M.S. Thesis Requirements

M.S. with Thesis Requirements

Courses used to satisfy degree requirements must be approved as part of the student’s Plan of Study (see Plan of Study description below).

Course Requirements. 

·       18 units of regularly scheduled (A, B, C) graduate courses, including MSE 510-

         Thermodynamics, MSE 572 – Kinetics.  A minimum of 9 units of the 18 required units  must be 500 level MSE courses

·       4 units of miscellaneous graduate courses (research, independent study or regularly scheduled graduate-level courses).  Only 1 unit of seminar (MSE 595a) will count    towards the total misc. coursework requirement.  However, the student must be enrolled in seminar each semester*.

·       8 units of thesis.

                  30 Units Total plus the thesis defense (see below).

Students may transfer up to six units of course work completed at other institutions accredited for graduate work.  Correspondence courses will not be accepted for graduate credit.  Compatibility of course credits for application within the MSE Master of Science curriculum will be determined by the Department (see Plan of Study requirements below).

Every graduate student is required to enroll in the Colloquium, MSE 595a, during Fall and Spring semesters. In addition, each student at the M.S. level is required to make one colloquium presentation during the pursuit of his/her degree.

Final Examination/Thesis Defense.  All students accepted as candidates for a Master’s degree with thesis option are required to pass an oral examination before a faculty of three committee members.  The examination shall consist of questions of a fundamental nature, designed to probe the depth of understanding and knowledge in the student’s thesis area.  Students are advised to concentrate their study upon fundamentals and general principles. It is the student’s responsibility to request this examination when all course work has been essentially completed, and a grade point average of 3.00 has been attained for all courses taken for graduate credit, and the completed thesis has been accepted and approved by the thesis advisor. Typed copies of the thesis must be provided to members of the examining committee. The time and place of the examination will be chosen in conjunction with the advisor.

The Master’s Thesis.  Research projects are typically defined by the source of sponsored research support (e.g. federal, state, and local agency grants, contracts with industrial partners and national laboratories).  The student is urged to discuss potential research topics with several faculty members in order to identify project opportunities that are of interest and for which the Department/faculty member has the necessary equipment, supplies, and resources. When a thesis topic has been selected, the student, in conjunction with the faculty advisor sponsoring the research, shall select a faculty committee to oversee the research, and to advise the student during the research period.

 It should be kept in mind that an M.S. thesis, while not necessarily of the same length and depth as a Ph.D. dissertation, should be publishable in the technical literature and represent some extension of knowledge in the field.

 The student is responsible for the preparation and copying of the thesis. One copy of the final, approved thesis must be provided to the major advisor and one copy to the Department.

 Time Limitation for Master of Science Degree.  All requirements for the master's degree must be completed within 6 years to ensure currency of knowledge. Time-to-degree begins with the earliest course listed on the Plan of Study, including credits transferred from other institutions. Work more than 6 years old is not accepted toward degree requirements.

Students who take a break in their studies or whose time to degree exceeds 6 years should check with Elsa Morales in Mines Bldg. Rm. 131 to determine their options.

Master’s Plan of Study

Each student is responsible for developing a Plan of Study as early as possible during the first few months in residence, to be submitted to the Graduate College no later than the second semester in residence.

All deficiencies must be satisfied before the Plan of Study is approved.

The Plan of Study identifies: (1) courses the student intends to transfer from other institutions; (2) courses already completed at The University of Arizona which the student intends to apply toward the graduate degree; and (3) additional course work to be completed to fulfill degree requirements. The Plan of Study must have the approval of the student's major professor and department head (or chair of the Graduate Committee) before it is submitted to the Graduate College.

Completion of Master's Requirements

This form is submitted by the department once student has completed all degree requirements.   The department's Graduate Coordinator (Elsa Morales) will submit the Master's/Specialist Completion Confirmation form in GradPath on behalf of the student. The submission of the Completion Confirmation form starts the final audit of the student's program and ultimately leads to the award of the student's degree.

For more information on policies, degree requirements including deadlines and forms, please go to the following website:


*students who are unable to register for seminar in a given semester (s) may request enrollment exemptions.  


University of Arizona College of Engineering