University of Virginia
The Rotunda at U.Va.
2003-2004
GRADUATE RECORD
School of Graduate Engineering and Applied Science
General Information  |  Degree Programs  |  Admission Requirements  |  Financial Assistance  |  General Requirements  |  Program Descriptions  |  Course Descriptions  |  Faculty
Right to Petition
Transfer Credit
Air Force and Army ROTC
Graduate Credit for Undergraduates
M.E.-M.B.A. Joint Degree Program
Master of Science
Master of Engineering
Accelerated Master's Degree in Systems and Information Engineering
Part-time Graduate Students
Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP)
Doctor of Philosophy
Virginia Consortium of Engineering and Science Universities (VCES)

General Requirements

Grades The letter grade symbols used for grading graduate students in the School of Engineering and Applied Science are: A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F. To obtain a graduate degree in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, an individual must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on all graded graduate course work taken at the University of Virginia while a graduate student, or taken as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia if the courses are listed on a program of studies and are used to satisfy a requirements for a graduate degree. No grade lower than a C is acceptable toward meeting the requirements for a graduate degree. If a course is repeated, both grades are used in computing the overall grade average. Undergraduate courses and courses taken on a Credit/No Credit basis may not be used to meet requirements for a graduate degree and are not used in computing the grade average. A 10-day period past the end of the semester (end of the examination period) is automatically allowed to remove an incomplete. A maximum extension to the end of the subsequent semester (the following fall for a spring class and spring for a fall class) may be granted upon special request to the dean's office.

Quality of Work Graduate degrees are not conferred merely upon the basis of the number of courses passed, nor the length of time spent in residence or in research, but primarily upon the basis of the quality and scope of the candidateís knowledge and power of investigation in a chosen field of study. Unsatisfactory work during any semester or an overall grade average of less than B may be considered sufficient reason for withdrawal of financial assistance, or for enforced withdrawal from the graduate program. Graduate students are considered to be on probation if their cumulative grade point average for graduate work is less than 3.0 and they are notified of this by the deanís office. Graduate students are subject to dismissal if their cumulative grade point average is not raised to 3.0 within one semester.

Research All graduate students conducting research must register for the appropriate research course. Credits are assigned to this course in such a way that the total number of hours for which the student is registered reflects the fraction of time devoted to progress toward a degree. Students must register for a minimum of six credits of research for the Master of Science (thesis) degree and 24 credits of research for the Ph.D. degree. In many cases, research in excess of these minimum requirements, particularly for the Ph.D. degree, is desirable. Project research for the Master of Engineering or Master of Applied Science (non-thesis) degrees is encouraged and, in some curricula, required.

Time Limit For Graduate Degrees The student must complete all the requirements for a Master of Science degree within five years after admission to the graduate program, and he or she must complete all the requirements for a Master of Engineering degree within seven years after admission to the graduate program. All requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must be completed within seven years after admission to the doctoral program. Expired credits may be revalidated with approval from the advisor, the appropriate department graduate committee, graduate studies committee, and the Office of the Dean.


Right to Petition

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In certain cases there may be extenuating circumstances that cause a deviation from the requirements for the masterís or doctoral degrees. A student has the right to petition the Committee on Graduate Studies requesting such a deviation from the normal requirements. This petition should be in writing and endorsed by both the studentís advisor and department chair.


Transfer Credit

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Transfer credit, as described below, will be considered for acceptance toward a degree in the Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Master of Science Candidates may include a maximum of six credits of graduate course transfer credit on their program of study at the University of Virginia. These graduate courses must have been completed at another school of recognized standing. They cannot have been used to satisfy requirements for another degree, and only courses with a grade of B or better may be transferred. All requests for the inclusion of transfer credit in the University of Virginia program of study are subject to the approval of the candidateís academic department and the Office of the Dean for Graduate Programs.

Master of Engineering Candidates may include a maximum of 12 credits of graduate course transfer credit in their program of study at the University of Virginia. These graduate courses must have been completed at another school of recognized standing. They cannot have been used to satisfy requirements for another degree, and only courses with a grade of B or better may be transferred. All requests for the inclusion of transfer credit in the University of Virginia program of study are subject to the approval of the candidateís academic department and the Office of the Dean.

