University of Massachusetts Amherst

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M.S. Degree Regulations

1. Advisor. Upon enrollment in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, each Master’s student will be assigned an Advisor by the Coordinator in the student's program area. The official records of the Advisor assignments will be maintained by the Academic Assistant under the supervision of the Graduate Program Director. The Academic Assistant will circulate the lists each semester to the Area Coordinators for review and adjustment as needed. The Area Coordinators will be responsible for notifying the Academic Assistant and the students in their area of the student’s Advisor assignment. This should be done by E-mail.

To ensure that the courses selected by a student are consistent with degree requirements and with his/her academic needs and career plans, the student will confer with the Advisor prior to registering for any courses. The Advisor will direct the student's Master's Project or Master's Thesis and chair the student's Thesis/Project Committee and General Examination Committee.

2. Project Committee. The Project Committee will consist of the Advisor as Chairperson and at least one (1) additional Graduate Faculty member, one of whom must be on the Civil and Environmental Engineering Graduate Faculty. The Advisor (after consultation with the student and the prospective committee members) will appoint the remaining members of the Project Committee. The Advisor will notify the Graduate Program Director, Academic Assistant, the student, and the committee members of the appointments. This should be done by E-mail. The official records of the committee assignments will be maintained by the Academic Assistant under the supervision of the Graduate Program Director. The Academic Assistant will circulate the lists of committees each semester to the Area Coordinators for review and adjustment as needed.  The Project Committee will administer the student’s General Examination.

3. Thesis Committee. If the student has elected to do a Master's Thesis, the Advisor (after consultation with the student and prospective committee members) will recommend to the Graduate Program Director at least one (1) additional Graduate Faculty member, at least one of whom must be on the Civil and Environmental Engineering Graduate Faculty, to serve on the student's Thesis Committee.  This should be done by E-mail with a copy to the Academic Assistant.  The Graduate Program Director will recommend the committee membership to the Graduate School and recommend that the Advisor be the Chairperson of the Thesis Committee. The Thesis Committee will administer the student's Thesis Defense. Changes in the composition of the Thesis Committee may be made only with the recommendation of the Graduate Program Director and the approval of the Graduate School.

The records of the committee appointments will be maintained by the Academic Assistant under the supervision of the appropriate Graduate Program Director. The Academic Assistant will circulate the lists each semester to the Area Coordinator for review and adjustment as needed.

4. Required Graduate Credits. Thirty one (31) graduate credit hours are required for the MSCE and MSEVE Degrees, including a one (1) hour seminar course. Students electing to do a Master’s Thesis must complete six (6) credits of CEE 699. Students electing to do a Master’s Project must complete six (6) credits of CEE 689. Students electing to do an Engineering Report must complete three (3) credits of CEE 679. For coursework only students, at least twelve (12) credits must be earned at the 600-800 level. Six (6) credits of Master’s Project (CEE 689) or Master’s Thesis (CEE 699) may be applied toward this requirement.  No more than nine (9) credits may be taken outside the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. No more than six (6) credits of Independent Study (CEE 696) may be counted toward the degree. Subjects covered in Independent Study courses may not be related to the student's Thesis, Project, or Engineering Report topic.  A maximum of six (6) graduate credits of B or better may be transferred from outside the University, but no Thesis, Project or Independent Study credits may be transferred.

5. Thesis Option.

  a. Thesis Outline: A Master's candidate must prepare a Thesis Outline to be approved and signed on the cover sheet by each member of his/her Thesis Committee and the Graduate Program Director.  The signed copy of the Thesis Outline must be forwarded to the Graduate School for inclusion in the candidate's file at least four (4) months prior to the scheduled date of the Thesis Defense.

  b. Master's Thesis: The Master's Thesis must be typed in the format prescribed by the Graduate School. This is given in the publication, Typing Guidelines for Theses and Dissertations, available in the Office of Degree Requirements, Room 534 Goodell. A review copy of the Thesis is to be given to each member of the student's Thesis Committee at least one (1) week prior to the scheduled Master’s Examination. A copy must also be made available through the Academic Assistant if requested for review by other members of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. The original copy of the Thesis requiring the Department Head's signature must be deposited with the Academic Assistant no later than five (5) working days before it is due in the Graduate School. A bound final copy (hard cover if required by the Program area) of the Thesis is to be deposited with the Academic Assistant for inclusion in the Program Area’s Archives. Theses must also be submitted electronically to the Graduate School.

6. Project Option. The format of the Master's Project Report will conform to appropriate report guidelines as designated by the chairperson of the Project Committee. The report must be of high professional quality with a required title page and signature page. An alternative title page may be approved by the chairperson of the Project Committee. A review copy of the Project Report is to be given to each member of the student's Project Committee at least one (1) week prior to the scheduled project presentation. A copy must also be made available through the Academic Assistant if requested for review by other members of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. A bound final copy (hard cover if required by the Program area) of the Project Report is to be deposited with the Academic Assistant for inclusion in the Program Area’s Archives.  Students are required to provide a pdf copy on a CD of their project.  The final original copy of the Project Report must be signed by the committee and the Graduate Program Director before a grade may be assigned to the project credits. All registered project credits must remain incomplete until the signatures are obtained.

7. Master’s Examination. All students registered for CEE 689 and CEE 699 must pass an Examination that will consist primarily of, but not necessarily be limited to, presenting and defending the Thesis or Project Report. The Examination is conducted by the student's Committee. At the discretion of the Committee, a portion of the Examination may be closed to all but faculty members. Approval by a majority of the members of the Committee is required to pass the examination. The Examination must be announced to the Department faculty at least one (1) week prior to the date it is scheduled. E-mail should be used. At its discretion the Program may distribute and/or post seminar announcements as desired or needed.

The Chairperson of the Committee administering the student’s Examination must inform the Graduate Program Director, in writing, that the student has successfully completed the Examination.  The Graduate Program Director will then inform the Graduate School.

8. Degree Completion Requirements.

  a. Degree Application/Eligibility Form: The completed and signed Master’s Degree Application/Eligibility Form must be submitted with appropriate fees to the Office of Degree Requirements by the posted deadline established by the Graduate School. These deadlines are strictly observed and cannot be extended. Degrees cannot be awarded retroactively.  The Master’s candidate should meet with the Academic Assistant to see that all of the required information is available in the student’s file. The form is located on the Graduate School web page. This should be done several weeks to a month in advance of the deadlines for submission to the Graduate School in the student’s final semester. It is not necessary or desirable to wait until the Examination/Defense is completed. The student should verify that the information on this form is consistent with his/her permanent record on SPIRE.  When all the requirements have been completed the form must be reviewed and signed by the advisor. The form must then be brought to the Academic Assistant to be reviewed and signed, as required, by the Graduate Program Director and the Department Head. It is the responsibility of the student to check with the Academic Assistant that the form will be available in time for all required Civil and Environmental Engineering Department signatures before the form is due in the Graduate School. The form is transmitted by the Academic Assistant to the Graduate School.

  b. Check-Out List Form: The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department graduate student Check-Out List Forms must be completed and signed by the student and the Academic Assistant. The completed and signed Check-Out List Form will be included in the student's file.

  c. Other Requirements: All other requirements established by the Graduate Program, the Graduate School or the University must be satisfied.