Jul 21, 2024  
2016-2017 Catalog 
2016-2017 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate School

Graduate School Website

Vice Chancellor for Research: Dr. Beverly Hartline
Dean of Graduate Studies (406) 496-4456
  Office: Museum 211
Administrator: Daniel Stirling
Graduate School Program Manager P: (406) 496-4304
  F: (406) 496-4710
  Office: MG 207


The Graduate School provides opportunities for advanced study and research in science, engineering, and technical communication. It fosters a community of faculty and students motivated by a shared commitment to blending theory with practice to advance research, scholarship, and applications that meet the changing needs of society and contribute to the responsible and sustainable development and use of natural resources.

Graduate Program Objectives and Outcomes

Montana Tech’s graduate degree and certificate programs assist students in achieving the following accomplishments within a few years of graduation:

  1. Professional advancement in their careers. This objective includes “retooling” for a new profession and becoming established in that profession.
  2. Recognition by their employers as bringing, applying, and integrating valuable, advanced, state-of-the-art knowledge, skills, and understanding that contributes significantly to the organization
  3. Success in keeping up-to-date professionally, thereby contributing to meeting the changing needs of society in the field and for the organization.

Graduate Programs at Montana Tech assist students to acquire and master deep knowledge and advanced professional skills in degree fields aligned with Montana Tech’s mission.  Graduate programs may either formulate and document their own program-specific student outcomes, subject to review and endorsement by the Graduate Council or adopt a subset of the Graduate School’s student outcomes. Master’s degree programs and certificate programs must address at least four of the outcomes, while doctoral programs must address all five. Students completing graduate degrees and certificates at Montana Tech will:

  1. Acquire up-to-date, advanced knowledge, skills, and understanding in the degree area, as needed to meet the changing needs of society.
  2. Blend theory with practice to integrate, problem solve, and apply advanced knowledge, skills and understanding in the degree area.
  3. Develop skills in communicating technical and complex material orally, in writing, and using various media for a broad range of audiences.
  4. Demonstrate leadership skills and ethical principles applicable to the discipline and profession. Where applicable, this outcome includes the ability to enable the responsible and sustainable development and use of natural resources, including the protection and/or restoration of the environment.
  5. Make a significant and original contribution to advance knowledge in the discipline, the tools of discovery, or a major application.

The Graduate School Administration

The Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies is Dean of the Graduate School. The Graduate Dean is the academic administrator responsible for graduate education. The Graduate Council, a committee of the Faculty Senate, is the forum through which the faculty participate in and guide Graduate School governance. One full-time Graduate Program Manager reports to the Dean to perform the full range of administrative activities for the Graduate School and its students: from recruiting and admissions through enrollment, thesis-defense scheduling, and graduation. The duties include policy dissemination and support for the Graduate Council.


Each graduate program and its faculty are located in one or more (for interdisciplinary programs) departments, reporting through department chairpersons and deans to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Three deans have graduate programs within their purview: the Dean of Letters, Sciences, and Professional Studies, the Dean of Mines and Engineering and the Graduate Dean. The Graduate Dean coordinates with these Deans on academic issues affecting graduate students in their colleges.


The Graduate Council (GC) functions in an oversight and review capacity, and it serves to ensure consistency and quality in and across graduate degree programs. It reviews and approves curriculum matters at the graduate level, before sending these matters through the Curriculum Review Committee (CRC) to the Faculty Senate. The GC also considers and recommends action(s) to the Graduate Dean regarding academic and admissions policies and procedures affecting graduate programs and graduate students.  Matters may be brought to the GC by the Faculty Senate, the CRC, an officer of the Graduate School, a member of the Graduate Council, a graduate student, a dean, or any faculty member in any of the graduate programs.


The Graduate Council is chaired by the Dean of the Graduate School and staffed by the Graduate Program Manager. Its membership includes the Provost and faculty representatives from all departments with graduate programs and from some departments without a graduate program. It is responsible for reviewing proposals for graduate programs, curricula, and courses, en route to action by the Faculty Senate and also for initiating or reviewing academic policy changes affecting graduate programs or students. The Graduate Council refers to and builds on guidelines from various associations to maintain the Graduate School’s high standards. Montana Tech holds institutional memberships in the Council of Graduate Schools, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and its Grants Resource Center, the American Society for Engineering Education, the International Center for Academic Integrity, the American Council on Education, and similar groups. The Faculty Senate’s actions are transmitted to the Administration, with academic matters handled through the Provost.


The minimum academic rank for faculty with graduate-level assignments is Assistant Professor, and the terminal degree (doctorate in most disciplines) is generally required for appointment at this level. Individual departmental standards identify the credentials required to be hired as a faculty member within an academic department. Because departments are small, the departmental standards and criteria for graduate-level assignment are applied during the search process for the departments which have graduate programs.  Evaluation criteria include the explicit expectation that a faculty member who supervises or advises graduate student research, chairs thesis committees, or makes significant contributions to a graduate program is also expected to be an active and major participant in research/scholarly activity, as evidenced by published work, presentations to professional or peer groups, Principal Investigator (PI) role, and principal author of successful grants, and/or patents.

Graduate Degree Requirements

Each graduate student shall be governed by the catalog and policies in effect on the date of initial registration or by newer requirements, if the student interrupts enrollment by more than a semester. A student can change to the latest/current catalog by making a request, approved by the Graduate Dean, to be subject to newer requirements. The only source of official information is the catalog. Information posted on individual Department web pages is for student information and cannot be considered as superseding the policies of this catalog.

Master’s Degree Programs

The Master of Science may be taken in most fields under either of two options. One option requires a thesis or publishable paper (Option A); the other does not require a thesis (Option B). In all programs, the thesis option is recommended for the majority of students. The Interdisciplinary Master of Science Program (IMS) allows students to work with faculty in the design of a graduate curriculum tailored to their unique academic, creative and professional objectives. The IMS program offers a non-thesis option (37 credits) and a thesis option (31 credits). The non-thesis option will typically be available only to students who can document a history of written and oral publications and presentations. A comprehensive exam and/or a master’s project, report, and presentation are required of non-thesis students. Each program that permits a non-thesis master’s has specified which alternative it requires. Master’s of Science programs are available in the following fields. The letters in parentheses indicate the options available. Certificate programs are designated with Option (C).

Master’s of Science Programs

Generally, master’s degrees in engineering are designed for students who have an undergraduate degree in an engineering field closely related to the engineering specialty. The other degree programs accommodate graduate students who do not have an engineering baccalaureate. However, a graduate student who does not hold an engineering degree may qualify for an advanced degree in one of the engineering categories by addressing deficiencies in engineering subjects, either concurrently with the graduate program or before being admitted to graduate standing, depending on the number of deficiency credits needed.


The student’s graduate program is a flexible guide and may be changed as the student progresses and as the student’s committee and advisor consider desirable. However, changes must be requested before or during the semester affected. The deadline for filing final changes in graduate programs is one month prior to the last day of classes in the semester in which degree requirements will be completed.

