University of pennsylvania
US News Ranking 18
Qsranking 63
Timesranking 30

The University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science is popularly known as Penn Engineering or SEAS and was formalized in 1850. In 1893, the Department of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering was established. The School provides approximately 300 courses and programs that emphasise the fundamentals of engineering. Penn Engineering offers bachelors, masters and PhD degree programs in the contemporary fields of engineering study. Some of its master’s programs include Executive Master’s in Technology Management, Master of Biotechnology, Master of Computer and Information Technology, Master of Computer and Information Science and a Master of Science in Engineering in Telecommunications and Networking. The University of Pennsylvania is ranked No. 17 in Best Engineering Schools, as per US News and World Report. 

The university, on the whole, has a diverse and inclusive student body where approximately half of the undergraduates identify themselves as students of colour, 13% are international, more than half are women, 13% are among the first in their families to attend college. Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science consists of six departments:

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Computer and Information Science
  • Electrical and Systems Engineering
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics


The engineering students can access all that the university campus offers. The Center for Analyzing Evolved Structures as Optimized Products (AESOP): Science and Engineering for the Human Habitat brings together material scientists, computer scientists, chemical and biomolecular engineers,  robotics engineers and mechanical engineers. The Center for Engineering MechanoBiology (CEMB) is a multi-institutional Science and Technology Center that gets funding from the National Science Foundation. Its objective is to propagate the study of mechanical forces in cells, molecules, and tissues in plants and animals. Other research centres of the department are Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM), Penn Center for Molecular Discovery (PCMD), Penn Research in Embedded Computing and Integrated Systems Engineering (PRECISE), Center for Targeted Therapeutics and Translational Nanomedicine (CT3N) and many more. 

Residing Options

Penn's residential system consists of twelve undergraduate College Houses and Sansom Place.  Sansom Place consists of two high rise buildings and is an apartment-style residence housing for graduate students.  Fully furnished units with utilities( cable, Internet included; free laundry facilities) are provided to students with graduate housing. Besides Study and group workspace, TV and game room are also provided to the same. Graduate housing rate can vary from $1000 to $1800 per year. [ Amount varies with room type]. Although it might be difficult for students to find affordable and livable housing outside of the campus, the university assists and provides resources for off-campus housing. Staff can provide help with locating available housing, understanding landlord/tenant rights and responsibilities, reviewing leases, and resolving common issues that may rise up while living off-campus. Off-Campus Services keep an interactive database of property listings that includes hundreds of available rental units which are owned by local property managers in Center City University City,  and other locations in the Greater Philadelphia area. You can also use the database’s roommate search feature and a function to search for or post a sublet. 

Financial Aid

There are a variety of university fellowships and appointments available to Penn graduate students. Students should refer to their appointment letter or contact their department to determine the type of stipend they should be receiving. The university provides several Society of Women Engineers scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate female students pursuing science and engineering and computer. Some of the outside scholarships include Aga Khan Foundation and Sahu Jain Trust.  Aga Khan Foundation  provides a limited number of scholarships for postgraduate studies to outstanding students who belong to developing countries and are unable to finance their education. The basis of granting  scholarships is a 50% grant and 50% loan basis. Sahu Jain Trust, a  philanthropic organization belonging to The Times of India Group, announces the need-cum-merit based Educational Scholarships.


The University of Pennsylvania is located in the city of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. 
Penn's houses provide residential communities to students both on and off the campus. The university provides for recreational departmental activities and clubs where students can enroll themselves in to participate in sports, art and culture, charity, etc.
Students can get to university by car through the following routes:  From the Northeast via the New Jersey Turnpike South; From the West via the Pennsylvania Turnpike; From the North via I-95 South; From the South via I-95 North. They can also avail the Philadelphia Public Transportation to reach the university. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) runs a system of bus, subway, elevated train, and trolley lines that cover all of Philadelphia. Tokens are available in all the subway stations of Philadelphia and also at Penn BookStore in the university. One can also avail the Intercity rail service to Philadelphia's 30th Street Station provided by Amtrak if one wants to travel by bus/car. The campus can be reached from 30th Street Station by cab. Intercity bus service is provided by Greyhound and Trailways bus lines from the terminal at 1001 Filbert Street, and MegaBus and BoltBus provide service to 30th Street Station. The nearest airport to the university is the Philadelphia International Airport.

