MS Degree Options

All MS degree candidates must pass a final examination before the degree is awarded.  This requirement may be met by one of the following options:

a.  Thesis Option

This option requires 24 units of regular course work, followed by 6 units of thesis research (SIE 910).  The thesis option is designed for students who wish to work with a faculty member on a specific research topic.  Thesis work is an excellent complement to course work and constitutes a valuable opportunity to develop an appreciation for research.  Only outstanding students are permitted to select the thesis option.

The thesis is prepared under the guidance of the major professor and is reviewed by members of the examining committee prior to the oral presentation.  The examining committee consists of the major professor and at least two other members of the faculty selected on the basis of the student's course work and field of interest.  Other members of the department may also examine the thesis if they wish to do so. 

A final, hard-bound copy of each thesis must be provided to the Student Academic Specialist for placement in the departmental library.

b.  Report Option 

This option requires 27 units of regular course work, followed by 3 units of project work (SIE 909) leading to a written report.  The project report option is designed for students who wish to work on an applied research project.  The topic should have practical significance and require application of graduate-level course material.  The report typically involves the application of new methodologies to an actual industrial problem.  If the faculty advisor agrees and the project is suitable, up to three students may work together on the same project and produce a joint report. 

The final examination for this option is the same as that required for the thesis option. The report is prepared under the guidance of the major professor and is reviewed by members of the examining committee prior to the oral presentation. The examining committee consists of the major professor and at least two other members of the faculty selected on the basis of the student's course work and field of interest.

c.  Course Work Option

 This option requires 33 units of course work approved by the Graduate Studies Committee.  At least 3 of these units must be taken at the 600-level in the SIE Department with a grade of A or B.  The Graduate Studies Committee's evaluation of the student's performance in this 600-level course constitutes the final examination for the MS degree.

d.  Examination Option 

This option requires 30 units of course work, approved by the Graduate Studies Committee.  The student must also pass the Doctoral Qualifying Exam.


University of Arizona College of Engineering