Graduate School

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—may have additional credit 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).
    • MEng allows a maximum of 14 credits at the 3000 or 4000 level.
  • 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.
  • All credits must meet the Scholastic Standards of the Graduate School in order to be counted toward the credit requirements.

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 must be completed within the specified time frame starting from the first enrollment in the degree program or earliest course listed on the degree schedule, whichever is earliest.

  • Master’s degree must be completed within five (5) calendar years.
  • PhD must be completed within eight (8) calendar years.

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 later OR who are funded by external sponsor. See our web page for details on how to complete the training.


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.
  • In the case that a faculty member has a joint appointment between multiple departments, the faculty member must have greater than 50% appointment in the student’s administrative home department in order to be considered an internal committee member (Senate Policy 37-15).
  • 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.


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.

Degree Completion Timeline

The slider(s) below shows a detailed timeline of items that you need to complete in order to obtain a degree and prepare for arrival on campus. Click on the arrow to expand the slider, and click on the buttons in the table for more information about each item.

You can check the Current Students area of MyMichiganTech for a detailed checklist of items that are required for you at this time, and see a list of items that are complete or pending for each degree you are pursuing. See the Graduate School's online tutorial for help with MyMichiganTech.

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. The student must be enrolled to defend.

Examination Committee—The examination committee will be appointed by the Graduate School in consultation with the department chair. The student’s advisory committee will typically serve as the examining committee. The committee will consist of at least three members of the graduate faculty (including advisor/co-advisors). The primary advisor, or a co-advisor (if one is desired), must hold a regular or adjunct appointment in the student's administrative home department or school, with a greater than 50% appointment to that department (per Senate Proposal 37-15). One co-advisor may be from outside the student's administrative home department.

While no external member is required by the Graduate School for Master's committees, departments may require an external member.