Oct 26, 2021  
Graduate Record 2020-2021 
    
Graduate Record 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

School of Graduate Engineering and Applied Science: Academic Rules, Regulations, and Information


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Admission Requirements


UVA Engineering offers an exceptional educational opportunity for qualified students who seek an environment where graduate study is characterized by integrated learning experiences with highly qualified, experienced, and dedicated faculty. Graduate admissions committees are seeking well-rounded individuals who bring exceptional intellectual capabilities along with a passion for their chosen field. The admissions process looks for evidence of competitive academic performance, work and life experiences, and qualities of character such as motivation, maturity, tenacity, integrity, ability to work with others, self-reliance, and leadership. All applicants are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, disability, age, sexual orientation, or veteran status. UVA Engineering welcomes applications from individuals from other countries whose diverse perspectives broaden the range of educational experience for all members of the academic community.

An applicant must have a baccalaureate degree from a recognized college or university. While this degree will normally be in the field of engineering or applied science, degrees in other fields may be acceptable. Undergraduate courses that may be required to remedy deficiencies must be taken without credit toward the graduate degree. An applicant should have at least a B average for admission into graduate studies.

Application for admission must be made online by the stated deadlines, which vary by program. A non-refundable application fee of $85 is payable at the time of application.

The online application requires an essay or personal statement, complete transcripts of all academic work, three letters of recommendation (preferably from faculty or other individuals with meaningful knowledge of the applicant’s potential to succeed in graduate school), and a CV or resume. Official transcripts are not required for review purposes but are required if the student matriculates. Most applicants are required to take the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) general test, but there are exceptions. Applicants should consult specific graduate program websites to confirm whether GRE a score is required.

Students must have an excellent command of the English language in order to enroll at the University. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required of all applicants if the language first learned and spoken in the home is not English. Most students admitted score 90 or better on the internet-based (iBT) TOEFL or score in the 7.0 band or better on the IELTS. Some students may be required to complete the Summer English for Academic Purposes Program prior to admission if scores are lower.

Rescinding an Offer of Admission It is expected that all admitted students uphold the intellectual, ethical, and professional standards of the School of Engineering and UVA. All applicants offered admission to UVA Engineering agree to abide by the principles laid out in the UVA Honor Code and the Standards of Conduct. UVA Engineering may rescind an offer of admission up until the date of matriculation for, but not limited to, the following reasons:

  • An admitted applicant is found to have presented misleading or fraudulent information during the application process
  • An admitted applicant fails to uphold the principles of the Honor Code and the Standards of Conduct mentioned above.

 


Transfer Credit


External Credit for New Students in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic Spring 2020. To review the criteria that will be used to evaluate courses taken during Spring 2020 please Click Here .

UVA Engineering grants transfer of credit based on an analysis of the content, level and comparability of the courses taken, the applicability of the courses to the student’s intended degree program, the quality of the student’s performance in the course, and the institution where the work was completed. All requests for transfer of credit must be approved by the student’s academic program and the Office of Graduate Programs using the Request Approval of Transfer Credits Form. For any degree, a program may require additional courses to satisfy their specific academic requirements beyond the course credits transferred. Students can request the transfer of a UVA Engineering graduate-level course taken while a UVA undergraduate student, given that is was not used toward the undergraduate degree, using the UVA Engineering Graduate Course Approval Form.

M.E., M.C.S., M.M.S.E. Students These students may transfer a maximum of 12 graduate course credits into their program of study (a maximum of 15 credits for VEO students). These graduate courses must have been completed with a grade of B or better and cannot have been used to satisfy requirements toward another degree. VEO students may transfer in graduate courses with a grade or C or better. See more information in the VEO section.

M.S. and Ph.D. Students These students may transfer a maximum of 6 graduate course credits into their program of study. These graduate courses must have been completed with a grade of B or better and cannot have been used to satisfy requirements toward another degree. Ph.D. students who have earned a master’s degree in a STEM field will receive an automatic bulk transfer of 24 graduate course credits toward the school’s total graded coursework credit requirement. Ph.D. students who have earned a master’s degree in a non-STEM field will receive an automatic bulk transfer of 12 graduate course credits toward the school’s total graded coursework credit requirement.


Financial Assistance


UVA Engineering offers financial aid to all Ph.D. and some masters students. Students receiving fellowships and graduate assistantships ordinarily receive a stipend or wage payment, and payment of all tuition and fees including health insurance. Students must be nominated by their department to be considered for a fellowship or an assistantship.

Students receiving financial assistance from UVA Engineering must be registered as full-time students, defined as at least 12 credits during the academic year, must maintain a grade point average of 3.0, and must also maintain satisfactory progress toward a degree. Graduate research assistants must register for a minimum of 6 credits to be considered full-time during the summer term. Students receiving School or graduate program funding are not permitted to have other employment without approval of the Office of Graduate Programs. Students are awarded financial assistance to enable them to devote maximum effort to graduate studies.

Graduate Research Assistantships Graduate Research Assistants are assigned to work with a faculty member on a specific research project which should culminate in a project report, thesis, or dissertation. Full-time graduate research assistants may not carry a load of more than 9 credits of lecture-laboratory courses but must register each semester for enough additional credits of research to maintain full-time student status.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) are assigned to assist a faculty instructor teaching a specific lecture/laboratory course. The assigned duties will depend on the course and instructor. GTAs may not carry a load of more than 9 credits of lecture-laboratory courses but must register each semester for enough teaching/research credit to maintain full-time student status. GTAs should determine the number of teaching credits to enroll in by use their appointment hours in accordance with Provost Policy 022: Determination and Assignation of Academic Credit to determine the maximum hours of teaching credit. GTA assignments that are a full graduate assistantship (20 hours per week) cannot enroll in excess of 6 teaching credits per semester, and GTA assignments that are half of a full graduate assistantship (10 hours per week) cannot enroll in excess of 3 teaching credits per semester.

