University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering
http://www.me.umn.edu/

FAQs for Admitted Students

1 - How do I transfer graduate credits from another academic institution?

Graduate credits from other institutions are approved as part of your overall degree plan as laid out in you Graduate Degree Plan.  For PhD students there is no limit on the number of courses you may transfer but they must be approved. For MS students you may transfer up to 40% of your coursework with approval. To get approval, complete a Graduate Degree Plan in conjunction with your advisor. On the form, list the courses you wish to transfer as they appear on your original transcript; do not convert to equivalent courses. All transfer work is contingent on the approval of your advisor and the director of graduate studies.

2 - If I have completed all requred formal coursework, which courses do I register for in order to complete my degree?

MSME student PhD student
ME 8777 - Master’s thesis credits. These credits are for MS Plan A students. You need to take a minimum of 10 thesis credits, but can take more. These credits do not replace the required 20 credits of formal course work. They cannot be used for a Plan B or transferred for the PhD. ME 8888 - Doctoral thesis credits. These credits are for PhD students. You need to take a minimum of 24 thesis credits, but can take more. These credits do not replace the required 38 credits of formal course work.
ME 8333 - MS FTE (Full Time Equivalency) class. This course number is used to maintain your full-time status once you have completed all other course requirements. You only register for one credit, but are considered to be a full time student.

In order to register for ME 8333 you need to apply to the Graduate School a semester in advance.
ME 8444 - PhD FTE (Full Time Equivalency) class. This course number is used to maintain your full-time status. This course number is used to maintain your full-time status once you have completed all other course requirements. You only register for one credit, but are considered to be a full time student.
ME 8794 - MSME Directed Research. These credits are for MS Plan B students. You may take up to 4 credits towards your Plan B project. These credits cannot be used towards a Plan A or PhD. ME 8666 - Pre-thesis credits. These are credits you take if you have completed all required course work and have not passed your Preliminary Oral Exam. These credits cannot be applied towards your degree.
ME 8951 - Plan B class. This class is intended for Plan B student who has not identified an advisor or project. Credit is not permitted for both ME 8951 and ME 8794.  
GRAD 0999 - See question 3

 

3 - How do I maintain active status as a graduate student if I am not taking formal courses?

The Graduate School requires students to be registered each fall and spring semester to maintain active status with the Graduate School. If you are inactive with the Graduate School you will be discontinued, and be required to fill out a Change of Status form for readmission. There are several options to keep your status active:

GRAD 0999 is a zero credit/no fee class that will maintain your active status with the Graduate School. However, it will not maintain your fulltime status for anything else such as a paid appointment (RA or TA), visa status, or deferred student loans. International students can get a waiver from ISSS to register for GRAD 0999, but must check with ISSS before registering. Students are limited to two registrations of GRAD 0999, anything further requires permission of DGS.

You may register for ME 8444 FTE (for PhD students) and ME 8333 FTE (for MS students). If you are a PhD student, you must have completed all 24 thesis credits. For MS students you must apply to the Graduate School the semester prior to registering. Registration is for one credit with fee. You will be able to hold an appointment (RA or TA), maintain your visa status and defer student loans.

Finally, if none of the options above are possible you can register for thesis credits ME 8888 (for PhD students) and ME 8777 (for MS students). You may register for one thesis credit and fill out a SGARS form; see John Gardner prior to using this option. If you are an international student see ISSS prior to seeing John.

4 - Can I audit classes?

You may audit classes while in the Graduate program. You will be billed for audited courses; however they will not count toward your required classes. Audited course credits do not count toward the minimum 6-credits to be considered full time. To maintain your visa or assistantship status, you must be registered for 6 credits in addition to any audited courses.

If you are auditing classes, and your total course load exceeds 14 credits you will be billed for all credits over 14. For example, if you are registered for 12 credits and you audit one 4 credit class you will be billed for 16 credits. If you hold an assistantship, you will be billed and must pay any credits above 14. We advise you to consult your academic advisor when registering for classes.

5 - How do I switch from the MSME to PhD?

You complete a Change of Status form with the Graduate School, which is similar to the on line application you completed for the MSME (you will need to set up a new account). The only additional piece of information needed is a letter from a faculty member that he or she is willing to work with you as an advisor, along with an updated SOP. If you were admitted to the MS program through the integrated program you will need to submit a copy of your GRE scores.

6 - When can I register for thesis credits as a PhD student?

You may register for thesis credits after you pass the Preliminary Oral exam.

7 - Can I get a MS degree if I am a PhD student?

Yes. It is every student’s option to obtain a MS degree along the way. Simply file a degree plan form for the MS degree as well as the PhD. If you plan to complete an MS Plan B, you may use the preliminary written document as your plan B project paper. Your oral preliminary exam can serve as your plan B oral presentation. You will need to file a degree plan form for both degrees and also obtain the appropriate paperwork to defend the Plan B as well as the preliminary oral exam.

8 - Do the courses that I take as an MSME student count towards the 38 credits for a PhD?

All the credits for an MS may be counted toward the PhD course requirements except for ME8777, ME8794. All credits are subject to approval on the Degree Plan Form.

9 - Can I make changes to my Degree Plan form?

Yes. File a petition form to request changes in course work to your degree plan. If you wish to change your committee members, please reassign your committee online.

10. What should I register for if I am still working on research after I am done with my thesis credits?

Please see Question #2

11. Will my stipend change after I finish all my coursework and thesis credits?

The semester after you have completed your 24 PhD thesis credits, you can register for ME 8444. This course is used to maintain your full-time status once you have completed all other course requirements. You only register for one credit, but are considered to be a full time student. You will receive an increase in your hourly salary.

12. I am enrolled as a PhD student, but I want to get a plan A masters degree and then change to a new thesis topics and/or faculty adviser for my PhD.  Do I need to fill out any forms or formally change my status?

If you wish to change advisors and research topic, you should consult with your present as well as new advisor to help you make an easy transition. There is no special form other than the degree plan forms for the MS and PhD.

13. What’s the difference between a 25% and 50% appointment?

With a 50% appointment you get paid for 20 hours and a full tuition benefit. With a 25% appointment you get paid for 10 hours and a half tuition benefit. For Graduate Health insurance please see the following page:

http://www.shb.umn.edu/twincities/graduate-assistants/graduate-assistant-health-plan.htm

14. If I am registered for GRAD 999 or less than 6 credits, do I still get library, recreation center, e-mail privileges, etc.?

You will want to contact the office providing the service you are seeking to inquire about minimum registration requirements. Questions regarding e-mail can be made to the technology help-line at 612-301-4357.

15. I received a MS or PhD degree from the University of Minnesota, how do I apply to the Mechanical Engineering program?

For students who received a graduate degree from the University of Minnesota you do not need to complete a new application. You will need to file a Change of Status Form which is similar to the on line application with the Graduate School Admissions Office.

16. When I go to fill out the Change of Status Form I see there is an Express Readmit, can I just complete that form?

The ME program does not allow Express Readmits. You will need to complete the Change of Status Form for us to review.