Can I have a voice in how the new system is designed?

Yes! The Slate implementation group  has built a Change Agent Network (CAN) Team which will convene monthly to review implementation progress and provide ongoing feedback. Each school will have a representative on the CAN. You can share your feedback with your school’s CAN representative to ensure your voice is heard.

Will I still have access to CollegeNet after moving to Slate?

CollegeNet will remain open until October 2024; University administration will be making a plan for data migration from CollegeNet. However, all admissions operations will be managed through Slate starting July 2024.

Who do I contact if I have questions about Slate?

Please reach out to the Slate implementation leadership team via the Contact Us page.

Will there be more automation capabilities in Slate (e.g bulk decision tools)?

Yes. Slate has more integrated automation than previous tools which should address past challenges relating to time consuming manual entry requirements.

Will we still be able to download information from Slate?

The primary goal of the new Slate instance is to create a more comprehensive and user-friendly platform to make all admissions decisions, without leaving the system. Any data downloads from Slate should be for admissions reporting needs only.

How does Slate support recruitment communication?

Using Slate, Penn Engineering’s recruitment team can create automated, sequential communications to target specific prospective students based on what’s known about them, such as interests, potential majors, or location. Slate population filters also allow users to configure messages to send dynamically, based on when individual records meet certain criteria. 

Will there be on-going support provided for Slate?

Yes! There will be multiple tiers of support provided including on-going training, Slate office hours and a help desk. 

When and how will our admissions team be trained on how to use the tool?

Once the initial configuration and pilot testing is complete, a comprehensive training calendar will be administered for the various user groups of Slate (e.g. Program Coordinators, Readers, Faculty). Each user group will receive unique training related to their functional roles in the admissions process. Onboarding training is currently scheduled for Summer and Fall 2024, before admissions requirements for the fall cycle increase.

My department has unique admissions requirements, will Slate be customizable?

In Fall 2023, Penn Engineering undertook a comprehensive analysis of all SEAS graduate programs. Results indicated that most schools share common workflows. These common workflows will be integrated into the initial build out of the Slate interface. The tool will be pilot tested by user groups to ensure that the design, to the best of our ability, meets each department’s needs in the first year of implementation.

When will Slate Go Live?

Slate is currently scheduled to go live in July 2024, initiating a full transition to Slate for the 2024-2025 application cycle.

What are the main benefits of Slate?

Slate has proven to be a more efficient and integrated system compared to previous CRMs used at Penn Engineering. It allows all department and school recruitment efforts to be consolidated into one easy-to-use system. It also enables all stakeholders involved in student recruitment and admissions to have easy access to the same information, at the same time.

Does my department have to use Slate?

Yes, all Penn Engineering graduate programs will be transitioning to Slate for admissions. The University-wide contract with our current admissions system, CollegeNet, is ending this year, and all Penn Graduate programs are moving to Slate for graduate admissions.

Why was Slate selected as the admissions tool?

Penn Engineering Online has utilized Slate as its admissions CRM for the last 2+ years and overall they have had a very positive experience. Staff have reported increased efficiency, ease of use, and increased productivity in the Slate interface. Additionally, Slate has been used by Penn undergraduate admissions for over 10 years.

What is Slate?

Slate is a comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) system designed to optimize communications, streamline application processing, and simplify decision release for admissions teams. The tool allows staff engaged in the admission process to manage prospective student information from the initial point of contact and through the application, admission and enrollment phases within one interface.

Is financial aid, scholarships, fellowships or assistantships available?

You’ll receive full funding if you’re a doctoral student. A limited number of RA and TA positions are available to master’s students. You may also be able to find a part-time lab position through your academic department; please note that these opportunities are limited and not guaranteed. You can also explore scholarship opportunities, student employment or federal funding (if you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident).

Can I work on campus to help pay for tuition?

You’re welcome to apply for part-time jobs on campus, but there is no formal association between an on-campus job and tuition. You may qualify for a work-study position based on your financial aid application.

How recent should my English Proficiency Exam scores be?

Your scores need to be two years old or less. If you took the exam more than two years ago, you will need to retake it. 

Can I get a waiver for the English Proficiency Exam requirement?

We waive the English-language requirement under certain circumstances. Please see How to Apply for details. 

What are the minimum GRE scores you will accept?

We evaluate applications as a whole portfolio, not on a single criterion, and we don’t require a minimum GRE score (or a GRE score at all).

I am not a U.S. citizen and will need a student visa in order to study in the United States. What should I do?

If you are admitted to a graduate program, we will email you instructions for beginning the I-20 application process. If you have questions about the I-20 process, please contact the University’s International Student and Scholar Services office.

Do you accept transfer credit for master’s or doctoral students?

Master’s students may request a transfer of up to two graduate-level courses, and doctoral students may request transfer of up to nine. We do not accept transfer credits from online courses for on-campus programs. Read more about transfer credit in the Graduate Student Handbook.

Can I apply to more than one program?

Yes. Start by submitting an application for the first program you are applying to, and then submit your other application(s) using the same account and login information. You will need to upload all the required application components and pay a separate application fee for each application you submit.