Doctor of Philosophy Candidates transfer of courses from other schools of recognized standing must be submitted for approval in the program of study.


Air Force and Army ROTC

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Graduate students in the School of Engineering and Applied Science are eligible to participate in the Air Force and Army ROTC programs. Inquiries concerning enrollment in the Air Force ROTC should be addressed to the Professor of Air Science, Varsity Hall. Inquiries concerning enrollment in the Army ROTC should be addressed to the Professor of Military Science, Room B-030, New Cabell Hall. Air and Military Science courses are described in the Undergraduate Record.


Graduate Credit for Undergraduates

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Undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to plan for graduate school early in their undergraduate careers. In many cases, it will be possible for students to obtain graduate degree credit while completing undergraduate programs and shorten the length of time required to obtain a graduate degree. Graduate degree credit is generally given for approved graduate courses taken by undergraduates when these courses are not used for credit in the undergraduate degree program of study. Undergraduates may be granted permission to take 600- and 700-level courses. Qualifications include fourth-year standing and a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2. Only one graduate course per semester is permitted.

Advanced Bachelor's/Masterís Program (ABMP) Students in the sixth semester of their degree programs are invited to apply for the Advanced Bachelor's/Master's Program. This is a program for students with outstanding academic records who wish to begin research for their Master of Science degree during their undergraduate years. Students accepted in to the program typically have a cumulative grade point average of 3.4 or higher, and advanced academic standing so that he/she can complete the program in 4+1 year. The process is as follows:

  1. Each student must find a faculty sponsor/advisor to be the thesis advisor. The student will then submit to the Office of the Dean by February 1 an Application for Admission to the Advanced Bachelor's/Master's Program, which will include a letter of recommendation from the advisor plus two others. The letter from the advisor must indicate that financial support for the following summer and for the student's fifth year (starting in June) is expected to be available unless the student notes on the application that he/she will be self supporting. In addition, the application would include a short essay on the student's professional goals and any other evidence that the student feels might attest to research potential (item 14 on the application form). The application must also include a complete plan of study (Form G101-ABMP) including all courses required for the Bachelor's degree and for the Master's degree, which will be taken during the student's fourth and fifth years. Normally students accepted into the program are ahead of schedule with course credits in their program of studies. The advisor and department chair must approve the plan of study.
  2. In conjunction with department graduate advisors, the Office of the Dean will approve qualified applicants for acceptance into the Program. Unless the student will be self supporting, the advisor will arrange for support of the student through a grant, contract, or other sources of funds, in a research position for the coming summer for eight weeks (320 hours) at the usual pay rate for undergraduates. However, a student may participate in the Program even if financial support for the summer is unavailable. It is also to be understood that the student's advisor will be available to supervise the student during the summer after the third, which is to be regarded as the first step towards the thesis. Letters of acceptance (contingent on receipt of GRE scores and successful completion of the Bachelor's degree) will be mailed to candidates by the end of March.
  3. In accepting admission to the Program, the student agrees to work in Charlottesville during the summer after his/her sixth semester under faculty supervision for no less than eight weeks, and to make a good-faith commitment to complete the Master's Program under provisions set forth in this memorandum. 4. Although the student will remain an undergraduate during the fourth year, the department in which the graduate degree will be awarded will accept the student as an M.S. candidate after the Bachelor's degree is awarded (subject to satisfactory academic progress), and will offer the student financial aid for the fifth year starting in June (unless the student will be self supporting). 5. Depending on his/her academic load during the fourth year, a student may register for M.S. thesis research. At the option of the department, the student may be paid for this work at the usual rate for undergraduate students.
  4. Although the student will remain an undergraduate during the fourth year, the department in which the graduate degree will be awarded will accept the student as an M.S. candidate after the Bachelor's degree is awarded (subject, of course, to satisfactory academic progress), and will offer the student financial aid for the fifth year starting in June (unless the student will be self supporting).
  5. Depending on his/her academic load during the fourth year, a student may register for M.S. thesis research. At the option of the department, the student may be paid for this work at the going rate for undergraduate students.


M.E.-M.B.A. Joint Degree Program

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The objective of the joint M.E.-M.B.A. degree program is the development of leaders with business administration skills and solid technical expertise. The M.E. degree provides a foundation in engineering or applied science well above the normal undergraduate level. The M.B.A. develops the functional areas of business by teaching the essential behavioral and quantitative sciences that apply to management, as well as the techniques of management decision making. The combined degrees provide the knowledge required for a wide range of business applications.