Interdisciplinary Master of Science (IMS)

Applicants to the IMS program should follow the instructions for applying to the Montana Tech Graduate School, which are available at http://www.mtech.edu/academics/gradschool/. Because of the unusual nature of this degree program, the IMS has additional admission and program conditions.

  • Each student needs to establish a program committee prior to admission to the program.
  • All prospective applicants must consult with the Dean of Graduate Studies before beginning the application process.
  • The student must seek out and identify a Program Committee of at least three university faculty members from at least two different academic departments, who are willing to serve. At least one committee member must be from a master’s-degree-granting department of Montana Tech. The Chair of the Program Committee does not have to be from a master’s-degree-granting department. Each discipline in the proposed interdisciplinary program must be represented on the student’s Program Committee.
  • In consultation with the Chair and other members of the Program Committee, the applicant will develop a clear set of written goals for his or her research program and curriculum plan, listing each course the student will take in the degree program. This Degree Plan should strike an appropriate balance of work among the various disciplines represented. The Program Committee members and chair, Department Chairs, and Graduate Dean must approve the proposed degree plan by signing the proposal.
  • The Program Committee will be the student’s surrogate department and will meet to consider the student’s application materials and submit those materials and an admission recommendation to the Graduate School.

Doctoral Degree Programs

Montana Tech’s doctoral degree programs are limited to Ph.D. offerings: a collaborative Ph.D. in materials science and an individualized interdisciplinary Ph.D. officially granted through the University of Montana. These programs require passage of a discipline-specific qualifying examination, a discipline- and topic-specific candidacy examination, some coursework, and completion and oral defense of a dissertation describing the original and significant research contributions of the Ph.D. candidate.

Ph.D. Individualized Interdisciplinary Program (IIP)

The IIP is a degree program of The University of Montana-Missoula that is available to qualified Montana Tech students. The program allows the student to bring forward a problem or series of problems to research.


The student must seek out faculty with the resources and expertise to assist in defining and executing the research goals and the skills and competencies (objectives) needed to reach those goals. These faculty can be from Montana Tech or The University of Montana. The program requires 45 credits beyond the master’s degree, a comprehensive exam and a dissertation. The application deadlines are April 1 for fall semester and November 15 for spring semester.


Interested students should note that this program has several unique features including the following:

  • The student must develop a plan of study in consultation with his or her faculty committee before submitting an application to the chair of his or her committee.
  • The student must seek out and identify a prospective graduate committee of at least 5 university faculty, from Montana Tech and the University of Montana-Missoula who are willing to serve.
  • All members of the doctoral IIP committee must hold a doctorate degree - one member must be from a doctoral granting program at The University of Montana-Missoula. The Dean of The University of Montana Graduate School or the Dean’s designee from a doctoral program will serve as an ex officio (non-voting) member of the committee.
  • The chair of the student’s committee may be a Montana Tech faculty member. This individual will be the principal advisor throughout the program, and must be from a discipline that offers a graduate degree.


Interested students should contact the Montana Tech Graduate Dean and review The University of Montana IIP application process at http://www.umt.edu/grad/program. In addition, all prospective applicants must consult with the Dean of The University of Montana Graduate School before beginning the application process.


Thesis Abroad

International experiences can be an extraordinarily enriching part of graduate study. To encourage and assist graduate students with opportunities to conduct their theses or parts thereof abroad, Montana Tech has a Thesis Abroad program.  Through this program, funding up to $5,000 per student can be provided to assist with the additional expenses of travel and graduate study in a foreign country. To apply, an interested student should coordinate with his/her committee and complete and submit the Thesis-Abroad Application form. The typical duration would be one semester, late in the student’s degree program and after all or most coursework is complete. Subject to approval of the student’s committee, a longer visit can be accommodated, but the maximum award, regardless of duration, is $5,000. The cost would typically be shared 50/50 by the Graduate School and the student’s department.


The student must be registered at Montana Tech for the study abroad term and must be in academic good standing to be eligible. Thesis Abroad grants are typically awarded to no more than one student in any semester.


Application Procedures - Graduate Students

The Graduate School encourages applications from qualified students holding bachelor’s, master’s, or terminal degrees from accredited colleges and universities. Degrees, diplomas, or certificates in engineering technology fields generally do not qualify as accredited bachelor’s degrees for purposes of admission.  Applications from U.S.citizens, permanent residents and others are welcome.  Prospective international students must complete the steps for all students along with the additional steps for international students.

All required application materials are available on the Graduate School web site: www.mtech.edu/academics/gradschool/. To request information contact our office at (406) 496-4304, 1-800-445-8324, menu choice 6; fax: (406) 496-4710; e-mail: gradschool@mtech.edu.

Application Procedures - All Students
  1. Application: Complete and submit the on-line application or the alternative printable application for admission to Montana Tech’s Graduate School. The application link and downloadable forms are available at www.mtech.edu/academics/gradschool/.
  2. Application Fee: The application form must be accompanied by a nonrefundable on-line payment, check or money order payable to Montana Tech in the amount of $50.00 (subject to change). An application will not be processed until the application fee is received. This fee expires after one year.
  3. Financial Award Application: If applying for institutional financial support (not federal funds or loans), submit the Graduate School Financial Award Application (http://www.mtech.edu/academics/gradschool/Forms/financial-award-application.pdf). This form is used to apply for institutional financial support, such as a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) or Graduate Research Assistantship (GTA). Complete a FAFSA to apply for federal financial aid (loans).
  4. References: Three references are required. They may be provided using the Reference Form available on the web site or as a signed letter. The references must be received by the Graduate School directly from the reference (via mail or email) or in a sealed envelope with the reference’s signature over the seal. References from relatives are not acceptable. Applicants are encouraged to request references from individuals who can assess their attributes applicable to graduate study and their potential for success in graduate study.
  5. Transcripts: Official transcripts are required from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended. Contact the Registrar(s) at your previous school(s) and request that official transcripts be forwarded directly to the Graduate Studies Office. At least one transcript must include evidence of receipt of a bachelor’s degree.  Applicants in the process of completeing their bachelor’s degree should have their university’s registrar send a complete transcript at the time the degree is awarded.
  6. Statement of Purpose: Each applicant must prepare and submit a typed or word-processed statement of academic purpose, outlining academic and professional goals and how they relate to the chosen field of study. 
  7. Program Specific Information: Petroleum Engineering requires two brief technical papers authored by the applicant. Technical Communications also requires supplemental materials.
  8. GRE® Test: The GRE General Test is required for admission to many programs, with the exception of Industrial Hygiene Online, Project Engineering and Management, Mining Engineering, and Petroleum Engineering. Applicants taking the GRE General Test should instruct the Educational Testing Service to submit official scores to the Graduate Studies Office (Institutional Code is 4487). Montana Tech does not require GRE Subject Tests.
  9. Immunization Records: If you were born after December 31, 1956, submit proof of two separate doses of measles and rubella immunization (MMR) by immunization record or a physician’s record of diagnosis (with day, month, and year of immunization and signature or initials of doctor or nurse). Students enrolled exclusively in distance-delivered courses are exempt from the immunization requirements.
Additional Application Procedures - International Student
  1.  Applicants who are citizens of countries other than Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, or Wales are required to certify English proficiency by supplying one of the following:
    • Official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign language) score report showing a minimum score of 78 IBT.  (The Materials Science Phd Program requires a score of 90 IBT)  Please obtain information concerning this test at www.ets.org/toefl.
    • Official IELTS score report showing a minimum score of 6.5. (The Materials Science PhD Program requires a score 7.0) Please obtain all information concerning this test at www.ielts.org.
    • Certification of successful completion of ELS Language Centers level 112. Please obtain all information concerning ELS from: ELS Language Centers, http://www.els.edu/en.
    • Students transferring to Montana Tech after one (or more) year of full-time enrollment at a college/university in the United States may satisfy this requirement by providing at least two letters of recommendation from faculty members regarding proficiency in English language skills, along with their academic transcript from that campus.
  2. Statement of Financial Support: An original, current, certified financial statement (in English) from your bank/sponsor must verify that funding will be available to cover estimated expenses associated with living in Butte and studying at Montana Tech. The current amount can be found by contacting the Graduate School at graduatedean@mtech.edu. This documentation is required as soon as admission is offered and before a visa can be requested.
  3. Immunization Records: A physician-validated certification on medical stationary, Montana Tech’s International Student Health Form or the World Health Organization Certificate showing immunization for rubella, measles (two doses of measles vaccine after 1st birthday, including month, day, and year), tetanus, diptheria, and a recent (within the last year) skin test for tuberculosis. Each of these must be identified on the record in English and must be signed by a physician or registered nurse and include month, day, and year of each immunization.  Immunization records are required before a visa will be provided.
  4. Medical Health Insurance: For enrollment in classes, proof of medical health insurance is required for all international students. Students without such insurance or with inadequate coverage will be required to obtain medical health coverage through a campus-approved policy. Students are automatically enrolled in the campus insurance plan, and the premium for coverage is added to tuition. Students showing proof of adequate coverage may request a waiver.

