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COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

College of Engineering
http://www.coe.montana.edu/

Dean
Robert Marley

Associate Dean
Anne K.Camper

Assistant Dean
Heidi Sherick

Degrees Offered

Master's Degrees (refer to the individual engineering departments on the following pages).
Ph.D. in Computer Science (refer to the Computer Science Department document for further information)
Ph.D. in Engineering with options in:

    • Applied Mechanics
    • Civil Engineering
    • Chemical Engineering
    • Electrical & Computer Engineering
    • Environmental Engineering
    • Industrial Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering

The Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering degree is offered through the College of Engineering. The most current information on requirements for the degree can be found at: http://www.coe.montana.edu/graduate_programs.html

Candidates will be admitted to both the College of Engineering and the College of Graduate Studies under one of seven options:

Applied Mechanics

This option involves research in areas central to engineering mechanics including solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, thermal mechanics, geo-mechanics, and structures.

Coordinating Departments: Chemical and Biological Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. Typical Research Areas: solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, biomechanics, thermal sciences, structural mechanics.

Civil Engineering

This option involves research in geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, environmental engineering, water resources engineering, and construction management.

Coordinating Departments: Civil Engineering and Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. Typical Research Areas: geosynthetics seismic response of structures and foundations, innovative structural materials, intelligent transportation systems, transportation operations, recycled pavements and base materials, road ecology, and constructed wetlands.

Chemical Engineering

This option involves research in transport phenomena in complex systems, biofilms, biological materials, and the chemical and biochemical transformation of materials.

Coordinating Department: Chemical and Biological Engineering. Typical Research Areas: extremophilic bioprocessing, in situ biocatalyzed heavy metal biotransformations in natural and engineered biological systems, biomaterials, biorheology , colloidal system dynamics, metabolic engineering, metabolic systems analysis, biofuels processing, composite materials, durability of materials, surface interactions, catalysis, membrane materials, separations.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

This option involves research in electronic component and system hardware, design, development and theory.

Coordinating Department: Electrical and Computer Engineering . Typical Research Areas: communications, digital electronics, computer engineering, microelectromechanical systems, optics and optical electronics, power systems and power electronics, signal processing, systems and controls.

Environmental Engineering

This option involves research in all areas of the environment including soil, water, and air, with emphasis on microbial interactions with natural and engineered systems.

Coordinating Departments: CHMYical and Biological Engineering and Civil Engineering. Typical Research Areas: bioremediation, wetlands, water treatment, wastewater treatment, ,solid and hazardous waste treatment, biofilm engineering.

Industrial Engineering

This option involves research related to areas of Industrial Engineering.

Coordinating Department: Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. Typical Research Areas: operations research, transportation modeling, simulation, quality engineering, engineering management, ergonomics, and human factors

Mechanical Engineering

This option involves research in advance structures and materials, fluid dynamics, and energy systems.

Coordinating Department: Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. Typical Research Areas: composite materials, durability and strength of materials, smart/active structures, membrane materials, transport in complex systems, solid oxide fuel cells, ceramic processing, micro/nanotechnological devices and biomemetics.

Application and Admission
(M.S. and Ph.D.)

For M. S. students, applications should be made through the graduate coordinator of the appropriate engineering department. Applications can be initiated through traditional mail or through electronic pre-applications using e-mail or online Web forms. Each department has a World Wide Web page that can be accessed from the College of Engineering web page whose URL is http://www.coe.montana.edu.

For Ph.D. students, the following procedures apply:

1. Contact College or Department for application materials and submit for review.

Minimum College Requirements for Full Admission:

- at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA

- Verbal + Quantitative + Analytical GRE scores >1700

- Favorable letters of recommendation from three references

- Graduate GPA (if applicable) of 3.2 or better

- TOEFL scores of 580 (237 for computer test version) or greater for international students or a minimum International English Language Testing System (IELTS) band score of 7.

