M.C.E./M.Geo.E. Plan A

The Master of Engineering Plan A requires a minimum of 30 course credits plus 10 thesis credits for a design project.


Coursework for the Graduate Degree Plan is selected in consultation with the faculty advisor, to meet the needs and interests of the student. The emphasis in the choice of major courses is in engineering design rather than in engineering science. All Graduate Degree Plans must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Plan must include a minimum of 30 Credits:

  • 12 “Core” Credits
  • 10 Thesis Credits
    “Core” and Thesis Credits =
    • Registered while a degree-seeking U of MN student in your program
    • “Core” credits start the first semester of matriculation
    • Unique to the graduate program
  • 8 Other Credits
    Other credits =
    • Taken as non-degree seeking student
    • Transfered from another institution
    • Taken in another graduate program (i.e., credits in common)
    • Graduate–level credits taken in the undergraduate program
  • 30 Total Minimum Credits

Design Project (Thesis) and Defense

The design project is a major component of the M.E. Plan A program. Although the time required to complete the design project is about the same as that for the M.S. thesis, the character of the project is quite different. Emphasis of the M.E. thesis is on engineering problem solving, based on design criteria typical of professional engineering practice. Performance must be of a professional caliber that can sustain the criticism of practicing engineers as well as University faculty. While the work must represent individual effort, it need not represent an original contribution to the field.

Students should distribute a finished, complete draft of the design project thesis to their committee members at least two weeks prior to the intended defense date.

Thesis Formatting Guidelines

The final defense is closed to the public. Only the student and committee members may attend. The defense is typically 90 minutes in length and includes a formal presentation of the thesis research (not to exceed 30 minutes) followed by questions and comments from the committee. Questions may relate to both the thesis content and technical course competence.

After the defense, committee members may suggest some thesis revisions, which must be made before the thesis is submitted to the advisor and then to the Graduate School. Students are required to submit in electronic format the final version of the thesis to the Graduate School.

Thesis Submission Instructions

For additional details on program requirements and milestones, consult the CEGE Graduate Handbook.

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