Engineering Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What background is necessary to apply to the Software Engineering Degree?

A: Usually, software engineering applicants have degrees in computer science, electrical engineering, information systems, or engineering-related degrees with programming knowledge.

Q. Do I need to apply before I take a class?

A: Yes, all applicants must apply to the graduate degree of choice or submit a nondegree application before taking courses.

Q. Is there someone I can meet with to review my application and be sure I have all the necessary material completed before I apply to a degree program?

A: Yes, the enrollment coordinator will meet with you, and assist you in the application process.

Q. Do I need a GRE or GMAT to apply to an engineering degree program?

A: No, these tests are only recommended if you do not have strong academic credentials - usually a GPA of 3.0 or better.

Q. I hold a Penn State undergraduate degree, will some of my classes count?

A: No, classes count only toward one degree and upon completion of an undergraduate degree, classes cannot be applied to another degree.

Q: Do you allow students to transfer credits into the program?

A: A maximum of 10 graduate credits earned at an accredited institution may be applied toward the requirements for a master's degree at Penn State Great Valley. Approval to apply any transferred credits toward a degree program must be granted by the division head. Courses considered for transfer must have been completed within five years prior to the date of enrollment at Penn State, and must have a grade of at least a B.

Q: What are the admission requirements?

A: To apply for admission, you must apply online at and upload/submit the following items:

  • Upload to the application:
    • Statement of Intent
    • Résumé
  • Enter the name and email address of one person who will be your reference. This person will receive an email requesting they complete an online recommendation form.
  • TOEFL score for applicants whose native language is not English
  • Submit non-refundable application fee, payable by credit card online or by check or money order made payable to They Pennsylvania State University
  • Two official transcripts from each college or university you have attended
    • Transcripts should be sent directly from each institution attended to the Penn State Great Valley Admissions Office
      • Attention: JoAnn Kelly, 30 E. Swedesford Road, Malvern, PA 19355
    • Penn State alumni do not need to provide transcripts

For more information on how to apply, visit: 

Q: I've been out of school 15 years. Will I feel out of place taking classes after all that time?

A: The average age of our students is mid-30's. You will find most of our students share the same concern about not having taken classes in quite some time, and how to juggle graduate school with an already busy life. Penn State Great Valley is designed for your needs, and we are ready to accommodate your busy schedule.

Q: What about busy travel schedules?

A: Because our courses are offered in seven-week sessions, students find it easier to plan business trips accordingly. Also, our program is not a cohort program, requiring you to enroll for a course every seven weeks. Many of our students stop out for a session during busy travel seasons or peak workload periods.

Q: What is the tuition?

A: Each course is three (3) credits. For tuition information, click here.