GTAs must have a master’s degree or at least 18 credits of graduate work in the discipline for which he/she will be a GTA and cannot TA a course carrying graduate credit without an exception from the Office of Graduate Programs.

Masters Teaching Assistant M.E., M.C.S., and M.M.S.E. students may be employed as a Masters Teaching Assistant (MTA) for an hourly wage. MTA positions are student wage employment positions and do not qualify the student to receive tuition remission, health insurance subsidy, or tuition adjustment. All MTAs must be registered full-time and maintain a 3.0 GPA.

MTAs must have a master’s degree or at least 18 credits of graduate work in the discipline for which he/she will be an MTA and cannot TA a course carrying graduate credit without an exception from the Office of Graduate Programs.

International Graduate Teaching Assistants and Masters Teaching Assistants All prospective GTAs and MTAs whose first language is not English are required to take the SPEAK test. Prospective GTAs and MTAs must score at least 55 to begin a GTA or MTA appointment without completion of CAELC language training. Three exceptions exist:

  • A student may be appointed as a TA with a SPEAK score of at least 40 if TA duties are limited to lab set-up, grading, problem-set generation, test generation, solution sets, website maintenance, etc.
  • A student may be appointed as a TA with a SPEAK score of at least 45 if TA duties are limited to a lab section (but not as the “main” lab TA) or as a GTA who will be holding office hours (including APMA workshop TAs).
  • A student with at least a 50 SPEAK score may serve as the main/primary TA for a supervised lab, may conduct review sessions and problem sessions, so long as they are not providing substantive content as would be anticipated in class lecture.
  • UVELPE scores and TAs: An exception to the SPEAK requirement can be made if the student has taken the UVELPE and completed all training resulting from the UVELPE scores. If a student passes the UVELPE without needing further training but needs to TA, they can then register for ESL911; and if they complete and pass the first assignment, they may receive a SPEAK test waiver.

Fellowships Fellowships offered by the UVA Engineering are intended to allow graduate students devote their time to learning opportunities in the classroom and in research. No work duties, in a pay for service sense, are required, but good academic progress, including research for the thesis or dissertation, is essential. Some programs may require students with fellowship support to include research and teaching duties as part of the usual academic requirements for the degree.


General Enrollment Requirements


Full-Time Enrollment Enrollment in a Ph.D. program requires full-time registration each semester. Full-time enrollment in the Fall and Spring semesters is a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 15 credit hours per term. Optional full-time enrollment for Summer semester is at least 6 credit hours. Full time enrollment is required if receiving financial aid.

Affiliated Status Limits Students who are not required to be enrolled in a term but who need to retain a minimal affiliation with the University on a temporary basis may apply to be on Affiliated Status. Ph.D. students may be on Affiliated Status for Doctoral Completion for up to 4 semesters. M.S. students may be on Affiliated Status for Thesis Completion for up to 2 semesters. Once approved for Affiliated Status, students may not return to full-time study in their degree program.

Research All Ph.D. and M.S. students must register for the appropriate research course. Credits are assigned to this course in such a way that the total number of credits for which the student is registered reflects the fraction of time devoted to progress toward a degree. Students must register for a minimum of 24 credits of research for a Ph.D. degree (though in most cases, students will exceed this), or a minimum of six credits of research for a M.S. degree.

Length of Study Full-time Ph.D. students must enroll for at least six regular semesters (Fall and Spring) of graduate study after the baccalaureate degree, or four regular semesters after a master’s degree.

Residency Graduate degree programs require a period of residency to fully engage in the UVA academic community and to actively contribute to intellectual discourse within the School of Engineering. For students coming into a Ph.D. program with a master’s degree, at least two regular semesters beyond the master’s degree must be in full residence at UVA in Charlottesville. For students coming into a Ph.D. program with a bachelor’s degree, at least three regular semesters in full residence at UVA are required. For master’s degree programs, at least one semester in residence at UVA as a full-time student is required. Two exceptions exist: those students enrolled in a Virginia Engineering Online degree program and those students carrying out their research at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA).

Consecutive Enrollment Ph.D., M.S., and on-Grounds M.E./M.C.S./M.M.S.E. students must enroll in courses for all terms (fall and spring) from the matriculation term until degree conferral, including the term in which the dissertation/thesis is submitted. The only exception occurs when the student is granted an official leave of absence. Failure to enroll in courses for a term without taking an approved leave of absence results in denial of further enrollment unless and until readmission to the degree program is granted. Virginia Engineering Online students are not required to enroll each semester.

Time Limit for Degree All requirements for the Ph.D. and M.E./M.C.S./M.M.S.E. degree must be completed within seven years after matriculation to the program. All requirements for the M.S. degree must be completed within five years after matriculation to the graduate program. A student may petition to extend their time-to-degree beyond the allotted timeframe to the UVA Engineering Graduate Studies Committee with prior approval by the student’s Advisor and their Graduate Program Director. Such a petition must be filed before the end of the allotted time frame.

The time to degree limit can be extended beyond the normative time limitation for Engineering graduate students for 1) parental leave or 2) serious personal or family illness upon notification to and approval of the appropriate department or program and the Office of Graduate Programs. The time extension will be for a period of up to one year. Use of this policy should be invoked as soon as the need for additional time becomes known.

