, all Penn LPS Online students can acquire a PennCard on campus.

Course instructors indicate required course materials in the syllabi for individual courses. Some course materials are made available to students through the Penn LPS Online learning platform. In addition, The Penn Bookstore offers a range of options for purchasing course materials, including new, used, digital and rental versions, depending on the textbook.

Tuition and credits

Penn LPS Online is a division of the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
 

Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

Your tuition for Penn LPS Online courses at the University of Pennsylvania is calculated at a per course unit (c.u.) rate based on the number of course units for which you register unless otherwise indicated. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course. The tuition and fees apply to all courses offered through Penn LPS Online, whether you are taking individual courses, completing a certificate, earning a degree, or enroll in gateway courses to "prove your way in" to the degree.

All tuition and fee charges are subject to the approval of the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and may change without notice. Visit the Cost of Attendance page to learn more.

Financial aid is available to admitted and current Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences students in the form of student loans, federal aid, and scholarships. Penn’s Student Financial Services office is available to prospective and current students for financial aid inquiries. Domestic applicants interested in their federal loan eligibility should complete the FAFSA form after applying to the program. Visit the Financial Aid page to learn more. Penn LPS Online courses and certificates are not currently eligible for federal financial aid. Gateway courses are not eligible for financial aid; students pursuing the "prove your way in" path to Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences admission may be evaluated for financial aid eligibility upon successful completion of gateway requirements.

Scholarship opportunities are available for Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences students and are awarded on the basis of academic merit, financial need and other criteria as specified by the individual scholarship fund requirements. Visit the Scholarships page to learn more.

Students planning to transfer Penn LPS Online credits to another institution should be aware that transfer credits are awarded at the discretion of the receiving institution. Students should affirm transfer acceptance from their home school prior to registering for the course.

Penn LPS Online credits are not transferable to graduate degree programs. However, Penn LPS Online students receive a credit transcript for completed courses, which they may include in graduate school application materials.

Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS)

Individuals who do not meet the standard admission process requirements, or who apply to the BAAS program but are not admitted, can “prove their way in” by demonstrating academic success in four foundational courses, called “gateway courses.” The gateway courses give students an opportunity to demonstrate their current academic capabilities and also provide a strong foundation for continued academic success in the BAAS program. To learn more about proving your way in, visit the Prove Your Way In page.

Rather than majors, BAAS students select concentrations to tailor their undergraduate education to specific personal and professional goals. Many concentrations are interdisciplinary, to provide students with opportunities to explore their areas of interest from multiple perspectives. To view available concentrations, visit the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences Concentrations page.
 

Up to half of the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree requirements may be  met with work completed at an institution accredited by one of the following regional bodies:

If you’re considering applying to the BAAS program and would like to receive a preliminary transfer credit evaluation before submitting your application, our program team is available to assess your previous college-level coursework. Visit the Transfer Preparation and Policies page for more details.

If you have already completed an undergraduate degree, you may wish to consider Penn LPS Online certificates or individual courses to foster creative pursuits or master essential workplace skills. Students earning a second bachelor’s degree cannot transfer in credits used to earn their first bachelor’s degree.

The time it will take to complete the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree is dependent upon the pace at which a student completes courses, whether credit from a previous institution is transferred in, and other factors. You are encouraged to talk with your advisor to map out a plan for degree completion.
 

Yes, BAAS degree students can attend the College of Liberal and Professional Studies graduation ceremony.

Current Penn students and Penn alumni

Penn LPS Online courses and certificates are available to students who are currently enrolled in the Penn Alumni Program, the College of Liberal and Professional Studies Post-Baccalaureate Studies program, or one of Penn LPS Online's certificate or degree programs. If you have already confirmed your enrollment in one of these programs, you can register for Penn LPS Online courses now through Penn InTouch—no additional enrollment form is necessary.

LPS Bachelor of Arts students are not eligible to enroll in Penn LPS Online. Courses delivered through Penn LPS Online count toward a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in LPS, but do not count toward a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Pennsylvania or toward graduate degree programs at Penn.

Yes! Penn LPS Online welcomes alumni back into Penn’s inspiring academic atmosphere to explore new subjects or gain new skills. As alumni, you may enroll in any of the Penn LPS Online courses, certificates, or undergraduate degree program. There is no application fee for Penn Alumni. The system will automatically waive your fee when you select the "Penn Alumni Program." If you are not already enrolled in the alumni program, please visit the program page to apply. To complete the application, you will need to enter your personal information and academic background. Transcripts, standardized test scores, and recommendations are waived for alumni.

If you are already enrolled in the Penn Alumni Program, you can register for Penn LPS Online courses now through Penn InTouch — no additional enrollment form is necessary.

Information resources

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We offer a comprehensive array of services to support you on your academic journey.
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It’s important to plan how to finance your Penn LPS Online education. Explore your options.

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