Justin Schwartz

Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Engineering


Dean Schwartz currently oversees more than 400 faculty members, more than 12,000 students, and approximately $250 million in total expenditures within the College of Engineering. He has grown the College of Engineering’s tenure-line faculty by approximately 10% per year for three consecutive years. He launched the Engineering Equity Initiative, with the aim of achieving gender equity among the undergraduate student population in seven years and to improve the underrepresented minority demographics to match the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As part of this initiative, Dean Schwartz created the position of associate dean for equity and inclusion; increased the diverse demographics every year; promoted corporate and alumni fundraising in support of equity; transformed scholarship awarding protocols, significantly improving female and underrepresented yield; and created an allies program to engage non-underrepresented students and male students as equity partners.

Dean Schwartz has helped to grow the college’s endowments by about $50 million a year. He helped lead the establishment of the Clark Scholars program, a $25 million endowment—$15 million gift from the Clark Foundation and $10 million from Penn State — which will support 40 full-time undergraduate students that are selected based on merit and financial need.

He was also instrumental in the creation of the “Law, Policy and Engineering Initiative,” which brings together faculty from the College of Engineering, Penn State Law, and Penn State School of International Affairs. This initiative is the first of its kind in the world and has established research and scholarly collaborations across multiple disciplines.

Some other notable initiatives that Dean Schwartz has helped established and lead include Penn State’s partnership with Project Drawdown; transitioning entrance to major from four semesters to two semesters; initiation of the “Exposure to Major” video and content series; creation of numerous seed grants; and strengthening the college’s relationship with the Applied Research Lab.

Dean Schwartz’s research interests include superconducting, magnetic and multiferroic materials and the systems they enable. He has published more than 246 peer-reviewed journal articles and has graduated 45 doctoral and master’s students in six academic disciplines, including 15 female, six underrepresented minorities.