Please understand that health care in the United States is largely a private, not a governmental, function. Fees for many medical services and procedures will be directly charged to the student. These charges may range from a few dollars for very simple procedures to thousands of dollars for extended hospitalization or major operations. All J-Visa international students and dependents are required to obtain a minimum medical health insurance as required by the U.S.I.S. through a campus-endorsed policy.

Application Procedures (Re-Admission) - Former Student

Graduate students who break the continuity of enrollment at Montana Tech for two (2) consecutive semesters, excluding summer, are required to apply for readmission.

Graduate students who desire a break from studies, can also submit a Request for Leave of Absence and pay a $25 fee to keep library and email access during the term(s) of absence.  The maximum duration of the Leave of Absence is one calendar year, and no application for re-admission would be required.


How to apply for readmission

  1. Complete and submit a Montana Tech Graduate School Returning Student Application form. An application fee is not required for returning students.
  2. Complete and submit a Montana Tech Graduate School Financial Award application, if interested in applying for institutional financial assistance.
  3. If applicable, submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended since leaving Montana Tech. Transcripts must be sent directly to the Graduate School from the Registrar of school(s) attended.
  4. Submit proof of two separate doses of measles and rubella (MMR) immunization (including month, day, and year of immunization with physician’s/nurse’s initials) if born after December 31, 1956 and not currently on file at Montana Tech.
  5. Submit official GRE scores if not currently on file. See previous GRE information for program exclusions.

When to Apply - All Students

All of the above should be received by the Graduate School according to the following priority deadlines:

  US: International:
Fall Semester applicants: April 1 Mar 1
Spring Semester Applicants: October 1 Aug 1
Summer Session Applicants: Jan 1 Dec 1

Applications received by these dates will receive full consideration.  Late applications can be considered if circumstances permit and space is available in the program. Some programs do not accept applications after these deadlines.  Petroleum Engineering has priority deadlines of March 1 for Fall semester and October 1 for Spring semester.

International students who do not currently possess an I-20 and Visa must have complete applications ready for committee review by June1 for Fall semester and October 1 for Spring semester to insure timely delivery of I-20 materials.  Not meeting this deadline can postpone acceptance and program entry by a semester.

General Information

  1. Applicants will be considered for admission to the Graduate School at Montana Tech purely on the basis of their academic and professional qualifications. Admissions decisions are free from discrimination based upon race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, service in the uniformed services, veteran status, age, political ideas, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.
  2. Failure on the part of the applicant to provide all of the requested information will cause delays in processing the application for admission and may result in denial of admission or cancellation of registration.
  3. The falsification or willful suppression by the applicant of any information requested on the application form may result in cancellation of registration and prohibition from subsequent attendance at Montana Tech.
  4. The term “official” in reference to academic credentials or standardized test scores indicates that the documents are forwarded by the Registrar of each school attended or by the applicable testing service directly to the Graduate School at Montana Tech. Photocopies, faxed copies or those “Issued to Student” will not be accepted. An official transcript must have a signature, stamp or seal from the initiating institution, and it must not have been opened or handled prior to receipt at Montana Tech.
  5. Information regarding residency classification for fee purposes is available from the Graduate School.
  6. The application credentials of admitted students, who do not register, will be retained for one year. At the end of this period, a new application and fee will be required to apply for admission.
  7. All application credentials become the property of the Montana Tech Graduate School upon receipt by that office.
  8. Students who are unsure of their preferred degree program may apply simultaneously for consideration by two or more programs. However, admission is generally permitted for only one graduate degree program at a time. The Interdisciplinary Master’s or Ph.D. programs should be considered by students interested in pursuing graduate study in two or more program areas.

Admission to the Graduate School

Students may be admitted with regular, provisional, or provisional probation status. Admission status is recommended by the department’s graduate program head. The offer of admission is issued by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Regular Admission

To be granted regular standing, the student must (1) hold a baccalaureate, MS, MA, MBA or terminal degree in a field acceptable to the applicable graduate program; (2) have a grade point average of at least 3.00 on a 4.0 scale; (3) have acceptable GRE scores if required by the department; and (4) have demonstrated potential for graduate study. Students who are in their final term of undergraduate study will be admitted provisionally, with the status changed to regular admission as soon as a transcript showing completion of the bachelor’s degree with acceptable GPA and courses.

Provisional Admission

Provisional standing may be granted to a student who (1) lacks certain basic undergraduate courses for his or her major field, or (2) has not satisfied requirements for regular admission, such as a cumulative grade point average lower than a 3.00. The Graduate School will not accept an applicant with a cumulative GPA lower than 2.7 with the exception of applicants who have achieved at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA during the last four full-time semesters of his or her undergraduate career. Students admitted on provisional status must remove the provisions stated within the specified period of time (usually two semesters). The credits earned for completing deficiency courses cannot be applied toward the requirements of a graduate degree. An applicant needing 15 deficiency credits or fewer may be admitted to graduate school on a provisional basis.  Anyone needing more than 15 credit hours can only enroll at Montana Tech as a post-baccalaureate non-degree student. In such cases, admission to the desired graduate program cannot be guaranteed and will be based on a decision made when fewer than 15 undergraduate deficiency credits remain. Students must reapply or reactivate their application at this time through the Graduate School to request the department to reconsider their admission to the graduape program

Provisional Probation Admission

The Graduate School has developed an admission category for students who meet the criteria for Provisional Admission but who have a grade point average between 2.5 - 2.69.

Students admitted under this status are admitted on academic probation. This student is allowed to register for no more than 9 credits and has one semester to achieve a 3.0 GPA, or the student will be dismissed from the Graduate School. No financial awards can be assigned during the probationary period.

This status is only granted to a student who presents above-average credentials in other admission areas (GRE Scores, work experience, recommendations, etc.) and who demonstrates a strong expectation for a successful graduate career. The admitting Department must request consideration for admission under this status and have a reasonable expectation that the student will be successful in graduate courses.

Non-degree Status

Non-degree students may be admitted to the Graduate School, provided they have a bachelor’s degree and meet the prerequisites for the specific graduate course(s) (500 level) they desire to take. Non-degree students may only register for courses, if space is available, and they are limited to a total of nine (9) 500-level credits (in a single term or over multiple terms). Non-degree status is typically used by students who might wish to take just a course or two.  A $50 application fee, simplified application and an official transcript showing completion of a bachelor’s degree and any pre-requisites for the specific course(s) the student desires to take, must be provided for admission as a non-degree graduate student.  Please note that non-degree status is not an acceptable basis for prospective International students to attain an I-20.

Non-degree students who subsequently want to transfer into a degree program, must apply for admission to that program. For non-degree students, who are admitted to a degree program after applying, Montana Tech policy allows up to 6 credits of courses taken as a non-degree student to be applied to a master’s or certificate program. To be accepted for degree credit, these courses must be judged applicable by the program faculty, have been taken within the previous 5 years, and the student must have earned a grade of B or higher. 

Financial Aid

Application procedures and eligibility criteria are subject to change without notice.

The applicant must be unconditionally accepted for admission to the Graduate School and be in good standing at Montana Tech. Completed Financial Award Application should be sent to the Graduate school program manager as part of the application packet.  The Financial Aid Office can be contacted about federal assistance, loans and scholarships.  the Financial Aid office is located in MG 207.

Enrollment Requirements

To be eligible to receive financial assistance such as graduate teaching assistantships (GTA), graduate research assistantships (GRA), other student employment or tuition waivers, graduate students must be registered for a minimum of 6 credits at the 400 and 500 level. A lower minimum requirement can be requested only during the final semester, if the student is taking all of the remaining credits for the degree. Full-time for VA benefits and GI Bill is 6 credits for the Industrial Hygiene Online and Project Engineering and Management programs for Fall & Spring semesters. For summer, VA full-time is 3 credits.

Graduate Assistantships

Assistantships are granted for teaching or research and require a prescribed number of hours of work on a specified project. Assistantship holders must be admitted to the Graduate School and be registered each semester the assistantship is held.

Teaching assistants often assist in teaching one or more sections of an undergraduate class or laboratory, leading discussion sessions, grading student work or lead tutoring sessions. Research assistants may be assigned to a research project being conducted by a faculty or staff member. Research done on an assistantship may or may not be applied to the student’s thesis, depending on the type of research and the terms of the assistantship.

The work requirement for a full teaching assistantship is 20 hours per week. The work requirement for a full-time research assistant is 20 hours per week. The academic course load that an assistant may take is subject to the advice of the assistant’s advisor or thesis supervisor. Any regular graduate student, registered for 6 or more hours of graduate level courses during a regular semester or three hours during the summer, who is working on a research project in relation to his or her thesis, is qualified for support under the research project as a research assistant if extramural financial support is available from the particular project to pay salary and benefits.  Continuing graduate students, who are registered for 6 or more credits in the subsequent Fall semester may be paid as graduate level research assistants during the summer with a maximum of 40 hours per week.

Graduate Tuition Waivers

Resident and non-resident tuition may be waived for qualified graduate students. Fees are the responsibility of the student. Graduate students applying for tuition waivers may do so by checking the appropriate box on the financial award form which accompanies the application form. Eligibility to continue these awards is determined by the Department and is based upon the following criteria: satisfactory progress towards the degree, maintaining at least a 3.0 Grade Point Average, and continued registration for at least 6 credits at the 400-500 level for the duration of these awards. Contact the Graduate School Office for further information.


U.S. citizens may apply for long-term assistance under the Federal Stafford Loan Program by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.fafsa.gov.


Academic Residence Attendance Requirements

A minimum of two semesters of full-time enrollment will normally satisfy the requirement for academic residency. Part-time students will be deemed to have completed residence requirements when a minimum of 12 credit hours has been earned.

Residency For Tuition and Fee Purposes

Students attending Montana Tech from out-of-state for the sole purpose of furthering their education will not be able to declare Montana residency for the entire time they are enrolled. Establishment of Montana residency is subject to strict rules, described in “THE STUDENT GUIDE TO MONTANA RESIDENCY POLICY”, available from the Graduate School Office. Information regarding residency classification for tuition and fee purposes is available from the Graduate School or on the Graduate School website: http://www.mtech.edu/academics/gradschool/Form.htm

Registration Requirements

A student who has been admitted to the Graduate School for study toward an advanced degree must be registered on a continuing basis for a minimum of three (3) credit hours of graduate courses (400 and above) during each semester of the regular academic year (fall and spring), whether the student is in residence, off-campus, or is pursuing a degree on a part-time basis. Students participating in the Thesis Abroad Program may be subject to additional requirements and should contact the Graduate School. A minimum registration for one (1) credit hour is required if all required course work, seminar, and thesis credits have been completed, but the student has not defended the thesis or presented the publishable paper or submitted the required paperwork to the Graduate School. If registration is allowed to lapse, the student must apply for readmission unless the student has applied for official leave status Please see the Official leave form. Please see “Former Student Application Procedures” for details.

Graduate students consult with their advisor before each registration to plan courses in accordance with the graduate program. The graduate program plan and thesis project should be approved by the thesis committee (or the program director in the case of non-thesis options). All subsequent changes must be similarly approved. The graduate program plan must be filed with the Graduate School Office immediately following the second registration and should be updated as necessary.  The Graduate Student Program Form.

A late fee will be charged for graduate students who register for more than six credits after the first day of class. Registration will not be allowed after the last day to add a class (10 days after the first day of class ).

Academic Loads

The typical full-time graduate student enrolls for nine (9) credits hours per semester, which defines full time for students in on-campus programs. Fifteen (15) credit hours per semester is considered to be the normal maximum graduate load. Higher loads must be approved by the Graduate School and may be permitted if the student is taking a combination of courses at the graduate and undergraduate level. Students applying for financial support should refer to the Financial Support section for minimum registration requirements.


Courses and Credits Applicable to Graduate Programs

Students may petition the Montana Tech Graduate School to accept courses taken prior to enrolling in the Graduate School. The following information discusses the procedures and regulations for accepting these previous course credits.

General Requirements
  1. Graduate students may not challenge courses for graduate credit.
  2. Correspondence credits are not acceptable toward meeting the requirements for an advanced degree.
  3. Courses completed during a semester in which a student is in non-degree status may not be applied toward graduate degree requirements without prior approval of the Graduate School.
  4. Additional limitations related to the various degrees also apply as indicated in the Graduate School sections of the catalog.
  5. For all master’s degree programs, at least one-half of the minimum credit requirements, excluding thesis, project and seminars, must be at the 500/5000 level.
  6. Additional regulations may apply for collaborative programs with other units of the Montana University System.
Courses taken at Montana Tech as an undergraduate student
  1. Graduate courses (500 level) for which credit has been received prior to admission to the Graduate School do not necessarily apply to graduate programs. The decision on the applicability of courses to a graduate program rests with the student’s Graduate Committee. A petition listing these courses and approved by the Department Head of the proposed graduate program must be filed with the Graduate School.
  2. Courses listed in the 400 series may become part of a student’s graduate degree program if the courses are approved by the student’s Graduate committee and were not used to obtain the bachelor’s degree. A petition listing these courses and approved by the Department Head must be filed with the Graduate School.
  3. For students who have applied to the Montana Tech Graduate School, graduate level courses taken prior to completion of a bachelor’s degree may be reserved and/or applied toward any graduate program requirements with approval of the Department Head and concurrence of the Graduate School. Such credits may not be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.
Courses taken at other institutions

Up to 6 credits taken at other graduate schools may be applied to Montana Tech graduate programs subject to the following requirements:

  1. The course must be acceptable for graduate credit at the school where it was taken.
  2. The course must be applicable to the student’s graduate program at Tech as determined by the Graduate Committee.
  3. A “B” grade or better must have been earned. No transfer “C” or “P” grades will be accepted for graduate credit.
Acceptable Academic Progress

All graduate students are required to maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (CGPA) for graduate level courses (4000 and 5000 level). A 3.0 CGPA for course work and thesis is required for graduation. Any course listed in the major or minor in which a grade lower than a “C” has been received must be repeated.


Incompletes (“I” grades) can be granted if a student’s work is satisfactory with at least 70% of the course work having been completed and the student cannot complete the work of the course for reasons beyond his or her control. Incompletes at the graduate level can constitute unacceptable progress toward a degree and may result in the withdrawal of financial aid received by the student. If Incompletes are the appropriate grade, the faculty should provide a written rationale for the grade to the Graduate School to prevent the grade from adversely impacting the student’s continued eligibility for Federal Financial Aid. In general, for Special Topics courses that are ongoing and the project has not been completed, the grade of “N” (Continuing) is more appropriate and should be used instead of “I”.

An Incomplete must be removed at a time designated by the instructor, but before the end of the next semester of residence; the Enrollment Services Office announces the deadlines for each semester. Students should not re-enroll in a class in which they have an Incomplete. In unusual circumstances, the time for removal of the “I” may be extended by permission of the instructor and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Withdrawal, Auditing Classes

Graduate students withdrawing from a special class or changing a class to an audit must secure the signature of their advisor prior to submitting the “drop/add” card to the Enrollment Services Office.

Complete Withdrawal from College

Students requesting a complete withdrawal from Montana Tech’s Graduate School must obtain the appropriate form from the Enrollment Services Office. Upon completion of the form and obtaining all of the appropriate signatures, the student must bring the completed form to the Enrollment Services Office for processing.

Academic Probation Policy

Continued enrollment in the Montana Tech Graduate School requires the maintenance of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (CGPA) for graduate level courses and evidence of academic progress toward the student’s degree objectives. Failure of the student to achieve either of these conditions will result in academic probation and can result in ineligibility for financial support. A student on academic probation must achieve a term GPA of at least 3.00. The student will remain on probation until the CBPA equals or exceeds 3.00. The student may not exceed the maximum of one calendar year of probation and may be suspended from Graduate School if this limit is surpassed.

Suspension Policy

Any student whose cumulative graduate level grade-point average is less than 3.0 (“B”) at the end of the semester of probation may be suspended from the Graduate School. A student who is suspended from graduate standing may continue to take graduate courses as a non-degree student. Reconsideration for graduate admission may be requested after one or more semesters in non-degree status by reapplying for admission. See “Former Student Application Procedures” for details.

Change of Major

Students who request a change in major upon first registration must continue one semester in the program into which they were admitted. They may file an “change of major” form with the Graduate School during any semester but must await evaluation and approval of their application materials by the new program before the transfer can be effected. The change of major and transfer to the new major program is subject to the written approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies acting upon the recommendation of the head of the intended major program.

Minor Programs

At least twelve (12) credits of course work in one subject matter of a Montana Tech graduate program can be considered a minor. Minor credits are in addition to those required to fill the master degree requirements for the major program and must be approved by the committee chair and the student’s advisor. A minor can be earned only in a subject in which a graduate degree is granted. A representative from the minor subject area must be a member of the student’s Graduate Committee. A minor and related course work must be declared on the student program sheet and filed in the Graduate School Office by the end of the second semester. The majority of credits must be in the major field and the Major and Minor credits are indicated on the Student Program form.

Dual Majors

Montana Tech does not permit, in general, credit hours that have been used to satisfy requirements for one Master of Science degree to be applied toward another master’s degree from the institution. However, under exceptional circumstances, a student may petition the Dean of Graduate Studies through the student’s own Graduate Committee for a variance from this policy.

5 Year Master’s Degree Program

Participating departments allow qualified undergraduate students to begin work on the master degree in their junior year at Montana Tech. To qualify for admission to the program, a student must have completed 75 semester credit hours, usually corresponding to the second semester of the junior (3rd) year, and have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or better. Courses undertaken as a Fifth-Year Master Degree student cannot be counted towards both degrees. Students should file a petition with the Graduate School listing those courses that will apply toward the Master Degree. Students must meet all other requirements for admission to graduate school.

Participating Departments include Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, General Engineering, Geochemistry, Geological Engineering, Geology, Geophysical Engineering, Hydrogeological Engineering, Hydrogeology, Industrial Hygiene, Metallurgical/Mineral Processing Engineering, Mining Engineering, and Technical Communication. Interested students should contact the Graduate School Office for additional information.

Time Limitation

A Master of Science degree program must be completed within 6 calendar years dating from the student’s formal entrance into a degree-seeking program. Courses taken by the student at any institution that are requested to be part of his or her degree program and were taken more than six years prior to the date of anticipated graduation must be reviewed by the student’s advisor and the Dean of Graduate Studies for acceptance into the graduate program. Following this review, the Dean of Graduate Studies will determine whether a reduction in credits applicable toward the degree, a re-examination, or both is required for the student to complete the degree program.

