How to Apply

Application Process

The School of Engineering Design and Innovation and its programs accept online applications only. GRE scores are not required. Applicants do not need to submit GRE scores to be considered for admission, financial aid, or merit-based scholarships. All programs are STEM OPT eligible.

Graduate School Online Application

The following are required items that must be uploaded as part of the Graduate School Application:*

*Each graduate degree includes additional admission requirements listed below.  

1. Statement of intent/purpose

  • The statement of intent is used to decide who will review your application for admission and whether SEDTAPP is a good match for you. The statement of intent is also considered in funding decisions.

2. Three letters of recommendation

  • Applicants must enter the contact information for three recommendation references.
  • The references will then be electronically notified by the Graduate School regarding how to submit/upload their individual reference evaluation form and reference letter to the applicant's application. 

3. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores for international applicants only

  • All international applicants must take and officially submit scores for the TOEFL or the IELTS. 
  • A minimum overall score of 80 on the TOEFL is required, with a minimum score of 19 on the speaking section. 
  • A minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS is required. 
  • Exception - international applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirements if they received a bachelor's or master's degree from a college or university in the United States.
  • Penn State's institution code is 2660. A department code is not required. 

4. Transcripts

  • Copies of transcripts, degree/study certificates, and diplomas in the language of instruction from all institutions attended, both undergraduate and graduate should be uploaded 


A completed application must be submitted by December 15 to be considered for scholarship opportunities.

Incomplete applications lacking any of the above-listed application items will not be reviewed by the admissions committee and will not be considered for funding.


Applications will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee and decisions will be mailed after a completed review. Applicants should keep their contact information up to date in the Graduate School Admission Portal. Funding offers are sent separately from the admission decision notification.  A majority of these decisions occur in February or March, or perhaps later in the case of a late research award.

When an application is approved by the Admissions Committee, the following occurs through different Penn State offices.

  • A letter of recommended acceptance is sent to applicants by electronic mail. An admission recommendation is also forwarded to the Penn State Graduate School by the department head.
  • The Graduate School must approve the school's recommendation of acceptance. If approved, applicants will be notified by the Graduate School.
  • International applicants will then be notified by the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS), which will issue an I-20 form. Any questions regarding visas, I-20, etc., must be directed to the OISS Office. SEDTAPP is unable to assist with international student visas.
  • All applicants are considered for research or teaching assistantships and applicable fellowships. Applicants will be notified by the Department of any assistantship offers or fellowships at the time of admission.

The Admissions Committee carefully reviews each application and discusses the potential of each applicant. As such, the decisions of the Admissions Committee are final and not subject to further review.

Engineering Design Additional Requirements

Design Portfolio

  • A concise design portfolio demonstrating your best work should be prepared and submitted to the online application system as a PDF. Since program participants will come from many disciplines, the content of the portfolios is expected to vary considerably across candidates. For example, everything from blueprints to algorithms, CAD models to prototypes may be appropriate. Each exhibit should have a short accompanying description providing background on the work. The PDF should not exceed six pages.

Engineering Leadership and Innovation Management Additional Requirements

Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement

  • The personal statement should include a 2-3 page essay demonstrating your written communication skills with the following information: a) statement of purpose (career and educational goals), b) narrative describing your leadership and innovation experiences through summer internships, summer employment, co-op experiences, community engagement, professional societies, etc. and c) narrative describing your professional experience in an engineering position (or equivalent) to meet the 1-year requirement.

Resume or CV

  • Provide a current résumé or curriculum vitae, which includes your education, employment history, awards and accolades, national and international exposure, publication credits, and leadership roles in any volunteer and/or extracurricular activities.

Master of Engineering in Engineering, Law, and Policy Additional Requirements

Statement of Purpose

Statement of purpose should include:

  • An introduction about yourself, indicating interests, goals, and how the M.Eng. in Engineering, Law, and Policy degree can help further them.
  • Any unique experiences, skills, professional experience, and/or perspectives you will bring to the distinctive learning environment and how these will enhance the Law, Policy, and Engineering (LPE) community. Professional engineering experience is preferred. Applicants wishing to enter the program directly from an undergraduate degree may demonstrate experience through summer internships, summer employment, co-op experiences, or experience within professional societies or student-led organizations that lead engineering projects or activities.
  • Discuss what makes you a strong candidate for the M.Eng. in Engineering, Law, and Policy. Make use of supporting examples to demonstrate.
  • Make certain the above points are linked with continuity and focus and demonstrate written communication skills.

Resume or CV

  • Provide a current résumé or curriculum vitae, which includes your education, employment history, awards and accolades, national and international exposure, publication credits, and leadership roles in any volunteer and/or extracurricular activities.


The School of Engineering Design and Innovation delivers effective engineering education and unrivaled research opportunities through active, collaborative, project-based, and professionally oriented classroom experiences. The school offers a variety of programs that partner faculty, students, and industry in the study of real-life engineering problems. Our programs teach students to solve real-life problems with innovative solutions. 

School of Engineering Design and Innovation

304 Engineering Design and Innovation Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2952