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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2017-2018

Last Updated 2012-06-11

Civil Engineering MS



Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:

Introduction

The master’s degree in Civil Engineering offers students a chance to advance their knowledge above that of the undergraduate level, and a chance to begin to specialize in one of the three sub-discipline tracks of the program. Students may select either the thesis option (24 credit hours of core and elective graduate course work, exclusive of thesis and research,  plus 6 credit hours of thesis), or the nonthesis option (30 credit hours of core and elective graduate course work, exclusive of thesis and research, with a comprehensive oral and /or written final examination). The thesis option is the only option for students who are receiving a fellowship or assistantship (GTA or GRA) from the department. Therefore, the thesis option is strongly recommended for all full-time students, even those who plan to pay for their own education.

The Civil Engineering MS tracks are:

  • Structural and Geotechnical Engineering Track 
  • Transportation Systems Engineering Track 
  • Water Resources Engineering Track

Articulation Course Requirements

Articulation courses are those undergraduate courses that are prerequisites for graduate courses. Articulation courses are required for some students, especially with backgrounds outside the discipline of Civil Engineering. These typical senior-level courses give students the appropriate level of knowledge needed to take required and elective graduate courses in the discipline. A few articulation courses may be taken via COVE, or from other schools, but most are only offered live at UCF. Articulation requirements may vary for each individual student depending on their background.

Please contact a faculty adviser for more information.

Curriculum

The MS degree offers both thesis and nonthesis options with each requiring 30 credit hours of acceptable graduate work. The thesis option requires a 6 credit hour thesis project and the nonthesis option requires an additional 6 credit hours of electives and an end-of-program portfolio submission.

Individual, independent research studies may be required in one or more courses. The research study and report will focus on reviewing and analyzing contemporary research in a student’s particular specialization within the profession in order to help students acquire knowledge and skills pertaining to research-based best practices in that specialization area. In addition, students may engage in six credit hours of independent study during their studies.


Equipment Fee

Students in the Civil Engineering MS program pay a $16 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $8 per semester.


Track Curriculum: Structural and Geotechnical Engineering

The department offers a Structural and Geotechnical Engineering track in the Civil Engineering MS program to students with appropriate science or engineering baccalaureate backgrounds. Both a thesis option and a nonthesis option are available with each requiring 30 credit hours. The thesis option requires 12 credit hours of required courses, 12 credit hours of elective graduate course work (exclusive of thesis and research), and 6 credit hours of thesis. The nonthesis option requires 12 credit hours of required courses and 18 credit hours of elective graduate course work. The nonthesis option also requires submission of an end-of-program portfolio. The student must develop an individual program of study with a faculty adviser and must have background or articulation course work as described below. At least one-half of the required credits must be taken at the 6000 level.

Research studies or projects are required in one or more courses. The research study or project will focus on reviewing and analyzing contemporary research or engineering issues in a student’s particular specialization within the profession in order to help students acquire knowledge and skills pertaining to research-based best practices in that specialization area.

Prerequisites (Articulation)

  • EGN 3310 Engineering Analysis—Statics (3 credit hours)
  • EGN 3321 Engineering Analysis—Dynamics (3 credit hours)
  • EGN 3331 Mechanics of Materials (3 credit hours)
  • CEG 4011C Geotechnical Engineering I (4 credit hours)
  • CES 4100 Structural Analysis (4 credit hours)
  • CES 4605 Steel Structures (3 credit hours) OR CES 4702 Reinforced Concrete Structures (3 credit hours)

Required Courses—12 Credit Hours

Both thesis and nonthesis students must choose two courses from each of the two following groups. Courses with asterisks represent those with specific independent learning experiences and all nonthesis students must choose at least one of the courses with an asterisk.  

