Degree Program Options
Three separate degree programs are offered by the department, M.Eng., M.S.E., and Ph.D. With the permission of the Departmental Graduate Committee and the approval of the Graduate School, students in good standing may transfer from the Ph.D. program to the M.S.E. program to satisfy newly realized goals. It is not necessary to obtain an M.S.E. before following a Ph.D. program.
The Ph.D. program
As a candidate for the doctoral program, the student, in consultation with a faculty adviser and Ph.D. committee, develops an integrated program of study in preparation for a comprehensive general examination. Subsequent to passing the examination, the student prepares a dissertation showing technical mastery of the field and the contributions to the advancement of knowledge, followed by a public presentation of the material to the technical community. Candidates in this program are required to take a minimum of 10 courses throughout their enrollment, with eight of the courses being taken in the first three semesters. Candidates are also required to be an assistant in teaching for a minimum of three semesters after passing the general examination. The Ph.D. program typically lasts five years and includes full financial support.
The M.S.E. Program
Candidates for the M.S.E. program complete eight courses and write an acceptable thesis. The thesis is central to the program and is considered an integral aspect of graduate education in the field. It is the culmination of prior training and research and is expected to address a realistic and important problem. The thesis must be presented in good literary form and be written in good English. The technical quality is also expected to be high and differs from that expected for the Ph.D. only in the quantity of material presented. The M.S.E. program typically covers two years. The number of master’s students admitted each year is limited.
The M.Eng. Program
Candidates for the M.Eng. degree complete eight graduate courses. Six of these courses must be technical with no more than two being independent projects. Candidates for the M.Eng. degree will normally satisfy degree requirements within one academic year. The M.Eng. program for the 2023-2024 academic year is open only to current Princeton seniors. For MAE concentrators, undergraduate academic performance must indicated potential for success in the M.Eng. program, normally indicated by a 3.0 or higher undergraduate GPA. For non-MAE concentrators, a formal, demonstrated interest in MAE as an undergraduate student and undergraduate coursework satisfying MAE graduate course requirements are additionally required.
In consultation with a faculty adviser and the Director of Graduate Studies, students may participate in additional graduate certificate programs, including the following: