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The University of Virginia takes pride in its continued development of modern engineering education and research. For over one hundred fifty years, the University has offered regular study in engineering, coinciding with the industrial development of the South and paralleling the rise of the engineering profession itself. Today, a total of 9 undergraduate and 31 graduate programs are offered by 8 academic departments.
School of Graduate Engineering and Applied Science
A108 Thornton Hall
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400242
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4242
The growth of applied science into a learned profession was anticipated in the founding of the University. As early as 1825, the Rector and Visitors formally indicated that instruction in military and civil architecture would be a part of the education program of the University. Such courses were offered starting in 1827. Notable members of the early engineering staff were Charles Bonnycastle, trained in military engineering in England, and William Barton Rogers, later co-founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering instruction was not sought widely by young men in the predominantly agricultural South, however; and by 1850, it was announced that the engineering program would be discontinued.
A new and more successful beginning was made in 1865 under the direction of Professor Charles Scott Venable, and by 1869 the University awarded its first degrees in engineering. Instruction was offered in civil and mining engineering until the 1881-1882 session, when engineering became a professional department. William Mynn Thornton became the first dean of engineering in 1905. Under his leadership, three new degree programs were added: mechanical engineering in 1891, electrical engineering in 1897, and chemical engineering in 1908.
Between World War I and World War II, the engineering curricula were revised and strengthened to provide a broader program of study, including the humanities. During both wars, the school offered engineering instruction to members of the armed forces; and ROTC programs for the Navy, Army, and Air Force were introduced during and after World War II.
Reorganization following World War II led again to an extensive revision of all curricula and to the graduate studies now offered. In 1955, two new branches of engineering study were recognized by degrees: aeronautical and nuclear engineering. In the same year, the first doctoral programs were instituted in chemical engineering and engineering physics.
In 1962, the name of the School was changed to the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) in anticipation of the establishment of the Department of Materials Science (1963), the Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science (1964), and the Department of Biomedical Engineering (1967). The Department of Systems Engineering was established in 1975, and in 1984, Applied Mathematics and Computer Science became separate departments. Further reorganization has led to the present school academic structure with its Departments of Biomedical Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Civil and Environmental Engineering; Computer Science; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Materials Science and Engineering; Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; and Systems and Information Engineering; and the Department of Science, Technology and Society. The undergraduate program in engineering science and the graduate program in engineering physics are administered by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Graduate and undergraduate programs in Computer Engineering are administered jointly by the Departments of Computer Science, and Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Research Centers and Institutes
The U.Va. Engineering School’s research centers, consortia and laboratories are on the leading edge of technology. We place a high priority on collaboration, technology transfer and opportunities that allow our faculty and graduate students to create solutions to the problems and challenges facing the world today.
Some of the finest engineering research centers, consortia and laboratories are located on the Grounds of the University of Virginia.
Aerogel Research Laboratory was established in 1996 to investigate fundamental properties as well as cutting-edge applications of aerogels. Aerogel materials have the lowest thermal conductivity, lowest dieletric constant, lowest speed of sound, and lowest density of any solid material. Applications include: thermal/acoustic/electrical insulation, microanalytical instrumentation, sensors, and sub-atomic collection media.
Aerospace Research Laboratory conducts basic and applied research in advanced aerospace technologies. Research interests have expanded to include high-speed mixing and combustion, aeroacoustics, structures and materials, optical techniques, microscale heat transfer, and computational modeling.
Bio-Thermal-Fluid-Mechanics Laboratory was established to investigate highly interdisciplinary problems, both fundamental and applied, relating to laminar and turbulent flows, heat and mass transfer in biological, engineering and medical systems ranging in size from a few nanometers to tens of meters. Experimental, theoretical and numerical modeling activities range from the development of innovative biomedical devices such as catheters for the treatment of neurological and cardiovascular diseases, to the understanding of sensors and sensing in nature with engineering applications in mind, to flow-structure interactions in the aorta and in computer hard disk drives.
Cardiac Systems Biology Lab focuses on the study of cell signaling networks. Perturbations in these signaling networks contribute to the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. One explanation for the remarkable ability of complex signaling networks to control the cell is the use of temporal and spatial strategies, such as feedback and compartmentation. Understanding of these sophisticated control mechanisms will require an integration of experimental and computational systems biology.
Center for Applied Biomechanics is dedicated to vehicle safety testing with a major emphasis on studying impact and injury biomechanics. The focal point of the 30,000 square foot facility is a test sled mounted on a 66-foot track which allows simulation of high speed automobile crashes. In addition to the sled system, the CAB has a number of pneumatic and gravity driven impactors as well as state-of-the-art high speed data acquisition and digital video systems. Major research efforts at the laboratory include the study of advanced occupant restraint systems including air bag and seat belt systems. In particular, the CAB is establishing guidelines and criteria for the mitigation of airbag induced injuries.
Center for Electrochemical Science and Engineering (CESE) is a multi-disciplinary research effort that incorporates the departments of Materials Science and Engineering, and Chemical Engineering, as well as interactions with Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and Physics. One of the nation’s leading research groups of its kind, its research affects the performance and reliability of most products manufactured in the world today.
Center for In-Vivo Hyperpolarized Gas MR Imaging is a promising option for medical imaging of air spaces and certain tissues in humans without exposing patients to radiation associated with other methods (high resolution Computed Tomography and V/Q techniques, for example.) Since spring of 1996, U.Va. Departmental Research Team for Hyperpolarized Gases has been exploring and conducting research in this field.
The Center for Safe and Secure Nuclear Energy will conduct applied and basic research to create new and improved instrumentation and control technologies to ensure the safety and security of nuclear power plants; transfer technology from the research laboratories to practical, commercial applications; educate the next generation of students in nuclear reactor operation and control, and the design, analysis, operation, and maintenance of instrumentation and control systems; and, serve the nuclear industry by providing research, technology transfer and educational activities that support workforce training and development, as well as new technology creation and commercialization. It will be housed in Lynchburg, Va.
Center for Risk Management of Engineering Systems was founded by the University of Virginia in 1987 by the CHEV as a University-wide resource. It develops theory, methodology, and technology to assist in the management of risk for a variety of engineering systems. Working closely with faculty and students at the Center, industry and government sponsors of research contribute their unique strengths and interests.
Center for Semicustom Integrated Systems is an internationally respected research group in the areas of computer engineering and digital systems. The Center’s ultimate missions are to accelerate economic growth, to improve products and processes, and to integrate the results of academic research into Very Large-Scale Integration (VLSI) industry developments. Its research and education programs help satisfy the growing need for leading-edge design tools and methods in the VLSI industry.
Center for Transportation Studies focuses on issues and problems related to the development, operation, and maintenance of a safe, efficient intermodal transportation system for the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation. The Center’s research program is noted for being responsive to emerging challenges from the transportation sector and for continually probing into new areas of transportation-related research. The Center’s comprehensive research program covers areas such as intelligent transportation systems, transportation planning and logistics, traffic simulation, highway safety, transportation pavements, and freight and traffic operations.
The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) is a partnership founded by the state, U.Va., Virginia Tech, Rolls-Royce and other partners. The vision for CCAM is to become a world-class research facility delivering improved aerospace design and manufacturing technologies. It is located at Crosspointe, in Prince George County, the largest Rolls-Royce site by area in North America.
The Commonwealth Center for Aerospace Propulsion Systems (CCAPS) is a partnership among Rolls-Royce, the U.Va. Engineering School and Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering to foster collaborative aerospace research while creating new educational opportunities for students at both schools. As a virtual center, CCAPS uses existing lab space at both U.Va. and Virginia Tech to address the latest aerospace propulsion system research questions while offering students the opportunity to work as graduate research assistants and undergraduate interns. Under the guidance of Rolls-Royce, a world-class power systems provider, CCAPS will explore breakthrough concepts for creating more efficient and effective jet-engine propulsion systems.
Computational Systems Biology Laboratory (CSBL) at the University of Virginia develops methods for integrating high-throughput data of biological systems and characterizing cellular network properties relevant to human disease. In particular, we reconstruct integrated cellular signaling networks and develop tools to analyze their properties. The analysis of these networks requires high-performance computing capabilities and sophisticated mathematical techniques.
Dependability Research Group studies the survivability of critical information systems-air traffic control, telecommunications, nationwide control of power distribution, and the financial system. Societal dependence on these systems is growing and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The Center’s research focuses on designing software which can be tailored to information systems to ensure the intended operation of their existing components.
The Energy Initiative at the University of Virginia is dedicated to developing and commercializing new sources of energy and new techniques to preserve and reclaim vital resources. The University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science is partnering with other U.Va. schools to facilitate this innovation. University faculty, researchers and students are contributing to energy technology research — research that includes work in the areas of alternative renewable resources, ethics, policy, fuel cell efficiencies, nanotechnology, solar energy, and sustainable and efficient housing.
High-Performance Low-Power (HPLP) VLSI Laboratory focuses primarily on original research in the field of low power and high performance electronics, spanning digital VLSI and analog systems, architectures, circuits, and algorithms. HPLP currently has eight active researchers, as well as a new lab facility containing PCs and workstations donated by IBM and Intel.
Human Computer Interaction develops decision-aiding systems, training systems and models of human performance in a wide variety of domains such as process control, medical, military and transportation. Teams of people typically work together and with a variety of computational systems to meet objectives within a complex set of constraints using both well-defined strategies and ad-hoc reasoning. Typical tasks to be supported, trained, or modeled include monitoring, diagnosis, control, scheduling, planning, and problem-solving for individuals, teams, and organizations.
The Institute for Nanoscale and Quantum Scientific and Technological Advanced Reserach (nanoSTAR) is an inter-disciplinary institute at the University of Virginia involving faculty from engineering, science, medicine, education, and business who work together to provide a very competitive environment for the advancement of the science and technology of nanoscale and quantum systems. Approximately 80 faculty members from departments across grounds are actively engaged in the institute. Outreach and education are also a major function of nanoSTAR. Students can get involved through related coursework and research opportunities as well as by participating in meetings and events. Our vision is to encourage, facilitate, and support collaborative research, development and commercialization in the key areas of nanoelectronics, medicine, and energy and the environment through partnerships with academia, industry and national laboratories.
Intelligent Processing of Materials Laboratory (IPML) is one of the nation’s premier centers for research on the processing of advanced materials. Affiliated with the University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the laboratory incorporates both the synthesis and processing of materials along with their modeling, sensing, and control. Goals of IPML’s research include development of innovative process technologies, creating models for predicting materials evolution during processing, designing advanced in-situ sensors for tracking material changes during processing, and creating model-based path optimization and feedback control.
Internet Commerce Group, InterCom, is a coalition of university faculty and business leaders that promotes development of electronic commerce in Virginia by providing technical and business software, training, and consulting services to companies entering (or already participating in) the electronic marketplace.
Keck Center for Cellular Imaging (KCCI) the primary goal of the imaging center is to provide a state of the art optical imaging facility to enhance both the reserach and teaching enviornments of the University. Concomicant with the goal is the continual development and implementation of novel optical imaging methods that interface expertise in biology, optics, and electronic engineering.
Laboratory for Atomic and Surface Physics (LASP) is one of the world’s leading laboratories studying the interaction of energetic particles (ions, electrons) UV photons and laser beams with surfaces. It seeks to understand the mechanisms leading to electronic excitations (luminescence, emission of electrons, radiation, atoms and molecules (sputtering), and to radiation damage, chemical changes or heat. The studies use a wide array of experimental techniques such as infrared spectroscopy, microbalance, mass spectrometry, and surface analysis and also computer simulations. The research has applications in semiconductor processing, nuclear fusion, gas discharges, biology, astrophysics, and space exploration. A substantial part of the laboratory’s work consists in modeling and simulations of surface processes in icy satellites, planetary atmospheres and magnetospheres, and interstellar grains. Projects are supported by NASA, NSF, and SWRI. LASP collaborates with industrial, University, and government laboratories in the US and several countries overseas to advance research and education in this field.
