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 5000-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. Courses must be officially designated a part of the Master's degree during the semester in which they are taken - this cannot be done retroactively.

Students who are taking graduate courses as part of a submatriculation program are advised to check with their Master's degree advisor regarding grade mode questions. Some graduate programs may not permit pass/fail courses to be used toward that degree.

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. For a student submatriculating into a professional master’s program, the coursework will extend beyond the baccalaureate career. In both cases, the total number of years normally required to complete the undergraduate and graduate degrees is condensed. In addition, students should speak with the Graduate Chair or Director of the intended graduate program.

Students considering submatriculation are strongly encouraged to speak with a counselor in the Student Registration and Financial Services office as soon as possible to discuss how tuition is billed for students at various stages of submatriculation,  and to what extent undergraduate financial aid can be applied.

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.
  • Students pursuing dual degrees or coordinated dual degrees are not eligible to apply for this program.
  • Following matriculation to the Law School, four College courses (4000-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 electives (as long as the student has taken the total required Arts and Sciences c.u. as determined by their major ) or as part of their major (as approved by the major advisor).
  • No more than 8 c.u. 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 the student's 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 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 4 c.u. will count as Electives in Arts and Sciences.
  • The student may elect to opt out of the program, in which case they may complete the undergraduate degree with a biology major or choose a different major.

For further information please contact Dr. Srilata Gangulee in the College Office.