Academic Programs Catalog

College of Engineering

Graduate Study

The College of Engineering offers programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in the following fields:

    biomedical engineering    
    chemical engineering
    civil engineering
    computational mathematics, science and engineering
    computer science
    electrical engineering
    engineering mechanics
    environmental engineering
    materials science and engineering
    mechanical engineering

Programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in biosystems engineering are offered through the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

All programs are designed to provide a fundamental approach to basic engineering principles with emphasis on scientific methods, and to lead to careers in engineering research and development or teaching. Advanced work in the major field of specialization is combined with supporting courses in one or more other fields to develop individuals capable of creative work in engineering science and areas of application.

Students who are enrolled in Master of Science degree programs in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering may elect a Specialization in Food Safety.  For additional information, refer to the statement on the specialization in the College of Veterinary Medicine section of this catalog.


Master of Science

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university as described in the Graduate Education section of this catalog, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Regular Status. Admission to a master's degree program with regular status may be granted by the department, subject to the availability of resources and to the approval of the dean, upon consideration of the likelihood that the applicant will be able to pursue a master's program successfully without taking collateral courses. As evidence of eligibility for admission, the student may offer any of the following:

  1. The possession of a bachelor's degree in an accredited program in engineering with a grade–point average not lower than 3.00 for the final two years of the undergraduate program, or with standing in the upper quarter of the graduating class in the student's major.
  2. The possession of a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field where the applicant has shown very high academic achievement, as certified by the department.
  3. Evidence of ability and resolution to complete a master's program, as attested by the department upon review of the applicant's academic record, test scores, experience, reference statements, professional qualifications, proposed studies, and other relevant information.

Provisional Status. Admission to a master's degree program with provisional status may be granted by the department, subject to the approval of the dean:

  1. To an applicant qualified for regular admission except that collateral courses are deemed necessary, or
  2. To an applicant whose record is incomplete.

If collateral courses are required, the minimum acceptable grades and the semesters by which those courses must be completed will be specified on the admission form. The provisional status will be changed to regular status when the conditions specified on the admission form have been met, as certified by the department and approved by the dean.

Program Filing

The student's program of study must be approved before the student completes 6 credits of graduate work in order for the student to continue to enroll in the  master's degree program.

For any independent study or selected topics course that is included in the student's approved program of study, the subject material and the instructor must be specified.

Modification of Program

With reference to the student's approved program of study, none of the following types of changes will be approved:

  1. Adding or deleting a course for which a grade has already been assigned under any of the three grading systems (numerical, Pass–No Grade, or Credit–No Credit).
  2. Adding or deleting a course for which grading was postponed by the use of the DF–Deferred marker.
  3. Adding or deleting a course which the student dropped after the middle of the semester and for which “W” or “N” or “0.0" was designated.
  4. Adding or deleting a course during the final semester of enrollment in the master's degree program.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree

The student must:

  1. Complete a minimum of 30 credits in 400–, 800–, and 900–level courses  under either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (without thesis).  Courses below the 400 level may not be counted toward the requirements for the degree.
    1. Requirements for Plan A:  The student must:
      1. Complete a minimum of 20 credits in courses at the 800–900 level.  
      2. Complete at least 4, but not more than 8, credits in Master's Thesis Research (course number 899 in the department of the student's major).
      3. Provide to the major professor and to the department a hard–bound copy of the thesis made from the original unbound manuscript submitted to the Office of The Graduate School.  Arrangements for delivery of the copies shall be made when the original manuscript is submitted to the Office of The Graduate School. 
    2. Requirements for Plan B:  The student must:
      1. Complete a minimum of 18 credits in courses at the 800–900 level. 
  2. Pass the final certifying examination administered by the student's department.  It is the student's responsibility to obtain detailed information about this examination from the department.

Academic Standards

  1. Grades.  The student must earn a grade of 2.0 or higher in each course in the approved program of study.  The student must repeat any course for which the grade earned was below 2.0.
  2. Cumulative Grade–Point Average.  The student must maintain a cumulative grade–point average of at least 3.00 in the courses in the approved program of study.
  3. Probational Status.  A student is placed on probational status if the student's cumulative grade–point average for the courses in the approved program of study is below 3.00.  A student in probational status is not  allowed to carry more than 7 credits per semester or to enroll in any course the primary focus of which is independent study.
  4. Retention In and Dismissal From the Program.
    1. Cumulative Grade–Point Average.  Should a student's cumulative grade–point average fall below 3.00 after having completed 16 or more credits in courses in the approved program of study, the student may be enrolled in probational status in the master's degree program for one additional semester.  If at the end of the additional semester the student's cumulative grade–point average is 3.00 or higher, the student may continue to enroll in the master's degree program.  If at the end of the additional semester the student's cumulative grade–point average is still below 3.00, the student will be dismissed from the program.
    2. Academic Progress and Professional Potential.  Each student's academic progress and professional potential are evaluated by March 15 of each year.  A student who in the judgment of the faculty is making satisfactory academic progress and has professional potential may continue to enroll in the master's degree program.  A student who in the judgment of the faculty is not making satisfactory academic progress or lacks professional potential will be dismissed from the program.

Transfer Credits

As a member of the Michigan Coalition for Engineering Education (MCEE), Michigan State University will accept up to one less than half of the course credits required for the Master of Science degree program in the College of Engineering in transfer from other MCEE member institutions provided that (1) the student earned a grade of at least 3.0, or the equivalent, in the related courses; (2) the credits were not earned in research or thesis courses; and (3) the total number of credits accepted in transfer from MCEE member institutions and from other institutions does not exceed one less than half of the credits required.

