M.S. Departmental Report Option

The Master of Science degree may be completed without the preparation of a formal research thesis. Instead, a student may be permitted to enroll in a no-thesis program which involves additional course work (27 hours of organized course work versus 24 hours for a thesis program) and the preparation of an appropriate engineering project. Most graduate students, especially students holding University Fellowships, traineeships or research assistantships, are encouraged to complete a thesis.

For the master’s degree under the departmental report option (officially No Thesis/No Report), your program must include at least twenty-seven hours of graduate coursework. At most three hours of upper division undergraduate coursework may be counted toward the degree in either the major or the supporting work.  Some areas may require registration in a seminar, even if it cannot be counted toward the Graduate School degree requirements.

During the first semester of your MS program you should select a supervising professor. By the end of the first semester you and your supervising professor should develop a program of work and select a topic for your report.

Three semester hours of credit will be received for an engineering report which the student must prepare and have approved by a supervisory committee. The committee consists of the supervising professor and at least one additional member of the graduate faculty of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering. The report must show evidence of good technical writing and demonstrate communication skills. The report should be completed while the student is registered for 398D (Departmental Report) for which credit/no credit is assigned. Civil Engineering and Environmental and Water Resources Engineering majors (code 621700 and 640100 respectively) register for CE 398D; Architectural Engineering majors (code 607700) register for ARE 398D. Once a student registers for 398D, registration must be repeated until graduation. You must be registered for 398D during the semester that you receive your degree. In addition, the student must submit to the Graduate Advisor a Clearance Letter signed by the committee members certifying satisfactory completion of the report on or before the last class day of the semester the student intends to graduate.

Early in the semester you plan to graduate you should read about graduation guidelines and deadlines on the Graduate School website. Included in this material is a list of deadlines you must meet during the semester in order to graduate. The following steps constitute the usual procedure for preparing to graduate:

  1. Register for CE or ARE 398D in your final semester.
  2. Submit a hard copy of your MS Program of Work (POW) form (available on the CAEE website or from the graduate coordinator) to the graduate coordinator prior to filling out the Master’s Graduation Application Form online.The actual time frame for submission is set by the Graduate School. After you have submitted your online graduation application, your electronic POW will automatically be sent to your Graduate Coordinator and Advisor for approval. Your electronic POW will then be submitted to the Graduate School to be made a part of your permanent record. Students will be required to have a GPA of at least 3.0 for courses included on the POW.
  3. Because the departmental report is not submitted to the Graduate School, a Clearance Letter signed by the supervising professor, the second reader, and the Graduate Advisor must be turned in to the Graduate Coordinator by the last class day. Certification of graduation is withheld until a Clearance Letter is on file. This form is available in the Graduate Coordinator's office and on the CAEE website.

If, after filing for graduation, you find that you will not complete the degree requirements that semester, you should notify the Graduate School and the Graduate Coordinator. A new Master’s Graduation Application Form must be submitted at the beginning of the next semester you hope to graduate.

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