Spotlight on University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) Engineering program

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Prodigy Finance - August, 03 2023

8 min read

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At Prodigy Finance, we're committed to helping international talent to achieve their education dreams. We offer international student loans to qualified individuals attending top master's programmes in the US.

The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university. It also has the honour of being the oldest university in the United States (yes, UPenn was the first American University).

Though the ideas of Benjamin Franklin, UPenn's founder, were considered a little too wild for his contemporaries, they helped to transform UPenn Engineering into the progressive, research-oriented school it is today.

Where is UPenn?

  • City: Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania (PA)
  • City population: 1.568 million with a metropolitan population over 6 million
  • Region: Eastern seaboard region
  • Climate: Temperate maritime: winters are moderately cold (Jan avg: .6°C/33°F) and snowfall varies from light to heavy dependent on the year; summers are hot and muggy (Jul avg: 25.6°C/78.1°F)
  • Nearest airport: Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
  • Time zone: EST from November-March (GMT -4); EDT from March to November (GMT-5)

UPenn fast facts

Private university - Ivy League

University enrollment: 25,367

Countries represented: 111

Living alumni: 310,569

Full time graduate students: 11,013

International grad students: 3425

Engineering grad students: 1849

Engineering masters students: 1330

Most represented countries in engineering: China, India , South Korea, Taiwan (China), Canada

What can you study at UPenn School of Engineering?

You'll find an array of highly-ranked programmes within the School of Engineering and Applied Science at UPenn Engineering (UPenn SEAS), including several specialised degree options.



All reporting 2016 grads obtained US employment.




MS in Bioengineering (MSBE)

Master of Biotechnology (MB) jointly offered with the School of Arts and Sciences




MSE in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (MSECBE)


Computer & Information Science

The highest 2016 reported CIS salary was $200K.




MSE in Computer Graphics and Game Technology (MSECGGT)

MSE in Computer & Information Science (MSECIS)

Master of Computer and Information Technology (MCIT)


Electrical & Systems Engineering

The highest 2016 reported ESE salary was $118K.




MSE in Electrical Engineering (MSEEE)

MSE in Systems Engineering (MSESE)

MSE in Embedded Systems (MSEEMBS)

MSE in Robotics (MSER)


Integrated Product Design


no rank available


MSE in Integrated Product Design (MSEIPD)

Masters in Integrated Product Design (MIPD)




MSE in Materials Science (MSEMS)

Grads are recruited across the US - and internationally.


Mechanical Engineering & Applied Mechanics

Salaried in this department range between $30-120K. With an average over $81K.




MSE in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MSEMEAM)

MSE in Integrated Product Design (MSEIPD)

Master of Integrated Product Design (MIPD)

MSE in Robotics (MSER)

MSE in Nanotechnology (MSEN)


Penn Institute for Computational Science


no rank available


MSE in Scientific Computing (MSESCMP)

UPenn Engineering job placement

The Engineering Career Days is a recruitment fair open exclusively to students (and grads) from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. This career fair spans two days annually in September.

Enrolled students have access to a dedicated Engineering Career Fair app to peruse recruiting companies and includes a floor plan and tips.

There's also a Biosciences Career Fair which takes place in October, as well as social impact, startup, and Ivy League career fairs for interested students.

Several big name companies recruited multiple masters 2016 graduates from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. They include (but aren't limited to):

  • Microsoft: 22
  • Amazon: 18
  • Google: 17

The average grad receives 2 job offers during their studies or just after graduation - and 96% accept offers prior to graduation.

The majority of UPenn engineering accept US job offers for post-grad work. Only 22 students reported international employment.

University of Pennsylvania placements: Within the US, the highest number of grads accept employment in California (73), New York (47), Pennsylvania (40), and Washington (39).

University of Pennsylvania salary: 2016 UPenn Engineering masters grads reported salaries between $30,000 and $200,000 and positions across sectors.

$200,000 : Highest reported salary, CIS department

96% SEAS masters accepting offers prior to grad

$93,495: Average salary for Penn SEAS masters grads

48% Grads find employment through OCR

UPenn and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences take the employment of their students very seriously. In addition to career fairs, they have an internal network connecting students to employers.

On-campus recruiting (OCR) accounts for 48% of accepted job offers. This doesn't include offers made through UPenn OCR and subsequently not accepted. Nor does this figure include accepted offers where a student learned about a company through the university, but didn't use OCR channels to connect with their future employer.

Fast fact: UPenn Engineering School grads have an average of 6.6 interviews and receive an average of 2 job offers.

Interestingly, 52% of grads go into information technology fields, whether they graduate from the Department of Computer and Information Sciences or not. So if you're hoping for employment in this field, UPenn Engineering School is a solid bet.

