Applying to the CIS Graduate Program
Please note: this is the on-campus information; for the online MCIT, please see the program website.
All applications for engineering graduate programs are submitted online. Penn Engineering Graduate Admissions provides links to create an application or log in to view an existing application here.
Information by Program
Information about our Doctoral (Ph.D.), Master of Science in Engineering in Computer and Information Science (MSE), and the Master of Computer and Information Technology (MCIT) graduate programs can be found here. You can also access information about our faculty, research and courses.
Applicants to the CIS Doctoral and CIS/MSE graduate programs are expected to have a strong academic background in computer science; the core courses for Doctoral students are the same core courses taken by CIS/MSE students.
The MCIT graduate program is designed for candidates with a strong academic background in an area other than computer science; i.e., candidates with a strong academic background in computer science should NOT apply to the MCIT graduate program.
Candidates may apply to the doctoral program only as full-time students.
Penn Engineering Graduate Admissions provides an admissions FAQ here.
Admission statistics – number of applicants/admits, average GRE scores, etc. – for our graduate programs for the past several years are available here. This will give you an idea of what is expected of applicants.
Financial Aid Information
Departmental financial aid is available only for doctoral students. Applicants to the CIS Doctoral Program are considered for available funding; it is not necessary to submit extra material to be considered for funding.
There is no departmental funding available for master’s students. There are no RA positions available in the department; only research fellow positions for doctoral candidates. Teaching Assistant (TA) duties are generally met by Ph.D. candidates participating in a Teaching Practicum. Information about other funding resources can be found here.
The University of Pennsylvania participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program; information can be found here.
Submatriculation/Accelerated Master’s: Undergraduate students applying for Submatriculation/Accelerated Master’s status must have completed the courses listed below at the time of application:
- CIS 120, CIS 121, CIS 160
- One theory course (CIS 262, CIS 320)
- Any two of the following project oriented classes: (Nets 212, CIS 341, CIS/ESE 350, CIS 371, CIS 380, CIS 550, CIS 555, CIS 460, CIS 505, CIS 553)
The application must include a plan for completing all requirements for their current undergraduate and CIS/MSE program. Applicants should have at least a 3.2 GPA in their major, as well at least a B+ average in the chosen six courses above.
School of Engineering Information regarding the Submatriculation/Accelerated master’s option is accessible here.
Students applying for dual degree/transfer status should submit the application by March 15 and will receive a decision by the end of April. Click here for information regarding the Submatriculation/Accelerated master’s option in the Master’s in Computer and Information Technology (MCIT) program.
Dual degree/transfer from another Penn Engineering program
Information re: requesting to be considered for a dual degree/transfer can be found here.
Requirements for engineering masters students requesting consideration to transfer to or do a dual degree with the CIS/MSE program:
- Minimum GPA of 3.7
- Transfer Requests can be made only after the end of first semester at Penn, but no later than the add/drop deadline of 3rd semester.
- Dual-Degree Requests can be made only after the end of first semester at Penn, but no later than add/drop deadline of the student’s final semester.
- External candidates must have received a grade of A- or above in a CIS graduate course.
Transfers only (in addition to above requirements):
- One page statement of purpose explaining why the student wishes to transfer to CIS/MSE.
- A grade of A- or above in a core CIS theory class (CIS 502 or CIS 511).
Students requesting to be considered for dual degree status/transfer status should not make such a request until after completion, including posting of grades, of the first semester in the program to which they were originally admitted.
Such requests are evaluated with the same criteria used in evaluating candidates applying directly to our graduate programs; i.e. candidates should have the appropriate background, academic credentials, test scores, etc. Click here to access School of Engineering info re: dual degrees/transferring programs.
Students requesting to be considered for a dual degree/transfer to the MCIT program must complete and submit the MCIT Course Planning Form with the official request. Click here to access School of Engineering info re: dual degrees/transferring programs.
Your CIS Contacts:
Graduate Coordinator for on-campus MCIT, CIS/MSE and CGGT programs
Office: 308 Levine
Program Manager for DATS (Data Science MSE)
Office: 308 Levine
Doctoral Program Manager
Office: 310 Levine
Graduate Coordinator for ROBO
Office: 459 Levine
Liz Wai-Ping Ng
Associate Director for Embedded Systems MSE program
Office: 313 Levine
PICS Program Coordinator, SCMP Academic Coordinator
Office: 3401 Walnut, 5th Fl.