Policies Governing Submatriculation

The minimum course requirement for the master's degree is 8 c.u., although some graduate programs may require more than this minimum. Courses earning credit for the master's degree must be at the graduate level as specified by the graduate program, usually at the 500-level and above.

A maximum of 4 c.u. at the graduate level may be counted toward both the B.A. and the master’s degree. Thus, the minimum number of combined course units for the two degrees is 36 (assuming a 12 c.u. undergraduate major). These four courses may be part of the Major Requirement or the electives of the undergraduate program, but may not include courses in independent study. Some graduate programs may permit fewer than four courses to be double counted.

Graduate courses taken prior to admission by submatriculation into a master’s program in the School of Arts and Sciences cannot be applied toward a master's degree, unless approved by the associate dean for graduate studies. Master’s programs from other schools at Penn may vary with regard to this restriction.

A student submatriculating into a research master’s program (M.A. or M.S.) is expected to complete the two degrees within the normal four undergraduate years. In that case, no tuition is assessed beyond the regular full-time undergraduate tuition, and eligibility for undergraduate financial aid remains the same as for any other undergraduate student. If the student’s coursework must be extended beyond the four years, he or she will need to consult with Student Financial Services and the relevant graduate school and department for further information regarding tuition and financial aid.

For a student submatriculating into a professional master’s program, the coursework will extend beyond the baccalaureate career. At that point, tuition is billed at the graduate school rate, and the student is no longer eligible for undergraduate financial aid. In both cases, the total number of years normally required to complete the undergraduate and graduate degrees is condensed. Students are advised to complete at least one graduate level course in their intended program before applying. In addition, students should speak with the Graduate Chair or Director of the intended graduate program.

All coursework for a master's degree from the School of Arts and Sciences must be completed at Penn, except for graduate coursework completed on a Penn-sponsored study abroad program. No transfer or credit away courses will be accepted. Requirements for master’s programs offered by other schools at Penn may vary.

  • Prospective applicants to the B.A./J.D. program should have fulfilled most—if not all—of their undergraduate degree requirements by what is generally a student's junior year (between 16 and 23.99 c.u.).
  • A prospective applicant should have a g.p.a. of 3.4 or above to apply.
  • Following matriculation to the Law School, four College courses (400-level or above) must be taken and will be counted toward both the B.A. and the J.D. These courses must be approved by a Law School advisor.
  • Up to four Law School courses may be counted toward the B.A., either as free electives (as long as the student has taken a total of sixteen College courses outside the major) or as major-related courses (as approved by the major advisor).
  • No more than 8 courses in all can be double counted toward both degrees. Students must satisfy all the requirements for the J.D. during their fourth, fifth and sixth years of study.
  • Students in the program must complete an advanced-level seminar or independent study in their major field of study by the time they have completed 23.99 c.u.


Students apply to the Law School for admission to this program in the fall semester of their junior year. The application includes an essay explaining the relationship between his or her experience in the College and the study of law and a proposed plan of study developed in consultation with the College advisor.

Please visit the how to apply page for more information.  Please note, either the LSAT, GRE or GMAT is required.
Although the Law School makes the final decision about acceptance into the submatriculation program, the student's application must also be approved by the College committee.

Students who are serious about this program should contact Dr. Hocine Fetni at 215.898.6341 for an appointment to discuss their plans.

Inquiries about the J.D. requirements should be addressed to the Penn Law School Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, contactadmissions@law.upenn.edu.

  • Students must apply to the seven-year Bio-Dental submatriculation program at the time of application to Penn. Their status will be reviewed at the end of their sophomore year when they declare the biology major. Admission into the program is conditional upon the student's academic performance in their three years of College, the g.p.a. in the sciences taken in the College, and the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) score.
  • Students must apply to the Dental School again when they have completed 28 of the 36 c.u. required for the B.A. with a biology major. (All 28 c.u. must be College of Arts and Sciences courses, i.e., not Wharton, Engineering, etc.)
  • If admitted to the program, four Dental School courses will be counted toward the biology major and four courses will count as Free Electives in the College.
  • The student may elect to opt out of the program, in which case he or she may complete the undergraduate degree with a biology major or even choose a different major.

For further information please contact Dr. Gary Purpura in the College Office.