M.S. Program

Two approaches are offered for individuals seeking to obtain a Master of Science (MS) degree: Plan A and Plan B. Plan A emphasizes research, and is usually pursued by full-time graduate students. Plan B emphasizes coursework and is usually pursued on a part-time basis by students who work full-time elsewhere.

The specific requirements for each Plan are outlined below. All other general rules and regulations for the Master’s degree, as established by the Graduate School in the latest Graduate Catalog, shall also apply.

Plan A: The Thesis Option

The three main requirements of this plan are as follows:

  1. The student must successfully complete 5 graduate courses (15 credits), maintaining a GPA of 3.0 (out of 4.0) or above. At least 4 of these courses must be MSE courses. The student must also complete at least 9 credits of Master’s Thesis Research (GRAD 5950). Students are required to enroll in MSE 6401 and to attend all seminars to earn MSE 6401 course credit.
  2. The student must file a Plan of Study with the Graduate School. This plan must be approved by the student’s Advisory Committee and the Executive Committee of the Graduate Faculty Council. The student must prepare and orally defend a research thesis.
  3. Each student shall select his/her own Advisory Committee. This committee must consist of 1 Principal Advisor and 2 Associate Advisors. The Principal Advisor and at least one of the Associate Advisors must be members of the graduate faculty in the Materials Science and Engineering field of study. The remaining Associate Advisor must be approved by the Principal Advisor, based on suitable qualifications to reasonably advise and assess the student’s work.

Requirement (1) may be modified if the student has passed equivalent courses in a different department at the University of Connecticut, or at a different university in a similar graduate program. Such decisions shall be made on a case-by-case basis by the student’s Advisory Committee.

The majority of the student’s research project must be performed on campus under the supervision of the Principal Advisor. Portions of the research may be performed at outside facilities as deemed necessary. A written thesis based on this research must be submitted to the student’s Advisory Committee at least two weeks before the defense date. The thesis defense shall be open to the public. Following the public presentation, the student shall be further examined by the Advisory Committee and any other faculty members present. The Advisory Committee shall then meet privately and make their decision to approve or disapprove the thesis. Approval must be unanimous. The thesis research must be publishable in a refereed journal in the field, although publication is not required for graduation.

Plan B: The Non-Thesis Option

The three main requirements of this plan are as follows:

  1. The student must successfully complete at least 8 graduate courses (24 credits), maintaining a GPA of 3.0 (out of 4.0) or above. At least 6 of these courses (18 credits) must be MSE courses. Full-time MS Plan B students are required to enroll in MSE 6401 and to attend all seminars to earn MSE 6401 course credit.
  2. The student must file a Plan of Study with the Graduate School. This plan must be approved by the students Advisory Committee and the Executive Committee of the Graduate Faculty Council.
  3. The student must conduct a research project and pass an oral Comprehensive Examination based on this project. Each student shall select his/her own Advisory Committee. This committee must consist of 1 Principal Advisor and 2 Associate Advisors. The Principal Advisor must be a member of the graduate faculty in the Materials Science and Engineering field of study. The Associate Advisors must be approved by the Principal Advisor, based on suitable qualifications to reasonably advise and assess the student’s work.

Requirement (1) may be modified if the student has passed equivalent courses in a different department at the University of Connecticut, or at a different university in a similar graduate program. Such decisions shall be dealt with on a case-by-case basis by the student’s Advisory Committee.

The required research project shall be an industrial or a laboratory project conducted in close collaboration with the Principal Advisor. The student must make a 15-20 minute oral presentation of the research results to the Advisory Committee, after which the Committee shall conduct the Comprehensive Examination. The presentation shall not be open to the public. The research need not be publishable in a refereed journal. The Comprehensive Examination shall be a one-hour oral examination conducted by the student’s Advisory Committee. This examination shall focus primarily on the student’s research project, but it may also include questions pertaining to the student’s course work. The student must pass this examination by unanimous approval of the Advisory Committee.