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The Pennsylvania State University - 2016

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Admissions Information

Graduate Admission to the College of Engineering

Prospective engineering graduate students should contact the department or program of interest for specific requirements.

Graduate Admission to an Engineering Department

Prospective engineering graduate students should contact the department or program of interest for specific requirements.

Entrance Requirements for Foreign Students

International Students whose native language is not English must submit proof of English language proficiency. The following are ways in which one can satisfy the language proficiency requirement: minimum TOEFL score of 80 on the Internet-based TOEFL or 550 on the paper exam (score reports must be official and cannot be more than two years old); minimum IELTS score of 6.5 on the academic test; SAT score of 530 or higher on the critical reading section; IGCSE score of A, B, or C on the English language exam, or; IB score of 5 or higher on the English A 1 or 2 exam. Applicants who have been in a U.S. college or university and have completed two years of full-time academic course work and have a grade of C (2.0) or higher in a standard English composition course will also meet the language proficiency requirement.

Secondary school records are required for all years of secondary school study, beginning with year/grade nine. All documents must be official--either originals or copies certified by an authorized school official--and should list subjects studied each year and the mark or grade of proficiency earned in each. A key to the marking system with minimum passing mark should also be included. Preparation in the core subjects of mathematics, science, language, and social sciences is required. If in a country where a secondary school leaving examination (GCE, GCSE, CXC, French Baccalaureate, Abitur, etc.) is administered, applicant must provide official results of the examination. Certified copies of diplomas or certificates must also be submitted if the applicant has already completed secondary school. All records must be in the native language and include a separate English translation, if applicable.

If the applicant's native language is English, or the applicant is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, the SAT or ACT is required.

Entrance Requirements for Non-Resident Students

Requirements are the same for PA and out-of-state.

Residency Requirements

Residency requirements have previously been met by a period of enrollment or the completion of a minimum number of credits that are administratively associated with a specific Penn State campus. In some cases this can allow students who never set foot on any Penn State campus to satisfy residency requirements by taking classes offered by distance means. In other cases, it can limit access to graduate education by imposing a burden on students who are location-bound or who can most effectively complete their graduate studies by combining courses offered at different Penn State locations.

For professional degree programs (M.Eng., M.Agr., M.Ed., etc.), it may not always be possible, desirable, or necessary to fulfill residency in the traditional manner. Availability of professional mentors and access to unique facilities at students' work sites or other locales may, in some instances, confer special advantages in well-designed off-campus degree programs. Professional degree programs that are not "off-campus degree programs" (i.e., those in which less than half of the course credits consist of off-campus courses) implicitly have a substantial involvement of the students with the campus responsible for the program, thus fulfilling the majority of the functions of residency. However, professional degree programs that are offered off-campus must incorporate as many of the essential elements of residency as possible, including faculty-to-student and student-to-student interaction, access to instructional and other resources, exposure to and socialization in the field of study, and suitable academic advising.

Admissions Requirements for Transfer Students

Each Penn State academic unit has its own requirements for accepting transfer credits; however, general information about applying as a graduate transfer student can be found on The Graduate School at Penn State Web site. A few general rules follow:

The courses to transfer must appear on a graduate-level transcript from a regionally accredited institution.
Courses appearing as undergraduate level on transcript cannot be transferred to a Penn State graduate degree program.
Courses used to complete a graduate degree at Penn State, or any other university, may not be used as transfer credits in the new Penn State degree program.
Submit official copies of academic transcripts to the academic department hosting the degree program to which you are applying for admission.
No more than 15 nondegree graduate credits can be applied toward a degree program.
For more detailed questions regarding the transfer of graduate-level credits, contact the graduate program coordinator for the degree program of interest.