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How to Apply to US Universities Free Course by University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is offering the free online course for Applying to U.S. Universities. This course is for undergraduate freshmen applicants who have not attended any university.

This four-week course helps international students navigate the U.S. university admissions process by offering practical information about the documents and pieces that make up a U.S. university application. The course is ongoing.

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Course At A Glance

Length: 4 weeks
Effort:  14 hours of videos
Subject: Applying to U.S. Universities
Institution: The University of Pennsylvania and Coursera
Languages: English Subtitles: Spanish
Price: Free
Session: Open

Providers’ Details

The University of Pennsylvania (commonly referred to as Penn) is a private university, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. A member of the Ivy League, Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and considers itself to be the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

About This Course

“It depends.”  That is what you’ll hear when asking about the U.S. university admission process.  With over 4,000 universities in the United States and no standard application system, the U.S. admission process can be confusing for everyone, but especially for students applying from other countries.

This course will help international students (non-U.S. citizens) and non-native English speakers navigate the U.S. university admission process by offering practical information about the documents and pieces that make up a U.S. university application.  More importantly, admission officers will discuss how they use those pieces to decide who is accepted and who is denied so that you can understand the process beyond the pieces.

Please note, while the English Language Programs are part of the University of Pennsylvania, this is not a course about applying to Penn.  Furthermore, this course is intended for international students educated in the national curriculum of their country.  While other students are welcome to enrol, the course is not intended for American students or students studying in an American, International Baccalaureate, or Advanced Placement curriculum.  The course is also intended for students who do not have access to university counselling – if you attend a school that offers university counselling, your counsellor is the best source of information on applying to university.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will understand application basics that include researching schools, creating a school list, and establishing an application plan.  This course will not answer all of your application questions, but it will teach you to ask the right questions of yourself and the universities.  Ultimately, you will have all the information you need to start your process the right way, putting you on the path to acceptance.


Applying for U.S. Universities is taught by ELP University Connection Counseling Specialist Erick Hyde.

Course Format

Week 1: The U.S. Admissions Process
Week 2 Self-Assessment
Week 3: Research & Planning
Week 4: The Pieces of Your Application
Week 5: Admission Officials Interview Series


This course is for undergraduate (Bachelors degree) freshmen (students who have not attended any university) applicants. Undergraduate transfer applicants, students who have attended a university, will find some of the information helpful, but graduate (Masters and Doctoral) applicants will not.

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create a Coursera account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.

Apply Now

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