Laboratory for Computer Architecture at Virginia (LAVA) focuses on processor-design issues, especially multi-core and multi-threaded chip architectures, architectures for temperature-aware and power-aware computing; applications of control theory to computer architecture; graphics architecture; novel processor organizations; and associated questions of modeling technique. The LAVA Lab currently receives funding from NSF, ARO, Intel and IBM and has ongoing collaborations with Harvard and IBM TJ Watson.
The Ley Lab is part of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and focuses on molecular mechanisms of atherosclerosis, biomechanics of leukocyte adhesion and targeted ultrasound contrast agents, molecular mechanisms of inflammation in Crohn’s disease, molecular mechanisms of neutrophil recruitment to the lung, and neutrophil homeostasis and proliferation in inflammation.
MAE Design Lab provides specialized computer resources and workspace for students in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The Lab is focused on research and design projects of graduate students and upper-level undergraduates.
Microscale Heat Transfer Laboratory is dedicated to developing new techniques to assist in measuring, understanding, and utilizing microscale thermal phenomena. The laboratory’s research is aimed at developing a fundamental understanding of energy transport on ultra short time and length scales.
Molecular Biomechanics Laboratory, part of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, is dedicated to understanding the molecular mechanisms by which cells move, and the application of this knowledge to the improvement of American public health.
Multiscale Muscle Mechanics Lab identifies the principles of muscle design by characterizing the relationships between muscle structure, mechanical properties, biology, and function. The lab integrates a variety of computational and experimental approaches to achieve this goal, and applies these findings to understanding and improving treatments for musculoskeletal impairments.
Nanoscale Materials Characterization Facility (NMCF) provides imaging, diffraction and chemical analysis of materials from atomic to microscopic levels, and offers guidance to individuals wanting to conduct their own analyses. The NMCF houses three transmission electron microscopes (TEMs), two scanning electron microscopes (SEMs), a focused Ga+ ion beam (FIB) microscope, extensive hardware/software for image simulation, processing and analysis, and a variety of specimen preparation equipment. The facility also has three X-ray diffractometers (XRD’s) with a variety of capabilities and software for data analysis.
National Center for Hypersonic Combined Cycle Propulsion is led by Professor James McDaniel. The center will facilitate development of the analytical tools needed to design the engines for a future hypersonic aircraft — one that could fly up to 12 times the speed of sound. It was established in 2009 under a $10 million grant from NASA and the U.S. Air Force.
Next Generation Real-Time Computing Lab is part of the Computer Science Department at the University of Virginia. The laboratory studies a wide range of issues in all aspects of real-time computing and wireless networks. Real-time principles are becoming important for all systems since audio and video streams are being utilized in many new contexts from control applications to the Next Generation Internet.
NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center aims to to develop a science, engineering, and technology base for laser and plasma processing of materials, devices, and systems. The Center is building on existing research being conducted in plasma and photon processing. The Multi-University team has the requisite expertise and equipment, valued in excess of more than $5 million, to pursue research and development in this area. The Center provides a core technology base in lasers and plasma, support for the creation and growth of innovative collaborations among industry partners, and the opportunity to enhance existing research relationships with federal laboratories.
Peirce-Cottler Laboratory at the University of Virginia uses a parallel approach that combines experimental models with agent-based computational models to guide new approaches in tissue engineering. We are particularly interested in the microcirculatory system and how microvascular networks structurally adapt, through active growth and remodeling. These processes are relevant to a variety of diseases and pathologies, including heart disease, peripheral limb ischemia, cancer, and diabetes.
Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center is an evolving organization based on the voluntary scientific interactions of investigative faculty with a broad interest in research in diseases of the cardiovascular system. It is a lightening rod, attracting ongoing research in cardiovascular function, as well as stimulating new initiatives. The Center is designed to be able to respond quickly to exciting new research opportunities, by providing financial and administrative assistance. Such assistance offers innovative investigators the possibility to adapt rapidly to new directions in their research programs, a capability that becomes ever more important as the pace of technology places greater importance on rapid reaction to scientific opportunity. The Center is also dedicated to working with the faculty in making the University a center of state-of-the-art technological excellence.
Rotating Machinery and Controls Laboratory (ROMAC) conducts research in the areas of rotor dynamics, turbomachinery, structural dynamics, magnetic bearings, automatic controls, turbomachinery flows, fluid film bearings, and seals. The Laboratory’s research is supported by a consortium of industries through the ROMAC Industrial Research Program.
Science and Engineering of Laser Interactions with Matter (SELIM) graduate training program is designed to develop students with enhanced mastery and appreciation of the knowledge and state-of-the-art technical skills required for rapid advancements in modern science and technology.
Smart Travel Lab is a state-of-the-art facility that supports research and education in the rapidly emerging area of intelligent transportation systems (ITS). Current projects include investigating potential benefits of vehicle infrastructure integration-enabled ramp metering as well as evaluation of advanced traffic signal controllers using hardware in the loop simulation.
Space Physics and Surface Physics Theory Program studies the physics and chemistry of energetic ion, electron and uv-photon interactions with surfaces and gases. the processes of interest are desorption and sputtering, as well as the radiolysis and photolysis of surfaces and gases. the motivation for the program’s research is to understand problems in space physics and astronomy.
