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Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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Frequently Asked Questions


1. How do I transfer graduate credits from another academic institution?
Students must complete at least 60 percent of their coursework as UMN Graduate students admitted to our program.  The transfer of credits is permitted provided the credit comes from another recognized graduate school, or another UMN department. Courses the student would like to transfer should be included on their Degree Plan. An official transcript should be attached to the form unless a transcript showing that coursework is already on file at the Graduate School.  If your Degree Plan is already approved, you should submit a petition along with the official transcript of the other institution.

Work to be transferred must be post-baccalaureate, graduate level, and have been taught by faculty authorized to teach graduate courses. It is the student’s responsibility to provide appropriate course documentation (e.g., course syllabi, faculty status information) supporting proposed transfer credits to the program.

In the case of a transfer from a non-U.S. institution, the credits must have been earned in a program judged by The Graduate School to be comparable to a graduate degree program in a graduate school of a regionally accredited institution in the United States.

Courses taken before the awarding of a baccalaureate degree cannot be transferred.

Please also review the Graduate School's policy on Transfer credit.

2. Will the transfer coursework and credits appear on my University of Minnesota transcript?
No. The transfer work only appears on the approved Degree Plan.

3. If I have completed all required formal coursework, which courses do I register for in order to complete my degree?

MSAEM student PhD student
AEM 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. AEM 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 44 credits of formal course work.
AEM 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 AEM 8333 you need to apply to the Graduate School a semester in advance.
AEM 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.
AEM 8880 – These credits are for MS Plan B students. You may take up to 3 credits towards your Plan B project. These credits cannot be used towards a Plan A or PhD. AEM 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.
GRAD 0999 - See question 4

4. 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 two 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. The Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics department limits the number of terms you can enroll in Grad 0999 to 2 semesters. 

You may register for AEM 8444 FTE (for PhD students) and AEM 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.  The AEM dept. may limit the number of repetitions for AEM 8444 and AEM 8333.

5. 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.

6. How do I switch from the MSAEM to PhD?
You complete a Change of Status.

7. When can I register for thesis credits as a PhD student?
You may register for thesis credits after you pass the Preliminary Oral exam. Once you pass the exam you may take thesis credits the following semester. If you pass the exam within the first two weeks of the semester then you may take thesis credits the same semester.

8. 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 program form for the MS degree as well as the PhD.

9. How do I add a minor?
A minor can be added by including the minor and related coursework on the Degree Program form. The Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) in the minor field must sign the Degree Program. If you already have an approved Degree Program on file with the Graduate School, you will want to submit a Petition form to add the minor and any additional coursework necessary. Note: Master’s degree students must declare a minor prior to their final exam. Doctoral degree students must declare a minor prior to passing the preliminary oral exam.

10. Do the courses that I take as an MSAEM student count towards the 42 credits for a PhD?
All the credits for an MS may be counted toward the PhD course requirements except for AEM 8777. All credits are subject to approval on the Degree Program form.

11. Can I make changes to my Degree Program form?
Yes. File a petition form to request changes in course work to your program. If you wish to change your committee members, please email Julie Koch and she will obtain approval from the DGS and forward it along to the Graduate School.

12. How can I determine the last day that I can do my oral preliminary exam and still be able to register for thesis credits for a given semester?
If you pass your Preliminary Oral Exam within the first two weeks of the semester (before registration closes), you can register for thesis credits. You must return your signed Preliminary Oral Exam Form to the Graduate School right after your exam for the Graduate School to allow you to register for thesis credits.

13. What should I register for if I am still working on research after I am done with my thesis credits?
Please see Question #3

14. 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

15. What is the maximum credit load the Graduate School allows?
The Graduate School allows registration for up to 18 credits.  However, most offices providing tuition benefits will not pay for more than 14 credits.  Students should check with the office providing the tuition benefit to determine the number of credits that will be covered.

16. How do I select or change the committee members on my master’s Final Exam, doctoral Preliminary Oral Exam or doctoral Final Exam once the committee has been approved?
You must select your committee online. Once you have selected your committee an email will get sent to your adviser (chair), the DGS and the CSE grad program coordinator for approval. The AEM grad program coordinator is included in the eamil chain, but does not have any approving authority.

17. When/how do I apply to graduate?
You will need to request a Graduation Packet. The Graduate School awards degrees on a monthly basis. You must apply to graduate by the 1st of the month you intend to graduate.

18. When will my degree actually be awarded?
All degrees are awarded on the last business day of the month you applied to graduate.

For more Frequently Asked Questions please visit the Graduate School’s website: http://www.grad.umn.edu/current_students/faq.html


Last Modified: 2014-06-26 at 10:44:42 -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation