ENME

Master of Science (M.S.) in Reliability Engineering Degree Requirements

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Degree Option - Thesis
Degree Option - Non-thesis
Course Requirements
Course Registration for Distance Learning
Graduation Paperwork
Summary of Requirements and Timeline
Transfer into the Ph.D. Program
General Information and Procedures for M.S. Programs


Additional Graduate Resources

Professional Master of
Engineering Degree (M.Eng.)

Professional Master of Reliability Engineering (M.Eng.)

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UMD Graduate School

Graduate Catalog

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Master's Degree Options (Thesis or Non-thesis)

1. Thesis Option

  • Complete 24 credits with at least 12 at the 600-level or above.
  • Complete the required 6 credits of core courses.
  • Maintain an average grade of B or better.
  • Take an additional 6 credits of ENRE 799 (thesis research).
  • Write a satisfactory thesis and defend the thesis in an oral examination.
  • Complete a set of approved technical elective courses to satisfy the balance of the course requirements (a minimum of 18 credits).

Thesis Requirements

M.S. students in the Reliability Engineering Program must complete a minimum of 6 credits of Master's Thesis Research (ENRE 799) while preparing their thesis. Thesis research must be carried out under the guidance of an advisor who is a member of the Reliability Engineering Graduate Faculty. The thesis must be presented formally and defended in an oral examination open to the public, which is conducted upon completion of the thesis.

The members of the thesis examining committee must be nominated at least eight weeks prior to the thesis defense. The Graduate School has further information on deadlines for submission of the Nomination of Thesis Committee form. This form must first be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office for approval and then forwarded to the Registrar's Office in order to nominate the committee. Changes in a thesis committee can be made at any time, with the approval of the student’s advisor, the Graduate Director, and the Graduate School. In addition to the Graduate School’s requirements for the composition of a thesis examining committee, the Reliability  Engineering Program requires that reliability engineering thesis committees be comprised of three regular faculty members (tenure or tenure-track faculty). Additional members beyond these three can be made, including the special nomination of research faculty or outside scientists.

The M.S. thesis must be prepared according to the guidelines in the current edition of the University of Maryland Electronic Thesis and Dissertations (ETD).  A copy of the thesis, after the advisor has approved it, must be provided to each member of the examining committee at least two weeks prior to the date of the examination. In addition, one week prior to the examination date, a notice must be posted on the bulletin board outside the ME Graduate Office inviting faculty and students to the formal thesis presentation. A copy of this notice should be sent to the Graduate Coordinator, at amata@umd.edu, who will post the notice on the RE graduate-student list server.

After the Graduate School approves the thesis, the Report of the Examining Committee Form is mailed to the Graduate Studies Office, 2180 Glenn L. Martin Hall. A few days before the examination is scheduled to take place, the student should verify with the Graduate Studies office that the report is in his or her file. The student’s advisor then obtains the Report of the Examining Committee Form and takes it with her to the defense. Upon passing the examination, this form is signed by each member of the examining committee and submitted to the Graduate Studies Office for forwarding to the Registrar's Office.

At least one unbound copy of the thesis on regular paper is to be submitted to the ME Graduate Office. Students are encouraged to provide their advisor with an additional bound copy of the thesis (binding is available through the Graduate Studies Office). An electronic copy of the thesis must be submitted to the Graduate School (see below).

2. Non-thesis Option

  • Complete 30 credits with at least 18 at the 600-level or above.
  • Complete the required 6 credits of core courses (see below).
  • Maintain an average grade of B or better.
  • Submit at least one scholarly paper addressing reliability within his/her field of engineering for approval by two faculty members. The topic must be selected and an advisor located by the second semester of study. The paper can be completed by registering for ENRE 648, an independent study course with selected advisor.
  • Complete a set of approved technical elective courses to satisfy the balance of the course requirements (a minimum of 24 credits).

Course Requirements

All students seeking graduate degrees in Reliability Engineering must complete the following courses:

  • ENRE 600 Fundamentals of Failure Mechanisms
  • ENRE 602 Reliability Analysis

Students may not register for more than a total of six credits of ENRE 648: Special Problems in Reliability Engineering, no more than three credits in a single semester. For each registration of ENRE 648 an approved scholarly paper must be submitted to the Graduate Office. Research completed for ENRE 648 may not overlap with a student’s thesis or dissertation topic. Furthermore, under no circumstances will students be permitted after the completion of the semester in which the credits were taken to convert ENRE 648 credit to thesis (ENRE 799) or dissertation (ENRE 899) credits. In addition, a syllabus (outline of the course of study, the name(s) of text(s) that will be used, and a description of how the grade will be determined) must be written up for this independent study by one (or both) of the faculty. This syllabus needs to be submitted to the Director of the Reliability Engineering Program for approval.

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Course Registration for Distance Learning

Distance Learning students MUST register for courses through the Reliability Engineering Graduate Studies Coordinator. A printable version of the registration form (PDF) can be downloaded here and subsequently faxed to 301-314-8015.

Graduation Paperwork

The necessary forms may be processed by the Graduate Studies Office with the assistance of the student and his or her advisor. The following forms must be completed and submitted prior to graduation:

  1. The Application for Diploma, also referred to as Graduation Candidate Application must be completed online.
  2. The Approved Program Form [pdf] (this is not the same document as the department’s M.S. Coursework Plan) must be submitted to the Registrar's Office, 1113 Mitchell Building. (If the students have transferred from another program into the Mechanical Engineering M.S. program they must submit a Request for Transfer or Inclusion of Credit Form to the Graduate School, in order to include previous coursework as part of the Mechanical Engineering Approved Program Form).
  3. The Nomination of Thesis or Dissertation Committee Form [pdf] must be submitted to the Registrar's Office, 1113 Mitchell Building.
  4. The Report of the Examining Committee Form is generated by the Registrar's Office upon the Graduate School's approval of the Nomination of Thesis Committee form and kept on file in the ME Graduate Office. The signed Report of the Examining Committee form must be submitted to the Registrar's Office.
  5. An electronic copy of the thesis must be submitted to the Graduate School at UMI ETD Administrator. One copy of the approved thesis should be submitted to the ME Graduate Office, 2168 Martin Hall.

