Policies and Forms

Communication with the Nano-MSE Office

Please direct all communication related to the Nano-MSE program to the Nano-MSE Office at nanomast@seas.upenn.edu.

Penn Engineering Graduate Forms – important forms to check

Forms are required by the School of Engineering and Applied Science for a number of situations, including applying for graduation, to take or return from a leave of absence, to register for certain courses, etc. Nano-MSE students should acquaint themselves with these forms and the SEAS Graduate Handbook.


New students will be emailed instructions on how to register for their first semester in the program by the end of July. Typically students start with Fall Semester, which runs end of August – middle of December.

Continuing students will have the opportunity to participate in Advanced Registration, which occurs in the middle of a semester for the next semester.

Advanced Registration Resources

SEAS Grad Handbook – Registration Procedures

SEAS Graduate Academic Calendar (important dates/changes specific to grad students) – important to keep on your radar

PennInTouch (PIT) allows you to register: Overview and HelpPenn Course Review and Penn Course Alert

Instructions for getting Advisor SignOff for the Nano-MSE Program

If you miss Advanced Registration, you will register during the Regular Registration period or during the Course Selection period once the semester starts.

No matter when you register, you will need to update your PennInTouch (PIT) Academic Planning Worksheet and get your “Advisor SignOff” released before the system will allow you to select courses.

Seminar Requirement

Nano-MSE students are required to submit reports summarizing four technical/research seminars relating to nanoscale science and technology. Seminars must be sponsored by academic departments or centers at Penn and aimed at a technical/scientific audience. Short overview talks for general/public audiences are not appropriate for meeting this requirement.

Format: See Report Template

Submission: Reports should be emailed to the program office (nanomast@seas.upenn.edu) either as they are completed or in a single email. Students are encouraged to attend these seminars throughout their program and not wait until the last semester.

Research Thesis (Nano 597) and Independent Study (Nano 599) – Optional

Approval for Nano 597 and Nano 599: Form
Thesis guidelines: University Style Guide

Thesis: Conducting research to be written up in a master’s thesis is optional for Nano-MSE students and typically counts for 2 credit units of the required 10 CUs. If you would like to pursue a thesis, you will need to propose a thesis project, which has been approved by a faculty member willing to supervise your project and by the Nano-MSE program Director. The thesis form is above. Students typically discuss the thesis option with an advisor and potential faculty supervisors during their first two semesters, get the form signed by the beginning of their 3rd semester and register for thesis credit for the 3rd and final semesters.

Independent Study: Students may also conduct research in a faculty member’s lab for 1 cu for research or independent scholarly activities. These projects may fill gaps in curricular knowledge or are centered on projects that provide research experience but that are not as committing as would be expected for a thesis. The same form and approval process applies for both Nano 599 and Nano 597.