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Montana State University - 2016

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Engineering Information

Degree Requirements

Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Montana State University engineering programs require a minimum of 125 to 128 semester credits for graduation. Of these, 42 credits must be in upper division courses (numbered 300 and above). All degree programs within the College of Engineering meet or exceed these standards, and specific requirements for each are tabulated in the sections describing these programs.

In addition to minimum credit requirements, students within the College of Engineering (COE) must meet COE General Education Core and university Core 2.0 requirements, participate in a capstone (senior) or multi-disciplinary design experience, and take the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam.

College of Engineering General Education CORE:

More than ever, engineers, technologists, and computer scientists must possess communication skills and an awareness of how design and policy decisions affect society. These topics plus other general education offerings are provided through a coherent program of general education required by all College of Engineering degree programs. University core requirements for communication, mathematics, and sciences are met or exceeded by all College of Engineering degree programs, and the College of Engineering encourages students' participation in the broader areas of humanities, social sciences, arts and diversity. These areas are designed to complement the technical content of the degree program.

College of Engineering students who are exempt from the Core 2.0 College Writing requirement because of their ACT or SAT scores are required to take a college-level writing class to fulfill the writing requirement. College-level writing classes include WRIT 201, WRIT 221, UH 201, UH 202, or a departmentally approved substitute.

CORE 2.0:

Montana State University implemented Core 2.0 Fall 2004 semester. Core 2.0 was developed to enhance students' use of multiple perspectives in making informed critical and ethical judgments in their personal, public, and professional lives.

This Core is built on five Foundation courses, and on Inquiry and Research & Creative Experience courses in Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences.

Foundation Courses: University Seminar (US), College Writing (W), Quantitative Reasoning (Q), Diversity (D), Contemporary Issues in Science (CS).

Ways of Knowing: All students must take at least one (1) Inquiry or one (1) Research & Creative Experience course in each of the following areas: Arts (IA or RA), Humanities (IH or RH), Natural Sciences (IN or RN), Social Sciences (IS or RS).

All students must take at least one (1) approved Research & Creative Experience course or a total of three credits of independent undergraduate research (289R/290R or 489R/490R). Students may take an approved Research & Creative Experience course in one of the four Ways of Knowing areas or they may take a separate Research & Creative Experience course in any discipline, including the Undergraduate Scholars Program (USP 489R/490R). Any course with the "R" suffix satisfies this requirement.

Capstone Design Project:

Student teams, usually 3 to 5 students, are formed to complete a capstone design project. Most projects address "real-world," open-ended problems and have an external sponsor. Interdisciplinary teams are encouraged. Such projects synthesize the curricula and serve as a platform for student outcomes assessment.

Fundamentals of Engineering Exam:

The FE exam is a nationally normalized test that is required of graduating engineering seniors at MSU. Students are required to enroll in ENGR 499 (Engineering Program Assessment) during one of their last 2 semesters of course work, take the FE Exam, and make an honest and serious effort to pass the exam. Review sessions are available leading up to the exam.

Master's Degree Requirements

Most Masters of Science in Engineering programs have a thesis (Plan A), or professional paper or project (Plan B) option. Plan A is a research-oriented master's degree with expectations for original research. It is particularly recommended for the student whose educational and professional goals make early research experience desirable. At least 10 thesis credits must be successfully completed for thesis plan programs. Plan B serves two types of graduate students: students who need course work beyond their baccalaureate before being qualified to do acceptable research, and students who are in a professional or terminal degree program or for whom thesis research is not necessary. A maximum of 6 credits of Professional Paper/Project may be included on Plan B. Seamless Masters' programs are also under the Plan B option. The minimum credit requirement for master's degrees is 30 credits; individual degree programs may require more. Each candidate for a master's degree, including professional and/or seamless degrees, must pass a written and/or oral comprehensive examination. Additional department-specific requirements may apply.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Ph.D. in Engineering candidates will register in one of the five departments offering the following options: Applied Mechanics, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Industrial Engineering or Mechanical Engineering. Course requirements include a two course (five credit) series where students learn about proposal preparation, teaching and learning styles, distance learning, accreditation, and other relevant topics. Students also have classroom teaching experience, prepare a literature review on their research topic, and prepare and defend a research proposal. In addition, students must take two courses in mathematical systems, a minimum of eighteen (18) credits of doctoral dissertation, and other courses required by their option and approved by their committee. All doctoral candidates will be required to pass three examinations: a Ph.D. qualifying examination taken during the first year of the program, a comprehensive exam taken within two years of qualifying for the program, and a dissertation defense.