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A master’s degree is the first level of graduate study. To apply for a master degree you usually must already hold an undergraduate degree (a bachelor’s degree). It’s been proven over and over again. Getting a college degree of any kind pays off. A Master’s degree is a second-cycle academic degree and the first level of graduate study, which means it is after a Bachelor’s degree and before a PhD.
What Does It Mean To Submatriculate?
One really unique aspect of the Penn curriculum is the ability to submatriculate. Essentially, this means to graduate in four years with both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree. Some students also choose to do this program over a five year period.
For research master’s programs (M.A. or M.S.) in the School of Arts and Sciences, submatriculants obtain both the bachelor’s and the master’s degree simultaneously, with the master’s level work continuous with the undergraduate major, which it extends and intensifies. Those likely to pursue a Ph.D. are strongly encouraged to apply to the doctoral program rather than pursuing a submatriculated master’s. Note that some doctoral research funding agencies may actually disqualify a student from receiving certain kinds of support because of the student’s advanced standing.
Accelerated Master’s Programs In Engineering
The application must be submitted by the course selection deadline of the student’s seventh semester. This is a HARD deadline. If missed, students can still apply for a Penn master’s program but will need to go through the regular admissions process as an external applicant following external application rules and requirements. This deadline is enforced for all degree students, whether they are pursuing single, coordinated, or dual degrees.
- Complete the Course Planning form with all appropriate signatures first. This form is required and must be uploaded to your application in CollegeNet before you submit. Failure to upload with your application will result in an incomplete application and may be rejected.
- Complete the Accelerated Master’s Application via CollegeNet. Your transcript and resume are also required for all programs.
Some programs have additional requirements. The list below is subject to change and students are advised to check with the program they are applying to regarding any additional requirements:
- BE requires a personal statement
- BIOT requires a personal statement and three letters of recommendation (one from the student’s undergraduate faculty advisor)
- CBE a personal statement and one letter of recommendation
- CGGT requires a personal statement and one letter of recommendation
- CIS requires a personal statement and one letter of recommendation
- CIT requires one letter of recommendation
- DATS requires a personal statement
- IPD requires a portfolio, personal statement, and contact information of two recommenders
- MSE requires a personal statement
- NANO requires a personal statement
- ROBO requires a personal statement
If you require assistance with the CollegeNet application system, you may contact the Penn Engineering Enrollment Specialist for the program to which you are applying.
Rules and Eligibility
- Must be a Penn undergraduate that entered Penn in Fall 2018 or later.
- The application must be submitted by the course selection deadline of the student’s seventh semester. DATS also encourages Juniors to apply by either June 15th or December 15th in their junior year (June 15 is the summer before a student’s fifth semester or December 15, right at the end of the fifth semester).
- Both BSE and BAS degree students in Penn Engineering may apply for the Accelerated Master’s program. Qualified undergraduates in Penn’s other schools may apply for an Accelerated Master’s into any of the Engineering Master’s degree programs, subject to their home school’s rules and regulations.
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required. (CIS requires a cumulative GPA of 3.2 and ROBO requires a minimum STEM GPA of 3.2.)
- Coordinated dual degree students in M&T and VIPER must complete their undergraduate degree in ten semesters to be eligible for the degree. While there is no penalty for completing your undergraduate degree sooner, you will not be allowed to overload (7/7.5 CUs) to accomplish this.
- Students may double count up to three (3) graduate courses (four courses for Biotechnology) to fulfill both undergraduate and graduate degree requirements. This is subject to approval by both the undergraduate and graduate program chairs/directors.
- Cross-listed courses taken at the 4XX level prior to matriculation into the Accelerated Master’s may be used for the graduate degree if the course’s content is identical to its 5XX level and is cross-listed in the term taken by the student. These 4XX/5XX+ level courses should be used only as one of the three double counted (four for BIOT).
- No course may be triple counted, i.e. counted for more than two degrees.
- All coursework for a master’s degree from SEAS must be completed at Penn. Transfer, study abroad, or ‘credit away’ courses are not permitted.
- For single degree students, the SEAS undergraduate degree must be completed in eight (8) semesters or the student will not be eligible to continue with the Accelerated Master’s degree. Students pursuing a coordinated dual degree program must complete their SEAS Undergraduate degree in ten (10) semesters. If a student wants to continue with the Master’s degree, they will lose the privilege to double count courses and must apply to the master’s program externally, submitting all relevant application materials.
- Uncoordinated dual degree students are not eligible for the Accelerated Master’s degree. However, students can reach out to the master’s program director to discuss interests in joining the program after completion of sophomore year. Programs will review these applications on a case-by-case basis for admission.