Geotechnical Engineering

  • CEG 5700 Geo-Environmental Engineering* (3 credit hours)
  • CEG 6065 Soil Dynamics (3 credit hours)
  • CEG 6115 Foundation Engineering* (3 credit hours)
  • CEG 6317 Advanced Geotechnical Engineering (3 credit hours)
  • CES 6170 Boundary Element Methods in Civil Engineering* (3 credit hours)
  • TTE 5835 Pavement Engineering (3 credit hours)
  • CGN 5506 Advanced Pavement and Civil Engineering Materials (3 credit hours)

Structural Engineering

  • CES 5144 Matrix Methods for Structural Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • CES 5325 Bridge Engineering (3 credit hours)
  • CES 5606 Advanced Steel Structures* (3 credit hours)
  • CES 5706 Advanced Reinforced Concrete* (3 credit hours)
  • CES 5821 Masonry and Timber Design (3 credit hours)
  • CES 6010 Structural Reliability (3 credit hours)
  • CES 6116 Finite Element Structural Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • CES 6209 Dynamics of Structures (3 credit hours)
  • CES 6220 Wind and Earthquake Engineering (3 credit hours)
  • CES 6230 Advanced Structural Mechanics (3 credit hours)
  • CES 6527 Nonlinear Structural Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • CES 6715 Prestressed Concrete Structures* (3 credit hours)
  • CES 6840 Composite Steel Concrete Structures* (3 credit hours)
  • CES 6910 Research in Structural Engineering (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses—12 Credit Hours

All students, both thesis and nonthesis, must complete at least 12 credit hours of approved electives (primarily from the above two groups but also from the list below or other courses as approved by the student's adviser). Please note that Directed Research (XXX 6918) is not permitted in the MS program of study.

Construction Engineering and Management

  • CCE 5205 Decision Support for Infrastructure Projects (3 credit hours)
  • CCE 5006 Infrastructure Systems Management (3 credit hours)
  • CCE 5220 Green Design and Construction (3 credit hours)
  • CCE 5937 Construction Contracts (3 credit hours)
  • CCE 6036 Advanced Construction Planning and Control* (3 credit hours)
  • CCE 6211 Design and Monitoring of Construction Processes (3 credit hours)
  • CCE 6045 Cost Analysis of Sustainable Infrastructure Systems (3 credit hours) 

Thesis Option—6 Credit Hours

  • XXX 6971 Thesis (6 credit hours)

Successful performance in a final defense of the thesis is required. In addition, the College of Engineering and Computer Science requires that all thesis defense announcements be approved by the student's adviser and posted on the college's website and on the university-wide Events Calendar at the College of Graduate Studies website at least two weeks before the defense date.

Nonthesis Option—6 Credit Hours

Nonthesis students must complete 6 additional credit hours of electives from the lists above or other courses as approved by the student's adviser.   Please note that at least one course in the nonthesis program of study must be one of the courses with an asterisk, which denotes that this course provides an independent learning experience for the student.

  • Electives (6 credit hours)

Portfolio Requirement

Students are required to complete a culminating experience. The culminating experience for nonthesis MS students is submission of an end-of-program portfolio. The portfolio requirements are listed on the CECE website.

    Equipment Fee

    Students in the Civil Engineering MS program pay a $16 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $8 per semester.


    Track Curriculum: Transportation Systems Engineering

    The Transportation Systems Engineering track in the Civil Engineering MS program is for students with appropriate science or engineering baccalaureate backgrounds. Both a thesis option and a nonthesis option are available with each requiring 30 credit hours of graduate courses. The thesis option requires 15 credit hours of required courses, 9 credit hours of elective courses (exclusive of thesis and research), and a thesis (6 credit hours). The nonthesis option requires 15 credit hours of required courses and 15 credit hours of elective graduate course work. The nonthesis option also requires submission of an end-of-program portfolio. The student must develop an individual program of study with a faculty adviser and must have background or articulation course work as described below. At least one-half of the required credits must be taken at the 6000 level.

    Research studies or projects are required in one or more courses. The research study or project will focus on reviewing and analyzing contemporary research or engineering issues in a student’s particular specialization within the profession in order to help students independently acquire knowledge and skills pertaining to best practices in that specialization area.

    Prerequisites

    • STA 3032 Probability and Statistics for Engineers (3 credit hours)
    • TTE 3810 Transportation Engineering (3 credit hours)

    Required Courses—15 Credit Hours

    Both thesis and nonthesis students must choose five of the following courses. Courses with asterisks provide independent learning experiences. These experiences encompass research reports, design projects, and literature studies. Nonthesis students must choose at least one course with an asterisk.

    • TTE 5204 Traffic Engineering* (3 credit hours)
    • TTE 6205 Highway Capacity and Traffic Flow Analysis (3 credit hours)
    • TTE 5805 Geometric Design of Transportation Systems* (3 credit hours)
    • TTE 5835 Pavement Design (3 credit hours)
    • TTE 6256 Traffic Operations* (3 credit hours)
    • TTE 6270 Intelligent Transportation Systems (3 credit hours)
    • TTE 6315 Traffic Safety Analysis* (3 credit hours)
    • TTE 6526 Planning and Design of Airports* (3 credit hours)
    • CGN 6655 Regional Planning, Design and Development (3 credit hours)
    • ESI 5219 Engineering Statistics or STA 5206 Statistical Analysis (3 credit hours)

    Elective Courses—9 Credit Hours  

    All students, both thesis and nonthesis, must complete at least 9 credit hours of approved electives from the list above or other courses as approved by the student's adviser. Directed Research (XXX 6918) is not permitted in the MS program of study.

    • Electives (9 credit hours)

    Thesis Option—6 Credit Hours

    • TTE 6971 Thesis (6 credit hours)

    A final defense of the thesis is required. In addition, the College of Engineering and Computer Science requires that all thesis defense announcements be approved by the student's advisor and posted on the college's website and on the university-wide Events Calendar at the College of Graduate Studies website at least two weeks before the defense date.

    Nonthesis Option—6 Credit Hours

    For those pursuing the nonthesis option, two additional electives are required, which should preferably come from the above list, although other courses may be chosen with adviser’s consent.

    • Electives (6 credit hours)

    Portfolio Requirement

    Students are required to complete a culminating experience. The culminating experience for nonthesis MS students is submission of an end-of-program portfolio. the portfolio requirements are listed on the CECE website.

    Equipment Fee

    Students in the Civil Engineering MS program pay a $16 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $8 per semester.


    Track Curriculum: Water Resources Engineering

    The Water Resources Engineering track in the Civil Engineering MS program is for students with appropriate science or engineering baccalaureate backgrounds. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available with each requiring 30 credit hours. The thesis option requires 15 credit hours of required courses, 9 credit hours of elective graduate course work exclusive of thesis and research,  and a thesis (6 credit hours). The nonthesis option requires 15 credit hours of required graduate course work, 15 credit hours of electives, and submission of an end-of-program portfolio. Each student must have an individual program of study approved by his/her faculty committee and have completed all required articulation course work as described below. At least one-half of the required credits must be taken at the 6000 level.

    Research studies or projects are required in one or more courses. The research study or project will focus on reviewing and analyzing contemporary research or engineering issues in a student’s particular specialization within the profession in order to help students acquire knowledge and skills pertaining to research-based best practices in that specialization area.

    Prerequisites (Articulation)

    • CEG 4011C Geotechnical Engineering I (4 credit hours)
    • CWR 4632C Water Resources I (4 credit hours)
    • CWR 4633C Water Resources II (3 credit hours)
    • EGN 3613 Engineering Economic Analysis (2 credit hours)
    • STA 3032 Probability and Statistics for Engineers (3 credit hours)

    Required Courses—15 Credit Hours

    Both thesis and nonthesis students must choose five CWR courses from the list below. Courses with an asterisk provide an independent learning experience that involves research and design projects. Nonthesis students are required to take at least one course with an asterisk in order to obtain an independent learning experience.

