Students taking outdoor noise measurements.
 

Academic Policies (CONTENT NEEDED)

Below are some of the most common questions we received regarding academic policies. Select from the topic categories listed below. If you have specific questions not addressed here, please contact the Graduate Program in Acoustics Distance Education office at (814) 863-6078 or the Graduate Program in Acoustics Program office at (814) 865-6364.

Academic Status

A graduate student is expected to maintain at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average while pursuing a graduate degree. A student will be placed on departmental academic probation at the beginning of the first semester after his or her cumulative grade point average falls below 3.00 and will remain on probation until the cumulative grade point average rises above 3.00. If the student's semester grade average for any subsequent semester while the student is on probation is below 3.00, then the student will be dropped from the degree program. A student dropped from degree program status because of a deficient GPA can continue to complete graduate course work as a non-degree student. Upon earning a GPA of 3.0 or better, the student can apply for admission to the degree program.

Reappointment of a student as a research assistant when the student is on academic probation will be reviewed carefully by the student's adviser, the Graduate Program Officer, and the Program Chair.

If a student is on academic probation, he or she must see his or her adviser and the Graduate Program Officer for the Graduate Program in Acoustics at the beginning of the semester and reassess the choices of the courses that are to be taken that semester. The Graduate Program Officer is authorized by the Program to require the student to take various remedial courses in conjunction with or before enrolling in specified courses administered by the Program.

If a student should be dropped from the program, it may be possible for a student to enroll as a non-degree student and take selected courses to better prepare for graduate work and then to apply for admission.

Academic Advisers

The academic adviser, in conjunction with the thesis or doctoral committee, is the primary source of guidance for the student's progress through his or her course work, research, and writing of the thesis, paper, or dissertation.

Advisers to students in the Graduate Program in Acoustics are appointed by the Program Chair from among the Program's faculty. Faculty supervising incoming students working on sponsored research programs will normally serve as the academic adviser to such students. It is the responsibility of each student to provide the Acoustics Program with a statement of interests or areas in which the student desires to focus his or her academic work. The Program will in turn provide the students with a list of faculty whose interests or work coincide with that of the student. The student should then schedule a meeting with each faculty member to discuss the potential of establishing an adviser/advisee relationship. Once a student and a faculty member have agreed to work together, the Program Chair should be consulted and the appointment made. The Graduate Program Officer will serve as a temporary advisor for incoming students who, by the first day of the semester, do not yet have an advisor.

From time to time, the student and adviser relationship may experience discord; however, such periods are to be expected and should be resolvable. In rare cases the adviser and student relationship is not mutually successful and the discord appears to be irresolable. In such cases, the Program Chair should be consulted. The Program Chair will then decide whether a termination of the relationship is appropriate. It is the responsibility of the student to identify a new faculty member willing to assume the role of advisor. Once the student and the new faculty member have agreed to work together, the Program Chair should be consulted and the appointment made.

Audit a Course

Students who elect to audit a course will not receive credit for the course; however it will appear on the student's transcript as AU indicating regular attendance or W for unsatisfactory attendance. Students who audit a course must attend all classes to earn the AU. In addition, at the discretion of the instructor, students who register for audit may be required to complete all or a portion of the homework, projects, and exams assigned.

Degree or Non-Degree

New Student*

A student who was not previously enrolled in a graduate level course at Penn State must complete an Acoustics course registration form and a Penn State Graduate School Application for admission to either degree or nondegree status. Information on How to Apply to the Graduate School is available from their website. When completing the application for admission, non-degree students should fill out the "degree" and "program" areas as 'non-degree graduate' and 'none' respectively. After submitting either a degree or non-degree application, the Graduate School will provide you with a Penn State identification number (ID). You must have the ID to complete the Acoustics course registration form.

Continuing Student*

A student who was enrolled as a degree or non-degree student in a Penn State graduate level course during the immediately preceding semester (fall or spring), need to submit only the Acoustics course registration form.

Resuming Student*

A student who was previously admitted to degree or non-degree status at Penn State and who was enrolled in a Penn State graduate level course during a preceding semester (not the immediately preceding fall or spring), must complete and submit a resume study form along with the Acoustics course registration form. Please follow the guidelines below for completing the resume study form. Once completed, please sign, date and email or fax the form to the Acoustics Distance Education Office: (814) 865-3119.

Resuming Degree Student

When completing the resume study form, complete all information requested. Check the Resume Study box in the top left corner. Semester is the semester in which you are now enrolling. The campus is University Park. Write M ENG in the areas requesting present degree and desired degree. Write ACS in the areas requesting present major and desired major.

Resuming Non-degree Student

When completing the resume study form, complete all information requested. Check the Resume Study box in the top left corner. Write non-degree in areas requesting present degree, present major, desired degree, and desired major. Semester is the semester in which you are now enrolling. The campus is University Park.

*All degree, non-degree, and resume study forms must be sent to the Penn State Graduate School; copies should be sent to the Acoustics Program. Course registrations should be sent to the Acoustics Program only.

Course Registration

The maximum number of credits for which students holding assistantships may register is restricted by the Graduate School. Half-time assistants, in particular, may not register for more than 11 credits, and this rule has been strictly enforced. Consequently, students wishing to maximize their progress toward meeting course requirements should do careful planning well in advance.

It is the Program's policy that students planning to visit a course without formally taking it for a letter grade register for that course as an auditor and that they not ask the instructor for permission to avoid registration. The reason for this is that the ability of the Program to offer a substantial number of advanced courses in acoustics requires that the overall enrollments be above university-established thresholds.

Due to the sequencing of course work, students are admitted only to the Fall Semester to begin their studies. Because the student body consists of a diverse blend of undergraduate majors, the first two semesters of course work contain little flexibility. The sequence of courses per semester follows.

Fall Semester

ACS 597A Fundamentals of Acoustics - 3 credits

ACS 597B Introduction to Acoustics and Fluid Media - 3 credits

ACS 513 Digital Signal Processing - 3 credits

EMCH 524A Advanced Engineering Mathematics - 3 credits

Spring Semester

ACS 505 Experimental Techniques in Acoustics (Lab) - 2 credits

ACS 515 Acoustics in Fluid Media - 3 credits

EMCH 524B Advanced Engineering Mathematics II - 3 credits

Plus one other course as determined in consultation with adviser - 2 or 3 credits

Status Report

Each graduate student enrolled in the program is required to file a status report with the Program Office every semester. A form outlining the general format for this report can be obtained from the Program Office. Such reports are to be nontechnical in nature and should describe the student's progress in meeting the formal requirements for the degree being sought. In particular, it should report plans for actions during the next semester that will lead to such progress. The general intent is to encourage the student to focus on his or her academic objectives and to alert the Program Office to current and potential problems students may be encountering in the timely progress toward their degree.

Visiting a Course

It is the Program's policy that students planning to visit a course without formally taking it for a letter grade register for that course as an auditor and that they not ask the instructor for permission to avoid registration. The reason for this is that the ability of the Program to offer a substantial number of advanced courses in acoustics requires that the overall enrollments be above university-established thresholds.

 
 

About

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