Do I have to have a bachelor’s degree in engineering in order to apply to one of your programs?
It depends on the program. For example, we have a program that admits students with a variety of backgrounds, one that will but may require students to take prerequisite courses here prior to beginning their program requirements. The best thing to do is take a look at the program that you’re interested in to see what their expectations are. You’re also welcome to contact the department directly to discuss your specific background.
Can I apply if I have not yet completed my bachelor’s degree?
Yes. You are welcome to apply while you are completing the last year of your bachelor’s program. You’ll need to submit transcripts that are current at that time. If admitted, you must provide a final transcript and proof that you have received your degree.
What if I do not have a background in science or engineering?
If your specific degree is not in an engineering or science discipline, it may be possible to be admitted depending on the program and your background. It can be helpful if your overall application shows significant relevant academic and or professional experience. Some programs may require taking certain prerequisites prior to beginning the master’s degree coursework.
Do I have to have prior research experience?
No, students applying to a master’s program do not have to have research experience prior to beginning the program. Any experience one does have, however, will be considered.
What are the prerequisites for admission?
Aside from successful completion of a bachelor’s degree we do not have a centralized list of prerequisites. Each program makes its own decision and has its own criteria for admission. Please check directly with the department/s you are interested in.
Should I contact faculty members prior to applying for the program for support for my application?
No, it is not necessary to contact Penn faculty prior to applying for your program. If you have questions about the program, courses, or research, you are welcome to reach out to the department/s of interest.
Do you accept transfer master’s students?
All master’s students may request transfer of up to 2 graduate level courses completed elsewhere or prior to enrollment in the program. All students, including those who may have already begun a master’s program elsewhere, must submit and complete our online application
Can I pursue multiple programs at once?
Yes. We have several multiple degree options. Students may do a dual degree within Penn Engineering. Some programs offer dual/joint degree options in cooperation with other schools on campus such as the Schools of Medicine and Law.
Can I apply directly to a PhD program if I only have a bachelor’s degree?
When is your application deadline?
We have the following deadlines for master’s applications – November 15 and March 15.
Can I pursue a master’s program part-time?
Depending on the flexibility of your schedule and the requirements of your program it may be possible for a student to pursue it part-time.
Can I pursue the master’s program if I work full-time?
It depends on the flexibility of your schedule. Most of our courses are offered during the day with the latest beginning at 4:30p.
Do you offer evening and weekend graduate courses?
No, we do not offer evening or weekend courses. At Penn Engineering, the latest courses of the day typically begin at 4:30p. Some of our programs allow students to take courses at other schools within the University which may have later start times.
Is there a non-degree option?
No, Penn Engineering does not have a non-degree enrollment option. If you would like to take graduate engineering courses, you should apply to one of our programs.
Can I switch programs once I’m admitted?
After one semester, students may request transfer into one of the other engineering master’s programs. Approval is based on a review by the potential new program.
Can I switch to a PhD program before I finish my master’s?
Current master’s students may apply to one of our PhD programs, but admission is not guaranteed. You should begin by talking to faculty and staff of the PhD program you are interested in regarding the program’s requirements and the application procedure.
Does the master’s degree require a thesis?
No, all of our programs do not require a thesis. Most of our programs allow students to complete their program either completely with coursework or with 2-3 credits worth of research towards a thesis or an independent study.
How long does it take to complete a master’s degree?
Our programs can generally be completed in 1 to 2 years depending on how many courses a student takes each semester.
How many courses does a student have to take to complete the program?
The majority of our courses require 10 credit units (Penn’s “credit”), one of them requires 11.While most of our courses are 1cu, a small number are .5, so overall students may end up taking 10-12 courses for the degree depending on the program and their course choices.
Would I automatically get a master’s degree while pursuing a PhD?
No, students in a PhD program do not automatically receive a master’s. A PhD candidate is welcome to talk to their department about coordinating their PhD coursework with the master’s requirements, so that they can get that degree as well.
How much will the master’s program cost?
Engineering graduate tuition is charged per course unit (Penn’s ”credit’), not per semester or year). How much a student pays per term will depend on the number of courses they’re registered for. The overall degree can cost from approximately $55,000US to $63,000US. How to Pay for Your Education.
Are financial aid, scholarships/fellowships, assistantships and available?
The School of Engineering and Applied Science does not provide financial assistance for master’s students.
Master’s students may apply for a limited number of positions as research assistants and teaching assistants. Upon admission to a master’s program, students may contact the program department to check availability.
How do students pay for the program?
It varies from one student to the next: loans, external scholarships/grants, private funds, part time job, etc.
Is it possible to work on campus to help with tuition?
Students are welcome to apply for part time jobs on campus, but there is no formal association between an on campus job and tuition.
Is there professional development available for students?
The University’s Career Services office offers a great deal of professional services for the students. They offer various events, seminars, etc to help students with resume writing, interview skills and many other topics of interest to students preparing for entering the workforce or continuing to an advanced degree.
Does the school help students find internships and full-time jobs?
The University’s Career Services office is an excellent resource for students. They manage all on campus recruiting which includes company presentations and interviews.
Is the campus safe?
Yes. The University of Pennsylvania, in addition to being serviced by Philadelphia’s Police department, has its very own campus police force – not merely security, police. There are officers on the streets, on bikes and foot. There are shuttles and other services available for making sure students are safe as they travel on and around campus at night.
All personnel of the UPPD are full-time sworn municipal police officers certified through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officers Training and Education Commission, and retain general law enforcement authority and order maintenance for the area in which the University of Pennsylvania is situated.
Where do graduate students live?
Can a graduate student participate in student organizations and activities?
Absolutely! In fact, there are several student organizations specifically for graduate students both in the engineering school and the University at large.
May I contact faculty, students, alumi from the program(s) that I’m interested in?
Sure, simply contact the department(s) and they will be able to assist you.
Can I visit campus?
Please contact your department of interest to schedule a visit. Then check out our Visit Penn Engineering page for for more information to help with your visit.
What do students do after graduation?
A student’s own goals and academic experience often shape what path they take after graduation. Some will go out into industry while others will pursue further degrees (PhD, MD, even JD).
I have a question not covered here, who can I contact?
Feel free to contact the Graduate Admissions office with questions specifically related to the application process or Graduate Recruiting with general questions regarding pursuing your master’s degree at Penn Engineering. You can also contact the department/s you are interested in applying to with any questions specific to the program itself.