Deadlines for the above forms vary from semester to semester and are posted online. Failure to submit the forms by the established deadlines results in postponement of the student’s graduation to the following semester. During the final semester, students should verify with the Graduate Studies Office that they have met all the requirements for graduation.

Summary of Requirements and Timeline

First semester

Semester Before Last

Last semester

  • Application for Diploma (submitted by first week of semester)
  • Approved Program Form [pdf] (submitted at beginning of semester)
  • M.S. Thesis Defense
  • Report of Examining Committee Form submitted following defense
    (pick up form in ME Grad Office)
  • Electronic copy of thesis submitted to Graduate School at UMI ETD Administrator
  • 1 copy of Thesis submitted to Graduate Studies Office

* M.S. students must complete all requirements for their degree within five years, this includes any credit transferred from other institutions.

Transfer into the Ph.D. Program

Students enrolled in the M.S. program with a GPA of 3.5 or above and at least 24 graduate credits have an option to take the Ph.D. qualifying exam (see Section VI.2 in the Graduate Handbook) during the following semester. This option must be exercised by no later than during their fourth semester of study, or during the semester following the semester in which the student has accumulated 24 credits or more, whichever occurs first.

Qualified M.S. students who would like to avail themselves of the opportunity to take the Ph.D. qualifying examination must notify the ME Graduate Office of their intention prior to the start of the semester in which they plan to take the exam. Students who pass the Ph.D. qualifying examination and meet the admission requirements of the Mechanical Engineering Department will be recommended for direct admission into the Ph.D. program. At their request, such students will also have an opportunity to earn an M.S. degree without thesis upon their advancement to candidacy. Students who anticipate qualifying for transfer or subsequent entry into the Ph.D. program should note that M.S. thesis credits (ENME 799) do not count toward the Ph.D. course work requirement. Students who exercise their option to take, but are unable to pass, the Ph.D. qualifying examination, will not be considered for admission into the Ph.D. program. Students wishing to switch from the M.S. Degree program to the Ph.D. must in all cases reapply to the Graduate School for admission into the Ph.D. program (see the admission requirements listed in section IV.1).

Continuation towards the Ph.D. Degree

Students who graduate from the M.S. program in good standing may reapply to the Graduate School for admission into the Ph.D. program. Such students must satisfy the Admission requirements for the Ph.D. program, and will need to take the Ph.D. qualifying exam in their first semester of the Ph.D. program as described in section VI.2 in the Graduate Handbook.

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General Information and Procedures for M.S. Programs

Grade-Point Average

Students seeking a graduate degree must maintain an average grade of “B” (3.0) in all courses that have been taken for graduate credit since enrollment in the degree program. Ph.D. students enrolled in the Reliability Engineering program must complete the core courses with a minimal GPA of 3.5 in order to qualify for the Ph.D. Qualifying Exam.

Time Limitation and Transfer of Credits

With the exception of the six semester-hours of graduate-level course credits applicable for possible transfer to the master’s degree program, all requirements for the master’s degree must be completed within a five-year period. When extraordinary conditions arise, this limitation can sometimes be extended to seven years by submitting a waiver request. This time limit applies to all coursework, including transfer credits from other institutions.

Program Advising

Prior to registering for any courses, students should consult with their advisor. The Graduate Studies Office can advise and assist students in locating an advisor. It is the student’s responsibility to develop an approved coursework plan at the beginning of the first semester of study in consultation with their advisor. Courses that are not on an approved coursework plan will not be counted toward the degree. The master’s coursework plan forms can be completed online.

Minimum Registration Requirements

Graduate students are required to register every fall and spring semester during the duration of their graduated studies. In addition, students must be registered for at least one credit during the semester in which they graduate (including summer semesters).

Official Status

Official status (either full-time or part-time) for academic purposes will be determined on the basis of a student's registration at the end of the Schedule Adjustment Period (the first ten days of classes). Students receiving a private scholarship must maintain full-time status throughout the semester in order to keep their scholarship, unless otherwise stipulated by the donor in writing. International students on F-1 and J-1 student visas must also maintain full-time status throughout each semester according to Federal regulations governing F-1 and J-1 students. Please contact an advisor in IES at 301-314-7744 if you have any questions concerning full-time status.

To be certified as a full-time student a graduate student must be officially registered for a combination of courses equivalent to 48 units per semester. Graduate assistants holding full-time (20 hours per week) teaching or research assistantship appointments are considered full-time students if they are registered for at least 24 units. Courses taken for Audit do not generate graduate units and cannot be used in calculating full-time or part-time status. The list below gives the number of units per credit hour for each course level.

Course Number

Graduate Unit

000-399
2 units per credit hour
400-499
4 units per credit hour
500-599
5 units per credit hour
600-898
6 units per credit hour
799
12 units per credit hour
898
(Pre-candidacy doctoral research)
18 units per credit hour
899*
(Doctoral dissertation research)
18 units per credit hour
UMEI 005
6 units per credit hour
UMEI 006
2 units per credit hour
UMEI 007
4 units per credit hour
UMEI 008
2 units per credit hour

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