Graduate Program in Acoustics


Admission Requirements

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.

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. (A minimum TOEFL score of 25 is required for admission.) 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.