Supervision of the Master’s Program - Graduate Committee

Each incoming graduate student will be assigned a graduate advisor by the student’s home department. This advisor will be responsible for assisting the student in designing a program of study until the student selects a permanent Graduate Committee. All students, whether thesis, publishable paper, non-thesis, or project are required to have a Graduate Committee. The Graduate Committee, once selected, shall be responsible for advising the student on all academic and research matters and will serve as the student’s examining committee.

The Chair of the Graduate Committee will be selected by the student and will be responsible for approving the student’s program of academic study and research as indicated by the signature on the Student Program form. In those cases where the student elects to pursue a research project outside the home department, the Chair of the Graduate Committee may be chosen from the department hosting the research project and a graduate advisor must be chosen from the student’s home department. This departmental advisor may serve as Co-Chair of the Graduate Committee.

The Graduate Committee for a master’s degree student will consist of at least three voting members: two members from the student’s major program and one member outside the program and independent from the project appointed by the Graduate Dean as the Graduate School Representative. If the student’s curriculum includes a minor, the minimum membership would be four, including one from the minor program. The committee chair and student are strongly encouraged to nominate one or more individuals to serve as the Graduate School Representative. Voting members of the Committee must have at least a Master’s degree. The Graduate Committee should be appointed by the end of the second semester of graduate study, using the Graduate Committee Appointment Form (http://www.mtech.edu/academics/gradschool/Forms/graduate-committee-appointment-form.pdf). For part-time students, the Committee should be appointed by the end of the semester in which the student earns the 15th credit. Substitutions on this committee can be made with the approval of the Graduate Committee Chair and the Dean of Graduate Studies. An Amended Form must be submitted to the Graduate School to reflect any changes in the committee membership.

Program of Study

The student’s Graduate Committee will assist the student in formulating a program of study leading to the master’s degree. The student’s program of study, approved by the Graduate Committee Chair, must be filed with the Graduate School by the end of the second semester of study. The student is required to seek the Graduate Committee’s approval for any subsequent modification of the original plan of study. The student will submit a copy of any amended program to the Graduate School. Each program of study, and any amendments thereof, must have the signature approval of the student, the Chair of the student’s Graduate Committee, and the Environmental Health and Safety Director, if required.

Thesis: Option A

This is the classical research-oriented degree and is particularly recommended to the student whose educational and professional goals make early research experience desirable. A thesis (maximum of 8 thesis credits apply toward degree), seminar (2 credits minimum) and at least 20 credits of additional course work are required for a minimum of 30 hours total; a student’s department and/or Graduate Committee may require more. See department sections for specific requirements. Thesis credits should be assigned to the committee chair during the registration process.

An individually written thesis based on original research is a requirement for Option A of the Master of Science degree. The thesis should represent an effort of such quality and construction that it can be displayed in the school library with similar scholarly works. The thesis is written under the direction of the committee chair, but the student is encouraged to seek guidance from all members of his or her Graduate Committee. Before starting to write the thesis, the student should review the “Thesis Template Form”.   “The E-Thesis Authorization Form”, and “Graduate Student Product Publication Agreement”  posted on the Graduate School website (http://www.mtech.edu/academics/gradschool/admitted-students/forms.htm).

A final draft of the thesis must be submitted by the student to each member of his or her Graduate Committee at least two weeks before the time and date of the student’s scheduled thesis defense.

To be eligible to participate in Commencement ceremonies, a student must successfully defend his or her thesis, present the publishable paper or project, and/or complete the oral examination at least two weeks before the last day of scheduled classes for Spring Semester.

The completed thesis, after all revisions recommended by the committee have been made, must be signed by the author, and approved and signed by a majority of the student’s Graduate Committee, including the advisor and the chair of the student’s Graduate Committee. The student is encouraged to consult with the Pro-Quest Liason prior to final reproduction to determine the required written and electronic formats required by Pro-Quest and the Graduate School.

Thesis credits receive a grade of “P” or “F” (Pass/Fail) upon completion of defense and thesis. A fail grade will impact a student’s GPA. The grade of “N” is used for continuing thesis research.

Publishable Paper

A traditional thesis is the standard requirement for Thesis Option A, as described above. However, some departments allow the student, with approval of the student’s Graduate Committee, to elect to write a paper for publication in lieu of a traditional thesis. The paper should be of acceptable quality for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and will be formatted in accordance with the chosen journal’s requirements for submission. The Graduate Committee will ensure that the student documents and archives the research results in accordance with accepted research practices. A formal defense of the paper for publication is required and a final draft must be submitted to each member of the student’s Graduate Committee no later than two weeks before the time and date of the student’s scheduled paper defense. The publishable paper, after the inclusion of all revisions recommended by the Committee and approval by a majority of the Committee, must be submitted to the selected journal. Departments which allow the “Publishable Paper” option will note this in their individual program descriptions.

Graduate School policy requries that a copy of the publishable paper be retained by the University and, if there are no publication restrictions, be posted on Digital Commons, Montana Tech’s institutional repository.  If a publishable paper has a publication restriction, it will be held in the Graduate School document repository until the restriction expires.

Non-Thesis: Option B

In some study areas, a student needs more course work beyond the baccalaureate degree before attempting original research. In such fields, Option B allows the student to defer original research until a doctoral program. For students with an advanced degree or terminal degree, a thesis program may unnecessarily repeat a process that the student has already mastered. Under this option, course work is substituted for the thesis requirement. At least 34 credits of course work and 2 credits of graduate seminar (additional to course work) must be completed. See individual Department Requirements.

Graduate School policy requries that a copy of the publishable paper be retained by the University and, if there are no publication restrictions, be posted on Digital Commons, Montana Tech’s institutional repository.  If a publishable paper has a publication restriction, it will be held in the Graduate School document repository until the restriction expires.

Final Examination/Thesis Defense/Publishable Paper Presentation

All Master of Science degree candidates will be given a final examination covering course material. Students electing to pursue the non-thesis option will be given both a comprehensive written and oral exam on their course work. The examination is open to all interested faculty members. The major advisor for students passing both the oral and thesis exams will inform the Graduate School Office in writing of each successful completion.

The student, in consultation with the committee chair, shall select the time for the examination. The committee chair shall seek the approval of all committee members and shall inform the Graduate School in writing of the time and location of the oral examination, and notify the general faculty no later than one full week before the selected time.

The thesis defense, paper presentation, or examination will normally be held during the last three weeks of the final term, but it may be given at any time after the thesis (if applicable) has received final committee approval. It may not be scheduled during the period of final examinations. For graduation in a given semester, the thesis defense, publishable paper presentation, or examination must be completed satisfactorily two weeks before the last day of scheduled classes for that semester. 

The student’s Graduate Committee constitutes the examining board for thesis defense, publishable paper presentation, or final examination. The committee chair is responsible for scheduling the date, time, and location of the defense or publishable paper presentation in a timely manner and is also responsible for ensuring that a majority of the committee and the representative outside the Department is present. The defense, publishable paper presentation, or examination will not be held if these conditions cannot be met. A negative vote by a majority of members of the student’s committee will signify failure of the defense, presentation, or examination.