Expired credits cannot be counted toward degree requirements without revalidation. Expired credits may be revalidated if the current instructor of the course reviews the syllabus of the expired course and affirms that the content is still relevant, and must be approved by the student’s advisor, the Graduate Director of the student’s program, the UVA Engineering Graduate Studies Committee, and the Office of Graduate Programs to count toward the student’s degree requirements.

Extension of Time Limit in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic Spring 2020

UVA Engineering M.S. and Ph.D. students where were enrolled full- or part-time in Spring 2020 received a one year (12 month) extension to the normative time limitations associated with their current graduate degree program. For M.S. students, this extends the time limit to 6 years, and for Ph.D. students this extends the time limit to 8 years. The one year extension is in addition to any existing extension (as of Spring 2020) that was previously granted.

Special Enrollment Requirements

Requests for Enrolling in 16 credits: Students are permitted to enroll in 16 credits if enrolling in a departmentally required 1 credit seminar or lab puts them over the 15-credit limit, AND all other enrolled courses are departmentally required.

Students Enrolling in Courses Outside the School of Engineering for Satisfaction of Academic Requirements: Students approved to enroll in courses at UVA outside the School of Engineering and unable to do so in SIS must complete a UVA Engineering Graduate Course Action Form and have each course approved and form signed by the instructor and advisor. Please note that engineering students must adhere to course adding and dropping deadlines of other UVA schools (course drop deadlines for courses taught in schools other than engineering are much earlier than ours). If a non-engineering course is approved to satisfy the academic course requirements at the School level, a ‘Request Requirement Change, Exception or Waiver’ form (also found on our forms website) must be completed and signed by the program and submitted to the Engineering Graduate Registrar’s Office. After the SIS actions are completed, an email is sent to the student’s Graduate Coordinator to advise them that they have been done and if there are also programmatic SIS actions needed to be completed, then they may do so at that time. If a non-engineering course is approved to satisfy the academic course requirements at the program level only (above and beyond the school’s academic course requirements), that approval process is determined however the program sees fit and the SIS exceptions are completed by the Graduate Coordinator. If a student is not in a University approved Interdisciplinary Program and is enrolled in a UVA course outside the School of Engineering, additional tuition may be incurred as the tuition rates are imposed by the school offering the course. If a student is enrolled in a non-engineering course in the semester they graduate, the above approval form must be done as early in the semester as possible but at least two weeks prior to the degree conferral date. In addition, ensuring the final grade is posted by the deadline for degree certification processes of the Engineering Graduate Registrar is the responsibility of the student. Failure to obtain a final grade by the deadline will result in the student’s removal from the degree candidate list.

Requests to Drop/Withdraw from a Graduate Engineering Course After the UVA Engineering “Drop with W” Deadline: When a graduate engineering student requests to drop/withdraw from a course beyond the “drop with a W” deadline, they must request permission via email to the Graduate Engineering Registrar or the Assistant Dean for Graduate Education. The email must provide the reason for the request explaining the extenuating circumstances with the support of their faculty advisor. This applies only to withdrawal from an individual courses; see the Leaving The University section for information on withdrawal from all classes.

Leaving the University

The Leaving the University and Returning to the University forms are located on the SIS Student Self Service page in a box on the lower right titled eForms.

  • Leave of Absence is an action students can take after the completion of a semester, indicating that the student plans to be away from the university for at least one semester. Students must first obtain the approval of their advisor and the Graduate Director of the student’s program.
    • Students receiving departmental or school funding are not guaranteed funding upon return from a Leave of Absence.
  • Withdrawal is an action students can take during the semester. All registered courses will show a W, indicating withdrawal. If you withdraw during the last 10 class days immediately preceding the Final Examination period, students are not permitted to re-enter the succeeding semester except in the case of a medical withdrawal. Students who have made a medical withdrawal must receive subsequent medical clearance from the Department of Student Health prior to readmission
    • A withdrawal cannot be processed after a final grade in any class has been posted on a student’s record for that term.
    • Financial support allocated to the student for the remainder of that semester is forfeited at the effective date of the withdrawal.

Returning to the University: The student must request to return from an approved leave of absence or withdrawal using the online Returning to the University form at least 60 days prior to the beginning of the semester in which they intend to enroll so their SIS account will be reactivated. Students must return to the degree program of their previous enrollment. If a student wishes to transfer to a different program, they must do so after the Returning to the University process is completed.

Students who exceed the two-year limit of non-enrollment to return to the School of Engineering must reapply for admission to the School.

Transferring to a Different Program Within the School A student may not transfer to a new program within UVA Engineering until they have spent at least one semester in their current program. Any student wishing to transfer after this minimal time period, must complete the Request Program Plan Change Form and have it signed by their advisor, as well as the Graduate Director of the current program, then submit to the Engineering Graduate Registrar’s Office.

ESL Course Deferrals and Waivers All graduate students are required to complete ESL course recommendations made by CAELC as a result of their UVELPE and/or SPEAK test score, and may only request a deferral of one semester for the below reasons:

  1. If a student is recommended for two or more ESL courses, the student’s program can approve a deferral to the following semester of those ESL courses in excess of one.
  2. If a student is recommended for an ESL course where all available sections of said course conflict with the student’s current academic load, the student’s program will approve a deferral request to the following semester. It is required that students verify with the CAELC staff that there are no other possible sections that work with their academic load BEFORE requesting the deferral.
  3. If the student will be away for part or all of the semester in question for an internship or other academic purpose, the student’s program may approve a deferral request to the following semester. This does not include a student who is enrolled as part-time.

Recommended ESL courses will not be waived, with the exception of ESL 912, which is not a course, but a one-on-one experience for students currently assigned as International Teaching Assistants.

All requests for deferrals and waivers should be submitted to the student’s Graduate Coordinator as soon as possible, but no later than one week prior to the start of the ESL course(s) for current students, or as soon as the recommended course(s) are assigned for new students. Failure to request a deferral or waiver on time, and subsequent failure to attend the course(s), will result in an Unsatisfactory grade on the student’s transcript. Any deferral or waiver request outside of the above reasons must be submitted by the Program Graduate Coordinator no later than one week prior to the start of the ESL course(s) for approval by the Office of Graduate Programs.


Grading and GPA


Degree Requirements for Coursework To obtain a graduate degree in the School of Engineering, an individual must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on all graded graduate course work taken while a graduate student, and all graduate courses taken as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia if the courses are part of a program of study and are used to satisfy program degree requirements. No grade lower than a C is acceptable toward meeting degree requirements. Non-degree and visiting graduate students are also expected to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Unsatisfactory work during any semester or an overall grade point average of less than 3.0 may be considered sufficient reason for withdrawal of financial assistance or for enforced withdrawal from the graduate program.

Undergraduate courses and courses taken on a Credit/No Credit basis may not be used to meet degree requirements and are not used in computing the grade point average. Students who earned a grade of CR under the CR/GC/NC Spring 2020 default grading option that would have otherwise counted toward curricular, major, and graduation requirements will continue to do so, but such grades are not factored into a student’s GPA. Graduate degrees are not conferred merely upon the basis of the number of courses passed, nor the length of time spent in residence or in research, but primarily on the basis of the quality and scope of the student’s knowledge and power of investigation in a chosen field of study. 

Grading

Grade Changes: No grade may be changed after it has been submitted to UREG (Office of the University Registrar) without the approval of the Assistant Dean for Graduate Education, who may authorize a grade change only in accordance with the school’s grade appeal policy or when an instructor certifies that, because of an error in calculation or transcription, an incorrect grade has been submitted. Grades cannot be changed after a degree is conferred.

Incomplete: The symbol IN (incomplete) is used when additional course work is required or examinations need to be taken in order to fulfill the requirements of a given course. A student may not request an IN grade in an attempt to raise his or her grade. Prior to the last day of class, students must initiate the request for an IN and secure the instructor’s approval. Graduate students’ incomplete grades in graduate engineering courses that are graded on a letter grading basis automatically convert to an F 200 days after the end of the semester they receive the IN grade.

Grade Appeals: University faculty members and instructors are entrusted with all grading decisions, to be made fairly and in a manner consistent with their best professional judgement and the expectations of the discipline. Students involved in grading disputes should first attempt to resolve the matter with the Instructor. If the grading dispute cannot be resolved with the Instructor, the student may petition the UVA Engineering Graduate Studies Committee within 30 days of the grade posting in SIS.

Academic Probation and Suspension

Academic Probation: Graduate students may incur academic probation any semester in which they fail to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Students on probation have one semester to increase their cumulative grade point average to 3.0 or above, or they will be placed on academic suspension. VEO students have two semesters to increase their cumulative grade point average.

Academic Suspension: Students under suspension may not transfer any credits taken at other institutions while on suspension toward their degree from the University. Academic suspensions may be appealed within 30 days of notification to the UVA Engineering Graduate Studies Committee.


Public Professional Licensure Disclosure 


As a member of the State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement, the University of Virginia (UVA) is authorized to provide curriculum in a distance learning environment to students located in all states in the United States except for California. (34 CFR 668.43(a)(6)& 34 CFR 668.72(n)).

Upon completion graduates may be eligible for initial professional licensure in another U.S. state by applying to the licensing board or agency in that state.

Please visit the University’s state authorization web pages to make an informed decision regarding which states’ educational requirements for initial licensure are met by this program. (668.43(a)(5) (v)(A) - (C))

Enrolled students who change their current (or mailing) address to a state other than Virginia should update this information immediately in the Student Information System as it may impact their ability to complete internship, practicum, or clinical hours, use Title IV funds, or meet licensure or certification requirements in the new state. (34 CFR 668.402).


Degree Requirements: Ph.D.


UVA Engineering offers Ph.D. programs leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy degree in nine disciplines: biomedical engineering; chemical engineering; civil engineering; computer engineering; computer science; electrical engineering; engineering physics, materials science and engineering; mechanical and aerospace engineering; and systems engineering.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is regarded by many as a symbol that its bearer has achieved an in-depth understanding of a segment of human knowledge and has contributed significantly to that knowledge. The Ph.D. requires a program of advanced study in courses and research, satisfactory completion of Ph.D. examinations, and submission of a dissertation based on independent, original research.

Students work in conjunction with their advisors using departmental guidelines to determine a program of formal courses which fulfill academic requirements and support research goals. Students and their advisor choose proposal and final defense committees which are then reviewed for approval by the Office of Graduate Programs.

A complete listing of all graduate forms and corresponding assessment forms can be found online.

Program of Study All Ph.D. students must satisfactorily complete a plan of study, including both coursework and research hours, in accordance with program requirements approved by UVA Engineering faculty. The program of study must include a combined minimum of 72 hours of research and course credits beyond the baccalaureate, a minimum of 24 of which must be formal graded graduate level coursework. Classes at the 4000-level or below do not count toward the graduate degree requirements. Transfer of course credit from other institutions of recognized standing may be included in the program of study; however, only graduate level courses with a grade of B or better may be transferred. Each program has its own program of study requirements that may be more restrictive. All programs of study must be approved by the student’s advisor and the program’s Graduate Director.