Surface Science Center provides services on surface analysis, including modifying the surface layers of materials by ion implantation, and surface characterization and depth profiling of sample compositions using a Perkin-Elmer 560 system. Available techniques are Angle-resolved X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS or ESCA), Scanning Auger Electron Microscopy with sub-micron resolution, Ultraviolet Photoelectron Spectroscopy (UPS), Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS), Ion Scattering Spectroscopy (ISS) and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). Each technique can be combined with the others and with sputter etching (using a differentially pumped ion gun) to obtain composition depth profiles.
Traffic Operations Lab (TOL) is part of the Center for Transportation Studies of Civil Engineering Department. TOL supports research and education related to traffic signal control, optimization, and simulation and is equipped with the state-of-the-art traffic signal controllers and microscopic simulation programs, as well as hardware in the loop simulation (HILS) system. The HILS system allows testing of advanced features of actual traffic signal controllers within a laboratory environment. TOL has access to real-time traffic data from the VDOT traffic control systems through the Smart Travel Laboratory. TOL research mainly focuses on applications of advanced statistical techniques and optimization methods for developing traffic signal control algorithms and improving calibration and validation procedure for microscopic simulation models.
University of Virginia Microfabrication Laboratories (UVML) serves as the University’s center for research and development in solid-state materials, devices, and circuits. This laboratory, formed from the AEpL laboratories (which was founded in 1967), has a 3,500 square-foot clean room facility for device fabrication and materials growth, as well as a variety of other facilities for microwave and optical analysis, device design, testing and packaging. The UVML operates out of the Charles Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, but is open to and used by numerous other Departments in the University.
University of Virginia Program on Secure and Dependable Computing seeks to assure the trustworthy operation of complex software-intensive systems in a holistic, multi-disciplinary manner. The program seeks end-to-end architectural solutions grounded in an end-to-end understanding of software, systems, and human, social and organizational control and practices.
The U.Va. Center for Wireless Health was established in 2009 to coordinate research efforts in this area across the University and with collaborators at other institutions. Ongoing projects include in-home sensors for identifying signs of depression, body-worn sensors for fall risk assessment, and an artificial pancreas that combines blood glucose sensing and insulin pumping for Type I diabetics. All of the Center’s projects include the use of novel wireless technologies to collect data on real patients. The results and experiences from these deployments inform the engineering research that yields subsequent technology generations and enables additional medical applications.
Virginia Center for Grid Research is dedicated to performing research and solving issues surrounding the operation, deployment, and use of large distributed data and computing systems. Research covers a wide spectrum of activities including pure computer science/engineering research, grid system development and deployment, grid research community interaction, development of standards, and end user collaboration and outreach.
The Virginia Transportation Research Council is a partnership of the Virginia Department of Transportation and the University of Virginia, created in 1948. It conducts a comprehensive program of engineering, planning and policy research for all of Virginia’s transportation agencies and ranks among the nation’s most highly regarded transportation research institutes. The Research Council supports U.Va. faculty and students through cooperative research projects as well as through the Smart Travel Lab in the Center for Transportation Studies; VTRC scientists also comprise the faculty for the graduate pavements program in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.
Facilities and Services
The School of Engineering and Applied Science is located in a complex of buildings, the main one being Thornton Hall, named after the first dean of engineering. Thornton Hall houses the school’s administrative offices, the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Department of Science, Technology and Society and assorted research laboratories. South of Thornton Hall is Olsson Hall, which houses the Department of Systems and Information Engineering. Newly opened Rice Hall houses the Department of Computer Science and other academic offices, classroom and laboratories. Adjacent to these buildings are four buildings housing the Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Chemical Engineering. The Department of Biomedical Engineering is located in Building MR5, which is part of the Health Sciences Center. The Aerospace Research Laboratory is located on Mount Jefferson.
The Charles L. Brown Science and Engineering Library located in Clark Hall, includes more than 240,000 volumes, 1,500 current serial subscriptions, and 1 million technical reports. A full range of information services is available, including an online catalog with remote access, reference assistance, computerized literature searching, and inter-library loans and document delivery.
The Office of Engineering Career Development is available to help engineering students establish their career goals and develop strategies to attain those objectives. In addition to individual appointments, the office provides resource material on career fields, job search strategies, interviewing techniques, and employment opportunities. The office also coordinates on-Grounds interviews in conjunction with University Career Services.
The Center for Diversity in Engineering, established in the school in 1986, is available to help students by providing academic support, motivational activities, and financial assistance. The office provides counseling, peer counseling, and other special services for both undergraduate and graduate students. The office and student societies sponsor numerous activities to support engineering students.
The Virginia Transportation Research Council is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Transportation in cooperation with the University, and its offices and laboratories are located in the Shelburne Building about one-half mile west of Thornton Hall. The council has two primary objectives: providing training in the fundamentals of transportation engineering; and carrying out research programs to improve the economic design, construction, maintenance, and operation of highways. The council operates laboratories that study problems of highway aggregates, geological engineering, concrete, bituminous materials, soils, bridge structures, and traffic and safety.
The Virginia Transportation Research Council also provides financial assistance for graduate students whose thesis or dissertation research is in an area of interest to the council.
The Virginia Microelectronics Consortium (VMEC), a group of colleges and universities including George Mason University, Old Dominion University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and the College of William and Mary that offer a world-class program in microelectronics education and research. VMEC was created in 1996 to serve the microelectronics industry in the Commonwealth and to exploit our diverse industry and educational microelectronics resources to our mutual benefit.
The National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) is a research and graduate education institute initiated by NASA Langley Research Center to ensure a national capability to support NASA’s mission by expanding collaboration with academia and leveraging expertise inside and outside NASA. The institute is a non-profit corporation formed by a consortium that now includes Georgia Tech, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina State University, the University of Maryland, the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, the College of William & Mary, and the AIAA Foundation.
