How to Apply

Application Process

The Department of Architectural Engineering accepts online applications only through the Graduate School Online Application.

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

Statement of Intent

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


Applicants are encouraged to include: education, research experience, professional experience, military experience, publications, conference attendance, honors/awards/scholarships, professional society memberships, leadership roles, etc.

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.

GRE Scores for M.S. and Ph.D. Applicants

Official scores from the Graduate Record Examination Aptitude Test (GRE), or from a comparable substitute examination accepted by the AE department and authorized by the Dean of the Graduate School, are required for admission.

In special circumstances, a student may be admitted provisionally for graduate study without these scores.

The Department of Architectural Engineering recommends that applicants to the Ph.D. or M.S. degree programs should have a minimum score in the 80th percentile for the quantitative section of the GRE and a minimum score of 3.0 in the analytical writing section of the GRE.

In the 2018-19 academic year, admitted M.S./Ph.D. students had an average quantitative score of 163/170, which is in the 85th percentile, as well as an average analytical writing score of 3.5/6.0.

Penn State’s institution code is 2660. A department code is not required.

GRE Scores for M.Eng. Applicants

GRE scores are not required for admission to the M.Eng. degree program. However, if students admitted to the M.Eng. program switch to the M.S. or Ph.D. degree programs, they will be required to submit GRE scores. 

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 requirement who have received a baccalaureate or a master’s degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following: Australia; Belize; British Caribbean; British West Indies; Canada (except Quebec); England; Guyana; Republic of Ireland; Liberia; New Zealand; Northern Ireland; Scotland; United States


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


Spring Enrollment

To be eligible for University Fellowships:
Phase one of review: Third Monday of August
Phase two of review: Second Monday of September

Rolling admissions beyond phase two deadline:
Final deadline for non-U.S. citizen applicants: October 15
Final deadline for U.S. citizen applicants: December 5

Fall Enrollment

To be eligible for University Fellowships:
Phase one of review: Second Monday of December
Phase two of review: Second Monday of January
Phase three of review: Second Monday of March

Rolling admissions beyond phase three deadline:
Final deadline for non-U.S. citizen applicants: July 15
Final deadline for U.S. citizen applicants: July 15

The phases of review reflect the chances of securing funding. The earlier you apply, the wider range of funding sources you are eligible for. Most commitments for funding are made in phases one and two.

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 completed by the posted deadline 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.

Applications completed by the posted September deadline (for spring admission) will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee and decisions mailed during early October. Applicants completed after the posted September deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis with decisions mailed as the reviews are completed.

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 architectural engineering department head.
  • The Graduate School must approve the department 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. The Department of Architectural Engineering 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.

Apply Now fellowships and funding button The Graduate School at Penn State

Who to Contact

  • Jaymes Dunlap
    105 Engineering Unit A
    University Park, PA 16802



Widely acknowledged as one of the top Architectural Engineering programs in the world, the Penn State AE Department is dedicated to providing outstanding academic excellence to all of our students. The AE program is focused on preparing students and conducting research in the design, engineering, and construction of building projects.

Department of Architectural Engineering

104 Engineering Unit A

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-6394