M.S. Thesis Option – Handbook

 

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Basic Requirements for the M.S. Degree

This schedule summarizes the requirements and due dates for the M.S. degree. Students who have not completed requirements or submitted required forms to the Graduate Secretary by the due dates may be dropped from the program. All students who are on visas must be registered for at least nine credit hours of coursework in every semester (excluding summer), including their final semester, unless they receive permission from the Department Graduate Committee prior to the beginning of the semester.

 

Requirement Process Due Date
Supervisory Committee 3 members The chair of the committee must be a regular ECE faculty memberFaculty outside of the ECE Department may supervise a student as long as a regular ECE faculty member serves as co-chair Submit a Request for Supervisory Committee form to the ECE Office Full time: drop deadline of second semester of study Part time*: drop deadline of third semester of study
Candidacy (Program of Study) 30 semester hours of coursework beyond B.S. degree in ECE + 2 hours of graduate seminar At least 18 hours of ECE coursework must be at the 6000- or 7000-level classes Submit a form Application for Admission to Candidacy for the Master’s Degree to the ECE Office Full time: drop deadline of second semester of study Part time*: drop deadline of third semester of study
Amendment to Program of Study Submit an Amendment to Planned Program of Study form to the ECE Office for approval prior to registering for added courses Changes must be made before an added class is taken; classes cannot be dropped after they have been completed
SPEAK Test Yes Contact Testing Center to make arrangements; requires request form from Graduate Secretary Drop deadline of second semester of study
Proficiency Requirement Yes Must satisfy the ECE proficiency requirement Submit a form Fulfillment of Proficiency Requirements to the ECE Office Full time: drop deadline of third semester of study Part time*: drop deadline of fourth semester of study
Residency Requirement At least 24 hours must be in resident study.
Research Comprehensive Exam(Thesis Proposal) Yes Pass a Research Comprehensive Exam administered by the supervisory committee (including defense of a written formal thesis proposal) Notify the Graduate Coordinator in the ECE Office at least one week prior to the date of the exam No later than third semester of study (may not be taken in the same semester as the thesis defense)
Thesis Yes 10 hours of the required18 hours of coursework is in thesis research
Thesis Final Exam Yes Notify the Graduate Coordinator in the ECE Office at least one week prior to the date of the exam Defend the thesis at the end of coursework requirements

*Please note that international students must be full-time students.

 

M.S. Program Requirements

  1. All coursework is to be completed within four consecutive calendar years.
  2. Coursework listed on the program of study must total a minimum of 32 hours of graduate coursework at the 5000 level or above, in engineering and allied fields.
  3. The 32 required hours must include the following:
    a. A minimum of 18 hours of ECE courses must be at the 6000 or 7000 level;
    b. 2 hours of Graduate Seminar (ECE 6900 and 6910);
    c. 10 hours of thesis research (ECE 6970).
  4. 10 credit hours of Thesis (ECE 6970) and will count towards the 18 credit hours of required ECE coursework.
  5. Independent/Special Studies (ECE 6950) is not permitted.
  6. A statement defending the program of study and outlining the student’s goals must be provided at the time the program of study is submitted.

All students who are on visas must be registered for at least nine credit hours of coursework in every semester (excluding summer) unless they receive permission from the Department Graduate Committee prior to the beginning of the semester.

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Coursework Guideline Criteria

  1. A minimum GPA of 3.0 on coursework listed on the program of study with no grade lower than C- is required for graduation. A student who receives a grade lower than C- in a course listed on the program of study must repeat that same course and receive a higher grade. Courses cannot be deleted from the program of study after they are taken.
  2. Special studies (ECE 6950) or faculty consultation (ECE 6980) are not permitted.
  3. Coursework cannot be used for more than one degree on the same level.
  4. A course taken for 5000-level credit cannot be taken again for 6000-level credit.
  5. Cross-listed courses must be registered through the ECE course numbers.
  6. Where a course has both a 5000- and 6000-level number, the 5000-level version is intended for undergraduates and the 6000-level version for honors and graduate students. The two versions of the class will meet together, but extra work will be expected of honors and graduate students.
  7. Upper-division courses (5000 level or above) in other departments may be taken as long as the ECE degree course requirements (18 credit hours at 6000 or 7000 level) have been met, with written approval of the supervisory committee.
  8. Students may only register for thesis research after they have set up a supervisory committee.
  9. Courses from other departments may not be substituted for the required ECE 6000-level courses (18 credit hours).
  10. Students who receive an ‘Incomplete’ grade in a class must complete the class by the following semester, even if the semester is the summer semester.

