Penn LPS vs. On Campus students

I just wanted to ask if there is a difference between Penn LPS and UPenn on campus. I have recently been admitted to the bachelors of applied arts and sciences at Penn LPS and am a recent high school graduate.

I have been trying to find some people at Penn LPS or on campus students. I have joined some instagram group chats and facebook groups. I have noticed that whenever I mention that I am attending Penn LPS to students who go on campus I receive no response from those students and am ignored. Has anyone else faced this? and why do on campus students look down on Penn LPS? Isn’t it the same curriculum as UPenn on campus?

Also, my college counselor says that the degree from Penn LPS is not valuable and I have just chosen a easy way to get into Penn. He says that this degree has no value since it is online and for adults.

I am really confused on what to do. Just a few days ago I was super exited for getting in but I am starting to have second thoughts since the people around me are not giving positive reactions over my acceptance. Also, will I be able to find some friends when I attend Penn on campus? Based on the current responses I am getting I am being ignored after mentioning that I am attending Penn LPS and am afraid that on campus students would not be so welcoming if I ever go on campus.

The University of Pennsylvania’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS) offers a bachelor’s degree that, like Harvard University’s Extension School, is intended for working professionals. For many years, LPS allowed non-traditional students to pursue a bachelor’s degree on-campus.

In Fall 2019, UPenn LPS also began offering a bachelor’s degree fully available online… the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences. There are 2 ways one can be admitted into the degree program.

1.) Traditional application process

2.) Prove your way in. You can enroll in 4 classes without applying and, if you can maintain a 2.7 GPA with no class grade below a C, you can get admitted.

This 2nd option is not dissimilar to Harvard Extension School’s’ undergraduate program, which requires you to take 3 classes successfully prior to admission.

LPS’ bachelor of applied arts and sciences program is fully online, with no residency requirement… you just have to spend 2 weekends on campus.

While you do not get to declare any major, you do have the option to pick from a small selection of concentrations.

All the information regarding UPenn LPS’ bachelor of applied arts and sciences program is available here:

Note that Harvard Extension School’s prove your way in admissions route has encountered criticism, with some people saying that Harvard Extension is not really Harvard. It avoids the highly selective application process entailed in applying to Harvard College, Harvard University’s traditional undergraduate school.

As such, some might also view the bachelor of applied arts and sciences program via UPenn LPS as an inferior version of UPenn’s traditional undergraduate program.

Personally, I think UPenn LPS is a great alternative. But, I don’t know how it’s reputation is generally perceived by those of traditional UPenn and by outside academia and businesses.

Hey guys,
Is anyone a Upenn LPS Online Alumni? I wanted to know if the diploma for the UPenn LPS Online the same as the traditional UPenn undergraduate diploma?

Hey @jlee415 !! I just saw our message and am a current student at the LPS program. The diploma and transcript for LPS students are the same ones that on campus students receive. If you have any questions feel free to message me!!

The new Penn LPS BAAS receive the same diploma as normal Penn students? @zaynsarfraz

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@zaynsarfraz , I think the animosity begins with how an LPS student can gain access into Penn. Typically the program is meant for the those that are not traditional students. The degree you will receive is going to be the equivalent of a liberal arts degree. Even with the concentrations, this degree is meant to enhance the knowledge of an individual that already holds a profession.

Also, Penn LPS online admissions process is more relaxed as opposed to the College of Arts and Sciences. 8 percent of applicants were accepted last year. High GPA, High ACT, and High SAT’s are needed. PLUS any and everything that makes you stand out. I can see why others react the way they do when you mention Penn LPS.

On the contrary, I’m 33, and have been admitted to the program. I also am Active Duty military hoping to have a degree before I separate to make myself more “valuable”.

Needless to say, if this is something that you want, go for it. Do not let the thoughts of others ruin your plans to gain something you want. If you are only doing it for the Name on the diploma, then maybe attempt Temple University (much cheaper/college life/greek life/better chance at financial aid if you need).

