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About the Distance Education Program

The Distance Education Program was created in 1987 to enable full-time working professionals the opportunity to earn a master of engineering degree in acoustics, or to enhance individual knowledge by taking selected courses while continuing to work full-time. The Distance Education Program utilizes video streaming broadcasts of our graduate course lectures during the spring and fall semesters. Distance education degree students usually begin course work as non-degree students and apply for degree status before completing 15 credits of non-degree work.

The Graduate Program in Acoustics at Penn State is the only program in the U.S. that offers an M.Eng. degree in acoustics entirely online. Since 1987, more than 150 students have received the M.Eng. degree in acoustics. Each semester, 80-100 distance education students take acoustics courses from Penn State.

Taking a Graduate Acoustics Course Online

Graduate level acoustics courses are taught to students in a classroom while simultaneously live-streaming (and recording) lecture content using Adobe Connect. Distance education students see exactly the same content (lectures, demonstration, animations, discussions, software, etc.) as the resident students who are sitting in the classroom. This ensures that the content, expectations, and difficulty level are the same for both groups. All students need to take a course online is a computer with a broadband internet connection. Online interaction between distance students with varying backgrounds and resident students allows for exchanging information, collaborating on homework and projects, and real-world applications of course content.

Tuition costs for distance education courses in acoustics are the same as in-state resident tuition. Current (2017) cost is $2650 per course.

Distance education students see the output from the SMART board showing lecture notes, a small video window showing the professor, names of other distance education students who are watching the live broadcast, and a chat window for students to ask and answer questions and interact with the professor and other students during the live lecture. Student producers in our production studio record the lectures, run the camera and audio feeds, and make sure distance education students receive the best experience possible.

Acoustics: Anywhere, Anytime

Archived recordings may be accessed remotely at any time from anywhere a broadband internet connection is available. Distance education students can take graduate level courses in acoustics from one of the best acoustics programs in the world, without having to leave a job and relocate to Penn State. Many of our students currently enrolled in the distance education program are scattered across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Taking Courses as a Non-Degree Student

Students do not have to apply or be admitted as a degree student in order to take graduate level acoustics courses from Penn State. Distance education students can transfer up to five non-degree courses (15 credits) into the M.Eng. degree program. For that reason, may students begin by taking several courses as a non-degree student first.



Founded in 1965, Penn State's Graduate Program in Acoustics has become the leading resource for graduate education in acoustics in the United States. The interdisciplinary program leads to the degrees: Master of Engineering in Acoustics (M.Eng.), Master of Science in Acoustics (M.S.), and Doctor of Philosophy in Acoustics (Ph.D.)

Graduate Program in Acoustics

College of Engineering

The Pennsylvania State University

201 Applied Science Building

University Park, PA 16802