Department of

Electrical Engineering

Serving society through excellence in education, research, scholarship, and public outreach

Admission Requirements & Procedures

  • Completed Graduate School Application—Make sure to select University Park (UP) as the campus location. Application includes the following:
    • Statement of Purpose (must be uploaded): A description of relevant experiences, technical interests, and the proposed field of study.
    • Resumé (must be uploaded) outlining educational background, professional experience, awards, honors, and publications.
    • Three (3) letters of recommendation (must be uploaded by referees). You will be providing the names and contact information for your referees in the on-line application.
  • Non-refundable application fee.
  • Official GRE Scores (sent to Penn State by ETS) (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing) from the Graduate Record Examination General Test (GRE). Submit scores to Institution Code 2660. Order these early, they can take up to a month to reach us.
  • International applicants must take and submit scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), with the exceptions noted below. The minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 600 for the paper-based test, 250 for the computer-based test, or a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section for the Internet-based test (iBT). Applicants with iBT speaking scores between 17 and 18 may be considered for provisional admission, which requires an institutional test of English proficiency upon first enrollment and, if necessary, remedial course work. The minimum composite score for the IELTS is 6.5. Submit scores to Institution Code 2660. Order these early, they can take up to a month to reach us.
  • International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement if they have received a baccalaureate (B.S.) or a master's (M.S.) degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Québec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the United States, and Wales.

  • Copies of transcripts, degree/study certificates and diplomas in the language of instruction from all institutions of higher education attended, both undergraduate and graduate, should be uploaded online as part of the Graduate School Application. If English is not the language of instruction, copies of all transcripts/documents in the English translation also must be uploaded. Please see transcript tips for assistance.
  • Applicants recommended for admission will be notified by the Graduate School that official/original transcripts/documents and their official English translation must be sent from the originating institutions for review by the Graduate School, in order to finalize an admission decision. Notarized copies are not sufficient.

Additional EE Department Admission Guidelines

  • Applicants should hold a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering or related fields such that any preparatory studies would take no more than one semester. Students with a minimum junior/senior grade-point average of 3.0 (out of 4.0) or equivalent and appropriate course backgrounds will be considered for admission.
  • Those holding M.S. degrees from other institutions may apply for entry directly to the Ph.D. program. Those holding B.S. degrees usually apply for the M.S. program, though highly qualified applicants with B.S. degrees may request immediate entry to the Ph.D. program. Those admitted to the Ph.D. program should expect to take candidacy exams within one year of entry.
  • Outstanding applicants are considered for support in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and various fellowships from the Department and the College of Engineering. To be considered for all forms of financial aid, fall applicants should supply all of the requested application items by December 15th (U.S. citizens by January 5th).
  • Expedited admission for students completing MS/MENG degrees at Penn State Harrisburg to PhD EE Program at Penn State University.
  • Departments do not collect the Application for Visa Document or any personal financial information from international applicants. Once an applicant has been offered admission and has accepted his/her offer of admission, the Directorate of International Student Advising (DISA) office will send them instructions and a link to enter immigration information and upload financial documentation directly into an electronic file within DISA’s database.

Application Deadlines

International Students

Fall Admissions: The application and all supporting documents must be received by December 15th. All international applications will be considered for fall semesters only. All applications completed after December 15th will most likely not be reviewed.

Special note for applicants impacted by flooding in India: The department will make the best reasonable effort in accommodating late applications from international applicants who would otherwise be unable to meet the deadline to submit an application due to the extensive and disastrous flooding occurring in various regions of India. If your ability to complete the application on time is impacted by this disaster please notify the Graduate Admissions as soon as possible by sending an e-mail including detailed description of your circumstances and your application ID number to

Domestic Students

U.S. citizens must supply all application materials no later than six weeks before the beginning of the semester in which they plan to begin graduate studies. To be considered for financial aid for the fall semester, applications must be complete (all documents received) by January 5th.

Application Procedures/How to Apply

If you have read the specific requirements for Electrical Engineering then you may apply on-line.

If you have specific questions about graduate admissions that need to be addressed, contact:

Department of Electrical Engineering

Graduate Admissions

The Pennsylvania State University

121 Electrical Engineering East Building

University Park, PA 16802

Tel: 814-863-7295

FAX: 814-865-7065