Policies and Forms

Communication with the Nano-MSE Office

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

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

Advanced Registration Overview Handout
SEAS Grad Handbook – Registration Procedures
SEAS Graduate Academic Calendar (important dates/changes specific to grad students) – important to keep on your radar
Course Selection tools: your electronic worksheet and registration tools in your PennInTouch (PIT) profile, Penn Course Review and PennCourseNotify

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.

Instructions for getting Advisor SignOff for the Nano-MSE Program

PIT Academic Planning Worksheet Guide (also look under the Help menu in PIT for additional resources)

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. Reports should include the date, sponsoring department/center, title, presenter, presenter’s affiliation and a summary of the seminar. Summaries should be described in students’ own words and not be a copy of the seminar abstract. It should be clear to the reader that the student attended the seminar (e.g., students may discuss some of the Q&A or the components that were most relevant to the students’ career interests). Seminar reports should be emailed to the program office (nanomast@seas.upenn.edu) either as they are completed or in one email. The program strongly encourages students to complete seminars throughout the time they are in the program and not to wait until the last few weeks before graduation. Reports must be received before the final day of the semester that a student plans to graduate. Failure to submit reports on time may delay graduation.

Research Thesis (optional)

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 here. 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 semester.