Jobs and Placements

Some of the top recruiters of Pennsylvania University include The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) - $48,688 - $88,233; Inc - $63,895 - $119,831; Comcast Cable Inc - $59,555 - $122,653; J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMCC) - $71,490 - $124,132, etc. The university organizes career fairs each year which the companies attend to provide full-time jobs or internships to the students. Students can also search for jobs online through their Handshake platform or through on-campus interviews. The average salary of the pass-outs is $81K. Boys on an average earn $92K per year, and girls only about $70K. The salary range for the girls is $45,196 - $101,939, and boys make between $51,421 - $128,996. The salary range for Master of Science (MS) graduates is $47,978 - $106,795. 47 % of the alumni said their job makes the world a better place, and 972 pass outs found the jobs extremely satisfying.

Acceptance Rate for Indians 28%
STEM Masters Awarded to International Students 315
STEM Doctorates Awarded to International Students 31
TA Appointments 0
RA appointments 418
Research funding $110,825,713
Source : GyanDhan's analysis & partner data as of year 2018


The Master of Biotechnology Program at the University of Pennsylvania prepares students, both full-time and part-time, for leadership in the important and dynamic industries of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Students can choose from the following parallel tracks: Molecular Biology; Biopharmaceutical/Engineering Biotechnology; Biomedical Technologies. The program draws its faculty from Penn’s Biology, Chemistry, Genetics, Computer and Information Science, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Bioengineering departments. Scott L. Diamond is the director of the program.
The core curriculum includes:

  • Biochemistry    
  • Biotechnology I: Cellular/Molecular Biology    
  • Biotechnology II: Engineering Biotechnology    

Students need to select 1 free elective. Therefore the total course units are 6.

Areas of Expertise: Stem Cell Therapeutics & Tissue Engineering; Biomaterials; Cellular and Tissue Engineering; Biomedical Imaging; Medical Device Technology; Stem Cell Engineering; Diagnostics, Devices and Drug Delivery; Biomechanics; Molecular Engineering; Pharmaceutics & Drug Discovery; Systems and Synthetic Biology; Orthopedic Bioengineering; Bioinformatics; ReDNA Technology; Genomics & Proteomics; Bioprocess Engineering; Neuroengineering and Network Neuroscience
List of labs: Center for Targeted Therapeutics and Translational Nanomedicine

Chemical and Biomolecular

The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering offers BSE, MSE and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering. The major concentration areas for the BSE program include Pharmaceutics and Biotechnology; Polymer Science and Engineering; Environmental Engineering; Nanotechnology. Limited specialization in any one of the several fields such as fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, control, design, bioengineering, polymer engineering, heat transfer, or computer applications is possible in the Master's program. Students are required to take 10-course units (3 core, 1 math, and 6 electives) for the MSE in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. 
MSE students are required to register for a minimum of three-course units per semester to maintain full-time status. International students must note that this requirement is essential for their VISA status. Full-time master’s students can complete their degrees in one to two years.  In order to complete the degree in one year, students need to opt for four-course units in both the fall and spring semesters, with two-course units during the summer session. With certain exceptions, electives can be chosen from any courses in engineering or the sciences at a level of 500 or above. Of the 4 elective courses, students may take two Independent Study (597) courses with a letter grade or two written Thesis (599) courses with an S grade. Two electives must be from CBE. Permission is required from the department for either CBE 597 Master's Thesis Research or CBE 599 Master's Independent Study. Courses from Wharton including (STAT, MGMT, or OIDD), will not be counted towards the MSE degree.

Areas of Expertise: Energy and Environmental Engineering; Molecular Simulation and Thermodynamics; Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology; Cellular and Biomolecular Engineering; Systems Engineering; Soft Matter and Complex Fluids; Catalysis and Reaction Engineering

Computer Science

The University of Pennsylvania offers BSE in Computer Science (CSCI); Computer Engineering (CMPE); Digital Media Design (DMD); Networked & Social Systems Engineering (NETS) and Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) Degrees in Computer Science (ASCS); Computational Biology (ASCB); Computer and Cognitive Science (ASCC). Graduate programs offered by the department are Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) in Computer and Information Science (CIS); Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) in Embedded Systems (EMBS); Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) in Computer Graphics and Game Technology (CGGT); Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) in Robotics (ROBO); Master of Computer and Information Technology (MCIT); Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) in Data Science, and Doctoral Program (Ph.D.) in Computer and Information Science.

