Your ESE Department Contact:

Graduate Programs Coordinator


Frequently Asked Questions


Q: When is New Student Orientation?  Do I have to go?

A: New Student Orientation will be on Monday, August 24, 2015.  First year students are expected to attend.  This is an excellent opportunity to meet your classmates, faculty, and advisors.  Please save the full day.  Lunch and refreshments will be available.


Q: How do I enroll or waive in the Penn Student Insurance Plan?

A: Website:

Contact the Student Health Services Insurance office at 215 746 3535 option #3 or email at


Q: What immunizations do I need?

A: Please direct any health or immunization related questions to our Student Health Services at


Q: I am having trouble with setting up my PennKey.  I have a PennKey set up but it does not seem to be working.  

A: This is important as it will give you access to registration and all university resources.  If you are having difficulty, please visit


Q: How do I set up a SEAS email address?

A: Information about setting up your email can be found at


Q: When are advisors assigned?

Answer: We will be assigning advisors in mid-July.

Your homework: Read more about our faculty and see which faculty have research areas that you're interested in.

Q: When can I register?

A: You will be able to begin registration in mid-July

Your homework: Read our course requirements and think about your top 4-6 course choices.


Electrical Engineering Guide:

Systems Engineering Guide:


Course Descriptions:

Course Times for Fall '15:


Q: What kind of computer do I need?

A: It doesn't really matter what kind of computer you bring.  Mostly students will find themselves installing some linux distribution either as a partition or as virtual OS.  For software, MATLAB is helpful as lot of classes use this but it is not necessary to have it installed as you will be able to remotely access MATLAB and all other software on Penn computers, in addition to the multitude of computer labs available to use.  You can see what is available and what students can purchase for reduced costs or obtain for free at


Q: I want to defer admission.  How can I do this?

A: You can defer admission in the Master’s Program for up to two years.  After this period, you must re-apply for admission.

To request deferral, please email your request to

You can only request deferral for a one-year period at a time.  Please resubmit your deferral request if you wish to extend for a second year.

We do not offer Spring admission.