Doctoral Program Admissions

The CBE PhD program is designed to train students for careers in academia, government, or industry where research is fundamental. The curriculum prepares students for the field’s rapidly-changing character by developing the intellectual capacities necessary for research excellence.

How to Apply

All Ph.D. applications must be submitted electronically.

Applications are accepted for the Fall Semester only.

For more information about the application process, please visit our Graduate Admissions Website.

*Notice to potential applicants with disabilities

The University of Pennsylvania is committed to providing access and equal educational opportunities to all students, including students with disabilities. Penn does not discriminate against students with disabilities. The University provides reasonable accommodation to a student’s known disability in order to afford that student an equal opportunity to participate in University-sponsored academic and extracurricular programs, activities and services. If you require an accommodation during the admissions process please contact our department or Penn Student Disabilities Services


When to Apply

Please see the Penn Engineering Graduate Admissions website for the most up to date information regarding the admissions deadline.

For full consideration for fellowships and other awards, all materials must be received by the admissions deadline.

Prerequisite Requirements

Academic prerequisite requirements for the degree are an undergraduate degree in an engineering subject or an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a physical science, natural science, or math major.

Criteria for candidates, application requirements, and procedures may be found on Penn Engineering’s Graduate Admissions page

Fellowships and Support

The Department encourages all students to apply for graduate training fellowships during their graduate studies. Students who apply for and receive fellowships prior to matriculating to Penn gain tremendous flexibility in choosing a lab for research. Fellowships are available from several sources and can allow students to focus on a specific cross-disciplinary area.

After You Apply

Tracking Your Application

Track your application online.

We cannot respond to individual inquiries. We will contact you if materials are missing.

Campus Interviews

After reviewing applications, we invite about 15 percent of applicants to campus in February and March. If you are invited for an interview, you will be notified via email in January.

Campus Visit

By invitation only, you will be scheduled for a three-day visit, occurring on a Thursday through a Saturday. This visit is arranged by the department, and includes travel to and from Philadelphia, lodging, and meals.

When selecting an interview date, please note “exception” dates for recruiting faculty, as we cannot schedule return visits.

We regret that we cannot honor unauthorized requests for reimbursement.

Admissions Decisions

When an admissions decision is reached, the applicant will be notified directly through the online application system. Please note that department staff may not reveal admission decisions over the telephone or by email.


Financial Support and Awards

For the 2020-2021 academic year new students received a $34,500-stipend, full tuition, and healthcare coverage.  We expect full funding to continue throughout your doctoral training.

For additional information, please visit our fellowships and awards page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more from the Graduate Admissions FAQ.