The CIS/MSE program offers scholars the opportunity for advanced study in the scientific foundations of the growing field of computer science. Applicants to the MSE program should have a strong undergraduate training in mathematics and computer science. The MSE degree requires the completion of ten-course units satisfying all of the following requirements:
CIS Courses: At least seven of the ten-course units required for the degree must be CIS courses. These seven courses include four core courses and three CIS elective courses described below.    
Core Courses:
Students are to select four courses from the following areas:

  1. Theory Course
  2. Systems Courses    
  3. Machine-Learning Courses    
  4. Other Courses         

3 CIS Elective Courses
3 CIS or Non-CIS Elective Courses    
Each of the three remaining courses must be a CIS course (numbered from CIS 500 to CIS 800) or a course from the list of approved non-CIS courses.
Students can also submit a master's thesis which may count as two-course units of Masters Student Thesis Research, CIS 597.

Area of Expertise: Cybersecurity and privacy; Computer Architecture and Networking; Databases and Information Management, Bioinformatics; Real-time and Embedded Systems and Distributed Systems; Intelligent Agents & Game AI; Natural Language Processing; Algorithms, Combinatorial Optimization and Complexity; Machine Learning and Data Science; Computer Graphics and Animation; Computer Architecture; Signal and Image Processing; Programming Languages, Formal Methods and Computer-aided verification; Game Design & Development; Physically-based Modeling and Dynamic Simulation; Computer Animation; Embedded Systems; Mechanical Design; Network and Security; Robotics, Computer Vision; Robotics; Control Systems; Artificial Intelligence; Programming Languages and Techniques; Haptics; Computer Systems; Software Engineering; Discrete Mathematics; Computer Vision; Algorithms and Data Structures; 3D Graphics; Theory of Computation
List of Labs: Penn Institute for Computational Science; Digital Visualization Center; Linguistics Data Consortium

Electrical and Systems

The University offers BSE in Electrical engineering; MSE in Electrical Engineering Program, Systems Engineering Program, Embedded Systems Program, Robotics Program; and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Systems Engineering (ESE). 
A major advantage of the MSE program is that it allows students to tailor their education according to their areas of goals and interests which may range from nanotechnology and circuits to embedded systems or robotics. The program provides the students with the theoretical and technological foundation needed to deal with the new ideas and applications that are the hallmarks of modern electrical engineering. 10-course units are required for MSE in Electrical Engineering.
Concentration Areas:

  • Physical Devices and NanoSystems
  • Circuits and Computer Engineering
  • Information and Decision Systems

Students are to select 5 required course units from any of the three areas above. Students must choose 5 elective courses as well. 
ESE Doctoral students must complete a required series of 20-course units (CUs) of graduate-level courses and research units. A minimum of 10 CUs must be graduate-level courses. The remaining 10 CUs are composed of Research Units (ESE 999 Thesis/Dissertation Research) and may include up to two Independent Study (ESE 899 Independent Study for Ph.D. credit) units.
The area can be chosen from one of the core courses: Engineering Management, Information Technology.

Areas of Expertise: Computer Engineering; Robotics; Real-time systems; Cyber-physical systems; MEMS/NEMS; Embedded control systems; Embedded systems programming; Cyberphysical Systems (Internet of Things); Network Science; Model-based design and analysis; Signal and Image Processing; Safety-critical systems; Control and Dynamical Systems; Analog and Digital Circuits; Nanophotonics and Nanoelectronics; Sensor networks; Communications and Networking. 

Material Science

The University of Pennsylvania offers BSE, MSE and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science. Penn is one of the first universities to establish a center for materials research. 
The BSE areas of specialization include:

  • Biomaterials and Biomimetics
  • Electronic and Optical Materials
  • Energy Conversion and Storage
  • Materials Modelling and Simulation
  • Product Design, Manufacturing, and Materials

The concentration areas include:

  • MSE 220 – Structural Materials
  • MSE 221 – Quantum Physics of Materials
  • MSE 215  – Introduction to Nanoscale Functional Materials
  • MSE 260 – Energetics of Macro and Nano-Scale Materials
  • MSE 330 – Self Assembly of Soft Materials
  • MSE 440 – Phase Transformations

The MSE program has a thesis and non-thesis options. 
10-course units are required for the MSE in Materials Science and Engineering.
MSE Courses    
Students are to select 5-7 from the approved list:

  • MSE 500 Experimental Methods in Materials Science    
  • MSE 505 Mechanical Properties of Macro/Nanoscale Materials    
  • MSE 507 Fundamentals of Materials    
  • MSE 515 Mathematics for Materials Science MSE 520 Structure of Materials    
  • MSE 525 Nanoscale Science and Engineering    
  • MSE 530 Thermodynamics and Phase Equilibria    
  • MSE 536 Electronic Properties of Materials    
  • MSE 536 Electronic Properties of Materials    
  • MSE 540 Phase Transformations    
  • MSE 545 Materials for Energy and Environmental Sustainability    
  • MSE 550 Elasticity and Micromechanics of Materials    
  • MSE 555 Electrochemical Engineering of Materials    
  • MSE 561 Atomic Modeling in Materials Science    
  • MSE 565 Fabrication and Characterization of Micro and Nanostructured Materials    
  • MSE 570 Physics of Materials I    
  • MSE 575 Statistical Mechanics    
  • MSE 580 Introduction to Polymers    
  • MSE 610 Transmission Electron Microscopy and Crystalline Imperfections    
  • MSE 640 Optical Materials    
  • MSE 650 Mechanics of Soft and Biomaterials
  • MSE 790 Selected Topics in Materials Science and Engineering    

Students need to select up to 2 Electives and 2 SEAS courses relevant to materials science; a sample list is provided below:

  • CBE 535 Interfacial Phenomena    
  • CIT 590 Programming Languages and Techniques    
  • EAS 510 Technical Communication and Academic Writing for Non-native Speakers of English    
  • EAS 546 Engineering Entrepreneurship II    
  • ENM 511 Foundations of Engineering Mathematics - II    
  • ESE 521 The Physics of Solid State Energy Devices    
  • ESE 536 Nanofabrication and Nano characterization    
  • PHYS 518 Introduction to Condensed Matter Physics    

Total course units include 10.
Non-thesis course-based option: The students need to successfully complete 10-course units at the 500 or higher level. All students must carry a letter grade (A, B, C or D).
Non-thesis option with an independent study: The students need to take 8 courses credits at the 500 or higher level earning letter grades and complete 2 Masters Independent Study (MSE 599) credits. The students need to receive a letter grade (A, B, C, D or F) in MSE 599. Independent study requires a faculty advisor. 
Thesis option: The students need to take 7-course units at the 500 or higher level earning letter grades and complete 3-course units of research with a faculty member by registering for two research credits (MSE 597 Masters Thesis Research) and 1 Independent Study (MSE 599). Students receive a letter grade (A, B, C, D or F) in both MSE 597 and MSE 599. The students must get their thesis approved by their thesis advisor and the Graduate Group Chair and submit their thesis to the Graduate Group Coordinator. The thesis option requires a faculty advisor. 
The Ph.D. courses require the following Core Courses which Include:

  • MSE 520 Structure of Materials    
  • MSE 530 Thermodynamics and Phase Equilibria    
  • MSE 540 Phase Transformations

Non-core courses may be selected from offerings within MSE and other departments in SEAS, as well as the physical, biological, and mathematical sciences. All courses must be at the 500 level or greater.

Areas of Expertise: Biomaterials; Energy; Computational Materials Engineering; Nanotubes & Nanowires; Electronic & Optical Properties; Polymers; Surfaces and Interfaces; Ceramics; Mechanical Behavior; Nanostructured Materials
List of Labs: Center for Analyzing Evolved Structures as Optimized Products; Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter


The university offers BSE, MSE and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering. 
The master's in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM) is innovative, unique, and nationally recognized for its excellence. 10-course units are required for the MSE MEAM degree. The program can be tailored and customized to meet individual needs under the guidance and approval of an academic advisor. 
Course Courses include:
Engineering Math:
Students are to select 2 Engineering Math options. 
Concentration Core 1    

  • Select 1 Required Core course    
  • Select 2 Concentration electives    
  • Select 2 Concentration Breadth electives    

To Select 3 Electives 
Seminar requirements    include 2 Semesters of MEAM Seminar. The total course units are therefore 10.
The Ph.D degree requirements include the completion of a minimum of 10 course units of graduate-level coursework beyond the undergraduate program with a grade-point average of at least 3.0, satisfactory performance in the PhD-related exams, presentation of a departmental seminar, completion of the teaching practicum, and the submission and successful defense of an original and significant dissertation.
Areas of expertise: Mechatronic & Robotic Systems; Mechanics of Materials; Design & Manufacturing; Mechanics of Micro/Nano Systems; Biomechanics; Fluid Mechanics; ComputationalMechanics; Energy Conversion & Thermal Science.




Annual fees for Indians $32,000
Annual off-campus living $7,000
Source : GyanDhan's analysis & university's website as of year 2018

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