Where do students go after graduation?

Our students go on to a wide variety of rewarding careers in academia, engineering and beyond. In one recent year, 93.3% of our master’s degree graduates were either employed, continuing their education, volunteering, serving in the military or not seeking a new position in the first six months after graduation. Learn more about our alumni by visiting the Penn Engineering Alumni Society website

Is there a nondegree option?

We don’t offer a nondegree enrollment option on campus, but we encourage you to explore our open online courses taught by Penn Engineering faculty in partnership with Coursera and edX.

Will I automatically get a master’s degree while pursuing a Ph.D.?

No, Ph.D. students do not automatically receive master’s degrees. But you’re welcome to speak to your department about coordinating your Ph.D. coursework with master’s requirements so that you can get that degree as well.

Can I switch to a Ph.D. program before I finish my master’s?

Yes, but you need to submit an application, and admission is not guaranteed. Start by talking to faculty and staff of the Ph.D. program that interests you.

Can I transfer or switch programs once I’m admitted?

Yes. After your first semester, you may apply to transfer into another engineering master’s program. But you can’t transfer between on-campus programs and online programs. The Graduate Handbook has more information about transferring between programs and dual degree options.

Do you offer evening and weekend courses?

No. Courses take place during weekdays, with the latest courses typically beginning at 4:30 p.m. Some of our programs allow you to take courses at other schools within the University, and those courses may have later start times.

I work full time. Can I pursue a master’s degree?

That depends on your work schedule. Most of our courses are offered during the day, with the latest beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Can I pursue a master’s program part time?

Yes, depending on the flexibility of your schedule and the requirements of your program. Once you have been admitted, you can discuss this with your program coordinator. International students are not eligible for part-time enrollment except in online programs. 

Does the master’s degree require a thesis?

No, our master’s programs do not require a thesis. Most of our programs allow students to complete their program either completely through coursework or with two to three credits’ worth of research toward a thesis or an independent study.

How many courses do I have to take to complete the program?

All of our master’s programs require 10 course units, except for Biotechnology, which requires 11. While most of our courses are 1 course unit, a small number are .5, so you will probably take 10 to 12 courses for your degree.

How long does it take to complete a master’s degree?

Our programs can generally be completed in one to two years, depending on how many courses you take each semester. Visit the Program Page for your program of interest to learn more about course requirements and planning.