- A personal statement of the applicant's objectives

2. Department/s attach summary admission form and circulate application to match students with research needs.

 3. Department Head reviews application in conjunction with faculty recommendation, and exercises one of the following options.

a. Full admission - Forward to Option Coordinator.

b. Provisional admission - Determine conditions that candidate will be accepted and notes actions to be taken, then forwards to Associate Dean.

c. Reject admission because of academic qualifications

d. Reject admission based on lack of fit with COE research programs or the lack of a potential advisor

4. Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering reviews applications, returns to department for submission to the Division of Graduate Education (DGE).

5. DGE reviews application to ensure DGE standards are met with the following possible options.

a. Accept

b. Reject

c. Return to Department Head and Associate Dean with recommendation for further consideration.

  1. Applicant is informed of acceptance or rejection letter by DGE.

Acceptance into the program is not always a guarantee of funding (tuition or stipend). Students should establish a dialogue with their chosen department to determine the availability of funding.

If there are course deficiencies that are identified in the student’s educational background, these must be completed prior to full admission (matriculation).

In most cases, students will be admitted to the program only if a suitable advisor has already been identified. For those entering without having an advisor/major professor previously identified, students should secure an advisor as early as possible, but no later than the end of the third semester of registration in the Ph.D. program. During the selection process, there should be discussions with the student that include an understanding of funding available to the student and the term of commitment.

Program Requirements
(M.S. and Ph.D.)

Master's degree candidates should refer to the appropriate engineering department for detailed degree requirements. See the For Master's Students section for additional program requirements. Students are expected to be familiar with both departmental and College of Graduate Studies degree requirements.

To satisfy the requirements for the Ph.D. in Engineering, the student will take a minimum of 60 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree according to the table below. Different options within the Ph.D. in Engineering and individual graduate student committees may require additional coursework beyond the minimum requirements (see Declared Option Coursework section later in this document).

For students entering with a Masters degree, up to 24 graded credits may be applied (see below). However, the EGEN 694 and ENGR 610 requirements and a minimum of 13 additional graded course credits must still be taken at Montana State University. Depending on option requirements, students may have the option (with approval of the committee) of using some of their M.S. credits toward the advanced M and numerical methods requirements.

Minimum Degree Requirements for Ph.D. in Engineering

 

Description

Minimum
Credits

ENGR 610 can only be taken once

3

EGEN 694 † 2 credits maximum counted for program

2

Advanced M* - see declared option coursework

3

Numerical Methods* - see declared option coursework

3

Other Graded Courses - see declared option coursework

24

Dissertation

18

Additional Dissertation or Course credits

7

Total

60

†EGEN 694 will be taken once as a two credit class by students enrolling as of August, 2007. For students entering the program under these guidelines, EGEN 694should be taken the semester prior to scheduling the comprehensive exams. All previous students who have already taken one credit of EGEN 694 will enroll for one subsequent credit. The second credit should be taken the semester prior to the student’s comprehensive exam.

*Course content must be above and beyond that typically required for an undergraduate degree in the student’s Ph.D. option area.

Credits applied from a prior Masters degree must:

- be graded course credits (e.g., not M.S. thesis or independent study credits),

- have a grade of B or higher (or equivalent), and

- be approved by the student’s graduate committee.

 Students are expected to attend the COE Seminar Series presentations.

NOTE FOR STUDENTS ENTERING WITHOUT A PRIOR DEGREE IN ENGINEERING

If a student enters the Ph.D. program without a prior degree in engineering from an accredited program, they may have difficulty in pursuing professional registration. If the student’s career goals are best served by having a P.E., the student should consult with their department head and major professor to determine what coursework will be required for them to seek licensure. These requirements vary with discipline and the state where licensure is sought. This coursework may be above and beyond what is needed to complete the requirements for the degree.

Examination Requirements

Ph.D. candidates within the College of Engineering at Montana State University must pass a qualifying examination, a comprehensive examination, and a defense of dissertation. The general rules governing these follow. Different options may have more specific requirements; see the specifics under option requirements below.

 Ph.D. Qualifying Examination:

The purpose of the qualifying examination is to determine whether the student has sufficiently mastered the core topics within their chosen area of study. It will be a written examination on undergraduate engineering topics determined by the student’s Ph.D. option area chosen by the student and administered by that option’s committee.

