Plan B for M.S.C.E./M.S.Geo.E.

The Master of Science Plan B is design-oriented and requires completion of at least 27 credits of coursework plus at least 3 credits of projects (CEGE 8094) and a final defense.


Coursework for the Graduate Degree Plan is selected in consultation with the faculty advisor, to meet the needs and interests of the student. All Graduate Degree Plans must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Plan B must include a minimum of 30 Credits:

  • Course Credits: 20-30 credits
    • 12 credits have to be CEGE credits
    • 3 credits should be CEGE 8094: Directed Research
    • course credits start from the first semester you register in your program 
    • graduate credits constist of 5xxx and 8xxx level classes
    • course credits can include 4xxx level credits subject to the 4xxx credit rule
      • a maximum a nine 4xxx level course credits may be used to satisfy degree requirements
      • partial credits from a course are not accepted
  • Transfer Credits: up to 10 credits 
    • not required to bring in transfer credits 
    • all coursework can be taken in CEGE or at the University of Minnesota 
    • if you are going to transfer coursework credits, the CEGE transfer coursework credits form must be filled out completely and turned in along with the transcript the coursework is being transferred from. The form can be found in the CEGE graduate handbook in the forms section. The two documents must be turned into the program cordinator in CivE 143 or at
    • Transfer credits include:
      • non-degree seeking credits taken from the University of Minnesota
      • couses from another institution
      • courses taken from another graduate program at the University of Minnesota (credits in common rule (8))
      • graduate level credits taken in the undergraduate program
        • graduate credits are only allowed if the student is able to provide evidence (in the form of a letter from the undergraduate advisor or university) stating that the course(s) to be transferred (1) was not necessary for the undergraduate degree and (2) the the work done was at the graduate level
        • if the courses were taken at the University of Minnesota, then you need to fill out the Transfer Credits from Undergraduate to Gradaute Career Form 

Project(s) and Defense

In addition to the coursework, Plan B students must demonstrate their ability for independent work and effective presentation of that work by completing one to three project papers. The number of projects is determined in consultation with the faculty advisor. Previous projects have included literature reviews, analysis of applied engineering problems, and computer modeling projects.

Project reports should be written in a format similar to the M.S. Plan A thesis but are not required to be submitted electronically to the Graduate School.

Collectively, the Plan B papers should represent at least 120 hours of effort in addition to time associated with assistantship duties (if the papers are based on work associated with an RA appointment) or coursework (if the papers are an extension of work submitted for a class).

Students should submit complete drafts of all project papers to their committee members at least two weeks prior to the scheduled defense date.

The final defense of the Plan B projects 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 project(s) (not to exceed 30-45 minutes) followed by questions and comments from the committee. Questions may relate to both the project/paper content and technical course competence.

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