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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


The Master of Engineering does not specify a 'major' area of study on the diploma. What is the correct protocol with regards to my resume?

The Master of Engineering degree does not specify a 'major' area of study on the diploma. However, it is appropriate for the graduate to state his/her primary area of specialization in any communication, including the resume. For example, this can be done in a cover letter to anyone who requests a transcript. The transcript(s) will then reflect course work taken in the area of specialization.

Is the Master of Engineering a terminal degree?

The Master of Engineering degree is not a terminal degree. It is, however, usually designed for/by students who are now in the engineering workforce or who plan for employment upon graduation. While it will not stop anyone from pursuit of a PhD degree, that is not usually its focus. Students who intend to continue their educational careers beyond the master's level are encouraged to take master's courses appropriate for entry into a PhD program. Entry into most PhD programs is contingent on appropriate preparation rather than on the name of, or existence of, an applicant master's degree.

How do professional organizations and other academic institutions perceive the Master of Engineering program?

Numerous engineering colleges grant Master of Engineering degrees, typically designated as practice oriented master degrees. Examples of schools offering such degrees are: MIT, U Michigan, Princeton U, Virginia Tech, U Wisconsin, and Lehigh U. The Master of Engineering degree offered by Southern University will be as successful as the reputation it builds. The University already has outstanding, reputable recognition across the nation. The reputation of this new master's degree in engineering is building upon these existing reputations.

What is the difference between a Master of Engineering and a Master of Science?

  1. The Master of Engineering degree requires the completion of 30 credit hours of coursework that are approved by an engineering faculty committee.
  2. Up to six credit hours from a practice-oriented project may be applied to the program of study.
  3. Within the 30 credit hours, students must complete a minimum of three hours in applied engineering mathematics as well as three hours of engineering management/business. Half of all coursework, excluding the practice-oriented project, must be in engineering.
  4. Up to 6 credit hours can be transferred from other approved institutions, but courses taken at the other two collaborating universities are not transfer credit.
  5. There is no residency requirement.
  6. The student's faculty committee determines the form of the final examination.
  1. A Master of Science degree in an engineering discipline usually requires 30 credit hours of coursework that are approved by an engineering faculty committee.
  2. Most degree programs require theses or projects as part of the program of study. There are some coursework only degrees.
  3. Within the 30 credit hours students must complete a set of specific courses or categories of courses and they are usually allowed some degree of freedom with the remainder.
  4. Except for a limited number of credits (typically 6) that can be transferred from other approved institutions, the remaining credit requirements must be met by graduate-level courses at the granting institution.
  5. In most cases a minimum number of courses, typically 12 units, of course work must be completed in residence at the granting institution.
  6. The students faculty committee determines the form of the final examination.

What if my undergraduate degree is in something other than engineering?

You can take undergraduate courses that will prepare you for the graduate program. The specific courses you need to take will depend on your undergraduate coursework and the specialty area you want to pursue. You should talk with a Master of Engineering Graduate Advisor in your desired specialty area.

How many people will be on my advisory committee?

That may vary depending on your academic unit and your area of study. Typically, it will consist of at least three faculty members. You may also be able to include your work supervisor, faculty from other departments.

What is an "academic unit?"

An academic unit has curricular control for a degree program. A department is an example of an academic unit. Other academic units exist to administer cross-disciplinary majors or degrees between departments and/or colleges on a campus.

Can the practice-oriented project be related to my work assignments?

Probably, you need to plan the project with your project committee (probably the same as your advisory committee) and assure that the project addresses academic issues as well as the requirements of your employer.

What if I need one or two courses to enhance my skills at work, but don't want to pursue the degree?

You can choose specific courses you are interested in taking and then apply for those courses as a non-degree seeking graduate student. You can then register for those courses. Keep in mind that some academic units restrict the enrollment of non-degree seeking students to assure that degree-seeking students are able to get their required courses. If you change your mind later and want to pursue the degree, you will need to apply to the Master of Engineering program and develop a program of study with your advisory committee. The courses you took prior to getting an approved program of study may or may not apply toward your graduate degree requirements.