En Route Master’s Degree A doctoral student may request approval to earn a master’s degree (thesis or non-thesis) within their home department. The departmentally approved request must be submitted to the Graduate Registrar’s Office by the dates for applying to graduate (February 1 for May; June 1 for August; October 1 for December). Before requesting the en route master’s, students must verify that the master’s academic requirements will be completed by the semester they intend to earn the master’s degree. Credits used to satisfy the en route master’s degree cannot have been used to satisfy requirements toward a previous degree.

Ph.D. Advisory Committee The Ph.D. Advisory Committee must include a minimum of three School of Engineering faculty, one additional UVA faculty member from outside the student’s home department (defined as 0% appointment in the student’s home department for students matriculating Fall 2018 or later; courtesy appointments do not count toward this 0% restriction), and a minimum of four total members. The purpose of the member from outside of the student’s home department is to ensure consistency across the University, to help ensure fairness to the student, and to prevent conflict inside the department. The Committee Chair must hold a faculty appointment in the School of Engineering and cannot be the student’s Advisor. All Committee members must have qualifications commensurate with that of a research faculty or equivalent rank. To avoid conflicts of interest, no committee member can be employed by or receive compensation from another committee member to avoid conflicts of interest.

One additional research professional from outside UVA or a faculty member from outside the School of Engineering may be a fifth voting committee member, provided his/her qualifications are commensurate with that of a research faculty or equivalent rank. Emeritus faculty are considered outside UVA for the purpose of Advisory Committees. A CV or biography is required for all committee members who are not UVA faculty and should be submitted to the Engineering Graduate Registrar. The CV or biography should include the highest degree attained, the year and institution, and any relevant experience or research which would enable that member to provide expertise to the student and committee.

Biomedical Engineering (BME) advisory committees: All faculty with a primary appointment in BME are considered School of Engineering faculty for this purpose. For Ph.D. students in BME, one faculty member from the School of Medicine may substitute for one School of Engineering faculty.

Computer Engineering (CPE) advisory committees: For Ph.D. students in CPE, at least one member must be from the Electrical & Computer Engineering department and at least one member must be from the Computer Science department. The home department of CPE students is defined as the advisor’s home department

Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) and Systems & Information Engineering (SIE) advisory committees: For Ph.D. students in CEE or SIE, the Engineering Systems & Environment (ESE) Department is considered the home department, and therefore the outside committee member with 0% appointment in the home department cannot be an ESE faculty member.

Engineering Physics advisory committees: For Ph.D. students in Engineering Physics, at least one member must be from the Physics Department and no more than two of the required four members may be from Physics.

There may be additional Committee members beyond the previously mentioned five.

The Doctoral Advisory Committee Form must be completed and submitted to the Engineering Graduate Registrar’s Office as early as possible in the student’s Ph.D. program. The form must be approved by the Graduate Office at least two weeks prior to any event including the Advisory Committee Form.

Ph.D. Qualifying Exam Each program designs and conducts its Ph.D. Examination or Qualifying Exam. All students must perform satisfactorily on this Exam, as determined by the standards of the program. Upon completion of the Ph.D. Examination or Qualifying Exam, the Ph.D. Examination Report, as well as the program-specific Qualifying Exam Assessment Form must be submitted to the Engineering Graduate Registrar’s Office.

Ph.D. Proposal All Ph.D. students must prepare and defend a written dissertation proposal, in preparation for conducting research and writing the resulting dissertation. This proposal: a) Describes the research to date on their dissertation project topic, with a detailed engineering and applied science question for further inquiry, along with bibliography; b) Outlines the proposed method of investigation; and c) Discusses the anticipated results. The student must make a public, oral presentation of the proposal to their Advisory Committee, with all members of the faculty invited to attend. A public announcement of the oral presentation of the proposal must be sent out by the student’s Graduate Coordinator at least one week prior to the presentation. Students should consult their Graduate Coordinator for the departmental announcement template and procedure.

Upon completion of the Ph.D. Proposal, the Dissertation Proposal Form and the Engineering Dissertation Proposal Assessment Form must be completed and submitted to the Engineering Graduate Registrar’s Office. The proposal must be successfully completed at least one semester before the Ph.D. Dissertation Defense.

Admission to Ph.D. Candidacy A student must have satisfactorily completed the Ph.D. Examination or Qualifying Exam and successfully completed the dissertation proposal to their advisory committee before being admitted to Ph.D. candidacy. Admission to Ph.D. candidacy must be completed at least one semester before the degree is awarded.

Ph.D. Final Dissertation Examining Committee This Committee must include the student’s Advisory Committee. The Ph.D. Final Dissertation Examining Committee must include a minimum of three School of Engineering faculty, a minimum of four UVA faculty, and a minimum of 5 total members. One of the UVA faculty members must have 0% appointment in the student’s home department. Courtesy appointments do not count toward this 0% restriction. The purpose of the member from outside of the student’s home department is to ensure consistency across the University, to help ensure fairness to the student, and to prevent conflict inside the department. The Committee Chair must hold a faculty appointment in the School of Engineering and cannot be the student’s Advisor. All Committee members must hold qualifications commensurate with that of a research faculty or equivalent rank. To avoid conflicts of interest, no committee member can be employed by or receive compensation from another committee member to avoid conflicts of interest.

One additional research professional from outside UVA or a faculty member from outside the School of Engineering may be a fifth voting committee member, provided his/her qualifications are commensurate with that of a research faculty or equivalent rank. Emeritus faculty are considered outside UVA for the purpose of Final Dissertation Examining Committees. A CV or biography will be required, and should include the highest degree attained, the year and institution, and any relevant experience or research which would enable that member to provide expertise to the student and committee.

Biomedical Engineering Final Dissertation Examining Committees: one faculty member from the School of Medicine may substitute for one School of Engineering faculty. All faculty with a primary appointment in BME are considered School of Engineering faculty for this purpose.

