Search:  This Site | People | Departments | Penn State

Information for Prospective Graduate Students

Graduate Student Research Penn State Engineering


  • Do you want the entire scientific and technological world to be your playground?
  • Do you have a bachelor's degree in any engineering discipline, physics, biology, chemistry, or mathematics?
  • Do you wish to carry out research that spans more than one discipline?
  • Do you wish to eventually engender an entirely new area of scientific and technological research?

If your answer is "Yes" to any or all of these questions, read on…

Established in 1905, the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics provides unique opportunities for graduate studies as well as research in forefront sciences and technologies.

Wide variety of research areas

Weekly graduate seminars and coursework will expose you to research areas such as:

  • nanotechnology
  • MEMS and MOEMS
  • sculptured thin films
  • bionanotechnology
  • structural health monitoring
  • laser-assisted micromanufacturing
  • neural engineering
  • data mining
  • metamaterials
  • biomechanics
  • composite materials
  • experimental mechanics
  • continuum mechanics
  • quantum mechanics
  • non-destructive
  • evaluation
  • nonlinear dynamics
  • solid-state physics
  • solar-energy-harvesting materials
  • electromagnetics of complex materials

The mix keeps on changing, as the departmental faculty members and graduate students (and even undergraduate students) carry out research in emerging areas and create new areas. Just take a look at the list of books (MS Word or Adobe pdf format) that our faculty have written during the last two decades, and you will see the ever-changing but evergreen profile of ESM research.

Our faculty is renowned

Members include Fellows of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Americal Society of Materials International, Optical Society of America, SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering, Society of Engineering Science, National Association of Corrosion Engineers, and the UK Institute of Physics, among others. They include holders of the Breneman Chair, Brush Chair, Morrow Professorship, Kunkle Professorship, Schell Professorship, and a Distinguished Professorship. Two junior faculty members hold the Henderson Assistant Professorship and the Pearce Professorship. The faculty deliver invited seminars, lecture worldwide and organize conferences and workshops at Penn State as well as all around the USA and internationally.

Active student body

Our graduate students take part in national and international conferences, and even organize their own annual research symposium. Take a look at the abstracts of their theses to discover their diversity, but still appreciate their unity in aiming for research excellence. Our graduate students become corporate researchers and university professors all over the world.


In the academic year 2004-2005, the research expenditures of ESM exceeded US $16 million. Departmental faculty members and students published 225 papers in international peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. 16 MS and M Eng degrees were granted that year, as well as 19 PhD degrees.

With more than 20,000 square feet of laboratory space in four buildings, wireless networking of computers, a complement of helpful and cheerful staff members to provide administrative and other support, the department's facilities and family-like environment will help you attain your full potential as a researcher who will develop future pathways for humanity.

About the curriculum:

General requirements

How to Apply to the Graduate Program - December 15th deadline.

Graduate Program Guidepdf 800kb