NIA conducts basic, formative, and leading edge research and develops revolutionary new technologies in all areas of interest to NASA through partnerships with the Nation’s universities, industry and other government agencies. NIA performs research in a broad range of disciplines relevant to NASA Aeronautics, Space Exploration, Science and Space Operations missions. Current research focus areas include Adaptive Aircraft Technologies, Rotorcraft Aeromechanics, Aviation Safety, Air Traffic Management, Flight Systems, Cooperative Control Systems, Multifunctional Materials, Nano-materials, Sensor Technology, Systems Engineering and Analysis, Space Exploration Technologies, Planetary Science and Engineering, and Atmospheric Science.
Through NIA’s graduate education program, NIA’s member universities offer M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in fields of engineering and the sciences relevant to NASA. Student research is conducted on-site at Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA. NIA also conducts continuing education, public outreach, and technology transfer programs supported by NASA and other sponsoring organizations.
The University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science offers programs leading to the degree of Master of Science and Master of Engineering, as well as Master degrees in several areas of applied science, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree. The School’s 10 curricula are: 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 range of studies available within the school is designed to satisfy a variety of objectives. Specific courses leading to a degree are not prescribed; instead, each student prepares an individual program, with the help of a faculty advisor, tailored to particular needs and goals and then submits it for faculty approval.
Two types of master’s degrees are available. Strong emphasis is placed on research for the Master of Science (M.S.) degree. The focal point of the M.S. is a thesis describing research accomplished in close cooperation with the student’s faculty advisor. The degrees of Master of Engineering (M.E.) and Master of Applied Science are professionally oriented and do not require a thesis.
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.
The School of Engineering and Applied Science 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. The Engineering School welcomes applications from men and women 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. An applicant should have a B average for admission into graduate studies.
Each candidate must complete the Application for Admission. The application requires completion of an essay, complete transcripts of all academic work and three letters of recommendation. A non-refundable application fee must accompany the application; an application will not be considered if the fee has not been paid. All applicants are required to take the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) general exam. International students must have an excellent command of the English language in order to enroll at the University. The TOEFL exam is required of all applicants if the language first learned and spoken in the home is not English. Most students admitted score at least 600 on the paper format of the test, 250 on the computer-based test or 90 on the Internet-based test. Scores from the International English Language Test (IELTS) may be submitted in lieu of the TOEFL. Most successful applicants 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 (www.virginia.edu/provost/caelc/summer.html) prior to admission.
Applications must be completed and submitted on-line (http://www.seas.virginia.edu/engineering_interest): Official transcripts should be sent to Graduate Studies, Office of the Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Thornton Hall, Room A-108, 351 McCormick Road, P.O. Box 400242 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4242. On-line recommendations are strongly encouraged. Application information, including recommendations, reach the admissions committees much faster if submitted electronically.
All students who wish to be nominated for assistantships and fellowships should submit a complete application by January 15 for September admission. For U.S. citizens and permanent residents, deadlines for complete applications for admission are: December 1 for January admission, May 1 for June admission, and August 1 for September admission. International students on visas (other than permanent residents) must apply at least five months prior to the term for which admission is sought to allow time for the International Student Office to review and process necessary papers. To enroll at the University each foreign national student must be lawfully present in the United States based on U.S. federal immigration law, and any visa status held must not prohibit the desired University enrollment. Also, all international students (other than permanent residents) must provide evidence of financial capability for the duration of their studies.
The School of Engineering and Applied Science offers financial aid to graduate students through fellowships and assistantships. Students must be nominated by their department to be considered for a fellowship or assistantship. Most superior students can expect to receive aid of some kind throughout their graduate careers.
Students receiving financial aid from the School of Engineering and Applied Science must be registered as full-time students, defined as at least 12 credits of lecture-laboratory courses and/or research 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 of research during the summer term. Students receiving financial aid are not permitted to have other employment without approval of the Office of Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs. Students are awarded financial assistance to enable them to devote maximum effort to graduate studies.
Fellowships are intended to allow graduate students to devote full time to learning opportunities in the classroom and laboratory. 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, during fellowship support, will include research and teaching duties as part of the usual academic requirements for the degree.
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 teaching/research to maintain full-time student status.
Graduate Teaching Assistantships Graduate Teaching Assistants are assigned to assist a faculty member teaching a specific lecture/laboratory course. The assigned duties will depend on the course and instructor. Graduate teaching assistants 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.
The ARCS Fellowship was established in 1984 as an annual gift from the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Chapter of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation. The recipients are chosen from enrolled students nominated by the departments.
L. William Ballard, Jr., Fellowship is offered to a graduate student who has demonstrated academic excellence, leadership qualities, and financial need.
Carlos and Esther Farrar Fellowship provides fellowships to deserving students at the University of Virginia studying in disciplines and programs pertaining to scientific investigation of the universe (i.e., aerospace engineering, astrophysics, mathematics). This fellowship is awarded on the basis of scholastic merit and financial need.
John H. and Dorothy W. Sidebottom Fellowship is offered to graduate students majoring in aerospace engineering.
John Bell McGaughy Graduate Fellowship is offered to an outstanding graduate student in the School of Engineering and Applied Science selected by the dean or his designee.
GEM Fellowships The University of Virginia is a member of the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. While attending one of the member universities for graduate study leading to a master’s degree in engineering, a minority student accepted into the GEM program receives a stipend plus an allowance for tuition and fees. The School of Engineering and Applied Science supplements the stipend and tuition to equal, at a minimum, the total of the fellowships normally awarded to entering students. Application material can be obtained by contacting Executive Director, GEM, Box 537, Notre Dame, IN 46556, (219) 239-7183.
Grades The letter grade symbols used for grading graduate students in the School of Engineering and Applied Science are: A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F. To obtain a graduate degree in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, an individual must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on all graded graduate course work taken at the University of Virginia while a graduate student, and graduate courses taken as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia if the courses are listed on a program of studies and are used to satisfy requirements for a graduate degree. No grade lower than a C is acceptable toward meeting the requirements for a graduate degree. If a course is repeated, both grades are used in computing the overall grade average. Undergraduate courses and courses taken on a Credit/No Credit basis may not be used to meet requirements for a graduate degree and are not used in computing the grade average. A 200-day period past the end of the semester (end of the examination period) is automatically allowed to remove an incomplete. At the end of this period an Incomplete automatically converts to F.