 


Doctor of Philosophy

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university as described in the Graduate Education section of this catalog, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Regular Status. Admission to a doctoral degree program with regular status may be granted by the department, subject to the availability of resources and to the approval of the dean, upon consideration of the likelihood that the applicant will be able to pursue a doctoral program successfully without taking collateral courses. As evidence of eligibility for admission, the student may offer any of the following:

  1. The possession of a master's degree in engineering or a related field.
  2. The completion of the equivalent of a master's degree program in the major field.
  3. Evidence of ability and resolution to complete a doctoral program, as attested by the department upon review of the applicant's academic record, test scores, experience, reference statements, professional qualifications, proposed studies, and other relevant information.

    Admission to the doctoral program without a master's degree, or the equivalent thereof, will require special consideration by the department and the dean.

    Provisional Status. Admission to a doctoral degree program with provisional status may be granted by the department, subject to the approval of the dean:
    1. To an applicant qualified for regular admission except that collateral courses are deemed necessary, or
    2. To an applicant whose record is incomplete.

      If collateral courses are required, the minimum acceptable grades and the semesters by which those courses must be completed will be specified on the admission form. The provisional status will be changed to regular status when the conditions specified on the admission form have been met, as determined by the department and approved by the dean.

Guidance Committee

The student's guidance committee is appointed by the department chairperson in consultation with the student and the appropriate faculty members, and with the approval of the dean.  At least two members of the guidance committee shall be from the major department and at least one member shall be from a department outside of the major department.  The chairperson of the guidance committee will be appointed by the department chairperson after consultation with the student and the person recommended to chair the committee.

Guidance Committee Report

The student's program of study shall be submitted for approval to the department and to the Dean by no later than the end of the student's second semester of enrollment in the doctoral program.  For any independent study or selected topics course that is included in the student's program of study, the subject material and the instructor must be specified.
The student's program of study must be approved in order for the student to continue to enroll in the doctoral degree program beyond the second semester.  

Modification of Program

With reference to the student's approved guidance committee report, none of the following types of changes will be approved:

  1. Adding or deleting a course for which a grade has already been assigned under any of the three grading systems (numerical, Pass–No Grade, or Credit–No Credit).
  2. Adding or deleting a course for which grading was postponed by the use of the DF–Deferred marker.
  3. Adding or deleting a course which the student dropped after the middle of the semester and for which “W” or “N” or “0.0" was designated.
  4. Adding or deleting a course during the final semester of enrollment in the doctoral degree program.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The student must:

  1. Pass the qualifying examination administered by the student's department.  It is the student's responsibility to obtain detailed information about this examination from the department.
  2. Pass the doctoral comprehensive examination at least six months prior to the final oral examination in defense of the dissertation.  The examination may be retaken no more than twice.  It is the student's responsibility to obtain detailed information about this examination from the department. 
  3. Provide to the major professor and to the department a hard–bound copy of the dissertation made from the original unbound manuscript submitted to the Office of the Graduate School.  Arrangements for delivery of the copies shall be made when the original manuscript is submitted to the Office of The Graduate School.

Academic Standards

  1. Grades.  The student must earn a grade of 2.0 or higher in each course in the approved guidance committee report, including collateral courses and courses accepted in transfer.  The student must repeat any course for which the grade earned was below 2.0.
  2. Cumulative Grade–Point Average.  The student must maintain a cumulative grade–point average of at least 3.00 in courses in the approved guidance committee report, with the exception of collateral courses and courses accepted in transfer.
  3. Deferred Grades.  A student may accumulate no more than 3 deferred grades (identified by the DF–Deferred marker) in courses other than those courses the primary focus of which is independent study.
  4. Probational Status.  A student is placed on probational status if either or both of the following conditions apply:
    1. The student's cumulative grade–point average for the courses in the approved guidance committee report is below 3.00.
    2. The student has accumulated more than three deferred grades (identified by the DF–Deferred marker) in courses other than those courses the primary focus of which is independent study.

      A student in probational status is not allowed to carry more than 7 credits per semester or to enroll in any course the primary focus of which is independent study.
  5. Retention In and Dismissal From the Program.
    1. Cumulative Grade–point Average.  Should a student's cumulative grade–point average fall below 3.00 after having completed half of the courses in the approved guidance committee report, the student may be enrolled in probational status in the doctoral degree program for one additional semester.  If at the end of the additional semester the student's cumulative grade–point average is 3.00 or higher, the student may continue to enroll in the doctoral degree program.  If at the end of the additional semester the student's cumulative grade–point average is still below 3.00, the student will be dismissed from the program.
    2. Deferred Grades.  Should a student accumulate more than 3 deferred grades (identified by the DF–Deferred marker) in courses other than those courses the primary focus of which is independent study, the student may be enrolled on probational status in the doctoral degree program for one additional semester.  If at the end of the additional semester the student has no more than 3 deferred grades, the student may continue to enroll in the doctoral degree program.  If at the end of the additional semester the student still has more than 3 deferred grades, the student will be dismissed from the program.
    3. Academic Progress and Professional Potential.  Each student's academic progress and professional potential are evaluated by March 15 of each year.  A student who in the judgment of the faculty is making satisfactory academic progress and has professional potential may continue to enroll in the doctoral degree program.  A student who in the judgment of the faculty is not making satisfactory academic progress or lacks professional potential will be dismissed from the program.