- Engineering recognizes matriculation into one Accelerated Master’s/submatriculation program across the schools. We do not have a dual-degree Accelerated Master’s/submatriculation program. Students with any questions should contact the Graduate RAS team.
- All financial aid related questions should be referred to SRFS . Find more details on institutional financial aid guidelines here.
- If you choose not to pursue the Masters Degree after you matriculated, please fill out and submit the Graduate Petition for Action to your graduate coordinator to withdraw from the program.
- The online Engineering program(s) do not allow matriculation into their program through Accelerated Master’s. Interested students in Computer and Information Technology Online (CITO) must apply externally to their program to start after completion of the undergraduate degree.
Submatriculation Department Of Biology
Undergraduate students majoring in Biology are welcome to apply to the Biology submatriculation Master’s program. This program will introduce exceptional students to advanced concepts and methods in biology through a combination of upper-level coursework and an extensive research experience. Research experiences that incorporate planning, execution, and communication of research projects provide training that is essential for success in most science-oriented careers. This research-intensive Master’s program provides an opportunity to (1) discover what it is like to be involved in research, (2) gain an extensive understanding of how biological knowledge is discovered, and (3) identify future educational and career directions and how well-suited you may be for them. The program requires students to complete the Biology major curriculum as well as three additional research courses under the guidance of a Biology Graduate Group faculty member (a list of Research Advisor’s who are open to accepting Master’s students can be found here, along with the Advisor Support form).
Master Of Science In Engineering In Computer And Information Science (CIS/MSE)
The CIS/ MSE program offers scholars the opportunity for advanced study in the scientific foundations of the rapidly growing field of computer science. Applicants to the MSE program should have strong undergraduate training in mathematics and computer science; prior coursework should include such areas as operating systems, programming languages, data structures, discrete mathematics, linear algebra, algorithms and theory; coursework should be similar to the courses taken by computer science undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania.https://www.youtube.com/embed/hfnAv6895rs?feature=oembed
Candidates who do not have an undergraduate major in computer science should consider applying to the Master of Computer and Information Technology program (MCIT). Dual degree/transfer information for current students can be accessed here. Submatriculation information for current students can be accessed here.
CIS/MSE students can pursue many areas within their curriculum, including AI, databases, security, programming languages, etc. The CIS Graduate Program prepares our students to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders, and visionaries. Our MSE graduates have obtained a wide range of positions in industry and continued in doctoral studies. Here’s a sample:
- Senior Programmer/Analyst, Computational Biology & Informatics Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania
- Software Development Engineer, Microsoft
- Researcher, Lincoln Laboratory, MIT
- Systems Engineer, Lockheed Martin
- Researcher, School of Medicine/Radiology, University of Pennsylvania
- Doctoral Student, Computer & Information Science, University of Pennsylvania
- Doctoral Student, Computer Science, Brown University,
- Doctoral Student, Computer Science, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
- A more extensive list can be found here.
Submatriculating At Penn Nursing
The demand for nurses with MSN degrees is higher than ever. If you are interested in specializing or entering advanced nursing practice sooner rather than later, we encourage you to apply as early as your junior year. If accepted, you’ll begin to take master’s level coursework, earning credit toward both degrees.
For application instructions, deadlines, and eligibility information, download MSN Submatriculation (PDF) .
As of fall 2020, Penn Nursing students can no longer submatriculate into the Nurse Anesthesia DNP program. However, students may take graduate level classes during their BSN program and receive an application fee waiver when they apply as alumni.
For more information, complete this interest form and download Preparing for Future Admissions to the Nurse Anesthesia DNP Program (PDF).
Our current climate of healthcare litigation and malpractice suits is well suited for professionals who combine nursing education and experience with legal expertise. A background in both nursing and law gives you a powerful and marketable skillset, and prepares you to make an impact on the medical and legal professions.
To submatriculate into Penn Law, you should take the LSAT and apply during your junior year. If you are admitted, you’ll begin taking courses at the law school during your fourth year, completing both your BSN and Juris Doctor (JD) degrees in six years, instead of the usual seven.
For advice on courses and the application process, download Law Submatriculation (PDF) .
Master of Public Health
Students with a passion for public health research and practice may apply for submatriculation status in the Master of Public Health (MPH) program at the Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM). During the submatriculation period, students can take up to three courses that can count toward both their BSN and the MPH degree. Students typically initiate the application process during the fall semester of their junior year. All applications to the MPH program completed by November 1st will be reviewed and provided a decision by December 1st, with the intention of submatriculating in the spring of their junior year.
For more information and guidelines, download Submatriculation into the Master of Public Health.