Each Ph.D. Option Committee will offer a qualifying examination annually to students in that option. The qualifying examination will be completed within three semesters but typically within two semesters of matriculation into the Ph.D. program. Failure to take the examination in that time period may result in suspension of Ph.D. candidate status, including stipend. The committee will document the results of the examination in a letter to the student, and in the student’s file.

Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination:

The purpose of the Ph.D. comprehensive examination is to determine whether the student is ready for independent research in their chosen area of study. The comprehensive examination is administered by the student’s graduate committee (including the Graduate Representative assigned by the Division of Graduate Education), and must be completed within two years after passing the qualifying examination. It is also recommended that the student has taken 2/3 of their graded coursework. In addition, students should have completed EGEN 694 prior to taking the exam; the course is designed to assist the student in preparing their proposal.

The Ph.D. comprehensive examination is comprised of:

  • A written proposal for the student’s Ph.D. dissertation, and
  • An oral presentation of the proposal and oral examination.

The candidate will prepare a written proposal associated with the research topic for the Ph.D. dissertation, in a format designated by the Ph.D. Option. The successful proposal will include a significant literature review, preliminary research to date, and the research proposed to complete the Ph.D. The written proposal will be presented to the student’s graduate committee in advance of the oral presentation, by a date agreed to by the student and graduate committee.

The student will then present the dissertation proposal as a public research seminar. This will be followed by a closed-session oral examination by the student’s graduate committee on:

  • the candidate’s current and proposed research;
  • the candidate’s graduate level understanding of option specific engineering principles; and
  • additional topics relevant to the proposed research, including fundamentals of other disciplines drawn upon in the research.

The student’s graduate committee will inform the student of the results of the comprehensive examination immediately following the oral examination and committee deliberation, and will document the results on the appropriate form filed with the Division of Graduate Education. A student not passing the comprehensive will have one opportunity to retake the comprehensive after a span of six months has passed. Failure to pass the examination on the second attempt is grounds for dismissal from the Ph.D. program.

There may be additional requirements for these exams specified in the option requirements.

Dissertation Defense:

The dissertation defense will consist of two parts: an open seminar of the research results and a closed session with the student’s committee and the graduate representative. Written notification of the results within one week of the defense must be delivered to the Division of Graduate Education and the student. Committee members must approve the dissertation, along with the Department Head, and Vice Provost for Graduate Education. Deadline for the dissertation approval is 14 working days before the end of the term for a given semester.

If failure occurs at the first attempt, a second defense must be held. At least six months must elapse before the second examination takes place, with the time period not to exceed nine months. Failure of the second exam will result in suspension from the program.

Graduation Application:

An application to graduate is prepared by the student, approved by the major professor, and submitted to the Division of Graduate Education through the student’s academic department. Applications are due to the DGE September 20th for a Fall Semester graduation, February 5th for a Spring Semester graduation and June 10th for Summer semester graduation.

 Declared Option Requirements:

Civil Engineering:

Students must meet the overall requirements for the Ph.D. in Engineering. The student’s committee may require additional credits of study based on the student’s background and needs. Specific course selections will be determined by the student and his/her committee to support the student’s area of study. Up to 24 graded course credits can be applied from an M.S. Degree in meeting the Ph.D. credit requirements, at the discretion of the student’s Ph.D. committee.

Applied Mechanics:

Requirements include:

  • EM525 Continuum Mechanics 3 credits
  • EM510 Elastic and Inelastic Analysis 3 credits
  • ME530 Advanced Fluid Mechanics 3 credits
  • EM560 Finite Elements Analysis in Engineering 3 credits

The remaining credits are to be established by the student and the Major Professor in consultation with the graduate committee.

