Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The December 1st Doctoral Deadline

 As many of you may know, December 1st was the deadline for Ph.D. and traditional Ed.D. applications. We have received a large volume of applications and required materials and are in the midst of processing them. This is also a time when we receive many emails and phone calls about applications. To try and best address some of the commonly asked questions we receive, the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid has put together a message.

Please take a minute to read the three sections below carefully. We hope it will help address some of your questions. The first section is a brief note containing six points (1-6) regarding application processing; the second are six points (A-F) from Admission and Financial Aid; and the third is answers to our top nine most frequently asked questions.

1. All of the mail that has accumulated over the long weekend should be processed no later than the end of the day Friday, December 5.

2. Please allow up to as many as 5 business days for processing.

3. No applicant shall be adversely impacted by our processing time which takes place after the deadline but before completed files are turned over to the faculty for review.

4. We do not confirm the receipt of application materials.

5. Once processing is complete, any applicant with an incomplete file will be notified and given an opportunity to complete your file for faculty review provided a timely reply to our communication is given.

6. The applicant checklist is not currently up to date, our new application system is not currently reflecting the receipt of GRE and TOEFL iBT scores. If you have reported scores to Penn GSE using the code 2943, your scores are here.

(A) Please be advised that given that the deadline for the majority of doctoral applications was Monday, December 1, the AFA office will prioritize the processing of those doctoral applications.

(B) Students applying to master’s programs are encouraged to chat with us online on Monday, December 22nd from 9:00am-5:00pm EST at http://upenn.adobeconnect.com/wc122214/.

(C) Please refrain from duplicating communication with our office. This creates repetition that slows our ability to serve all students in a timely manner. Know that we have received your voicemail/email and will respond in the order in which messages are received, provided the subject of your communication is not addressed in this message.

(D) Select doctoral applicants will be contacted regarding a campus visit in February and admission notices to all Ph.D. and non-executive Ed.D. programs will not be shared with applicants until after the visit.

(E) We ask for the patience of applicants to our master’s programs regarding the receipt of admission notifications given the holidays and the doctoral application deadline.

(F) Should you have a question not addressed here, please send a new message to admissions@gse.upenn.edu with the following in the subject line: your first and last name, program of interest, degree of interest, desired start date, and if you are an applicant. Example: Ben Frank, Higher Ed, master’s, Fall 2015.

Top 9 Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where do I send my transcripts? Hard copies must arrive at Penn GSE Admissions and Financial Aid, 3700 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104; while e-copies sent from institutions are received at admissions@gse.upenn.edu.

2. What is your GRE/TOEFL iBT reporting code? 2943 What program/division should I use? You do not need to specify a program or division.

3. Have you received my GRE/TOEFL iBTscores? We are unable to look up specific sets of test scores. If the scores have been reported to the University of Pennsylvania/code 2943 we have them.

4. Do I need to submit TOEFL iBT/IELTS test scores? If you hold an undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution where English is the language of instruction, you don’t need to submit TOEFL iBT/IELTS scores.  If you completed an English language program at an institution where the language of instruction is not English, you need to submit TOEFL iBT or IELTS test scores.

5. My recommender is having trouble uploading the letter online. Can he/she email it? If he/she is unable to submit the letter through the online application system, please ask him/her to email it directly to admissions@gse.upenn.edu and include the applicant’s first and last name in the subject line of the email.

6. Some of my materials might not make it to your office by December 1. Will my application still be reviewed if it is complete after the deadline? Per our application instructions, we only guarantee faculty review of applications that are complete by December 1. Any materials received after the deadline will be reviewed at the discretion of the review committee. Please make every effort to submit materials as early as possible. That said, we have built in time for processing the receipt of materials that precedes turning applications over for faculty review.

7. Can I send you unofficial copies of my transcript to complete my application by December 1, then the official transcripts will arrive after the deadline? No, unofficial documents cannot replace official documents at any point in our application process.

8. What materials are still missing from my application? Please log-in to your application, select “Manage Your Account” and “View Checklist” to see what materials we have received/not received.

9. I am having technical difficulties with my application, can you please let me know why I am receiving errors? If you or your references need assistance with the online application, email help@applyweb.com.

Still find you have questions? Please email us at admissions@gse.upenn.edu.

