The U.Va. School of Engineering and Applied Science offers programs leading to the degrees of Master of Science and Master of Engineering, as well as Master degrees in several areas of applied science and the Doctor of Philosophy degree.
The range of studies available within the School of Engineering and Applied Science is designed to satisfy a variety of objectives. Specific courses leading to a degree are not prescribed; instead, each student prepares an individual program, with the help of a faculty advisor, tailored to particular needs and goals.
Two types of master's degrees are available. Strong emphasis is placed on research for the Master of Science (M.S.) degree. The focal point of the M.S. is a thesis describing research accomplished in close cooperation with the student's faculty advisor. The degrees of Master of Engineering and Master of Applied Science do not require a thesis and are professionally oriented.
The Doctor of Philosophy degree is regarded by many as a symbol that its bearer has achieved an in-depth understanding of a segment of human knowledge and has contributed significantly to that knowledge. The Ph.D. requires a program of advanced study in courses and research, satisfactory completion of comprehensive examinations, and submission of a dissertation based on independent, original research.
To obtain a graduate degree in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, a graduate student must have a minimum average grade of B on all graded graduate course work taken at the University of Virginia while a graduate student. No grade lower than a C is acceptable toward meeting the requirements for a graduate degree. If a course is repeated, both grades will be 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 will not be used in computing the grade point average. A 200-day grace period past the end of the semester (end of the examination period) is automatically allowed to remove an incomplete. After the grace period, incompletes are automatically converted to F.
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 candidate's knowledge and power of investigation in a chosen field of study. Unsatisfactory work during any semester or an overall grade average less than B may be considered to be sufficient reason for withdrawal of financial assistance or for enforced withdrawal from the graduate program. A graduate student will be considered to be on probation if his or her cumulative GPA for graduate work is less than 3.0 and will be notified of this by the Dean's Office. A graduate student will be subject to dismissal if the cumulative GPA is not raised to 3.0 within one semester. CGEP students will have two semesters to improve their grade.
All graduate students conducting research will be registered for the appropriate research course. Credits will be assigned to this course in such a way that the total number of hours for which the student is registered will reflect 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, will be desirable. Project research for the Master of Engineering or Master of Applied Science (non-thesis) degree is encouraged and, in some curricula, required.
Students must complete all the requirements for a Master of Science degree within five years after admission to the graduate program and 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, upon approval of the advisor, the department Graduate Studies Committee, and the Office of the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs.
The time to degree can be extended beyond its ordinary term for SEAS graduate students for: (1) maternity or family parenting, (2) serious personal or family illness upon notification to and approval of the appropriate department or program and the Office of the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs. The “clock-stopping” will be for a period of up to one year. Utilization of this policy should be invoked as soon as the need for additional time becomes known.
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 and Ph.D. candidates may include a maximum of six credits of graduate course transfer credit. These graduate courses must have been completed at another school of recognized standing, and cannot have been used to satisfy requirements for another degree. Only courses with a grade of B or better may be transferred. All requests for the inclusion of transfer credit are subject to the approval of the candidates' academic department, the academic department of the equivalent U.Va. course, and the Office of the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs
Master of Engineering Candidates may include a maximum of 12 graduate course transfer credits. These graduate courses must have been completed at another school of recognized standing, and cannot have been used to satisfy requirements for another degree. Only courses with a grade of B or better may be transferred. All requests for transfer credit are subject to the approval of the candidates' academic department, the academic department of the equivalent U.Va. course, and the Office of the Office of the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs..
Part-Time Graduate Students
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. A maximum of six credits of graduate course work taken on-Grounds through the School of Continuing and Professional Studies prior to admission to a graduate degree program may be accepted as credit toward degree requirements.
M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs require a period of residency. A full-time graduate student in residence at the University, whether taking courses or doing research, is expected to be fully engaged in the academic community, to participate in planned and impromptu discussions with faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students, and to actively contribute to intellectual discourse within the School. During the period of residency, three semesters excluding summer, a student should have no major conflicts of commitment. Substantial employment obligations, for example, would generally be in conflict with the residency requirement.
Right to Petition
In certain cases there may be extenuating circumstances that cause a deviation from the requirements for the master’s or doctoral degrees. A student has the right to petition the Graduate Studies Committee requesting such a deviation from the normal requirements. This petition should be in writing and endorsed by both the student’s advisor and department chair, and submitted to the Office of the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs.
A set of student learning outcomes and associated assessment forms has been defined for each graduate program. The level of achievement of each outcome will be evaluated for every student as the student proceeds through the program. Many of the graduate forms have assessment forms associated with them. When a student submits the Ph.D. Examination Report, Dissertation Proposal Report, or a Report on Final Examination, the associated assessment form must be attached.
Master of Engineering and Master of Applied Science programs each have established learning outcomes and each outcome has its own specific assessment form.
The outcomes for the non-thesis Master’s programs include:
It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that each of the required assessments is performed and that the required forms are submitted. If a program requires a project with a written or oral presentation, the appropriate forms can be completed at that time. If a program requires only course-work, then it is the responsibility of the student to submit samples of work for assessment to their advisor or course instructor. The entire set of required assessment forms must be completed for each student before graduation.
Outcome assessment for Master of Science and Ph.D. programs is associated with the Ph.D. proposal, and the final defense examination. Since the Ph.D. examination formats vary among programs, there is a set of program-specific qualifying exam assessment forms.