Graduate Programs

In order to register for courses correctly, graduate students should understand the requirements of the program for which they are enrolled. Penn Engineering offers several programmatic options on the graduate level.

The Ph.D. Program

Ph.D. students are required to complete the academic requirements of their Graduate Group; (with approval, up to nine courses can be transferred from a prior graduate program), to pass specific general examinations as required by one’s graduate group, and to write a dissertation conforming to the rules of Penn’s Doctoral Dissertation Manual.

Note: A dissertation showing high attainment and power of independent research must be written upon some topic in the field of the major subject. This study must represent a definite contribution to human knowledge; it may be either positive or negative in character. Dissertations based on joint work with other researchers are allowed provided that in such cases a unique and separate dissertation is presented by each degree candidate. The candidate must include a concise account of his or her contribution to the whole work. Authorship of a dissertation by more than one degree candidate is not allowed. The dissertation shall be presented to the graduate group in complete form by the dates specified in the Degree Calendar.

Ph.D. candidates are placed on dissertation status (995) after their Dissertation Proposal is accepted and approved; they are Advanced to Candidacy. A 3.0 cumulative average must also be maintained as a Ph.D. student. All doctoral work for full-time and part-time candidates, including the dissertation, must be completed within ten years from the student’s matriculation as a graduate student at Penn.

The Master’s Program

Master’s students are required to complete the academic requirements of their Graduate Group, (with approval, up to 2 courses can be transferred from a prior graduate program), meet the course distribution requirements of their Graduate Group, maintain a 2.7 cumulative average, and, if choosing the thesis option for degree, write a master’s thesis. (Thesis option requires eight courses and two research credits (597) for the completion of the master’s thesis, see deadline for submission on graduation calendar.) Full-time and part-time candidates must complete these requirements within seven years of their matriculation at Penn.

Note: A thesis or research paper based on joint work with other researchers is allowed provided that, in such cases, a unique and separate document is presented by each degree candidate. The candidate must include a concise account of his or her contribution to the whole work. Authorship of a master’s thesis or research paper by more than one degree candidate is not allowed. More information can be found here.

Graduate Groups

Graduate Group Requirements

Each of the graduate programs has its own administrative structure and its own set of requirements for graduation. For information about these requirements, please consult the relevant informational brochures or websites of each graduate program.

Note: There are courses that appear at the graduate level that are being offered by other parts of the University that will not be approved for Engineering graduate degree requirements. These include courses being offered in specialized and professional training programs, such as the Organizational Dynamics Program, the Wharton Certificate Programs for Working Professionals, and the Wharton Evening School. Check with your department for approval before you enroll in a course outside of Penn Engineering or the University.

Transferring to Another Master’s Program

Students may apply for transfer from one master’s program to another master’s program within Penn Engineering. Transfer applications are extremely competitive and are in no way automatic; therefore students should not plan or take courses toward another program’s degree requirements without first being approved to do so.

Note: The application will be evaluated by the admissions committee for the program into which the student seeks to transfer. They will review the original application materials and all completed course work at Penn, including the accumulated GPA. Note that the requirements may differ in each program. Please inquire with the Program Office for their specific requirements.

Master’s students must complete the first full-time semester, or a minimum of 3.0 CUs of course work while at Penn, before applying to transfer.

Graduate Program Chairs + Coordinators

Each degree program is managed through a Graduate Chairperson or Faculty Director. The Chair is assisted by a Graduate Coordinator, who is the first point of contact for questions about a program or major.

Note: For degree program websites, please use the lists above in their respective sections.

Department/Program Coordinator(s) Chair/Director(s)
BE: Master’s and Ph.D. Kathy Venit
Ravi Radhakrishnan
Biotechnology (BIOT) Master’s Courtney Johnson
Scott Diamond
CBE: Master’s and Ph.D. Tamika Easley
John Crocker
Computer Graphics and Game Technology (CGGT) Master’s Nicholas Mancuso
Stephen Lane
CIS: Master’s and Ph.D. Mike Felker
Swapneel Sheth
Computer and Information Technology (MCIT) On-Campus Master’s Mike Felker
Arvind Bhusnurmath
Computer and Information Technology (MCIT) Online Master’s Erica van Zijll de Jong Sampath Kannan and Chris Murphy, Co-Directors
Data Science (DATS) Master’s Ammarah Aftab
Susan Davidson
EE: Master’s; ESE: Ph.D. Christina Burton
Tania Khanna
Embedded Systems (EMBS) Master’s Liz Wai Ping Ng
Rahul Mangharam
Integrated Product Design (IPD) Master’s Maryeileen B. Griffith
Sarah Rottenberg
MSE: Master’s and Ph.D. Irene Clements
Mahadevan Khantha
MEAM: Master’s and Ph.D. Maryeileen B. Griffith
Howard Hu
Nanotechnology (NANO) Master’s Kristen Field
Mark Allen
Robotics (ROBO) Master’s Charity Payne
Camillo J. Taylor
Scientific Computing (SCMP) Master’s Abigail Behrends
Talid Sinno, Director
Systems Engineering (SE) Master’s Christina Burton
Barry Silverman