GSE's website receives Davey Award

Did you know that the GSE's website was recently awarded the Davey Award for it's design and functionality? The award comes following the launch of our new website last winter. The new site was designed to be more attractive, easier to navigate, and functional on all types of devices. Read more, here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! (Office Closed)

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and your families!

In celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday, Penn GSE will close early this Wednesday the 26th at 12:00pm EST. We will be closed Thursday and Friday as well. We will reopen on Monday, December 1st at 9:00am EST.

We hope that all of you have a peaceful and restful holiday full of turkey, cranberry sauce, and pie (my favorite is pumpkin!) or whatever your favorite holiday treats may be.

Since December 1st is the deadline for all Ph.D. and traditional Ed.D. programs, we will be hosting a full day webchat to give prospective students an additional way to communicate with us. If you have any questions about the application process, please join us in the webchat any time from 9:00am - 5:00pm EST by clicking here. We also encourage you to check out our application instruction page, which has a lot of helpful information. Still have questions? Email us at admissions@gse.upenn.edu. Please be sure to include: your first and last name, program of interest, degree of interest, desired start date, and if you are an applicant. (Example: Ben Frank, Higher Ed, masters, Fall 2015.)

Wondering what it's like to celebrate Thanksgiving in Philadelphia? Click here to get a glimpse of the city's festivities.

We look forward to connecting with you when we're back in the office next week.
Happy turkey day and happy holiday shopping!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Penn GSE Celebrates Centennial Year in Four Cities

(From left to right: Michelle Goldman Eisenberg, Australia Alba, Alison Dixon and Natalie K. Herring celebrate in Miami at the Life After Penn GSE Alumni Mixer for Prospective Students.)




Following a lively on-campus kickoff in September, Penn GSE’s Centennial celebration went on the road to four cities this fall, bringing together alumni, friends, faculty, and prospective students in Boston, Miami, Chicago, and San Francisco.

In honor of the School’s first 100 years, the event programming and festive banners highlighted the themes of GSE’s Centennial year: 100 Years of Leading in Education, Innovative Ideas, Passionate People, and Making a Difference.

In keeping with these themes, presentations by GSE faculty illustrated GSE’s leadership and innovative ideas. At the gathering in Chicago, Dr. Rand Quinn of GSE’s Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division shared his research on civic engagement of students, urban school reform, and the impact of community-based institutions, organizations, and action in education. In San Francisco, Dr. Martin Ihrig, associate professor at GSE and adjunct professor at the Wharton School, spoke about GSE's new M.S.Ed. in Education Entrepreneurship program, which he co-designed.

Also in keeping with the Centennial themes, the events provided an opportunity for over two hundred passionate alumni of GSE and of Penn to make a difference by sharing their insights and advice with the prospective GSE students who attended.

Passionate leaders and alumni of GSE played key roles in the events. In Miami, GSE Board of Overseers member Allison Weiss Brady, C'93, gave a special welcome, as did former GSE Board of Overseers member Nancy Rothstein, CW’75, in Chicago. In addition, several alumni and friends of GSE generously hosted the events: Scott Nichols, GRD’77, in Boston; Michelle Goldman Eisenberg, C’87, GED’88, in Miami; Susan Keiffer-Barone, C’84, GED’84, in Chicago, and Libby Tyree-Taylor, GED’73, and her daughter Alexandra Taylor Belonick, C’04, in San Francisco. GSE thanks all of the speakers and hosts for helping to make the events a success.

You can catch a glimpse of the Centennial excitement through photos of the Chicago, San Francisco, and Miami events, and find more opportunities to connect with GSE by checking our Centennial events calendar throughout the 2014-2015 year.

Photo credits: Chicago photos by Tanya Velazquez Photography, San Francisco photos by Eli Zaturanski Photography, Miami photos by Allison Weiss Brady, C'93.

Friday, November 21, 2014

What's AHEAD

Led by two GSE professors, Laura Perna and Matt Hartley, the Penn Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy (Penn AHEAD) publishes research focusing on trends in higher education management.

"Through periodic polls of higher education leaders What’s AHEAD: Key Trends in Higher Education will generate and publish research about important trends in higher education management. The polls are designed to contribute to research that is useful to both participating leaders and the field more generally." To read more, join the Penn AHEAD email list, or visit Penn AHEAD facebook page, click here