Quality of Work 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 candidate’s knowledge and power of investigation in a chosen field of study. Unsatisfactory work during any semester or an overall grade average of less than B may be considered sufficient reason for withdrawal of financial assistance, or for enforced withdrawal from the graduate program. Graduate students are considered to be on probation if their cumulative grade point average for graduate work is less than 3.0 and they are notified of this by the dean’s office. Graduate students are subject to dismissal if their cumulative grade point average is not raised to 3.0 within one semester.
Research All graduate students conducting research 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 six credits of research for the Master of Science (thesis) degree and 24 credits of research for the Ph.D. degree. In many cases, research in excess of these minimum requirements, particularly for the Ph.D. degree, is desirable. Project research for the Master of Engineering or Master of Applied Science (non-thesis) degrees is encouraged and, in some curricula, required.
Advisory and Examining Committees Committees for M.S. and PhD. final exams and Ph.D. advisory committees are appointed by the Dean upon recommendation of the chair of the student’s department. Departments may establish additional requirements and restrictions. The committee chair must hold a faculty appointment in SEAS. All faculty with a primary appointment in Biomedical Engineering are considered SEAS faculty for this purpose. All committee members must have qualifications commensurate with that of a research faculty or equivalent rank. A current C.V. or biography must be submitted for members who are not UVa faculty. The C.V. or biography should include the highest degree attained, the year and institution, and any relevant experience or research which would provide expertise needed for sitting on the committee.
M.S. Examining Committee Committee must consist of at least 3 UVa faculty members, at least 2 of whom must be SEAS faculty.
- All faculty with a primary appointment in Biomedical Engineering are considered SEAS faculty for this purpose. For M.S. candidates in Biomedical Engineering, one faculty member from the School of Medicine may substitute for one SEAS faculty.
- For M.S. candidates in Engineering Physics, at least one and no more than two of the required three members must be from the Physics Department.
- For M.S. candidates in Computer Engineering, at least one member must be from the ECE department and at least one member must be from the CS department.
One research professional from outside UVa or faculty member from outside SEAS may be a fourth voting member, provided that his/her qualifications are commensurate with that of a research faculty or equivalent rank. Request for Appointment of Examining Committee must be submitted to the Office of the Dean at least 2 weeks prior to the examination date.
Ph.D. Advisory Committee The Advisory Committee recommends a program of formal courses, advises the student on areas in which he or she must take Ph.D. examinations, discusses research objectives and plans with the student, and approves the student’s dissertation proposal. The Ph.D. Advisory Committee must include a minimum of 3 SEAS faculty, one additional UVa faculty member from outside the student’s home department, and a minimum of 4 total members.
- All faculty with a primary appointment in Biomedical Engineering are considered SEAS faculty for this purpose. For Ph.D. candidates in Biomedical Engineering, one faculty member from the School of Medicine may substitute for one SEAS faculty.
- For Ph.D. candidates 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.
- For Ph. D. candidates in Computer Engineering at least one member must be from the ECE department and at least one member must be from the CS department. Further, the “home department” of computer engineering students is defined to be the advisor’s department; an “outside” member thus resides in a department that is different from the adviser’s department.
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 outside member must be UVa faculty. The Advisory Committee should be appointed early in the student’s Ph.D. program and actively participate in advising and directing the student.
Ph.D. Final Examination Committee The Final Dissertation Examining Committee must include a minimum of 3 SEAS faculty, a minimum of 4 U.Va. faculty, and a minimum of 5 total members. One of the U.Va. faculty members must be from outside the student’s home department.
- For Ph.D. candidates in Biomedical Engineering, one faculty member from the School of Medicine may substitute for one SEAS faculty. All faculty with a primary appointment in Biomedical Engineering are considered SEAS faculty for this purpose.
- For Ph.D. candidates 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.
- For Ph.D. candidates in Computer Engineering at least two members must be from the ECE department and at least two members must be from the CS department. For computer engineering students the outside member must come from a department that is different from the adviser’s department.
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 outside member must be UVa faculty. Request for Appointment of Examining Committee must be submitted to the Office of the Dean at least 2 weeks prior to the examination date.
Time Limit For Graduate Degrees The student must complete all the requirements for a Master of Science degree within five years after admission to the graduate program, and he or she must complete all requirements for a Master of Engineering degree within seven years after admission to the graduate program. All requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must be completed within seven years after admission to the doctoral program. Expired credits may be revalidated with approval from the advisor, the appropriate department graduate committee or department chair, graduate studies committee, and the Office of the Dean.
The time to degree can be extended beyond its ordinary term for SEAS graduate students for: (1) maternity or family parenting, (2) serious personal or family illness upon notification to and approval of the appropriate department or program and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. The “clock-stopping” will be for a period of up to one year. Utilization of this policy should be invoked as soon as the need for additional time becomes known.
Residency M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs require a period of residency. A full-time graduate student in residence at the University, whether taking courses or doing research, is expected to be fully engaged in the academic community, to participate in planned and impromptu discussions with faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students, and to actively contribute to intellectual discourse within the School. During the period of residency, a student should have no major conflicts of commitment. Substantial employment obligations, for example, would generally be in conflict with the residency requirement.
Right to Petition In certain cases there may be extenuating circumstances that cause a deviation from the requirements for the master’s or doctoral degrees. A student has the right to petition the Graduate Studies Committee requesting such a deviation from the normal requirements. This petition should be in writing and endorsed by both the student’s advisor and department chair.
The Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Science grants transfer credit based on an analysis of the content, level and comparability of the course 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 at which the work was completed. Transfer credit, as described below, will be considered for acceptance toward a degree in the Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Master of Science Candidates may include a maximum of six credits of graduate course transfer credit on their program of study at the University of Virginia. They cannot have been used to satisfy requirements for another degree, and only courses with a grade of B or better may be transferred. All requests for the inclusion of transfer credit in the University of Virginia program of study are subject to the approval of the candidate’s academic department and the Office of the Dean for Graduate Programs.
Master of Engineering Candidates may include a maximum of 12 credits of graduate course transfer credit in their program of study at the University of Virginia. They cannot have been used to satisfy requirements for another degree, and only courses with a grade of B or better may be transferred. All requests for the inclusion of transfer credit in the University of Virginia program of study are subject to the approval of the candidate’s academic department and the Office of the Dean.
Doctor of Philosophy Candidates transfer of courses must be submitted for approval in the program of study.
Air Force and Army ROTC
Graduate students in the School of Engineering and Applied Science are eligible to participate in the Air Force and Army ROTC programs. Inquiries concerning enrollment in the Air Force ROTC should be addressed to the Unit Admissions Officer in the Astronomy Building (434-924-6833). Inquiries concerning enrollment in the Army ROTC should be addressed to the Professor of Military Science, Room B-030, New Cabell Hall. Air and Military Science courses are described in the Undergraduate Record.
Master of Science
The Master of Science degree is a graduate research degree that introduces students to research at the graduate level. A full-time student may be able to complete the program in one and one-half calendar years. The School of Engineering and Applied Science offers instruction leading to degrees in 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 department chair appoints an advisor to each graduate student for consultation in preparing a program of study. This program should be approved by the advisor and the department chair, and submitted for approval to the Office of the Dean by the end of the first semester of graduate study. Graduate credit is not automatically granted for courses completed before the program of study is approved. Any later change in the program of study must be submitted for approval. Approval of a program of study does not obligate the University to offer the courses listed, as all graduate courses are offered subject to sufficient enrollment. 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.
Degree Requirements A candidate for the Master of Science degree must:
- complete an approved program of study that includes a minimum of 24 graduate-level credits, with at least 12 credits taken in the area of major study. This program may contain no more than a total of nine credits of 500-level courses, and no more than six of those credits may be taken within the department conferring the degree. Classes at the 400-level or below do not count toward the Masters degree. Departmental requirements may be more restrictive. The program may include a maximum of six transfer credits for graduate courses completed at another school of recognized standing; however, those courses must be part of the approved program of study at the University. Only courses with a grade of B or better may be transferred;
- complete acceptable research, accomplished under the close direction of a faculty advisor. The research is documented in a written thesis. Written instructions for thesis preparation are available in the Office of the Dean;
- perform satisfactorily in a final examination of the thesis conducted by an examining committee appointed by the Office of the Dean. A candidate who does not perform satisfactorily on the examination may, with the recommendation of two-thirds of the examining committee, be granted a further examination after being given adequate time to prepare;
- submit the approved thesis. Three copies of the final thesis, as approved by the examining committee, must be submitted for binding by the date specified on the academic calendar;
- apply for the degree, using a standard form, by the date specified on the academic calendar;
- complete at least one semester in residence at the University of Virginia as a full-time student; and
- complete a comprehensive examination (if required by the student’s department).
Master of Engineering
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 full-time student should be able to complete the degree program in one calendar year. The School of Engineering and Applied Science 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, Master of Engineering Physics, and Master of Materials Science and Engineering are also offered.
The department chair appoints an advisor to each graduate student for consultation in preparing a program of study. This program must be approved by the advisor and the department chair and submitted to the Office of the Dean for approval by the end of the first semester of graduate study.
Degree Requirements: A candidate for the Master of Engineering, Computer Science, Engineering Physics, or Materials Science and Engineering must:
- complete an approved program that includes a minimum of 30 graduate-level credits, with at least 18 credits taken in the area of major study. This program may contain no more than nine credits of 500-level courses; no more than six of those credits may be taken within the department conferring the degree. Classes at the 400-level or below do not count toward the Masters degree. Departmental requirements may be more restrictive. The program may include a maximum of 12 transfer credits for graduate courses completed at another school of recognized standing; however, those courses must be part of the approved program of study at the University. Only courses with a grade of B or better may be transferred;
- apply for the degree, using a standard form, by the date specified in the academic calendar; and
- complete a comprehensive exam (if required by the student’s department).
Part-time Master’s 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 students taking on-Grounds courses for degree credit, except those taking courses through the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP), must register through the School of Engineering and Applied Science, not through the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. A maximum of six credits of graduate course work taken on-Grounds through continuing and professional studies prior to admission to a graduate degree program may be accepted as credit toward degree requirements.
Accelerated Master’s Degree in Systems Engineering (AMP)
The Accelerated Master’s Degree Program in Systems Engineering is designed to enable working professionals to become systems thinkers and problem solvers through a unique blend of formal education integrated with personal work experience. Responding to the needs of industry and individuals alike, this one-year Accelerated Master’s Program enables professionals to earn their degrees without career interruption.
The program’s focus is on systems thinking, information proficiency, and decision analytics. The curriculum introduces and explores systems methodologies through real-world case studies firmly focused on problem-solving using both analytical and theoretical modeling approaches throughout.
Taught by full-time faculty of the Department of Systems and Information Engineering and the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, the program uses the cohort learning model. The accelerated schedule includes one full week in residence in late May, twenty alternate weekends (Fridays and Saturdays) throughout the year, and a final week in residence during the following April. Comprehensive tuition covers courses and fees, books, software, meals and lodging while on grounds for classes. Financial aid is available in the form of education loans.
The program of study has four core courses: Introduction to Systems Engineering (SYS 6001), Systems Integration (SYS 6002), Applied Optimization (SYS 6043) and Applied Probabilistic Modeling (SYS 6045). Six additional elective courses may include data analysis and forecasting, risk analysis and modeling, information systems architecture, and decision analysis among others. Students attend seminars on Friday evenings earning credit for two semesters of Systems Engineering Colloquium.