    • CWR 5125 Groundwater Hydrology (3 credit hours)
    • CWR 5205 Hydraulic Engineering (3 credit hours)
    • CWR 5515 Numerical Methods in Civil and Environmental Engineering (3 credit hours)
    • CWR 5545 Water Resources Engineering (3 credit hours)
    • CWR 5634 Water Resources in a Changing Environment (3 credit hours)
    • CWR 6102 Advanced Hydrology* (3 credit hours)
    • CWR 6126 Groundwater Modeling* (3 credit hours)
    • CWR 6235 Open Channel Hydraulics (3 credit hours)
    • CWR 6236 River Engineering and Sediment Transport (3 credit hours)
    • CWR 6535 Modeling Water Resources Systems* (3 credit hours)
    • CWR 6539 Finite Elements in Surface Water Modeling (3 credit hours)

    Elective Courses—9 Credit Hours

    All students, both thesis and nonthesis, are required to take at least 9 credit hours of approved electives. The courses may be from the list above or other courses as approved by the student's adviser. Directed Research (XXX 6918) is not permitted in the MS program of study

    • Electives (9 credit hours)

    Thesis Option—6 Credit Hours

    • CWR 6971 Thesis (6 credit hours)

    A successful defense of the thesis is required. In addition, the College of Engineering and Computer Science requires that all thesis defense announcements be approved by the student's adviser and posted on the college's website and on the university-wide Events Calendar at the College of Graduate Studies website at least two weeks before the defense date.

    Nonthesis Option—6 Credit Hours

    Nonthesis students must complete at least 6 additional credit hours of electives from either the list above or other courses as approved by the student's adviser. 

    • Electives (6 credit hours)

    Portfolio Requirement

    Students are required to complete a culminating experience. The culminating experience for nonthesis MS students is submission of an end-of-program portfolio. The portfolio requirements are listed on the CECE website.

    Equipment Fee

    Students in the Civil Engineering MS program pay a $16 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $8 per semester.


    Timeline for Completion

    Approximate Timeline for Completion of Degree Program

    Students must follow a prescribed, yet flexible path, achieving milestones along the way. Although there is no guarantee that each student will be able to complete all the requirements, if a student is hard working and diligent, and is a full-time graduate student, he or she should be able to complete a master’s thesis program within 1 to 2 years. For nonthesis master’s students who are working full-time and going to school part-time, it may take 3 to 6 years to achieve the degree.

    The following listing is intended as a guide and reminder to students and faculty as to the approximate timing of events for graduate students. It is intentionally somewhat vague to account for different starting semesters, different research project needs, and different levels of student capabilities.

    Master’s Students (Thesis)

    Semester 1: Enter UCF, and begin taking courses ensuring articulation courses (if needed) are taken first. If you are not already on a research project at the time of entry, begin searching for a research project and research advisor.

    Semester 2: Find a research adviser and start research; complete articulation courses (as needed); continue taking graduate courses; and file a Plan of Study.

    Semester 3: Begin working in earnest on research; start literature review; and perhaps finish coursework. Work with adviser to form a committee.

    Semester 4: Finish coursework; begin wrapping up research; start writing thesis.

    Last Semester: File intent to graduate. Finish writing thesis, get approvals from committee, and defend. Follow all College of Graduate Studies rules and meet all deadlines.

    Note: Students are ultimately responsible for their own progress, including compliance with all rules and regulations of the University.

    Master’s Students (Nonthesis)

    Semester 1: Enter UCF and begin taking courses on a part-time basis.

    Semesters 2 and 3: Choose an adviser and design a Plan of Study. Continue taking courses.

    Semester 4 – Fifth year: Take courses, maintaining acceptable grades. In semester before last, request scheduling of the comprehensive final exam. Note that there is a UCF rule (7-year statute of limitations on courses), so try to finish all your courses in 4 or 5 years.

    Last Semester: File intent to graduate, take and pass comprehensive final exam.

    Note: Students are ultimately responsible for their own progress, including compliance with all rules and regulations of the University.

    Advising/Mentoring

    Advising and mentoring are two very important elements in a graduate student’s career. Upon acceptance into the CECE department, graduate students are assigned a faculty adviser, who is identified to the student in the acceptance letter from the department. In most cases, the student will have indicated an area of interest in their application, and the faculty adviser will be specialized in that sub-discipline. The faculty adviser is a very important person in the life of a graduate student. The faculty adviser will most likely end up being the student’s thesis adviser.

    In some cases, incoming MS graduate students will not have indicated a strong research preference, or may arrive just prior to the start of the semester, and will need to register for courses before they can meet with their adviser, or may be assigned an adviser who does not fit comfortably with the student’s interests. In those cases, the student will be advised into courses for at least the first semester by the graduate coordinator. New students should meet with the graduate coordinator upon arrival at UCF if they cannot meet with their adviser.

