College of Engineering Graduate Recruiting

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Team ID: 
College / Administrative Unit: 
Engineering, College of
Date Started: 
April 1994
To improve the recruitment and admission process for Engineering graduate students with a goal of enhancing quality and diversity.

Initial Contacts:

Increase communication with top undergraduates in jr and sr years, including your own and other universities. Follow-up on names provided from graduate fairs. Swap lists of top students with other schools. Use Peterson's guide, posters and the World Wide Web to advertise your program.

Improve materials sent directly to prospective students.

Participate in programs in which undergraduates at other universities visit Penn State prior to graduation, such as sponsored summer workshops.

Generate more faculty involvement in contacting colleagues at other universities, taking departmental information when on trips, meetings, etc.

In late fall, contact good students you are aware of who haven't yet applied.

Application Process

Give a lot of personal attention to procedures and communications with applicants, in order to avoid mistakes or make a bad impression.

Involve faculty in the selection process; better (more?) communication between graduate coordinator and faculty, especially for top candidates, result in better technical matches beween student and program activities.

Have efficient databases for tracking students. Be able to respond effectively to phone and email inquiries.

Make sure you have reliable criteria for judging quality of foreign applicants. (Many schools are largely unknown to us and may use different grading systems.) Consider admitting only candidates from a list of top foreign schools.

Financial Offers

Overall financial support should be increased, not only in number of awards but in top-value awards for blue chip applicants.

Encourage (invite) top students to visit (singly or in groups). Cover as much of the tab as possible, taking advantage of CoE matching funds. Show them a lot of personal attention, involving faculty, studentes, and people from the College and University. Involve female/minority faculty and students for female/minority visitors.

Greater faculty involvement with students during visits could result in more RA's being awarded to incoming students. This would be attractive to many of them.

We should provide our own jrs, srs, and first-year grad students with better preparation for applying for fellowships.

Transfer control of add-on fellowships from the College to the departments.

Increase and improve follow-up after an offer is made.

Give TA awardees information on their responsibilities, including their assignment, if possible.


Most written materials are sent to students early in the process. Additional, more specific, materials can be included then, or later on.

Get more faculty involved in the process, especially admissions, visits, RA awards, and follow-up.

Improve graduate student spaces/offices/facilities.

Develop a graduate co-op program.

Monitor the process versus time to make sure it is improving.

Contact Person: 
Larry Burton
  • Michael Reischman, Sponsor
  • Larry Burton, Leader
  • Deborah Hamilton, Facilitator