Master of Science

The master’s degree demonstrates advanced ability, usually in both course work and research. The master's student must comply with the degree requirements on this page, and submit any necessary forms for their degree option to document their progress with the Graduate School. Individual programs may have higher standards. Students are expected to know their program’s requirements.

Master’s Path Program—See additional details about program requirements.

Residency Requirements

  • A minimum of two-thirds of the required non-research course work credits required for the degree must be taken through Michigan Tech.  PhD students must take at least 20 credits beyond the masters or 50 credits beyond the bachelors through Michigan Tech.
  • Research credits used to satisfy degree requirements must be taken through Michigan Tech and must be supervised by a member of Michigan Tech's graduate faculty.

Courses which meet the "through Michigan Tech" requirement are defined as courses listed in the Michigan Tech course catalog and taught by Michigan Tech faculty.

Credit Requirements

Minimum requirements

Programs may have stricter requirements than listed here and may require more than the minimum numbers of credits listed here.

  • Thirty credits beyond the bachelor’s degree are required for a master’s degree.
  • Thirty credits beyond the master’s degree are required for a PhD.
  • Maximum of 12 credits may be at the 3000 or 4000 level (with program approval).
  • One-third of the non-research credits may be transfer credits as long as they were not applied toward another degree.
  • Research credits are the only non-graded classes that may be counted toward a degree.

Unallowable credits

  • Courses numbered below 3000
  • Audited courses
  • Continuous enrollment courses (ex: UN5951, UN5953)
  • Non-research courses taken for a pass/fail courses
  • Credits applied toward another degree (see exceptions below)

Special Exceptions

  • Peace Corps Master’s International students may use 2 credits of language courses below the 3000 level.
  • A portion of the non-research/non-practicum credits earned at Michigan Tech may be reused to earn an additional master's degree in accordance with Graduate School policy
  • Students in an accelerated master’s program may apply up to 6 of the credits earned while an undergraduate toward both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accordance with University policy. Each program may set limits on the type and number of credits.

Academic Progress

Students must be in good standing to earn a graduate degree.

Time Limits

All work for the master’s degree must be completed within five calendar years of the first enrollment in the degree program or earliest course listed on the degree schedule, whichever is earliest. All work for the PhD must be completed within eight calendar years of the first enrollment in the degree program or earliest course listed on the degree schedule, whichever is earliest. Requests for extension must be made by the advisor to the Graduate School.

Responsible Conduct for Research Training

The University requires that students complete basic and advanced responsible conduct for research training. Basic training is required for all students.  Advanced training is required for all students who began their degree in spring 2013 OR who are funded by external sponsor. See our web page for details on how to complete the training.

Advisor

Faculty who advise graduate students must be members of the Michigan Tech graduate faculty. These individuals advise students on course selection and supervise the students’ research. All graduate students must have an advisor.

Each student’s advisor must hold a regular or adjunct appointment in the student's administrative home department or school. Students may be co-advised by two faculty members. At least one of the co-advisors must hold a regular or adjunct appointment in the student’s administrative home department or school.

  • While one co-advisor may be from outside the student's administrative home department or school, it is recommended (but not required) that this co-advisor not also serve as the external member of the student's committee.
  • Before recommending a sole advisor who holds an adjunct appointment in the student's administrative home department or school, the appropriate graduate program director should ensure that this person is sufficiently familiar with the department/school standards for research and with applicable university policies/procedures and that this person can maintain adequate contact with the student.

Students who enter the University may initially be advised by the graduate program director for their degree program.

A permanent advisor should be chosen prior to the end of the second academic-year semester in residence.

Options

Each student must submit any necessary forms for their degree option to document their progress with the Graduate School. Individual option requirements are as follows.

Thesis Option

This option requires a research thesis prepared under the supervision of the advisor.  The thesis describes a research investigation and its results. The scope of the research topic for the thesis should be defined in such a way that a full-time student could complete the requirements for a master’s degree in twelve months or three semesters following the completion of course work by regularly scheduling graduate research credits. The thesis must be prepared following the current procedures.  

At least two weeks prior to the oral examination, students must

The Degree schedule form (M4) must be approved before a defense is scheduled.

Students must also report the results of the oral examination and submit a final thesis to the Graduate School prior to completing their degrees.

The minimum requirements are as follows:

Course work (minimum)20 credits
Thesis research6–10 credits
Total (minimum)30 credits
Distribution of course work credit 
5000–6000 series (minimum)12 credits
3000–4000 level (maximum)12 credits

Report Option

This option requires a report describing the results of an independent study project. The scope of the research topic should be defined in such a way that a full-time student could complete the requirements for a master’s degree in twelve months or three semesters following the completion of course work by regularly scheduling graduate research credits. The report must be prepared following the current procedures.

At least two weeks prior to the oral examination, students must

  • Schedule their examination using the Pre-defense form
  • Distribute the report to the examining committee

The Degree schedule form (M4) must be approved before a defense is scheduled.

Students must also report the results of the oral examination and submit a single paper copy of the corrected and approved report in a sturdy binder including an original signature page to the Graduate School.

Of the minimum total of 30 credits, at least 24 must be earned in course work other than the project.

Course work24 credits
Report2–6 credits
Total (minimum)30 credits
Distribution of course work credit 
5000–6000 series (minimum)12 credits
3000–4000 level (maximum)12 credits

Coursework Option

This option requires a minimum of 30 credits be earned through coursework. Research credits may be used on a case-by-case basis following the approval of the graduate program director. 

A graduate program may require an oral or written examination before conferring the degree.

Distribution of coursework credit 
5000–6000 series (minimum)18 credits
3000–4000 level (maximum)12 credits

 

Oral Examination

Examination by and approval of a faculty committee is required for awarding a master’s degree for students enrolled in the thesis or report options. This committee will examine the general professional knowledge, course work, and the written documents of each master’s candidate. The public defense is scheduled and the committee nominated via the Pre-defense form, which must be in the Graduate School two weeks prior to the defense date. The committee’s written evaluation must be filed on the Report on oral examination form (M6). The student must be enrolled to defend.

Examination Committee—The examination committee will be appointed by the dean of the Graduate School in consultation with the department chair. The committee will consist of at least three members of the graduate faculty. At least one of these will be from outside the student's administrative home department or school. The primary advisor, or a co-advisor must hold a regular or adjunct appointment in the student's administrative home department or school. While one co-advisor may be from outside the student's administrative home department, it is recommended but not required that this co-advisor not fill the role of sole external member on the student's committee.