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Master’s Student Information

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Master of Science students studying at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology have unique concerns and responsibilities.

Each new graduate student must complete a program of study that must be approved by the faculty mentors and the graduate programs director. That document will be prepared and reviewed in the context of your background and career goals. Significant changes in the program of study require the approval of your faculty mentor and the graduate program’s director.

With faculty advice and approval, students determine a unique set of courses to fulfill the 30 credit hours requirement. Students can choose a thesis or non-thesis options. Non-Thesis students can do 30 hours of coursework, or conduct a project, which would be 3 hours of the 30. Thesis students work with a faculty mentor to devise a specific plan. 

Admitted graduate students are expected to meet with their faculty advisers at least once each semester. Students must have their faculty adviser’s permission to enroll in new academic work in anticipation of a new academic term. This Annual Student Review must be completed in consultation with the faculty advisor and submitted to the respective program coordinator or department chair and the Office of Graduate Education & Research.

To find out more about admission and program requirements, visit our catalog program pages below.

Engineering, M.S.

Aviation, M.S.

Suggested Timelines for Master of Science Students

Students enrolled in a Master of Science program through Parks College must maintain continuous enrollment. Review the academic calendar to ensure you apply for graduation on time and schedule your defense and other appointments accordingly.

  • Meet with your adviser
  • Complete annual student review (January for new summer & fall students; May for all other students)
First semester
  • Complete proposed M.S. program of study
  • Begin coursework
During your studies
  • Resume coursework
  • Decide on research topic (if completing thesis option)
  • Complete master’s thesis proposal (if completing thesis option)
  • Begin research (if completing thesis option)
Last semester
  • Apply for graduation
  • Complete final M.S. program of study
  • Thesis defense (if completing thesis option)
  • Meet with master’s candidacy specialist (if completing thesis option)
  • Submit thesis to ProQuest (if completing thesis option)

Thesis or Project Option

Master of Science students at Parks College have the option of completing a thesis or a project at the end of their studies.

Students who are research oriented and/or considering pursuing a Ph.D. degree can complete a research thesis for six credits. This is the traditional option for students who would like to continue in academia or work in research. Students who are interested in conducting a small research project not quite on the scale as a thesis can do the non-thesis project option.

Students are encouraged to publish their thesis research in journals and scientific conferences, and student projects may be the basis of a conference abstract or presentation. This is not a degree requirement, but individual research areas may expect that students prepare a manuscript for a publication or conference poster presentation.

Thesis Details

Students completing the thesis should prepare a thesis proposal before the end of their first year in the program. The title and outline for this proposal are approved by the guidance committee and reported on the thesis proposal form. After completing the thesis proposal, you will meet with the guidance committee at least once every semester, and your faculty research mentor as often as needed.

Before graduation, you must complete an oral thesis defense in a forum that includes both a public presentation and a private discussion with the guidance committee. Based on the defense, the guidance committee will either approve the thesis, conditionally approve with specific instructions on revisions, or not approve. The guidance committee notifies the office of graduate education and research of their decision via the official results form.

Project Details

Students completing the project option must successfully plan, conduct and complete a small scale project within a semester. This can include producing a research result, a product prototype in hardware or software, or a solution to a problem in industry or academia. The project should go beyond simply providing a learning experience; it should represent a contribution by the student.


BS-MS Accelerated Program in Engineering

Parks Engineering Juniors may apply for the BS-MS Accelerated program during their second (spring) semester. Students must have a minimum of 75 credits earned with a 3.25/4.00 CGPA when applying for the accelerated program. If accepted, students will start graduate level coursework their senior year while completing the BS requirements, and once they graduate with their BS, they will have one more year to complete their MS. Students are expected to finish both degrees in 5 years. Students may apply up to 15 credits of graduate coursework (5000 level and above) toward both their bachelor's and master's degree. Taking more than 15 credits of graduate coursework will count towards their master's degree. For more information on admission and program requirements, read the Accelerated BS-MS Engineering Info Sheet

The application period for the Accelerated BS-MS Program in Engineering is now closed for the 2020-2021 academic year, but you can view the BS-MS Program in Engineering application here. For the 2021-2022 academic year, applicants will work within their program on this application (subject to change, please check back as it gets closer), first seeking approval from the tentative MS advisor before submitting the application to the Director of the School of Engineering by March 25, 2021 before they are submitted our office for final approval (room 1002 of McDonnell Douglas Hall) by April 1, 2021.  If you have any questions, please contact Nicole Mispagel at or stop by our office. 

"The BS-MS program was a really great opportunity for me since I was already planning on pursuing a master's degree to be more competitive in the current job market. I was previously concerned about the time and cost commitment from a traditional master's program, but this path helped me achieve what I needed in half the time and cost."Tracy Lu, 2017 BS-MS graduate in Biomedical Engineering

Transfer of Credits

As a general rule, students may transfer no more than 20%, or 6 credits from another university, towards their degree here at Parks. Incoming master’s students should include any transfer credits in their degree plan, which must be approved by the office of graduate education and research and their faculty adviser. Coursework taken elsewhere during their Parks program must be pre-approved and follow all university requirements for transfer.