A student must be admitted to both degree programs and satisfy nearly all of the requirements for both degrees. Typically, the overall program length is reduced by one semester compared to the total time for attaining both degrees separately.

In order to obtain this reduction in the number of hours, the student cannot stop after one degree but must finish both degrees. If the student decides to drop out of the joint degree program, the full requirements of one of the degree programs must be met.

Students in the M.E.-M.B.A. Joint Degree Program are required to complete 24 credits for the Master of Engineering degree in SEAS and 69 credits for the Master of Business Administration degree in the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. Of the 24 hours in SEAS, 21 hours will be normal course work and 3 hours will be a project course taken in an appropriately numbered course. A minimum of 12 hours of course work must be taken in the major department, with a maximum of 6 hours at the 500 level. None of the 24 credits may include a course taken in the Darden School. The project must have one advisor from SEAS and another from the Darden School. Corporate funding provides scholarships for students in this program.


Master of Science

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The Master of Science degree is a graduate research degree that introduces students to research at the graduate level. A full-time student may be able to complete the program in one and one-half calendar years. The School of Engineering and Applied Science offers instruction leading to degrees in biomedical engineering; chemical engineering; civil engineering; computer engineering; computer science; electrical engineering; engineering physics; materials science and engineering; mechanical and aerospace engineering; and systems engineering.

The department chair appoints an advisor to each graduate student for consultation in preparing a program of study. This program should be approved by the advisor and the department chair, and submitted to the Office of the Dean by the end of the first semester of graduate study. Graduate credit is not automatically granted for courses completed before the program of study is approved. Any later change in the program of study must be submitted for approval. Approval of a program of study does not obligate the University to offer the courses listed, as all graduate courses are offered subject to sufficient enrollment. Candidates who complete the degree requirements and are approved by the faculty are presented for degrees at the University's first scheduled graduation exercise following completion of the requirements.

Degree Requirements A candidate for the Master of Science degree must:

  1. complete an approved program of study that includes a minimum of 24 graduate-level credits, with at least 12 credits taken in the area of major study. This program may contain no more than a total of nine credits of 500-level courses, and no more than six of those credits may be taken within the department conferring the degree. Departmental requirements may be more restrictive. The program may include a maximum of six transfer credits for graduate courses completed at another school of recognized standing; however, those courses must be part of the approved program of study at the University. Only courses with a grade of B or better may be transferred;
  2. complete acceptable research, accomplished under the close direction of a faculty advisor. The research is documented in a written thesis. Written instructions for thesis preparation are available in the Office of the Dean;
  3. perform satisfactorily in a final examination of the thesis conducted by an examining committee appointed by the Office of the Dean. Depending on the policy of the individual department, at least one examiner may be from outside the applicantís major department. A candidate who does not perform satisfactorily on the examination may, with the recommendation of two-thirds of the examining committee, be granted a further examination after being given adequate time to prepare;
  4. submit the approved thesis. Three copies of the final thesis, as approved by the examining committee, must be submitted for binding by the date specified on the academic calendar;
  5. apply for the degree, using a standard form, by the date specified on the academic calendar;
  6. complete at least one semester in residence at the University of Virginia as a full-time student; and
  7. complete a comprehensive examination (if required by the studentís department).


Master of Engineering

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The Master of Engineering degree is a graduate professional degree. It enhances the professional instruction of the bachelorís program in engineering or applied science, providing greater knowledge and deeper understanding in a specific field. A full-time student should be able to complete the degree program in one calendar year. The School of Engineering and Applied Science offers instruction leading to the degree of Master of Engineering in biomedical engineering; chemical engineering; civil engineering; computer engineering; electrical engineering; mechanical and aerospace engineering; and systems engineering.

The degrees of Master of Computer Science, Master of Engineering Physics, and Master of Materials Science and Engineering are also offered.

The department chair appoints an advisor to each graduate student for consultation in preparing a program of study. This program must be approved by the advisor and the department chair and submitted to the Office of the Dean by the end of the first semester of graduate study.

