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School of Design University of Pennsylvania

  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Private
  • Urban
  • 55%45%
    student ratio
  • 650
    total students
  • $42,492 | $42,492
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition


A Prestigious Design School

Founded in 1868 in Philadelphia, the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania (PennDesign) is one of the oldest design schools in the country. Today, the school's approximately 650 full-time graduate students pursue master's and doctoral degrees in architecture, city and regional planning, environmental building design, fine arts, historic preservation, landscape architecture, and urban spatial analytics.

A single school within a great university, PennDesign is an inventive place of learning where the many fields of architecture, planning, preservation, landscape and the fine arts come together on shared ground. PennDesign is dedicated to design that is creative in nature and transformative in impact. In a collaborative environment that fosters inquiry and experimentation, faculty and students seek to recast the distinction between theory and practice, expand knowledge and invention through research, and contribute works of value and beauty.

As a place where students impact the global environment through the making of thoughtful places and objects, PennDesign is a leading center for design education and practice in the 21st century and beyond.

Dual Degrees and Certificate Programs

The School of Design places great emphasis on interdisciplinary study and offers a series of both dual degree options and certificates to enable students to take their creative and intellectual study and research in-depth across conventional departmental or program boundaries. In addition to dual degrees within PennDesign, there are dual degrees available with the Wharton School of Business, School of Social Policy and Practice, and Law School, and a masters degree in Integrated Product Design.

The School of Design offers certificates in Ecological Architecture, GIS, Graphic Design, Historic Preservation, Land Preservation, Landscape Studies, Real Estate Design and Development, Time-Based and Interactive Media, Urban Design and Urban Redevelopment.

PennDesign and Philadelphia

Located in the second largest city in the eastern U.S. -- and one of the easiest to negotiate -- PennDesign is situated near the heart of the Boston-Washington, D.C. corridor, immediately across the Schuylkill River from downtown Philadelphia. Recently ranked among the top five most livable cities in the nation, the last decade has seen Philadelphia blossom in an urban renaissance. For Penn students, the cultural and recreational gifts of the city are a simple extension of the university's resources. Long recognized for its outstanding architecture, with representative works by leading architects, the city of Philadelphia offers unparalleled visual inspiration to PennDesign students. The city's collection of outdoor public art is the largest in the nation. In short, enrolling at Penn means attending daily life in Philadelphia -- a fine way to learn, first-hand, both the whys and the hows of real urban living.

Location & Contact

School of Design

University of Pennsylvania

210 South 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

 Joan Weston

Director of Admissions

Phone: 215-898-6520
Fax: 215-573-3927

Contact this school

Departments & Programs

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Certificate
      Advanced Certificate
      Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master in Environmental Building Design (MEBD)
      Master of Architecture (M Arch)
      Master of City Planning (MCP)
      Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
      Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)
      Master of Science (MS)
      Master of Urban Spatial Analytics (MUSA)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 270
    • Doctoral Degrees 2
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees 70
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


45% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 1,931
    • Accepted 860
    • Acceptance Rate 45
    • Enrolled 339
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $80
    • Application Fee - International $80
    • Electronic applications accepted? No
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline January 2nd Not Reported Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE, portfolio
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE, portfolio
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees
    • In-state tuition *$42,492
    • Out-of-state tuition *$42,492
    • Masters Program Tuition *$42,492
    • Doctoral Program Tuition *$28,768
    • International student tuitionNot Reported
    • * Tuition for full-time graduate student per academic year
  • Fees
    • Application Fee$80
    • Per-academic year fees$2,492.00
    • Per-term feesNot Reported
    • One-time feeNot Reported
    • * Fees for full-time graduate students
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsNot Reported
    • Types of financial support availableNot Reported

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students649
    • Female Percentage54%
    • Male Percentage46%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students649
    • Part-time Percentage4%
    • Full-time Percentage96%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino8%
    • Black / African American3%
    • White / Caucasian65%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native1%
    • Asian14%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races7%
    • Unknown2%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty52
    • Full-time Percentage69%
    • Part-time Percentage31%
    • Female Percentage35%
    • Male Percentage65%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchNot Reported
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last year$33,200



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