If the candidate fails to satisfy the examiners on course work, thesis, publishable paper, written or oral examinations, the committee may schedule a re-examination over general background, thesis, or both. The re-examination will be scheduled at the discretion of the candidate’s Graduate Committee, normally 8 to 12 weeks after the date of the first examination.

Doctoral Program Procedures

Dissertation Committee Composition

The dissertation committee shall be comprised of a minimum of five (5) voting members as follows:

  1. A qualified Montana Tech faculty member from the program or unit granting the degree, who shall serve as chair;
  2. A second qualified Montana Tech faculty member or adjunct from the program or unit granting the degree;
  3. A third qualified Montana Tech faculty member or adjunct from the program or unit granting the degree, or from a cooperating program or unit;
  4. A fourth qualified Montana Tech faculty member, not from the program or unit, who represents the Graduate School.
  5. A fifth voting member with any suitable affiliation and expertise. For the collaborative Materials Science Ph.D. program, the fifth member must be a qualified faculty member associated with the Materials Science Ph.D. program and affiliated with either Montana State University or the University of Montana.

Typically qualified members of dissertation committees are individuals with an earned doctorate. Emeritus faculty are eligible to serve on dissertation committees.


Appointment of Dissertation Committee Members

Committee members shall be chosen by the student in consultation with his or her academic advisor, and the student shall forward the nominations to the dean of the Graduate School for approval. The Graduate Committee Appointment Form is to be used to designate the committee, and to document approval by the student, advisor, program/department chairperson, and graduate dean.


Candidacy Examinations

Ideally during the second year of the doctoral program, prior to the start of the dissertation research, and at least one (1) semester before the dissertation defense, the student will complete the Candidacy Examination. The Candidacy Examination will consist of at least (1) a written research proposal, describing the proposed dissertation research, and (2) an oral examination that can cover any relevant topics and the dissertation research plans. Doctoral programs are free to include additional components of the Candidacy Examination, provided those components are described in their program materials and that all candidates are required to experience all components.

  • The examining committee, is typically the same as the student’s dissertation committee. Any exceptions must be justified, proposed to, and approved by the graduate dean (for example, to substitute for a dissertation committee member on sabbatical during the term of the Candidacy Examination).
  • The Candidacy Examination must be announced to Program Faculty, who may attend the examination and ask questions on recognition by the chair.
  • The committee, voting privately, may pass the student with one (1) negative vote for a committee consisting of five (5) members or not more than 25% negative votes for a committee consisting of more than five (5) members.
  • In case of failure, one (1) repeat examination before the same committee is allowed. In case of two failures, the student will not be allowed to continue to the dissertation phase of the doctoral program, but will be allowed to complete a master’s degree.


Dissertation Defense

The Dissertation Defense is an oral examination before the dissertation committee, in which the student presents and defends the dissertation and may be asked questions dealing primarily with the dissertation and its relationship to the student’s field of study. The presentation portion of the Defense is open to the public. Below are the policies and procedures related to the dissertation defense:

  • Deadlines: The last day to defend a dissertation is on or before the last day of regular scheduled classes of the academic term the student intends to graduate.
  • Notification of Defense Date: The candidate must coordinate and schedule the dissertation defense presentation/exam. Once scheduled, the candidate must notify the graduate school program manager of the date, time, location, and title of the defense no less than two (2) weeks prior to the dissertation defense. The graduate school will advertise the defense presentation/exam.
  • Minimum Registration: The candidate must be registered for a minimum of one (1) credit hour of dissertation research in the academic term the student intends to defend the dissertation and graduate.
  • Pre-Defense Committee Meeting: Each member of the graduate committee must be given a minimum of fifteen (15) business days prior to the defense date to read and review the dissertation. At least one (1) week prior to the examination, the committee will meet briefly to determine if the dissertation is ready for defense. This meeting can occur face-to-face or through electronic communication.
    • If there is one negative vote, the student’s adviser and the Graduate Dean may elect to proceed with the Defense.
    • If there are two or more negative votes, the defense will be indefinitely postponed.
  • Defense Presentation/Examination: The examination is open to the public; anyone may ask questions on recognition by the chair. After the presentation and questions by members of the public, the chair will ask everyone except the student and Dissertation Committee members to leave. The Dissertation Committee may ask the student additional questions during the closed session, and then will ask the student to leave, so that the committee, meeting privately, may discuss and vote on whether the student passes the Defense.
  • Defense Evaluation:
    • The student will pass if the dissertation is accepted (either as it stands or pending minor revisions) with only one negative vote. If the committee contains greater than five (5) members, 75% of the committee must vote in favor of passing the student.
    • If there are two or more negative votes on a committee of five (5) members (for committees greater than five (5) members, more than 25% members voting negatively), the committee may schedule and conduct a second and final Dissertation Defense no sooner than two (2) months after the initial defense. During that time, the candidate will be asked to make whatever changes are necessary in the dissertation and to remedy whatever deficiencies were identified during the presentation and questions.
  • Failed Defense: The candidate is allowed two (2) total attempts to pass the defense. At least two (2) months must elapse before the second (2nd) attempt takes place. Failure to pass the second (2nd) attempt will result in the termination of graduate study and dismissal from the academic program. Candidates who are dismissed from the program due to failure to pass the defense are ineligible to reapply to the same degree program.
  • Reporting the Results: The graduate committee and the department head are responsible for providing written notice of the results of the defense to the candidate and to the Graduate School no later than five (5) business days after the defense is held.
  • Invalid Defense: A dissertation defense held in the absence of the candidate’s graduate committee chair or graduate representative or any other required representative will be considered invalid and the defense will have to be rescheduled.
  • Age of Defense: The dissertation defense must be conducted no later than five (5) years after the term of successful completion of the Candidacy Examination.


Exceptions to the deadlines and processes above must be justified and requested in writing, in advance, using the “Petition to Graduate Dean” form.  Suitable accommodations will be provided for a student with a registered disability; a petition to the dean would not be required in this case, but the Advisor and Graduate School must be notified in a timely manner of the disability and need for accommodation.

Ph.D. Materials Science

Montana Tech has joined with the University of Montana and Montana State University to offer the Montana Ph.D. program in Materials Science. This multi-campus program involves faculty, students, and resources on all three campuses.

Within the broad intellectual footprint of materials science and engineering, the proposed Montana University System (MUS) program concentrates on four overlapping and interacting areas, which are important to Montana’s economic interests: biomaterials; materials for energy storage, conversion and conservation; electronic, photonic, and magnetic (EPM) materials; and materials synthesis, processing and fabrication.

