This is a research-oriented degree, recommended for students whose educational and professional goals make early research experience desirable. A thesis (maximum of 8 thesis credits apply toward degree), seminar (2 credits minimum), and at least 20 credits of additional course work are required for a minimum of 30 credit hours total; a student’s department and/or Graduate Committee may require more. An individually written thesis based on original research is a requirement for Option A of the Master of Science degree. The thesis should represent an effort of such quality and construction that it can be displayed in the campus library with similar scholarly works. The thesis is written under the direction of the committee chair, but the student is encouraged to seek guidance from all members of his or her Graduate Committee. Alternatively, some programs, with approval of the student’s Graduate Committee, to elect to write a paper for publication in lieu of a traditional thesis. The paper should be of acceptable quality for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and will be formatted in accordance with the chosen journal’s requirements for submission. The Graduate Committee will ensure that the student documents and archives the research results in accordance with accepted research practices. A formal defense of the paper for publication is required. The publishable paper, after the inclusion of all revisions recommended by the Committee and approval by a majority of the Committee, must be submitted to the selected journal.

The following programs offer a non-thesis course-only option (a.k.a. ‘Option B’). Option B allows the student to complete the master’s program without completing a research thesis. For students with an advanced degree or terminal degree, a thesis program may unnecessarily repeat a process that the student has already mastered. Under this option, course work is substituted for the thesis requirement. At least 34 credits of course work and 2 credits of additional graduate seminar (additional to course work) must be completed. See individual Department Requirements. Some programs require a 3-credit master’s project, others require a comprehensive examination, while others require both. The non-thesis master’s project credits count as course credits and receive a letter grade.Interdisciplinary Studies, Ph.D.

Option B students replace thesis credits with additional coursework and/or an extended project. Please check with your specific program for Option B requirements that are in lieu of a thesis. Non-thesis (Option B) M.S. degrees include:

The Masters of Engineering (M.Eng.) degree is a 31-credit coursework-only master’s degree for those with a B.S. degrees in engineering, including practicing professionals and recent graduates. It provides an avenue for professional advancement and licensure. It also provides a curriculum path for high-achieving undergraduate engineering students seeking a Master’s degree, but who aren’t interested in research careers. The student will take advanced courses within the option in addition to 6 credits selected from a core. All options require a one-credit exit exam.

Students are required to select a discipline option from the following:

  • Civil
  • Electrical
  • Environmental
  • Geological
  • Geophysical
  • Geotechnical
  • Hydrogeological
  • Mechanical
  • Metallurgical/Minerals
  • Materials
  • Mining
  • Petroleum

The following non-thesis MS degrees are structured for on-line or hybrid participation to enable enrollment by adult or distance learners. The coursework is designed to encourage participative, collaborative, and applied problem-solving strategies to address modern day issues.

View a summary of our graduate programs here.

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