@anxiousgirlny9 , Yes the diploma is the exact same as CAS. The only difference, instead of it indicating B.A. or B.S. (or Masters, etc etc) it will display B.A.A.S.

All of Penn’s diplomas have been written in Latin since the inception of the school. However, just as I noted earlier, if you want it for the name on the diploma, 25-30 grand a year is not worth a B.A.A.S. without any other experience in your work-field or one that you will enter (like myself, once I’m done with military I will continue in what I do already).

I hope this is a good answer for everyone. Best of Luck and Go Quakers “Hurrah, Hurrah”.

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As mentioned above, Penn LPS is designed for working professionals and people coming back to school later in life. It is also mostly online. Under normal circumstances this would be an unusual choice for a high school student. It’s like the Harvard Extension school that way.

The LPS degree programs are limited as are the concentrations within them. You can’t get a traditional B.A. in Biochemistry or English, so from that perspective it is not the same degree as you’d get from the College. LPS degree options seem broad rather than deep in a subject area. Make sure this is what you want. Will it provide the skills or credentials you need to move your career forward?

As a Penn alum, you’ll be affiliated with the school from which you graduate so, again, it is not the same as graduating from one of the 4 undergrad schools. If you’re part of the class of 2024, your affiliation and transcript will be LPS’24.

If this is the program you want, great. If you’re trying to collect a trophy through the back door, you won’t be fooling anyone.

@RealDeal2020 , you made some great points!!! I take it you got accepted into one of the 4 undergraduate programs? I’m assuming due to the name.

Moving on to what you said about the back door approach. Yes, this would be an ill-advised approach to obtain a University of Pennsylvania degree. I believe that those students above are not concerned with that.

I do believe that they may be a little more worried about gaining an education from some of the best Professors in the world. If they want to enter the University solely for the name on the diploma, so be it. No skin off of your nose. Take pride in knowing that your University is so sought after that people would enter a nontraditional route.

Will they stride down locust walk with the infamous “P” sweaters and take a bite out of someone’s hat as they say goodbye to a great four years? No.

Will they be taught by worldly renowned Professors that are either associate, adjunct or visiting scholars? Yes.

University of Pennsylvania has amazing schools that house students seeking certificates to doctoral degrees.

Penn LPS online should only be sought after if one wants to learn within a higher education realm although having the understanding that their degree is only marketable if they possess skills or work experience beforehand. One may also take the LSAT or GRE in their attempt to Grad school after graduation.

If anyone has any questions regarding Penn, Penn Graduate School, Penn LPS Graduate School, or certificates please message me.

Penn is a beautiful community that will always better those that enter it no matter what avenue they take.

I am PROUD to be a Penn LPS Online student and will always cherish the Penn community since my wife is a traditional grad that does admission interviews and recently graduated from the Graduate School of Education.

Hey @nontraditional20 Thank you for your replies and positive comments. It has been a couple of months being a Penn LPS online student and I have to say that these months have been the most rewarding and memorable. In the beginning I was really uncertain about the path I am pursuing since everyone around me just belittled my accomplishments and acceptance.

I have learned that there is no “back door” or “easy way” in getting into some institution/university. Penn LPS delivers the same coursework/information that is taught to on-campus students. The rigor is going to be tough and there will be challenges. I am not going to be getting an “easier education” just because I am taking a program that is delivered online. Although subjects like engineering won’t be offered there are other subject options such as “data analytics”, “mathematics”, “English literature”, etc. it all depends on the type of career you want to pursue. A huge focus is not given on standardized tests, but a applicant must demonstrate work experience and show potential of career progression. The admissions officers are not going to admit someone who is just taking Penn LPS online just to stay at home and do nothing. You have to show that you are going to do something valuable with the knowledge you gain and apply it in the workforce.

I am so grateful to be apart of the penn community and for taking this program since I wanted to focus on my career progression while studying. Penn LPS allowed me to do this successfully and I am proud to say that I have been offered a data analytics job in Europe!! If it weren’t for the resources and guidance provided by UPenn I wouldn’t have accomplished what I could today.

