Graduate Program in Acoustics


Acoustics Degrees Offered

Since 1965, the Graduate Program in Acoustics has been offering several options leading to a graduate degree in acoustics. Penn State is the only school in the U.S. that currently offers the Ph.D. in Acoustics. As of Fall 2015, the Graduate Program in Acoustics has awarded:

  • 186 Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Acoustics degrees
  • 280 Master of Science (M.S.) in Acoustics degrees
  • 203 Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Acoustics degrees

For more information about each degree option, please click on the degree title (you will be taken to our Prospective Student area for details about each degree option, as well as the application process)

  • Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) -- this is a professional masters degree, consisting primarily of coursework with a capstone scholarly paper. This degree option is available for Distance Education students and Resident students. Funding (in the form of a research assistantship) is not available for DE students, and is usually not available for resident students. Typical time to completion is 2 years for resident students and 5-8 years for distance education students
  • Master of Science (M.S.) 1-year option -- this is a more research-focused masters degree consisting primarily of coursework. This degree does require a research-based scholarly paper, but does not involve the level or research required for a traditional thesis. This 1-year M.S. degree option is completed within one calendar year and requires students to take a slightly heavier course load (13 credits during the Fall and Spring semesters and 4 credits during the Summer term). Resident students in the 1-year M.S. program are not funded, and must pay their own tuition and living expenses.
  • Master of Science (M.S.) -- traditional Thesis option -- this is the traditional research-based masters degree which combines coursework with research and which culminates in a written thesis that is orally defended. Students pursuing the M.S. with thesis option are eligible to be funded through a research assistantship that pays for tuition and a stipend for living expenses, if funding sources are available. Typical time to completion for the traditional M.S. thesis degree is 2.5 years. The M.S. with thesis option is geared toward students to are interested in more research based educational experience, or who might be interested in continuing on toward the Ph.D.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) -- this is a heavily research based graduate degree combining coursework with an extensive research program in which the student makes a unique contribution to the field of study. The Ph.D. is the path for students who are interested in becoming a faculty member at a college or university, or who are interested in pursuing research and development positions with major industrial or government laboratories. Students must be specifically admitted into the Ph.D. program, and must pass a Candidacy Exam in order to continue on toward the Ph.D. degree. Typical time to completion for the Ph.D. degree is 5 years of fulltime study.


Dr. Sparrow and M.S. student at graduation.


Graduate Program in Acoustics Theses and Papers

Click on the following link to access a list, by academic year, of theses and papers submitted by Graduate Program in Acoustics students.Graduate Program in Acoustics Students Theses and Papers


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