Qualifying Examination: The qualifying assessment will be a written examination on relevant undergraduate level topics. In the Applied Mechanics Option these areas include: Statics, Dynamics, Mechanics of Materials, Fluid Mechanics, Mathematics, Thermodynamics and an Area of Undergraduate Focus (e.g. Structures, Hydraulics, Geotechnology, Material Science, Heat Transfer) - as specified by the candidate prior to the exam. The exam will be one hour per topic area in an open book, open notes format. Students must satisfactorily address four of the submitted topics. Problems will be graded by the faculty member who presented that topic. Students will be provided an opportunity to examine their results, however, in order to protect the questions from dissemination they will not be permanently returned. A grade for the qualifying examination of Pass (P), Fail (F) or Remediate (R) will be given for each candidate. In cases where remediation in certain topic areas is required, the Ph.D. advisor will develop a problem solving based plan with the Ph.D. candidate to prepare for a retest on the identified topic areas. The retest must occur prior to completion of the following semester and will be overseen by the Ph.D. Advisor.

Comprehensive Examination: In the Applied Mechanics Option there are two distinct oral examinations: one associated with the Dissertation Proposal and a separate one pertaining to the candidate’s graduate level understanding of Engineering Mechanics principals.

Chemical Engineering:

The advanced M and numerical methods classes are specified:

ChBE 522/ME 510 - Advanced M 3 credits

ChBE 525/ME 511 - Advanced Numerical Methods 3 credits

Requirements include:

· ChBE 503 - Thermodynamics 3 credits

· ChBE 530/ME 533 - Transport 3 credits

· ChBE 510 Reactions 3 credits

These requirements leave the remaining credits to be established by the student and the major professor in consultation with the graduate committee.

Qualifying Examination: The qualifier will be a written examination on undergraduate Chemical Engineering including: mass and energy balances, thermodynamics, separations (mass transfer), heat (energy) transfer, fluids, transport phenomena and chemical reaction engineering. The exam will be 1 hour per topic area question in an open book, open notes format and students will choose 4 subjects which they will solve the problems for, from the 7 problems provided. Each question will be graded by the Faculty member that submitted the question. Students will not be given the test back in order to protect the questions from dissemination. The results will be analyzed by a Committee composed of all Faculty and a grade of Pass (P), Fail (F) or Remediate (R) given each candidate. In cases where remediation in certain topic areas is required, the Ph.D. advisor will develop a problem solving based plan with the PhD candidate to prepare for a retest on the identified topic areas. The retest must occur prior to the next fall semester and will be overseen by the PhD. Advisor. The qualifying exam must be completed within two semesters of matriculation into the Ph.D. program. Failure to take the exam in that time period may result in suspension of Ph.D. candidate status, including stipend. The exam will be administered on the second Tuesday in February of the Spring semester to all students required to take the exam in a year.

Comprehensive Examination: The comprehensive exam is required of all Ph.D. candidates, and will be composed of a written NSF-style proposal associated with the research topic for the Ph.D. The proposal should include significant preliminary data on the research to date and the research proposed to complete the Ph.D. The exam will be administered by the student’s Ph.D. Advisor and graduate committee. The proposal will be in the NSF format, in compliance with the current year’s grant proposal guidelines (gpg) at www.nsf.gov. A written exam on graduate level thermodynamics, transport phenomena, Mematical methods, and kinetics and reactor engineering will be required of graduate students who have a GPA in graduate coursework of less than 3.5. A public oral seminar of 40 minutes plus 10 minutes of public questions, on the research to date and proposed research to complete the Ph.D., will be given by the Ph.D. candidate. This will be followed by a closed-session oral examination of 45-90 minutes by the student’s Ph.D. committee on the research and graduate level understanding of Chemical and Biological Engineering principles and any topics relevant to the research including fundamentals of other disciplines drawn on in the research.

Electrical and Computer Engineering:

Students are required to complete 65 credits. Within the course credits, students must take courses in at least 3 of the following 6 areas:  Digital Systems, Signals and Controls, Electromagnetic Fields and Optics, Communications, Power and Power Electronics, and MEMS and Electronics.