Penn LPS and the College of Arts and Sciences have different values. It is important for prospective students to reflect and see which set of values do they most closely align with and represent. Personally, I wanted to focus on my career while studying which is why I chose Penn LPS. The idea of going on campus was not so appealing to me because I felt there were more opportunities that I could take advantage of in my community. If a student wants to work and focus on their career progression then LPS online is the way to go, it not then they should consider applying for the College of Arts and Sciences.

People are always going to find something to nit-pick no matter what path in life you pick. This was something I have realized and it has taught me to focus on appreciating the path I am creating for myself. Before I applied to Penn LPS many of my peers thought I was going to get nowhere and my goals of trying to land a job was a joke. Everyone thought that I was making excuses to validate my insecurities and make it seem like the education I was getting was valuable. But after I landed my job and accomplished what I said, everyone around me started to comment about how I am going to do bad and will eventually drop out since people get jobs after a degree, and just other belittling statements.

It is important to focus and value the path YOU choose for yourself and to not let the closed/condescending mindsets of others slow you down.


@zaynsarfraz , that is awesome about the transition you were able to make.

A position after a little while into the program and graduating high school? Ok. I’ve seen it all.

On a heavier note, don’t let things get you down. Some people tend to see life the way they want to (the negativity you have gone through). I find solace in understanding the world is changing. Also the fact that most individuals that claim a “poser” status for a specific institution either never went there (their children are, have, or accepted) or just so elitist they only focus on minuscule things of life.

Secondly, with Covid-19, if someone puts down your online Ivy League education, then they are something else. Yes the courses from LPS are not specific enough and more generalized, however, I do believe the core classes are the same. Plus institutions like Penn, Princeton, Columbia, Yale, Brown, Harvard, Dartmouth, and Cornell are going to be primarily online.

Thirdly, you don’t need to find comfort from internet trolls or people in your life who put you down. Do you boo boo.

Have Fun in Life!!!

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@nontraditional20 Thank you for your positive comments. Yes, I do agree that one of my biggest mistakes was trying to seek validation from others. I have realized that no matter what a person does there will always be at least 1 person who would disagree or hate on your achievements. You can’t make everyone happy in life because it’s human nature for people to put down others. You just have to get closer with the people who support you and distance yourself from the people who don’t.

I will definitely seek conformation from my self in the future because at the end of the day I am crafting my own story, not the story that others want me to follow.


Hey there.
It is wonderful to hear that you are having such a good experience. As a 50-year-old sophomore, I am considering transferring to Penn LPS, so this discussion was enlightening to me.
As said here many times before, you do you, don’t listen to the haters.
One thing though, I think your college counselor is VERY unprofessional, and the comments he made about Upenn LPS are completely inappropriate and show that he does not know what he is talking about. He is basing his advice on popular beliefs, instead of doing his own research.
There are many reasons why one would like to attend an online school rather than a traditional one. If they do it because they think it would be easier, they’d be sorely disappointed. By now, it isn’t so. Also, you wrote your post in April of 2020. Now, December 2021, we have all seen things we would have never believed we’d see if someone told us about them back then.
Including ALL colleges in the US teaching remotely for over a year…
Anyhow, through the process you went through by insisting on going to Upenn LPS, you have learned some valuable lessons that have nothing to do with your formal education.
Maybe you should write your former counselor an email to tell him how well you are doing, how valuable the education you are getting is, and explain to him that sometimes people go to college because they really want to LEARN, not only so they can wave a diploma with a fancy name on it.
In any case, the name on your diploma is still impressive, and you ARE getting an IVY League education, even if you are not binge drinking and partying all night at the fraternity house.
Power to you, you WILL get far with your attitude. You already have!
I’d be happy to hear how are you doing now, and what are your thoughts about the topic after you had a chance to study there longer.

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Hi! I have just gotten in as well, however I’m just having finished CC. Seeing as you’re 2 years in by now, could I ask you some questions on how they’ve been? Thank you so much.

Welcome. A response to your question is unlikely since the original poster has not been online for over a year. You’re better served starting a new thread.