The program requires a minimum of 60 semester credits beyond the bachelor’s degree.  Of the 60 credits, at least 18 credits must be obtained for dissertation research, and at least 32 credits must be earned for coursework. Up to 24 semester-credits of coursework from a master’s degree may be accepted toward the minimum degree requirements, but they must be applicable to the Materials Science Ph.D. curriculum, and their acceptance is subject to the review and approval. The 20-credit core curriculum, required of all students, would typically be completed during the first year, and be followed by the Qualifying Exam. The core curriculum consists of Survey of Materials Science and Engineering (2 credits: 1 credit/semester), Advanced Materials Science I (Bonding, Structure, and Defects, 4 credits), Advanced Materials Science II (Function and Application, 3 credits), Thermodynamics of Materials (3 credits), Kinetics and Phase Transformations (3 credits), and Advanced Materials Characterization Techniques I & II (2 credits 1st semester; 3 credits 2nd semester). Students also must pass the candidacy examination, complete and defend a dissertation of original research, and participate in the program’s annual summer symposium.

Application for Degree

Graduate students must complete and file an Application for Master of Science Degree with the Graduate School Office no later than the first week of the semester in which the student expects to complete the degree requirements. This form indicates intent to graduate in a given semester. If degree requirements are not met during the semester indicated on the application, an updated degree application is required. Failure to submit the application by the specified date may result in not receiving commencement information and/or not being included on the Commencement program. Please note: if degree requirements are not met during the term indicated on the Application for Degree, continuing enrollment is required until requirements are met.

Graduate Students are required to enroll for a minimum of 3 credit hours until all required course work, seminars, and thesis credits are satisfactorily completed. In the final semester, a student may enroll for a minimum of 1 credit hour of thesis credit for the purpose of thesis defense, publishable paper presentation, or final examination if all other conditions for graduation have been met.

Certification of Degree

Before a diploma can be released, the Dean of Graduate Studies must certify to the Director of Enrollment Management that the candidate has fulfilled all degree requirements including the submission to the Graduate School of a completed Graduate Student Check-Out List (available in the Graduate Office) with all appropriate signatures. For certification of the degree for a given semester, this release form must be submitted to the Graduate Office by June 30 for Spring graduation, September 30 for Summer graduation, or January 30 for Fall graduation. Candidates are cautioned not to make travel plans or other arrangements that will be difficult or costly to change until they are certain that all degree requirements can and will be satisfied.

Appeal Procedure

Procedures for appealing or petitioning for a variance from certain policies are set forth in the relevant sections of this document when such variances are permitted in unusual or exceptional circumstances. Appeals or petitions involving such matters as grade changes should be logged with the Graduate School Office.

Appeals concerning probation or suspension decisions should first be filed with the Department Head of the student’s major area. Before rendering a decision on the Departmental appeal, the Department Head will seek a recommendation from the student’s Graduate Committee. If the student is not satisfied with the decision on the appeal, the student may petition the Graduate Council for reconsideration. Such petitions must be filed with the Graduate School Office. The final decision will rest with the Dean of Graduate Studies.

In those cases where this document does not provide appropriate information concerning the resolution of a conflict or problem encountered by the graduate student, or if the student is dissatisfied with a prior appeal decision, the student should refer to the college grievance procedures as stated in the catalog and/or seek advice of the Dean of Graduate Studies to determine what resource is available to assist in seeking a solution to such problems.


Summary of Procedures and Deadlines to Complete Master’s Degree Requirements

1. Assignment of Advisor Upon Admission. Assigned by Department Head.
2. Change of Advisor (if desired) By the beginning of the second semester in regular standing. See head of the Division; Submit recommendation to Graduate Studies Office
3. Graduate Program Defined By the end of the second semester. Consult advisor; submit program on official forms to the Graduate Studies Office with all required signatures.
4. Selection of Graduate Advisory Committee As early as possible. If thesis Chair is outside degree department, an advisor must be maintained in degree granting department.
5. Thesis Outline Submitted to Committee Chair As early as possible. Meet with Committee on regular basis to review progress. Submit outline to graduate committee members for approval.
6. Application for Master of Science Degree Due by first week of semester in which completion of degree is expected. Complete application form, (available at Graduate Studies Office and on the website.)
7. Final Changes in Program Submit no later than one month prior to the end of semester of completion of degree requirements. Submit Amended Student Program form to Graduate Studies Office (changes in courses, graduation date, etc.).
8. Thesis Draft Submit draft to Committee and The Pro-Quest Liason 30 days before scheduled defense. Submit draft to Committee for review and to Library to check binding margins.
9. Comprehensive Examination Must be held no later than one week before the last day of regularly scheduled classes of semester in which graduate work is completed. Make arrangements with advisor and graduate advisory committee.
10. Defense of Thesis or Publishable Paper Must be held no later than the last day of regularly scheduled classes of semester in which graduate work is completed and cannot be scheduled during the period of final examinations. Final draft must be submitted to Committee 2 weeks before scheduled defense.  **You must notify the Graduate School no less than two weeks prior to defense date for proper publication of defense.** Make arrangements with chair. Graduate Studies Office notified at least one week in advance.
11. Submission of Thesis The last day of exams of graduating semester Submit to the Pro-Quest Liason.
12. Submission of Graduate Student Check-Out Form and Hazardous Waste Check-Out Form (if applicable) The last day of exams of graduating semester Secure all applicable signatures on Check-Out Form and return to the Graduate Studies Office. This document is required to post your degree.
13. Conferring of degrees End of each semester. Contact Graduate Studies Office for more information.
14. Commencement End of Spring semester only. Completion of defense, presentation of publishable paper or project by last day of scheduled classes is required for participation in Commencement Ceremony.  
Thesis Deadlines for Indicated Term





Draft thesis due to committee chair

3rd Friday in October

Friday before spring break

2nd Wednesday of first session

Draft thesis due to committee members

4th Friday in October

Monday after spring break

3rd Monday of 1st session

Final thesis due to committee members

Friday before Thanksgiving

Friday on/before April 15

2nd Monday of 2nd session

Schedule defense: at least 2 weeks prior to defense*

2 weeks before last day of class

2 weeks before last day of class

2 weeks before last day of class

Absolute last day to defend*

Last day of class

Last day of class

Last day of class

Final thesis draft, approved by committee submitted to E-Thesis coordinator

Last day of exams

Last day of exams

Last day of exams

Final check-out list to Grad School*

Last day of exams

Last day of exams

Last day of exams


Students are encouraged to submit their theses and hold their defenses as early as possible. The dates above are final deadlines for completion in the indicated term.


The thesis defense is a public seminar. It must be scheduled and announced no later than two weeks prior to the defense date. A waiver must be requested from the graduate dean if you anticipate having your defense sooner than two weeks after the announcement.


*Exceptions require a petition to the graduate dean. Missing the defense deadline or the final checkout deadline will require the student to register for at least one thesis credit in the following term. No exceptions will be granted to the final check out date. Other deadlines are subject to the willingness of the committee chair and members. Faculty members have many responsibilities and obligations, especially during the period approaching the end of any term. When students miss the thesis draft deadlines, faculty may be unable to review the thesis in time for the asterisked deadlines to be met. Faculty members have no obligation to accommodate students who fail to meet these deadlines.


**Subject to the willingness and availability of committee chair and members, many of whom are not on campus during the summer.



Master of Science

Ph.D Academic Programs


Doctor of Philosophy

M.S. Academic Programs



Master of Science

Graduate Certificate