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Supervisory Committee

The M.S. supervisory committee consists of three faculty members. At least two of the three members must be regular ECE faculty. Each student forms a supervisory committee whose members guide the student’s graduate program. Students must form this committee by the beginning of the second semester of study.

Any regular Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty member may serve as a supervisory committee chair. After the faculty members have agreed to serve on a supervisory committee, the student should file a completed Request for Supervisory Committee form with the Graduate Secretary in the ECE Office. A committee may be revised, if necessary, by submitting a Request to Change Supervisory Committee Personnel form. The Graduate Committee approves all supervisory committee forms; final approval is granted by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Faculty outside of the ECE Department may supervise a student, but the student must have a regular ECE faculty member serve as co-chair. Individuals who are not faculty members may serve on a supervisory committee if approved by the supervisory committee chair and the Graduate Committee. A current vita for any non-university member must be submitted with the Supervisory Committee form.

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Application for Admission to Candidacy (Program of Study)

After consulting with the approved supervisory committee chair, the student must plan a program of study and complete and submit the Application for Admission to Candidacy for the Master’s Degree form.

Approval signatures of the supervisory committee members are to be obtained by the student. Completed and signed forms must be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator in the ECE Office by the drop deadline of the second semester of study. After approval of the Department Graduate Committee, the program of study is submitted to the Graduate School for their approval.

The program of study must be filed prior to taking the Comprehensive Exam (thesis proposal).

 

Amendment to Planned Program of Study

Modifications to the program of study may be made by filing an Amendment to Planned Program of Study form with the supervisory committee and obtaining required approval before enrollment in any added courses. Completed courses cannot be deleted from the program of study. Credit towards obtaining a degree will not be granted for classes taken prior to approval of the form, unless the student is changing degree status.

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Examinations

Students must be registered for at least three credit hours in the semester in which they take an exam. The Research Comprehensive Exam and Final Oral Exam (oral thesis defense) may not be done during the same semester.

RESEARCH COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION (Thesis Proposal)

M.S. candidates must take a Research Comprehensive Examination (thesis proposal) to be administered by their supervisory committee at a time determined by that committee, but no later than the third semester of study.

The candidate writes a proposal on their research in the NSF or NIH format which would include only the technical proposal and the vita sections. The page limit for the proposal should be 10 pages for M.S. students.

The choice of which format to use would be based on the area of research. The faculty advisor would help the student choose. The following are the links to the NSF and NIH websites for their format information.

NSF Grant Proposal Guide

NIH Grants

This proposal should be submitted to the members of the candidate’s supervisory committee at least two weeks before the comprehensive exam.

Students must notify the ECE Graduate Coordinator at least one week before they are going to take the Research Comprehensive Examination. The Graduate Coordinator will inform the Graduate School after the exam has been taken.

THESIS DEFENSE

The Final Oral Examination (oral thesis defense) is conducted by the supervisory committee according to Graduate School regulations. A student will be passed only if the committee is satisfied that the thesis research and documentation are unquestionably of the quality that will bring distinction to the candidate and the department. The committee may request further work of the candidate before a final decision is made.

All students must understand that they are responsible for ensuring that the submitted thesis meets the requirements of the Graduate School for proper format. Ample help is available from the Graduate School Thesis and Dissertation Editor in the form of a Style and Format Guide as well as seminars. Theses with improper format will be rejected.

The student must provide the ECE Graduate Coordinator with the following information at least one week before the date of the thesis defense: the defense date and time, room, and a copy of the abstract and title of the thesis. A ‘Report of the Final Oral Examination and Thesis for the Master’s Degree’ form will be completed by the ECE Graduate Coordinator for approval signatures during the defense, and the Graduate Coordinator will submit the form to the Graduate School.

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THESIS REQUIREMENTS

The supervisory committee must give preliminary approval of the thesis prior to the defense. The defense can be scheduled after this approval. The student must provide one copy of the thesis to the chair of the supervisory committee at least three weeks before the defense, and one copy to each of the other committee members at least two weeks prior to the defense.

After successfully defending the thesis, the student must obtain approval by having their committee members sign the Supervisory Committee Approval and Final Reading Approval forms. The student should prepare at least three copies of each form on thesis paper. The forms are submitted to the Graduate Coordinator for the Department Chair’s signature. The student must then submit the forms to the Thesis Editor with a draft of the final thesis. The due date of the final thesis to the Thesis Editor may be found at http://www.gradschool.utah.edu/students/masters_calendar.php.

Detailed policies and procedures concerning the thesis are contained in A Handbook for Theses and Dissertations published by the Graduate School.

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M.S. Forms

http://www.ece.utah.edu/forms

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