Students setup mics and take outdoor noise measurements.

One-Year Master of Science

This option allows students to complete the required coursework and a scholarly paper to earn the M.S. degree in Acoustics within one calendar year. Students admitted to the one-year M.S. option are not eligible to receive funding in the form of a graduate research assistantship. Students in the one-year M.S. track are expected to pay for tuition and living expenses.

Course Requirements

The graduate course credits for the M.S. degree must meet the following criteria:

  • Total number of credits required for M.S. degree = 30
  • Number of core course credits required = 18
  • Students will take 13 credits each during Fall and Spring semesters, and 4 credits during Summer Session

The six non-core course credits may be selected from the “Required and Approved” list of courses, realizing that not all elective courses will be available during any given calendar year. Students in the one-year M.S. program are required to enroll in 1 credit of Research Topics (ACS 594) in both the Fall and Spring semesters, and will take a special summer course, Contemporary Research Topics in Acoustics (ACS 580) during the Summer Session. Students in the one-year M.S. program will not take any Thesis Research (ACS 600) credits. Students make take more than one credit of Colloquium (ACS 590) and more than six credits of individual Studies (ACS 596) but these additional credits cannot be applied to the total number of required course credits.

Scholarly Paper

All students earning the M.S. degree through the one-year option are required to write a scholarly paper. This scholarly paper will be developed in the ACS 594, Research Topics classes during the Fall and Spring semesters, and will normally be completed while the student is taking ACS 580, Contemporary Research Topics in Acoustics during the Summer Session. This paper will typically be a study of a particular acoustics topic and will involve research, but to a more limited extent than it necessary for a thesis. The paper is free of any formal requirements of the Graduate School but it is expected that the student will follow the formatting requirements in the Thesis Guide available from the Graduate School.

Time to Completion

The one-year M.S. option is expected to be completed within one (1) calendar year, from August to August.



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