Degree Requirements A candidate for the Master of Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering Physics, or Materials Science and Engineering must:

  1. complete an approved program that includes a minimum of 30 graduate-level credits, with at least 18 credits taken in the area of major study. This program may contain no more than nine credit hours of 500-level courses; no more than six of those credits may be taken within the department conferring the degree. Departmental requirements may be more restrictive. The program may include a maximum of 12 transfer credits for graduate courses completed at another school of recognized standing; however, those courses must be part of the approved program of study at the University. Only courses with a grade of B or better may be transferred;
  2. apply for the degree, using a standard form, by the date specified in the academic calendar; and
  3. complete a comprehensive exam (if required by the student's department).


Accelerated Master's Degree in Systems and Information Engineering

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The Accelerated Master's Degree in Systems and Information Engineering is designed to enable working professionals to become systems thinkers and problem solvers through a unique blend of formal education integrated with personal work experience. Responding to the needs of industry and individuals alike, this one-year Accelerated Master's Program enables professionals to earn their degrees without career interruption.

The program's focus is on information proficiency, systems thinking and decision analytics. The curriculum introduces and explores systems methodologies through real-world case studies firmly focused on problem-solving using both analytical and theoretical modeling approaches throughout.

Taught by full-time faculty of the Department of Systems and Information Engineering and the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, the program format includes one full week in residence in late May, twenty weekends (Fridays and Saturdays) throughout the year, and a final week in residence during the following April. Tuition covers courses, books, software, lodging and meals.

The program has four core courses: Introduction to Systems Engineering (SYS601), Systems Integration (SYS 602), Enterprise Analysis and Modeling (SYS603) and Probabilistic Modeling (SYS605). Additional elective courses include data analysis and forecasting, risk analysis and modeling, information systems architecture and decision analysis among others. Prerequisities include a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, calculus (2 semesters), probability and statistics (calculus-based), linear algebra (or equivalent) and computer programming. Applicants must take the GRE general exam


Part-time Graduate Students

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Those students who wish to pursue a graduate degree in the School of Engineering and Applied Science on a part-time basis must be approved for admission to the degree program by the department or program offering the degree, and they must meet all admission requirements for full-time degree students. Part-time students taking on-Grounds courses for degree credit, including those participating in the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program, must register through the School of Engineering and Applied Science, not through the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. A maximum of six credits of graduate course work taken on-Grounds through continuing and professional studies prior to admission to a graduate degree program may be accepted as credit toward degree requirements.


Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP)

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In addition to the resident Master of Engineering degree program conducted on the Grounds of the University of Virginia, the School of Engineering and Applied Science offers the following six degrees through the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program: Master of Engineering in Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Systems Engineering; and Master of Materials Science and Engineering.

Regular graduate courses are taught via videoconferencing throughout the Commonwealth and to selected out-of-state locations. This two-way video/two-way audio capability provides professors and students on-Grounds the ability to communicate with off-Grounds students at remote classroom sites. Serving as off-Grounds receive sites are Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Old Dominion University, Mary Washington College, and Shenandoah University, as well as the Centers for Higher Education in Roanoke, Lynchburg, Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, Abingdon, and Halifax/South Boston. Additionally, certain companies and government agencies have established classrooms at their locations and participate in this graduate engineering program.

Each of the six departments in this program has an appointed advisor who consults with students on curriculum and any special circumstances that might arise with participating working professionals. Studentsí programs of study must be approved by their advisors and the associated department chairs and be submitted to the Office of the Dean.

Degree requirements are the same as mentioned in the previous Master of Engineering section, except that an additional three transfer credits from Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University, Old Dominion University, or Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University may be included in the candidateís program of study.

Graduate courses with grades of C or better taken for graduate credit at participating institutions may be transferred toward meeting the requirement of the Master of Engineering degree.

All graduate courses taken for degree credit through the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program, including transfer courses from the participating institutions, are included in the studentís grade point average.


Doctor of Philosophy

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The School of Engineering and Applied Science offers instruction leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Computer Engineering; Computer Science; Electrical Engineering; Engineering Physics; Materials Science and Engineering; Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; and Systems Engineering.

