COVID-19 Penn Engineering Ph.D. Information

To Penn Engineering Doctoral Students:

After the upheaval of recent days, we will be interacting virtually and taking strides to find a “new normal” to make progress.

We are sharing the most up-to-date means of interacting here. As we navigate through new processes, you will no doubt have questions and concerns. You will also have ideas about how we might adapt better.  Please contact us with concerns or suggestions: Deputy Dean Kate Stebe,, or Associate Dean Boon Thau Loo,

Key activities are addressed below.

Ph.D. advising

Research: Please reach out to your thesis advisor to make a plan to advance your research, to schedule regular virtual research advising interactions,  to interact with your thesis committee, and to define a manner to interact virtually with your group mates, e.g. via virtual group meetings.

Advancement in your program: Your graduate group chair and graduate administrator will be in contact in re virtual means to progress through the program, e.g. via qualifying exams, thesis proposals, and defenses in virtual formats.

For other academic questions, please email your program administrator, your graduate group chair or reach out to RAS staff Alyse Edwards ( and Tori Frew (

Deadlines (as of 4/10/2020)

  • Classes start on March 23.
  • Advanced registration will happen between April 14-24.
  • April 29 is the final day to change a course to pass/fail. (FAQ page here.) However, we strongly encourage students to make their decision by April 27 so RAS has time to process all requests.
  • April 28 is the last date to withdraw from a course.


All Penn Engineering courses will be offered online beginning March 23, 2020. Your professors should have notified you by that date with their plans. Lectures will occur online live at the regular scheduled course times. However, some professors may choose asynchronous modes of lecturing via recorded lectures but will hold virtual live office hours. TA sessions will also occur at their regularly scheduled times. Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the invaluable interactions provided by these real-time discussions. Recorded lectures will also be uploaded for future study.

The TA for your course should also be in contact by that date to describe how TA sessions will also occur. We expect to be able to complete all courses on schedule. The final exam schedule is unchanged.

Health and Wellness

We have received the following guidance with regard to student health support:

If you are experiencing any symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), you should call Student Health at 215-746-3535 and discuss symptoms with a representative over the phone. You should not physically go to Student Health unless instructed over the phone by a Student Health representative. This is to minimize interaction with other students, some of whom may be ill, for your sake and theirs. Further University resources can be found here.

Dissertation Submission 

Physical dissertation deposits in the Graduate Division of Arts and Sciences (SAS) will be postponed until further notice. SAS is working on a final decision regarding the process and required forms and communication will be sent to all schools. We will update you as soon as we have further information.