PLAN OF STUDY

The Plan of Study is a guideline for coursework to be taken during the graduate program. Each Plan of Study is unique and should be developed in consultation with the student’s advisory committee, to achieve the educational objectives of the student, and to comply with the requirements of The Graduate School. The Plan of Study should also reflect the research interests of a student. Because of the close relationship between a student’s overall educational objectives and research interests, Ph.D. and M.S. thesis-option students should submit a Statement of Research Interests, along with a Statement of Personal Academic Interests and Goals, with the Plan of Study. Non-thesis M.S. students should submit a Statement of Personal Academic Interests and Goals. (Note: A Plan of Study may include provisions for minor requirements. For example, a statistics minor (M.S. or Ph.D.) is available. Consult the Graduate Catalog for detailed requirements of various minors.)

A clear timeline for completion of the degree is as important as the Plan of Study. Such a timeline protects the interests of students, faculty members, and the University, by ensuring that resources are directed towards the production of useful scientific and engineering data in a timely manner. Tables 1-3 list milestone events for each degree program covered by this handbook, along with suggested dates (relative to starting date), for full time students. As soon as the major professor is selected, the graduate student should prepare a mutually agreed upon table (Tables 1-3) with milestone dates appropriate to his or her program. Failure to achieve any milestone by the mutually agreed upon deadline dates may lead to loss of assistantship and/or dismissal from the graduate program. If a graduate student foresees missing a deadline date, immediate consultation with the major professor should occur.

MilestonePredecessorsDeadlineMutually Agreed-Upon Date
1. Selection of Major Professor2 months after program start
2. Selection of Committee(1)3 months after program start
3. Plan of Study, Capstone Project & Admission to Candidacy Approved by Committee(2)5th week of 2nd semester
4. Capstone Project Underway(3)12 months after program start
5. Final Exam Scheduled(4)Approximately 15 months after program start (Consult Graduate School website)
6. Capstone Project Completed(3)Prior to Final Exam
7. Final Exam(5)Approximately 17 months after program start (Consult Graduate School website)
Table 1. Milestones in BsE, BsET, and ESS masters programs – Non-thesis option.

Graduate School Forms

MilestonePredecessorsDeadlineMutually Agreed-Upon Date
1. Selection of Major Professor1 month after program start
2. Selection of Committee(1)2 months after program start
3. Research Proposal and Plan of Study Approved by Committee(2)Last Day of 1st Semester
4. Admission to Candidacy Approved by Committee *(3)After 1st Semester or after nine hours of graduate coursework
5. Research Project Underway(3)Beginning of 2nd Semester
6. Coursework Completed(4)Typically, one semester prior to graduation, but flexible per Graduate Committee
7. Data Collection and Analysis Completed(5)Typically, 6 months prior to graduation, but flexible per Graduate Committee
8. Draft Thesis to Thesis Advisor **(7)1 week prior to submitting to major professor
9. Draft Thesis to Major Professor(8)2 months prior to Final Exam
10. Final Exam Scheduled(9)Approximately 1 month prior to Final Exam (Consult Graduate School website)
11. Revised Thesis to Committee(9)2 weeks prior to Final Exam
12. Final Exam(11)Approximately 23 months after program start (Consult Graduate School website)
Table 2. Milestones in BsE, BsET, and ESS masters programs – Thesis Option

Graduate School Forms

** The Thesis Advisor is in The Graduate School, and ensures that theses and dissertations meet format requirements.

MilestonePredecessorsDeadlineMutually Agreed-Upon Date
1. Selection of Major Professor3 months after program start
2. Selection of Committee(1)6 months after program start
3. Plan of Study Approved by Committee *(2)Last Day of 2nd Semester
4. Begin Research Relevant to Project (e.g. literature, experimental, modeling)(1)Beginning of 2nd Semester
5. Research Proposal to Committee(3), (4)12 months after program start
6. Schedule Comprehensive Exams; Provide Updated Research Proposal to Committee(5)18 months after program start
7. Pass Written Comprehensive Exam(6)19 months after program start
8. Pass Oral Comprehensive Exam, including Defense of Proposal; and Submit Admission to Candidacy(7)20 months after program start
9. Begin Intensive Dissertation Research(5)23 months after program start
10. Coursework Completed(3)28 months after program start
11. Draft Dissertation to Major Professor(9)2 months prior to Final Exam
12. Final Exam scheduled(10), (11)Approximately 1 month prior to Final Exam (consult Graduate School website)
13. Revised Dissertation to Committee(11)1 month prior to Final Exam
14. Final Exam **(13)Approximately 35 months after program start (consult Graduate School website)
15. Dissertation Approved(14)Approximately 36 months after program start
Table 3. Milestones in BsE and PSES Soils doctoral programs

* Particular attention must be paid to the requirement for continuous registration for Dissertation course credit (600). See Graduate Catalog for details.

** Graduate School Forms