An advisory committee for each doctoral student is appointed by the Office of the Dean upon recommendation of the chair of the studentís department or curriculum area. At least one member of the advisory committee is from outside the studentís department and major curriculum study area. The committee meets with the student as soon as possible to assist in planning a detailed program of study and research. The committee recommends a program of formal courses, discusses research objectives and research plans with the student, and advises the student on the areas in which he or she must take Ph.D. examinations. The committee meets with the student as needed to review progress and, if necessary, to assist the student in revising the program of study.

Degree Requirements The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is conferred by the School of Engineering and Applied Science primarily in recognition of breadth of scholarship, depth of research, and ability to investigate problems independently. A candidate for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must:

  1. complete at least three sessions (or the equivalent) of graduate study after the baccalaureate degree, or two sessions (or the equivalent) after the masterís degree. At least one session beyond the masterís degree must be in full residence at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. For the purpose of satisfying these requirements, two regular semesters (not including summer sessions) will be considered as one session;
  2. satisfactorily complete an approved program of study. Each program is tailored to the individual student in accordance with the departmental requirements approved by SEAS faculty. The program must include a combined minimum of 72 credits of research and graduate level course work beyond the baccalaureate. The program must also include a minimum of 24 credits of formal course work, with no more than nine of those credits from 500-level courses. No more than six credits at the 500-level may be earned within the department granting the degree. Classes at the 400-level or below do not count toward the Ph.D. degree. Departmental requirements may be more restrictive. Transfer of course credit from other schools of recognized standing may be included in the program of study; however, only courses with a grade of B or better may be transferred. The student must submit the program for approval first to the department faculty and then to the Office of the Dean within one semester after the Ph.D. exam;
  3. perform satisfactorily on the departmental Ph.D. examination. The objective of the examination is to determine whether the student has assimilated and is able to integrate a body of advanced knowledge;
  4. submit a dissertation based on independent, original research that makes a significant contribution to the studentís field of study. In preparation for conducting research and writing the dissertation, students must prepare a written dissertation proposal. This proposal describes the current state of the art with bibliography, outlines the proposed method of investigation, and discusses the anticipated results. The student then makes a public, oral presentation of the proposal to the advisory committee, with all members of the faculty invited to attend. After the presentation, the student submits the written dissertation proposal for approval to the department faculty (or its designated committee) and the Office of the Dean;
  5. be admitted to candidacy for the degree: a student must have satisfactorily completed the Ph.D. examination and have received approval for the dissertation proposal before being admitted to candidacy. Admission to candidacy must be completed at least one semester before the degree is awarded;
  6. satisfactorily present and defend the dissertation in a public forum. The dissertation defense is conducted orally and publicly by a committee appointed by the Office of the Dean; this committee must include the candidateís advisory committee. The defense is held after the candidate has submitted the dissertation to the committee, and it is designed to test the studentís knowledge of a field of research. Candidates who are accepted by the examining committee and approved by the faculty are presented for degrees at the first scheduled graduation exercises of the University following completion of the requirements;
  7. apply for a degree on the standard form by the date specified in the academic calendar;
  8. submit three copies of the approved final dissertation to the Office of the Dean by the date specified in the academic calendar.


Virginia Consortium of Engineering and Science Universities (VCES)

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The College of William and Mary, Old Dominion University, Virginia Tech, and the University of Virginia are involved in a cooperative program of graduate engineering and applied science education and research. This effort focuses on the needs of the NASA Langley Research Center and Newport News Shipbuilding and is also intended to serve others in the Peninsula region of the state. This consortium is intended to provide a resident graduate program that emphasizes study for the Ph.D. degree in engineering and applied science and a M.S. degree in naval architecture.

The program complements the Virginia Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program, which already serves the region by providing, via videoconferencing, courses leading to the Master of Engineering degree. VCES offerings include Ph.D.-level courses broadcast to and from the Peninsula region. The program also includes course offerings taught by resident faculty and adjunct faculty experts from NASA and Newport News Shipbuilding at its regional location in Hampton, VA. Course offerings and research are concentrated in the areas of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Science and Mechanics, Materials Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Applied Science.

With the consortium agreement, a student may include 50 percent transfer courses in his or her program of study provided those courses are taught by faculty of the member universities. Accordingly, the student then receives his degree from the institution of his major advisor. The Ph.D. degree requirements are the same as mentioned in the Doctor of Philosophy section, with the exception of the residency in Charlottesville is not required.


 
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