Incoming PhD Students

Welcome to Penn Engineering!

New Student Orientation (NSO) for Fall 2021 incoming PhD students will be on Tuesday, August 24th. NSO presented by the School of Engineering and Applied Science will be held virtually. Individual departments will hold their own information sessions around that date in person. A schedule will be distributed closer to the events.


Students with questions on coronavirus vaccines, travel quarantine, public health measures, should view Penn’s Coronavirus Center’s FAQ page. Students with further questions should contact the COVID Center directly.

Incoming Student Checklist

1. Respond to your offer of admission:  Complete your “Decision Form” in your online account portal to officially accept your offer. Submit any outstanding required official documents to Graduate Admissions.


2. Create your PennKey and Engineering SEAS email:

  • Your PennKey is your official Penn username and is used to access all electronic/web based systems at Penn. Shortly after you accept the offer of admission, you will receive an email with your PennKey Setup Code and instructions for using it to setup your PennKey and Password. If you have not received your PennKey Setup Code after a few weeks of accepting the offer of admission, please contact the PennKey office.
  • Create your SEAS email account. We advise all students to create a SEAS email account. Some official school google documents will require seas email for authentication and review.


3. Hop onto Campus Express: This is your one online stop for most student services at Penn: Student Health Services (SHS), Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Residential Services, Graduate Student Center.


4. Update your personal information on Penn In Touch: Emergency Contacts, email and postal mailing, personal information, etc.


5. Take a look at the Graduate Student Handbook. Get acquainted with the policies, engineering’s calendar, and student awards. Our student resources page has links to the Engineering Library, Penn Engineering’s Blog: Medium, and our Career Services team. Lots of useful information on there for your time here, so please take a stroll through and bookmark the page!


6. Registration is through Penn In Touch. Programs should reach out to all incoming students regarding course registration at least a few months before the start of the semester. For a traditional Fall start, programs will be in touch no later than July 1.



For International Students: Once the enrollment form is processed, a student is sent information on beginning the I-20 application process. International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) provides core services to international students. Students should view ISSS’ New Student page with a lot of helpful information. All students will be assigned to an ISSS advisor after they are on campus and have matriculated into the program.