Distance Education Master of Engineering Degree
Admission to the Graduate School at Penn State is a two-step process, in which a candidate applies for admission to the Graduate School and to the department or program that will be the student's major. General requirements for admission to the Graduate School are given in the General Information section of the Graduate Bulletin and will not be repeated here. An individual having a baccalaureate degree from a United States institution of higher learning, or an equivalent degree from a foreign institution of higher education, in an accredited engineering curriculum or in some other program such as engineering sciences, physical sciences, or mathematics, may apply for admission to the Graduate Program in Acoustics.
An individual with a non-technical background may also apply, but acceptance into the Program will depend significantly on the applicant's specific background and motives to pursue advanced study in acoustics. An applicant's undergraduate background must, at a minimum, include at least two semesters of calculus-based physics and mathematics to include complex variables and differential equations. In addition, an undergraduate knowledge of statics and dynamics, linear algebra, electronic circuit analysis, and the ability to use mathematical analysis software such as MATLAB is expected. The minimum acceptable undergraduate grade point average is 3.0 (on a 4.0 point scale) with a B+ or better average in mathematics, physical science, and engineering courses.
Applicants who have been completing nondegree credits for transfer to a degree program may apply at any time. However, to ensure enough time for processing the application, students expecting to earn their 15th non-degree credit during the current semester of their request for addmission must have their application received by the Acoustics Program office by end of the second week of classes. The required supporting documents listed below must be received by the end of the 5th week of classes. An application for admission package in which the application or supporting documents are not received by the deadline dates will be processed for admission for the following semester. Applicants are responsible for assuring that all documents are received by the deadlines above.
The Graduate School requires a completed application and application fee to be submitted directly to Graduate Enrollment Services. In addition, the Graduate Program in Acoustics requires the following items:
- An application package cover letter addressed to the Program Chair briefly stating general background, academic goals, and the degree sought (M.Eng).
- A one page letter of intent or statement of goals.
- One copy of the applicant's resume or vita.
- Two letters of reference sent to the Program from people who are in a position to comment on the candidate's education and/or abilities. Reference letters must come directly from the individual authoring the reference and should be on institution or company letterhead. Forms are not provided. Letters not sent directly to the Acoustics Program by the authors will not be accepted as a part of the application package.
- Scores from a recent (less than three years old) Graduate Record Examination (GRE) must be supplied. (GRE code: 2660)
- An official transcript from each institution of higher education at which the applicant has enrolled in course work. The Acoustics Program must receive the transcripts in a sealed envelope with the name of the institution's authorized agent written in ink or stamped across the envelope's back flap.
- A foreign national applicant whose first language is not English or who has not received a baccalaureate or master's degree from an institution in which the language of instruction is English must provide scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the application for admission (TOEFL code: 99). The Acoustics Program minimum acceptable TOEFL scores are 237 (computer test) and 580 (written test).
Distance Education Non-Degree Status
If you do not intend to pursue a graduate degree, but want to take graduate level courses for personal enrichment, professional development, or to apply for degree status at a later date, you can seek admission as a nondegree graduate student. Information on applying for nondegree graduate status may be obtained at The Graduate School web site.
With Acoustics Program approval, a maximum of 15 credits earned as a nondegree student may be applied to the degree program. The credits must have been earned within the five years preceding entry into the degree program. Only those credits for coursework graded B or better will be considered for transfer
The requirements for admission into this category are the possession of a bachelor's degree earned from an accredited United States institution of higher education or an equivalent degree from a foreign educational institution and an acceptable Test Of English as a Foreign Language, if required. Students in this category are permitted to take courses for credit or audit.
Individuals who wish to take only non-credit continuing education courses are not required to be admitted as either a degree or non-degree student. However, individuals who do not apply for degree or non-degree status will not have a transcript record at Penn State.