A master's student may pursue a thesis program (Plan A) or a non-thesis program (Plan B). However, students who intend to continue for the doctoral degree and those students who are receiving financial aid in the form of assistantships must select the thesis program. In plan A, the student must complete 24 credit hours of course work, six additional credit hours of thesis work and submit an approved thesis. In Plan B, the student must complete 33 credit hours of course work. A student in the plan A and plan B options must take a minimum of three credit hours of approved math course. A minimum of one-half of the total course work requirement in both plans must be at the 6000 level. All students are required to take at least one-half of their total course work from mechanical engineering course offerings. A maximum of six credit hours of graduate-level credit from other accredited institutions may be accepted toward the requirements of the degree. Independent study course work can account for a maximum of three credit hours. The student must also attend and participate in the departmental seminar.
Students pursuing the master's degree will normally proceed through the following stages:
In the semester during which a student plans to complete the requirements for a degree, he/she must fill out an application for graduation form.
The thesis committee will consist of a minimum of three members; two of these must be tenured (or tenure-track) faculty members from within the department. One of these two must serve as the student's thesis adviser. The remaining committee member can be selected from within the college or from outside the university. The thesis proposal and the completed thesis must be approved by all three of the committee members.
The thesis defense takes place during a meeting that is scheduled by the student. The meeting must occur at a date and time that is mutually convenient for all members of the thesis committee and consistent with the calendar of the Graduate School. During the defense, the committee evaluates the integrity of the student's thesis through oral inquiry and ultimately approves or disapproves the work. The committee can also use this examination period to evaluate the student's understanding of previous course work and assess the ability of the student to integrate this information into his/her research. The thesis defense must be completed within six years after enrolling in the master's program.
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