What's it like to live at UPenn?

Not only is the University of Pennsylvania a hot spot for talks, art installations, sports events, and get-togethers, but you have the whole of Philadelphia on your doorstep and New York City is less than an hour and a half away.

As an international student, however, your first stop should be the Office for International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). Here, you'll find everything you need to know about settling into life as a student at UPenn. UPenn's ISSS has a pre-orientation guide that covers everything from getting a cell phone to exploring Philadelphia.

You also have the Graduate Student Center that provides services and can help you find your way.

International students have a lot of housing options, including on-campus apartments, an international house (serving several Philadelphia institutions), and off-campus apartments. You can turn to the ISSS UPenn, the Residential Services Department, or the Off-Campus Services department to help you locate your home for the next two years.

And, when it comes to food, there are UPenn graduate dining plans that offer flexibility and the ISSS even keeps track of the best food trucks and grocery stores in the area.


How to get into UPenn School of Engineering

The University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League school and receives applications from the most-talented individuals across the globe. Admissions are highly competitive and you will want the best GRE and TOEFL or IELTS scores you can achieve.

But, keep in mind that scores aren't everything. In general, most US grad schools, and UPenn in particular, want well-rounded candidates that can offer more than just academics to the school community.

The ideal candidate is likely to be one that believes in 'service to society' as applied by UPenn founder, Benjamin Franklin. (And, any potential applicant that isn't aware of the impact of Benjamin Franklin on the school and on American history and society as a whole would be wise to learn more before applying.)

In effect, you should be able to demonstrate how a UPenn Engineering masters degree will help you give back to the world - however wide or limited that impact might be.

While no minimum GPA, GRE,TOEFL, or IELTS scores are specified, you should note the following averages when preparing your statement of purpose (SOP) essay. If you're lacking in any areas, you might want to provide a subtle explanation in your SOP. If you haven't taken your tests yet, try to achieve these scores as a minimum for your best shot:

  • UPenn Average undergrad GPA: 3.58
  • UPenn Average GRE scores: 155 verbal, 166 quantitative, 3.8 analytical writing
  • Mean TOEFL score: 106 iBT

UPenn Engineering admissions details

Application cycle dates: November 15, March 15; February 1 for Robotics and Integrated Product Design

Application fee: $80

Undergrad transcript: required

SOP essay: required

Recommendations: 2, one must be from a faculty member who is familiar with the candidate's scholarly abilities

GRE test: required, no min score

GPA: no min specified

Language test: required for non-native English speakers; waivers available; TOEFL is preferred, IELTS is accepted; min scores may vary by department

  • Min TOEFL score: 100 iBT recommended minimum

  • Min IELTS score: 7.5 recommended minimum

UPenn Engineering cost of attendance (for 2020/21 academic year)

Tuition: $42,312

General fee (including placement services and activity fees)*: $3,440

Technology fee*: $896

Room: $12,840

Board: $6,492

Books and supplies: $1,800

Health insurance*: $3,734

Personal and misc (including travel): $3,984

Total CoA for 1 year: $75,498

*These mandatory fees collected by the university don't cover the full cost of for activities, health care, transportation, or technology use.

Does University of Pennsylvania graduate school offer scholarships to international students?

Although the University of Pennsylvania is known for its financial aid packages - even for international students, it's important to note that UPenn Engineering does not provide financial aid for masters students. The same applies for domestic as well as international students.

Individual departments may offer scholarships or teaching positions to assist with financing your education, but not all of them do - and you should plan to apply early if you hope to secure one.

However UPenn does provide a list of possible funding sources and scholarships for graduate students and you should apply to as many as possible to mitigate your total educational costs.

Prodigy Finance international student loans for UPenn Engineering masters degrees

Prodigy Finance offers loans for international masters students at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.

Students from supported countries pursuing masters programmes that can be completed in less than 2 years are eligible to apply.

  • Maximum loan amount: up to 100% of the school-provided cost of attendance (tuition plus living expenses)
  • Minimum loan amount: $35,000
  • Typical interest rates: 6 - 8% (fixed) over the 3-month US Libor base rate (variable)
  • All loans disbursed directly to the university according to due dates


Prodigy Finance also supports loans for University of Pennsylvania students pursuing masters degrees in these schools:

Completely set on a masters degree from UPenn School of Engineering?

Prodigy Finance provides loans to international masters students pursuing their masters degrees at the UPenn School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

If you want to go ahead and know the difference between master of science and master of engineering, or if you want to know what and where to study, I-20 Forms, try our Study Centre which is filled with expert opinions on a range of topics.

For any other information about Prodigy Finance, or our student loan process, feel free to browse through our site, or register for a webinar to have your questions answered by one of our team.

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