Computer Engineering Final Dissertation Examining Committees: at least two members must be from the ECE department and at least two members must be from the CS department. For CPE students, the outside member with 0% appointment in the student’s home department, the home department is considered to be that of the advisor’s home department.

Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) and Systems & Information Engineering (SIE) Final Dissertation Examining Committee: For Ph.D. students in CEE or SIE, the Engineering Systems & Environment (ESE) Department is considered the home department, and therefore the additional committee member with 0% appointment in the home department cannot be an ESE faculty member.

Engineering Physics Final Dissertation Examining Committees: For Ph.D. students in Engineering Physics, at least one member must be from the Physics Department and no more than three of the required five members may be from Physics.

There may be additional Committee members beyond the previously mentioned five.

The Final Examination Committee Form must be completed and submitted to the Engineering Graduate Registrar’s Office at least two weeks prior to the examination/defense date.

Ph.D. Dissertation Defense Each Ph.D. student must satisfactorily present and defend a dissertation based on independent original research that makes a significant contribution to the student’s field of study. The defense is held after the candidate has submitted the dissertation to the committee, and it is designed to test the student’s knowledge of his/her field of research.

The dissertation defense is conducted orally and publicly by the Final Dissertation Examining Committee previously approved by the Engineering Graduate Registrar’s Office. A public announcement of the oral presentation of the defense must be sent out by the student’s Graduate Coordinator at least one week prior to the presentation. Students should consult their Graduate Coordinator for the departmental announcement template and procedure.

A student who does not perform satisfactorily in the defense may, with the recommendation of two-thirds majority of the Ph.D. Examining Committee, be granted a future dissertation defense after being given adequate time to prepare. Upon completion of the dissertation defense, the Report on Final Examination Form and the Thesis and Dissertation Assessment Form must be completed and submitted to the Engineering Graduate Registrar’s Office. The degree candidate must submit the approved final dissertation along with the Thesis/Dissertation Cover and Approval Pages Form to Libra, the online archive of UVA by the date specified in the academic calendar.

Ph.D. Degree Awarding Candidates who are accepted by the Final Dissertation Examining Committee and approved by the faculty are presented for degrees at the first scheduled University graduation following completion of the degree requirements. Students must apply for a degree in SIS by the date specified in the academic calendar – February 1st for May graduation; June 1st for August graduation; October 1st for December graduation. The degree candidate must complete the UVA Engineering Ph.D./M.S. Exit Survey and the Survey of Earned Doctorates.

Co-Advisors A student may be co-advised by two advisors. It is expected that these two advisors will be UVA faculty. If, however, a student wishes to be co-advised by a non-UVA faculty, the non-UVA co-advisor must have a courtesy appointment as a visiting professor. Only faculty will receive such courtesy appointments.

Requesting Changes, Exceptions, or Waivers Students can request changes, exceptions, or waivers to the UVA Engineering academic requirements using the Request Requirement Change, Exception, or Waiver Form.


Degree Requirements: M.S.


The Master of Science degree is a graduate research degree that introduces students to research at the graduate level. A student can typically complete the program in 2 years. UVA Engineering offers instruction leading to the degrees of Master of Science in the following fields: biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, engineering physics, materials science and engineering, mechanical and aerospace engineering, and systems engineering.

The program’s Graduate Director appoints an advisor to each graduate student for consultation in planning a program of study. In collaboration with the advisor, each student should develop a program of study including all courses required for the degree as well as additional courses to prepare the student for research in his/her chosen topic. Candidates who complete the degree requirements and are approved by the faculty are presented for degrees at the University’s first scheduled graduation exercise following completion of the requirements.

A complete listing of all graduate forms and corresponding assessment forms can be found online.

Program of Study All M.S. students must satisfactorily complete a plan of coursework and research hours approved by their advisor and the program. The student’s program appoints an advisor to each M.S. student for consultation in completing the program of study, and each program is tailored to the individual student in accordance with program requirements approved by UVA Engineering faculty. The program of study must include a minimum of 24 hours of graduate level credits beyond the baccalaureate, a minimum of 12 of which must be formal graded graduate level coursework in the area of major study. Classes at the 4000-level or below do not count toward the graduate degree requirements. The program of study may include a maximum of six transfer credits from other institutions of recognized standing; however, only graduate level courses with a grade of B or better may be transferred. Each program has its own program of study requirements, and therefore all programs of study must be approved by the program’s Graduate Director.

MS Examining Committee Must include a minimum of three UVA faculty, at least two of whom must be School of Engineering faculty. The Committee Chair must hold a faculty appointment in the School of Engineering and cannot be the student’s Advisor. All Committee members must hold qualifications commensurate with that of a research faculty or equivalent rank. To avoid conflicts of interest, no committee member can be employed by or receive compensation from another committee member to avoid conflicts of interest.

One additional research professional from outside UVA or a faculty member from outside the School of Engineering may be a fourth voting committee member, provided his/her qualifications are commensurate with that of a research faculty or equivalent rank. Emeritus faculty are considered outside UVA for the purpose of Examining Committees. A CV or biography is required for all committee members who are not UVA faculty and should include the highest degree attained, the year and institution, and any relevant experience or research which would enable that member to provide expertise to the student and committee.

Biomedical Engineering (BME) M.S. examining committees: All faculty with a primary appointment in BME are considered School of Engineering faculty for this purpose. For M.S. students in BME, one faculty member from the School of Medicine may substitute for one School of Engineering faculty.

Computer Engineering (CPE) M.S. examining committees: For M.S. students in CPE, at least one member must be from the Electrical & Computer Engineering department and at least one member must be from the Computer Science department.

Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) and Systems & Information Engineering (SIE) advisory committees: For M.S. students in CEE or SIE, the Engineering Systems & Environment (ESE) Department is considered the home department.

The Final Examination Committee Form must be completed and submitted to the Engineering Graduate Registrar’s Office at least two weeks prior to the examination/defense date.

MS Thesis Defense Each M.S. student must satisfactorily present and defend a thesis based on independent research. The thesis defense is conducted orally and publicly by the M.S. Examining Committee previously approved by the Engineering Graduate Registrar’s Office. The defense is designed to test the student’s knowledge of his/her field of research.

The defense is held after the student has submitted the thesis to the committee. A public announcement of the oral presentation of the defense must be sent out by the student’s Graduate Coordinator at least one week prior to the presentation. Students should consult their Graduate Coordinator for the departmental announcement template and procedure.

A student who does not perform satisfactorily in the defense may, with the recommendation of two-thirds majority of the M.S. Examining Committee, be granted a future thesis defense after being given adequate time to prepare. Upon completion of the Final Examination, the Report on Final Examination Form and the Thesis and Dissertation Assessment Form must be completed and submitted to the Engineering Graduate Registrar’s Office. The degree candidate must submit the approved final thesis along with the Thesis/Dissertation Cover and Approval Pages Form to Libra, the online archive of UVA by the date specified in the academic calendar.

MS Degree Awarding Students who are accepted by the M.S. Examining Committee and approved by the faculty are presented for degrees at the first scheduled University graduation following completion of the degree requirements. Students must apply for a degree in SIS by the date specified in the academic calendar -February 1st for May graduation; June 1st for August graduation; October 1st for December graduation. The degree candidate must submit the approved final thesis to Libra, the online archive of UVA by the date specified in the academic calendar. The degree candidate must complete the UVA Engineering Ph.D./M.S. Exit Survey.

Requesting Changes, Exceptions, or Waivers Students can request changes, exceptions, or waivers to the UVA Engineering academic requirements using the Request Requirement Change, Exception, or Waiver Form.


Degree Requirements: M.E., M.C.S., M.M.S.E


The Master of Engineering degree is a graduate professional degree. It enhances the professional instruction of the bachelor’s program in engineering or applied science, providing greater knowledge and deeper understanding in a specific field. A student can complete the degree program in as little as one year. UVA Engineering offers instruction leading to the degree of Master of Engineering in biomedical engineering; chemical engineering; civil engineering; computer engineering, electrical engineering; mechanical and aerospace engineering; and systems engineering. The degrees of Master of Computer Science (M.C.S.) and Master of Materials Science and Engineering (M.M.S.E.) are also offered. Project research for the ME, M.C.S., or M.M.S.E. (non-thesis) degrees is encouraged and, in some curricula, required.

The Graduate Program Director will appoint an advisor to each graduate student for consultation in preparing a program of study.

Program of Study All M.E., M.C.S., and M.M.S.E. students must satisfactorily complete a plan of coursework approved by their advisor and the program. The student’s program appoints an advisor to each student for consultation in completing the program of study, and each program is tailored to the individual student in accordance with program requirements approved by UVA Engineering faculty. The program of study must include a minimum of 30 hours of graduate level credits beyond the baccalaureate, a minimum of 18 of which must be formal graded graduate level coursework in the area of major study. Classes at the 4000-level or below do not count toward the graduate degree requirements. The program of study may include a maximum of 12 transfer credit from other institutions of recognized standing; however, only graduate level courses with a grade of B or better may be transferred. VEO students may transfer a maximum of 15 credits with a C or better. Each program has its own program of study requirements, and therefore all programs of study must be approved by the program’s Graduate Director.

M.E., M.C.S., and M.M.S.E. Degree Awarding Upon successful completion of all courses and degree requirements in the program of study, students are presented for degrees at the first scheduled University graduation following completion of the degree requirements. The student must submit completed assessment forms as required by the program. Each program requires at least three of these forms. The forms must be submitted to the Engineering Graduate Registrar’s Office. Students must apply for a degree in SIS by the date specified in the academic calendar- February 1st for May graduation; June 1st for August graduation; October 1st for December graduation. The degree candidate must complete the UVA Engineering M.E./M.C.S./M.M.S.E. Exit Survey.

Part-time Master of Engineering Graduate Students Those students who wish to pursue a graduate degree in the School of Engineering and Applied Science on a part-time basis must be approved for admission to the degree program by the department or program offering the degree, and they must meet all admission requirements for full-time degree students. Part-time, non-degree, and visiting students taking on-Grounds or online courses for degree credit must register through the School of Engineering and Applied Science. 

Requesting Changes, Exceptions, or Waivers Students can request changes, exceptions, or waivers to the UVA Engineering academic requirements using the Request Requirement Change, Exception, or Waiver Form.

Accelerated Master’s Degree in Systems Engineering (AMP)

The Accelerated Master’s Degree Program in Systems Engineering (AMP) enables working professionals to earn a Master of Engineering degree in one year without interrupting their careers through a unique blend of formal education integrated with personal work experience. The practice-oriented degree has a focus on systems thinking, data analytics, and evidence-based decision making, broadly applicable skills which are in strong demand. Class meetings on Grounds give AMP students the advantage of interacting face-to-face with full-time faculty and cohort of talented classmates in a focused learning environment.

The program year runs from late May through April. A new cohort begins each May. The accelerated schedule includes one week in residence in late May, twenty alternate weekends (all day Fridays and Saturdays) over the next ten months, and a final week in residence the following April. Comprehensive tuition includes courses and fees, books, software, and meals and lodging while the cohort is on grounds for classes. Financial aid is available in the form of education loans.

