How to Apply

Who can apply?

High school seniors. Prospective students can apply to VIPER through the University of Pennsylvania admissions process as a high school senior. The majority of VIPER students enter the program through this process.

First year Penn students. First year Penn students can apply through the internal transfer application process at the end of the Fall semester of their first year. We are able to accept transfer applications as space permits. 


How to Apply

Applicants to VIPER should submit an application to Penn by the Early or Regular Decision deadlines and select VIPER as their intended primary program of study. More information about the requirements, deadlines, and process for applying can be found below.


Supplemental Essay

VIPER applicants should submit the following supplemental essay describing their interest in the program. Approved VIPER majors are listed here, and applicants are not bound to the major choices described in their essays.

How do you envision your participation in the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER) furthering your interests in energy science and technology? Please include any past experiences (ex. academic, research, or extracurricular) that have led to your interest in the program. Additionally, please indicate why you are interested in pursuing dual degrees in science and engineering and which VIPER majors are most interesting to you at this time. (400-650 words)


Early Decision

Students can choose to apply through the binding Early Decision process. Early decision applicants commit to joining VIPER and Penn if they are admitted to the program. Students can indicate if they also want to be considered as an Early Decision candidate for their secondary school choice (ie, single degree option) if they are not admitted to VIPER.

Requirements and Deadlines

Academic Preparation

Successful VIPER candidates have strong academic backgrounds in STEM fields, and VIPER encourages applicants to pursue opportunities that demonstrate their level of preparation in STEM subjects (ex. AP, IB, higher level exams if resources are available). If students have external exam credit that satisfies Penn's requirements or pass internal placement exams, they can use these credits toward their dual degrees and gain additional flexibility in their curriculum. Click here for the most recent guidelines for Penn's testing policies. 

Prior experience in research or energy is not a requirement of the program; however, students are encouraged to reflect on all of their previous experiences (including extracurriculars, research, leadership involvement, etc.) which have led to their interest in VIPER and include this in their supplemental essay. We will evaluate applications holistically and assess the applicants' fit and potential to excel in the program.