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University of Hawaii at Manoa - 2016

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Engineering Information

Degree Requirements

Bachelor's Degree Requirements

1. Complete coursework for one of the engineering curricula, which also satisfies all University requirements
2. Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 for all registered credit hours
3. Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 for all upper-division courses (numbered 300-499) in mathematics, science and engineering

Details regarding the curricula may be found on the College of Engineering's website ( Curricula check sheets for undergradutae students list all of the courses needed to complete the BS degree.

Master's Degree Requirements

Civil Engineering -Department offers Plan A (thesis) or Plan B (non-thesis) program with several areas of concentration. Both Plan A and Plan B require a minimum of 31 credit hours, including seminars. Plan A includes 9 credit hours of thesis research, 9 credits of 400 level courses, and a minimum of 12 credit hours in graduate civil and environmental engineering courses (exclusive of thesis, seminar, and directed reading). Plan B requires a minimum of 18 credit hours of graduate civil and environmental engineering courses, exclusive of seminar and directed reading, as well as a master's project. Both plans require a minimum of 1 credit of seminar. A dual master's degree in civil engineering and business administration is also available. Reference:

Electrical Engineering - Plan A (thesis): This program requires 30 credit hours in approved technical courses including one graduate seminar in electrical engineering or a related field. This plan requires 9 credit hours in EE 700 Thesis Research and a minimum of 12 credit hours in 600-level courses in a major track (computers, electro-physics, or systems), 6 credit hours in 400- or higher-level EE courses outside of the major track, and 3 credit hours in 400- and higher-level elective courses. A maximum of 6 credit hours in 400 level courses is allowed. See the website for Plan B (non-thesis) requirements. Reference:

Mechanical Engineering - Students are required to follow the Plan A (thesis) program. However, under special circumstances, a petition to follow Plan B (non-thesis) may be granted by the graduate faculty. A minimum of 30 credit hours is required for graduation, including 1 credit hour for seminar. Plan A students must take 8 credit hours of thesis research, 12 credit hours in the ME 600 course series, and 9 credit hours in technical electives. Technical elective courses must be at the 400 level or above, selected from engineering, mathematics, or physical sciences approved by the student's thesis committee. For graduation, each candidate must present an acceptable thesis (research report for Plan B) and must pass a final oral examination based on the thesis for Plan A or on the course work and the research report for Plan B. Reference:

Ocean and Resources Engineering: The MS degree can be earned under either Plan A (thesis) or Plan B (independent project) option. The program requires a minimum of 30 academic credits. At least 24 credits must be earned in advanced courses numbered 600 or above. Up to two credits of directed reading and six transferred credits can be counted toward the MS requirements. Students who satisfy the pre-program requirements are required to take the General Examination during the first semester of their full-time enrollment to test their knowledge in mathematics, science, and basic engineering, and their preparation for the graduate-level coursework. Passing the exam advances the students to master's candidacy. Students who passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination within the last three years are exempted from taking the General Examination. Reference:

Biological Engineering: Twenty one course credits (12 credits must be from BE courses of which 9 must be earned in courses numbered 600-699, 12 or more course credits must be at 600 level or above), one graduate seminar in biological engineering or equivalent, 9 thesis research credits. MS students shall define and discuss their research projects with their major advisors and write a two-page research proposal with specific objectives within the first semester.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Civil Engineering - The Department offers a graduate program leading to the Ph.D. degree in civil engineering with areas of concentration in construction management, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, and transportation.

All Ph.D. students are required to take a qualifying examination (QE), to be taken no later than the third semester following admission into the Ph.D. program.
Students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 50 credit hours in course work beyond the B.S. and a minimum of 1 credit hour in civil and environmental engineering graduate seminars as a Ph.D. student. Based on a written recommendation of the student’s dissertation committee, and with the approval of the Graduate Program Chair, students entering the Ph.D. program may be granted an equivalence of up to 30 credit hours earned as part of the student’s M.S. program. The 30 credit hour equivalents may include up to 9 credit hours for the previous M.S. thesis work, but exclude graduate seminar credit hours taken as part of the M.S. program.
Every Ph.D. student must pass a comprehensive examination. The purpose of this examination is to ascertain the student’s comprehension of the advances in the chosen specialty. Examinations are given when, in the judgment of the dissertation committee, the student has had sufficient preparation, but not sooner than six calendar months after the student has passed the qualifying examination. PhD candidates are required to take a final examination in defense of their thesis. Reference:

Electrical Engineering - Doctoral students must have an MS degree in EE or its equivalent; otherwise, the MS course requirements must be met (equivalent courses taken elsewhere can be counted toward this requirement subject to prior approval from the graduate chair). In addition, the following 40 credits are required:

9 credits of 600-level courses in the major track
3 credits of 600-level courses outside the major track
3 credits of EE 790 Directed Instruction
24 credits of EE 699 (6 credits can be substituted by 600 level courses in EE)
1 credit of EE 800 Dissertation Research during the semester of graduation.

The graduate seminar requirement, in electrical engineering or a related field, must also be fulfilled (see the seminar policy). Furthermore, doctoral students must pass the qualifying examination to advance to PhD candidacy, must pass the comprehensive examination for the approval of a dissertation proposal, and must pass the final examination for the approval of the dissertation itself. Reference:

Mechanical Engineering - Intended candidates for the PhD are required to pass an oral qualifying examination within the prescribed period of time. After passing the qualifying examination, the student will be admitted to the status of "candidate" in the PhD program. Students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 50 credit hours in course work beyond the BS level. They are required to select one major and one minor field of study within the following three areas of concentration: materials/manufacturing, mechanics/systems/controls, or thermal/fluid sciences.

Students who enter the program may, with the approval of the graduate chair, be credited with up to 30 credits for equivalent work to be counted toward their PhD-credit-hour requirement. Up to 8 of these 30 credit hours may be assigned for prior MS thesis work. Students who possess a second MS degree may be credited with up to 9 additional credit hours for equivalent work. Up to 6 credit hours may be assigned for course work taken as an unclassified graduate student. All courses shall be selected by students but must be approved in writing by their committees. These courses must form an integrated education plan. A minimum of 2 credit hours in ME 691 or its equivalent must be included in every PhD program.

PhD candidates must pass an oral comprehensive examination to demonstrate their comprehension of the chosen areas of study relevant to their dissertation proposals and basic knowledge of courses taken in their major and minor fields. Students who fail the comprehensive examination may, at the discretion of the graduate faculty concerned, repeat it once after at least six months. Students who fail the examination a second time will be dropped from the program. Students are required to complete a satisfactory doctoral dissertation and to pass an oral final examination based primarily upon the dissertation. The final examination will be administered by the respective PhD committee. A student passes the final examination upon the favorable recommendation of a majority of the PhD committee. Reference:

Ocean and Resources Engineering - The pre-program, core course, and seminar requirements are the same as those for the ORE program at the MS level. PhD students are also required to take an advanced mathematics course at the graduate level.
All intended candidates for the PhD degree must take a written qualifying examination preferably before or during the third semester of full-time enrollment. In addition to covering the basic undergraduate fundamentals, the 4-hour examination tests the students’ understanding of ORE 411, 603, 607, and 609. The examination is conducted by the PhD qualifying exam committee of the department and the outcome is determined by a vote of the departmental faculty.
After passing the qualifying examination and being advanced to candidacy, the student may begin preparation of the dissertation proposal and forms a dissertation committee consisting of a minimum of five graduate faculty members with at least one ORE departmental faculty member and at least one member from outside ORE. The majority of the committee should be either ORE departmental or cooperating faculty members. The committee must be approved by the Graduate Chair of the department who may appoint an additional member to the committee after consultation with the Committee Chair. Upon completion of the dissertation proposal, the student must take a comprehensive examination conducted by the dissertation committee to test his or her ability to carry out original research and preparation for the proposed dissertation topic. The examination consists of a presentation of the student’s proposed research work followed by an oral component in which the student must defend the novelty of the proposed research, address any issues brought up by the committee, and demonstrate his/her ability to successfully conduct the research.
PhD students are expected to publish their research work in refereed journals in order to obtain feedback from the research community and to develop a publication track record prior to graduation. The student must present and defend the dissertation at a final examination, which is conducted by the dissertation committee.