Prerequisites include a bachelor’s degree from an college or university of recognized standing, calculus (2 semesters), probability and statistics (calculus-based), linear algebra (or equivalent) and computer programming. Applicants must take the GRE general exam.
Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP)
In addition to the resident Master of Engineering degree program conducted on the Grounds of the University of Virginia, the School of Engineering and Applied Science offers the following six degrees through the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program: Master of Engineering in Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Systems Engineering, and Master of Materials Science and Engineering.
Regular graduate courses are delivered live, in an interactive format, directly to the computer desktop, using high speed internet. The courses are available throughout the Commonwealth and to selected out-of-state locations. This two-way video/two-way audio capability provides professors and students on-Grounds the ability to communicate with off-Grounds students.
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’ programs of study must be approved by their advisors and the associated department chairs and be submitted to the Office of the Dean.
Degree requirements are the same as mentioned in the previous Master of Engineering section, except that an additional three transfer credits from Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University, Old Dominion University, or Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University may be included in the candidate’s program of study.
Graduate courses with grades of C or better taken for graduate credit at participating institutions may be transferred toward meeting the requirement of the Master of Engineering degree.
All graduate courses taken for degree credit through the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program, including transfer courses from the participating institutions, are included in the student’s grade point average.
M.E. – M.B.A. Joint 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 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 SEAS and 69 credits for the Master of Business Administration degree in the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. Of the 24 credits in SEAS, 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, with a maximum of 6 credits at the 500 level. None of the 24 credits may include a course taken in the Darden School. The project must have one advisor from SEAS and another from the Darden School.
Doctor of Philosophy
The School of Engineering and Applied Science offers instruction leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 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.
An advisory committee for each doctoral student is appointed by the Office of the Dean upon recommendation of the chair of the student’s department or curriculum area. The committee meets with the student as soon as possible to assist in planning a detailed program of study and research. The committee recommends a program of formal courses, discusses research objectives and research plans with the student, and advises the student on the areas in which he or she must take Ph.D. examinations. The committee meets with the student as needed to review progress and, if necessary, to assist the student in revising the program of study.
Degree Requirements The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is conferred by the School of Engineering and Applied Science primarily in recognition of breadth of scholarship, depth of research, and ability to investigate problems independently. A candidate for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must:
- complete at least three sessions (or the equivalent) of graduate study after the baccalaureate degree, or two sessions (or the equivalent) after the master’s degree. At least one session beyond the master’s degree must be in full residence at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. For students who enter a Ph.D. program without a master’s degree, at least 1.5 sessions (3 semesters, not including summer sessions) must be spent in full residence at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. For the purpose of satisfying these requirements, two regular semesters (not including summer sessions) will be considered as one session;
- satisfactorily complete an approved program of study. Each program is tailored to the individual student in accordance with the departmental requirements approved by SEAS faculty. The program must include a combined minimum of 72 credits of research and graduate level course work beyond the baccalaureate. The program must also include a minimum of 24 credits of formal course work, with no more than nine of those credits from 500-level courses. No more than six credits at the 500-level may be earned within the department granting the degree. Classes at the 400-level or below do not count toward the Ph.D. degree. Departmental requirements may be more restrictive. Transfer of course credit from other schools of recognized standing may be included in the program of study; however, only courses with a grade of B or better may be transferred. The student must submit the program for approval first to the department faculty and then to the Office of the Dean within one semester after the Ph.D. exam;
- perform satisfactorily on the departmental Ph.D. examination. The objective of the examination is to determine whether the student has assimilated and is able to integrate a body of advanced knowledge;
- submit a dissertation based on independent, original research that makes a significant contribution to the student’s field of study. In preparation for conducting research and writing the dissertation, students must prepare a written dissertation proposal. This proposal describes the current state of the art with bibliography, outlines the proposed method of investigation, and discusses the anticipated results. The student then makes a public, oral presentation of the proposal to the advisory committee, with all members of the faculty invited to attend. After the presentation, the student submits the written dissertation proposal for approval to the department faculty (or its designated committee) and the Office of the Dean;
- be admitted to candidacy for the degree: a student must have satisfactorily completed the Ph.D. examination and have received approval for the dissertation proposal before being admitted to candidacy. Admission to candidacy must be completed at least one semester before the degree is awarded;
- satisfactorily present and defend the dissertation in a public forum. The dissertation defense is conducted orally and publicly by a committee appointed by the Office of the Dean; this committee must include the candidate’s advisory committee. 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 a field of research. Candidates who are accepted by the examining committee and approved by the faculty are presented for degrees at the first scheduled graduation exercises of the University following completion of the requirements;
- apply for a degree on the standard form by the date specified in the academic calendar;
- submit three copies of the approved final dissertation to the Office of the Dean by the date specified in the academic calendar.
National Institute of Aerospace The University of Maryland, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Georgia Tech, and the University of Virginia are participating in a cooperative program of graduate engineering and applied science education and research centered in the Tidewater area of Virginia. This effort focuses upon research and education opportunities found at the NASA Langley Research Center. It is intended to allow students to pursue M.S. and Ph.D. degrees based upon research conducted at the NASA Langley facility. Students in the NIA program must be U.S. citizens, enroll in the graduate program of one of the six participating schools (their “home institution”), reside in the Hampton Roads area, and work on a research project at NASA Langley under the guidance of a faculty member at their home institution. Using distance learning technology, students in the NIA program are able to take graduate classes from the six participating schools (the “NIA universities”). A student’s program of study may include 50 percent transfer courses provided that those courses are taught by faculty of the NIA universities. Upon successful completion of the program, a student receives a degree from her or his home institution. Other M.S. and Ph.D. degree requirements are the same as mentioned in the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy sections, with the exception that residency in Charlottesville is not required.