Mechanical Engineering:

Students are required to take:

Advanced M

ME510, Advanced Engineering Analysis I 3 credits

Numerical Methods

ME511, Advanced Engineering Analysis II 3 credits

Additional Coursework

EM525 Continuum Mechanics 3 credits

Thermo-fluids Mechanics 3 credits (min)

Solid Mechanics 3 credits (min)

Note: These requirements are satisfied by the MSU MS in Mechanical Engineering

Qualifying Examination: The exam will be administered on the second Tuesday in February of the Spring semester.
The undergraduate Mechanical Engineering topics will include:
·       Thermodynamics
·       Heat (energy) transfer
·       Fluid Mechanics
·       Structural Mechanics
·       Materials
·       Dynamics and Vibrations
·       Mathematics
Students will solve problems in 4 of the 7 topic areas.   The exam will be 8 hours duration in an open book, open notes format. Each problem set will be graded by the faculty member that submitted the set.The results will be analyzed by the Mechanical Engineering graduate studies committee, and each candidate will receive a grade of Pass (P), Fail (F) or Remediate (R). Students will not be given the test back in order to protect the questions from dissemination. In cases where remediation in certain topic areas is required, the Ph.D. advisor will develop a problem-solving-based plan with the Ph.D. candidate to prepare for a retest on the identified topic areas.  The retest must occur prior to the next fall semester and will be overseen by the Ph.D. Advisor.

Comprehensive Examination: The public research seminar will include 40 minutes for the student’s presentation and 10 minutes for questions from the audience. This will be followed immediately by a closed-session oral examination and additional remediation may be required at this point. 

Industrial Engineering:

Ph.D. candidates under the IE Option must take a minimum of 30 credits of 500-level courses (in addition to EGEN 610 and EGEN 694), of which at least 18 credits must be I&ME courses. Furthermore, Ph.D. candidates must complete the following coursework with a grade of B or better:

  • EIND 554, EIND 567, or other course approved by the I&ME Graduate Studies Committee to satisfy the Advanced M requirement.
  • EIND 509, EIND 558, or other course approved by the I&ME Graduate Studies Committee to satisfy the Numerical Methods requirement.
  • Two courses in the management/quality area: EIND 434, EIND 477, EIND 525, EIND 548, EIND 574, EIND 577.
  • Two courses in the integrated systems design area: EIND 413, EIND 458, EIND 471, EIND 501, EIND 513, EIND 534, EIND 571.

Candidates can meet the above requirements with courses from a prior Master’s degree, though not using independent study, project, thesis, or dissertation credits. The student’s graduate committee will determine course equivalency as needed, and document such in the student’s file.

Qualifying Examination: The qualifying exam will cover three of the following core undergraduate IE topical areas:

  • work design and analysis (EIND 313)
  • engineering economic analysis (EGEN 325)
  • probability and statistics (EIND 354)
  • principles of operations research(EIND 364)

and three other I&ME courses from among those the student has taken at MSU. The student will request a qualifying exam from the I&ME Graduate Studies Committee within three weeks of the start of the term in which s/he intends to take the qualifying exam. The I&ME Graduate Studies Committee will assemble an examining committee to administer the exam, chaired by the student’s advisor.

Environmental Engineering:

Of the credits in the Option Coursework noted above, 12 credits from the following subset of courses are required, with no more than 6 credits at the 400 level. Equivalent courses from prior MS degrees may be used to satisfy this requirement.

Course

Name

Credits

EENV 441

Natural Treatment Systems

3

ENVE443

Air Pollution Control

3

ENVE 444

Hazardous Waste Management

3

ENVE 445

Hazardous Waste Treatment

3

CE 529

Groundwater Contamination

3

ENVE 534

Environmental Engineering Investigations

3

ENVE 560

Environmental Engineering Processes

2

ENVE 561

Environmental Engineering Reactor Theory

2

ENVE 562

Water Treatment Processes and Design

3

ENVE 563

Waste Water Treatment Processes and Design

3

ENVE 564

Environmental Engineering Applications Lab

3

ENVE 565

Chemical Sensors & Instrumentation for Env. Biotech.

2

ENVE 566

Fundamentals of Biofilm Engineering

3

 The remaining credits are to be established by the student and the major professor in consultation with the graduate committee.

EMPower, the College of Engineering Minority Program

The College of Engineering at Montana State University is committed to equal access to educational opportunities for all students pursuing a graduate degree. EMPower, the College of Engineering Minority Program, helps address issues that led to the serious under-representation of minority women students at the graduate level.

 

 


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