The curriculum introduces and explores systems methodologies through real-world case studies. It is firmly focused on problem-solving, using both analytical and theoretical modeling approaches throughout. The program of study has four core courses: Introduction to Systems Analysis and Design (SYS 6001), Systems Integration (SYS 6002), Applied Optimization (SYS 6043) and Applied Probabilistic Modeling (SYS 6045). Six additional courses may include risk analysis and modeling, statistics, applied human factors engineering, and decision analysis among others. The curriculum is augmented by business topics taught by faculty from the Darden Graduate School of Business.

Admissions requirements include a bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized standing and proficiency in mathematics, typically demonstrated by academic performance in the following courses: calculus (2 semesters), linear algebra (or equivalent), and computer programming. Three letters of recommendation are required. 

The Accelerated Master’s Program in Systems Engineering (AMP) uses a rolling admissions procedure. Applications are reviewed and admissions decisions are made as the applications are received. Class size is limited. Prospective students are encouraged to submit their applications early in the cycle. The program will continue to accept well-qualified candidates for admission until all slots are filled or the next cohort begins.

AMP students place a high value on the cohort learning experience at UVA. Working together in small groups and sharing the perspectives of a diverse cohort of experienced engineers leads to long-lasting friendships and a strong professional network among members of the cohort and AMP alumni.

Virginia Engineering Online (VEO)

UVA Engineering offers six online professional master’s degrees in engineering. These graduate level degrees are in chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical and aerospace engineering, systems engineering, and materials science and engineering. Through Virginia Engineering Online (VEO), UVA Engineering students benefit from the long-standing partnership between the State Council on Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) and five other Virginia schools. This higher education partnership is known as the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP). Students in VEO and CGEP advance their education without leaving their jobs, by taking advantage of a flexible and interactive learning environment.

Virginia Engineering Online courses are primarily delivered asynchronously to students with reliable internet access, wherever those students are located. Most courses are taught simultaneously to students in the physical classroom at UVA and those participating online. VEO students benefit from class recordings, to view the material covered in each class session.

Students may apply to take classes individually or may apply to one of our degree programs. Classes taken before being admitted to one of our degree programs can count towards the student’s degree requirements, if the student choses later to pursue a degree. Moreover, the GRE - required for some graduate engineering school programs - can be waived through successful completion of three VEO courses as a non-degree student. The GRE waiver terms are described on the VEO website.

Each of the six departments in this program has an appointed advisor who consults with students on curriculum and any special circumstances that might arise with participating working professionals. Students’ planned courses, or programs of study, are created with their advisor and submitted for final approval to their department chair and the Office of Graduate Programs.

Degree requirements are the same as mentioned in the previous Master of Engineering section, with an extra allowance for transfer credits: UVA VEO students are allowed an additional three pre-approved transfer credits (15 total transfer credits) to count towards the program of study. Graduate courses from other schools with grades of C or better may be transferred toward meeting the requirement of the Master of Engineering degree. All courses taken at other institutions must be pre-approved by the student’s advisor.

VEO students are expected to maintain a B (3.0) or higher grade point average.

Cyber-Physical Systems

Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) is an interdisciplinary approach to education at UVA which includes faculty and students from six different degree programs: Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Systems Engineering.

CPS education and research focuses on a deep understanding of the interfaces between the cyber and physical worlds - driving discovery, innovation and education forward in the areas of smart health, smart cities and autonomous systems. Overall, the key technical principles that underlie a CPS education span both the physical side (physics, digital signal processing, embedded hardware such as sensors and actuators, control and hybrid systems, wireless communication, and dynamic systems modeling) and the cyber side (networking, embedded systems programming, machine learning, model-based design and formal methods, privacy and security, real-time systems, and software engineering).

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded UVA a five-year NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) grant to create a Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) education program. The program launched in Fall 2019. The CPS NRT Program is not a degree program. As such, students will receive their M.E., M.C.S., or Ph.D. in their selected degree program and must satisfy those degree requirements. Students who participate in the NRT program will be a part of the cohort which will include taking CPS courses, participating in CPS research (Ph.D. students), and professional development. Courses and research will count toward the degree requirements for the student’s program – with a focus/emphasis on CPS. Additional information can be found on the Education page of the Link Lab website: http://www.linklab.virginia.edu.

M.E.-M.B.A. Dual Degree Program

The objective of the joint M.E.-M.B.A. degree program is the development of leaders with business administration skills and solid technical expertise. The M.E. degree provides a foundation in engineering or applied science well above the normal undergraduate level. The M.B.A. develops the functional areas of business by teaching the essential behavioral and quantitative sciences that apply to management, as well as the techniques of management decision making. The combined degrees provide the knowledge required for a wide range of business applications.

A student must apply and be admitted to both degree programs and satisfy nearly all of the requirements for both degrees. Typically, the overall program length is reduced by one semester compared to the total time for attaining both degrees separately.

In order to obtain this reduction in the number of credits, the student cannot stop after one degree but must finish both degrees. If the student decides to drop out of the joint degree program, the full requirements of one of the degree programs must be met.Students in the M.E.-M.B.A. Joint Degree Program are required to complete 24 credits for the Master of Engineering degree in the School of Engineering and 69 credits for the Master of Business Administration degree in the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. Of the 24 credits in the School of Engineering, 21 credits will be normal course work and 3 credits will be a project course taken in an appropriately numbered course. A minimum of 12 credits of course work must be taken in the major department. None of the 24 credits may include a course taken in the Darden School. The project must have one advisor from the School of Engineering and another from the Darden School.