If you are admitted to more than one program, you may enroll in only one. You can apply to the second program (as a dual degree option) after you have completed at least one semester. See the Graduate Student Handbook for details.

Are there guidelines or requirements for the personal statement?

No, but we do have some recommendations. For more, see How to Apply.

Should I contact faculty members prior to applying for support for my application?

Generally speaking, you don’t need to contact Penn faculty prior to applying for your program; however, doctoral applicants may choose to do so to identify a principal investigator for research. Otherwise, if you have questions about the program, courses, or research, you are welcome to reach out to your department of interest.

Can I speak with a current student in my program of interest?

Yes! Our Engineering Master’s Advisory Board (EMAB) is made up of students who are happy to answer your questions. Contact a student ambassador in your department of interest

Will I get help in finding an internship or a full-time job?

Our Career Services team offers a wealth of career resources, including on-campus recruiting and one-on-one advising related to career planning, job hunting, interviews and more. 

Is the campus safe?

Yes. The University of Pennsylvania has its very own campus police force, and the Philadelphia Police also patrol in and around campus. Shuttles and other services are available to make sure you’re safe as you travel around campus at night. See our Public Safety website for more.

As a graduate student, can I participate in student organizations and activities?

Yes! Penn Engineering has several student organizations designed specifically for graduate students, and so does the University at large. In addition, the Graduate Student Center is a terrific resource for the entire Graduate Student population at Penn.

Where do Penn Engineering graduate students live?

Penn has a limited amount of on-campus housing for graduate students. If you choose to live off campus, Penn Off Campus Services can help you find the right place.

How much does a master’s program cost?

Graduate tuition at Penn Engineering is charged per course unit, not per semester or year. In other words, how much you pay per term depends on the number of courses you take. Find more information on the School of Engineering and Applied Science costs here

Can I update my application materials after I submit my application?

No. Once you have submitted your application, it is considered final. We understand that you may want to share updated grades or achievements, but all applications are evaluated on the basis of the materials submitted at the time of submission.

I was rejected. Can you tell me why I was rejected, and can I reapply?

We do not discuss application results with prospective students. You cannot apply to the same program for the same term if you have already received a decision, but you can apply for a later term.

If you have been rejected from a Ph.D. program and want to be considered for a master’s program, you may submit a separate application prior to the deadline. Please note that admission to the master’s program is not guaranteed.

I have been admitted. Can I defer my admission?

Yes, you can defer for up to two semesters at a time for a total of four semesters. To request a deferral, first accept the offer of admission and (if you are a master’s candidate) pay the tuition deposit. You’ll receive a confirmation email that includes a link to a survey. Complete the survey, including the specific reason for the deferral and the term that you plan to start your graduate program. 

Your request must be approved by the program that offered you admission. Please allow up to one week for your deferral request to be reviewed.

How will I receive a decision?

You will be notified by email that a decision is available to be viewed online. You will need to log into your application to view the actual decision, and you won’t receive a letter by mail.

When will my application be reviewed? When will I receive a decision?

That depends which program you’re applying for. Ph.D. decisions are released on a rolling basis; you’ll receive an email notification when your decision is available. For master’s programs, see How to Apply for decision dates.   

How recent should my GRE scores be?

Your scores must be five years old or less. If you took the GRE more than five years ago, you’ll need to retake the exam if you want to submit GRE scores.

Do I need to take the GRE?

No – the GRE is optional for all of our graduate programs. But you’re welcome to submit your scores if you’ve taken the GRE within the past five years. Please have the official test scores submitted by the testing service to us at institution code 2888 and use the department code that best matches your program department.

What should I do if my recommender is not able to submit their letter through the online application portal?

Ideally, recommendations should be submitted through the application system, but recommenders who can’t use the online system may submit a letter of recommendation via email instead. To get the offline recommendation form, reach out to your Admissions Contact. Please note that recommendations sent outside of the application system will take longer to process. 

I entered my recommenders’ names in the application system, but they haven’t received an email. What should I do?

The application system automatically sends an email to each recommender once you’ve entered their names and email addresses. If they haven’t received an email, it’s possible that you entered their information incorrectly or that the email ended up in their junk mail folder. You can go back into the application to re-notify your recommender.

What do I need to send to the admissions office?

When you apply, you don’t need to mail anything – all documentation is submitted online through the application. If you receive and accept an offer of admission, you’ll receive further instructions on how to send the required official, final transcripts and certificates of graduation from your university or college. The mailing address for our office is:

University of Pennsylvania
SEAS Graduate Admissions
(Enrollment Specialist Contact Name)
Levine North Building (GRW) Room 166B
3330 Walnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19104

How long does it take for the online system to show that my documents have been received?

Due to the volume of applications we receive, please allow up to two weeks after submission for your application status to be updated to “Ready for Review.” You can monitor the status of your application and materials in the online Application Portal

Do I need a bachelor’s in engineering to apply to a Penn Engineering graduate program?

Some of our programs require a BS in engineering, but others don’t. You can learn more about prerequisites in the descriptions of our master’s programs and Ph.D. programs.

What are the prerequisites for admission?

That depends on the program, but in general, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university by the time classes begin. For details, see How to Apply

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.