    The graduate coordinator will provide initial guidance on overall academic requirements, program and university policies and procedures, while the faculty thesis adviser serves more as a mentor providing direction on research, advice on plan of study, and guidance on other areas of academic and personal life. All nonthesis master’s students should contact the graduate coordinator for an initial interview (may be conducted by telephone), who may then assign an appropriate faculty adviser, or will advise the student directly.

    Roles and Responsibilities

    Faculty Adviser
    • The adviser helps the student select which courses to take.

    • The adviser (in consultation with the student) develops the student’s plan of study.
    • The adviser directs the student’s research.

    • For MS thesis option, the adviser reviews and approves the student’s thesis The adviser often provides financial support for the student (based on a research grant).

    Student
    • The student takes coursework as required, maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA.

    • The student maintains a full course load and works diligently to complete all requirements in a timely manner.

    • The student (in consultation with the faculty adviser) develops a plan of study prior to completing the first 9 hours of coursework.

    • The student identifies (in consultation with the faculty adviser) a suitable research topic.

    • The student works in the lab or field or other venue as needed to complete his or her research.

    • The student is responsible for knowing and meeting all university deadlines, rules, and regulations – see the section titled Student Responsibilities in the Graduate Catalog.

    • If a student wants to change faculty advisers, the student should discuss the situation with his or her current faculty adviser first, and then request the change through the graduate coordinator. The change must be approved by the current faculty adviser, the new faculty adviser, and the graduate coordinator.

    Plan of Study

    The Plan of Study (POS) serves as an agreement between the student and the program, listing courses and other requirements for completing the degree. Each student must have an approved Plan of Study. The POS is developed by the student and his/her adviser, and lists the specific courses to be taken as part of the degree requirements. The student must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in his or her POS.

    For all master’s students, the POS must be signed and submitted during the first semester that the student is at UCF, or no later than upon completion of 9 credit hours of graduate coursework. The POS can be revised later to reflect necessary changes in the courses, but it is crucial that a POS be on file, signed by the student and the faculty adviser, and approved by the graduate coordinator. For each master’s track, certain courses are required and others are elective (as was discussed previously). Any substitutions must be approved by the graduate coordinator.

    Examination Requirements

    Thesis Students: After conducting research and writing the thesis, the student will defend the thesis, and stand for an oral examination. Questions will come from the committee and may cover topics other than what was done in the research (e.g., topics from courses taken). The committee has the final say on whether the student passes or fails. If failed, this exam may be retaken once at the discretion of the committee.

    Nonthesis Students: In the last semester of coursework, the student must contact his or her faculty adviser or the graduate coordinator to schedule the comprehensive final exam. The exam will consist of questions that represent knowledge that should have been gained from the various courses taken by the student. The exam may be open or closed book or have questions of both types. If failed, this exam may be retaken once.

    For additional information, see www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu/Content/Policies.aspx  > Master’s Program Policies.

    Thesis Requirements

    University Thesis Requirements

    A thesis is optional for this program; the following information is intended for those choosing to complete a thesis.

    The College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation page contains information on the university’s requirements for thesis formatting, format review, defenses, final submission, and more. A step-by-step completion guide is also available at Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation.

    All university deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar. Your program or college may have other earlier deadlines; please check with your program and college staff for additional deadlines.

    The following requirements must be met by thesis students in their final term:

    • Submit a properly formatted file for initial format review by the format review deadline
    • Submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option form well before the defense
    • Defend by the defense deadline
    • Receive format approval (if not granted upon initial review)
    • Submit signed approval form by final submission deadline
    • Submit final thesis document by final submission deadline

    Students must format their thesis according to the standards outlined at Formatting the ETD. Formatting questions or issues can be submitted to the Format Help page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. Format reviews and final submission must be completed in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. The Thesis Approval Form is also available in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site.

    The College of Graduate Studies offers several thesis and dissertation Workshops each term. Students are highly encouraged to attend these workshops early in the thesis process to fully understand the above policies and procedures.

    The College of Graduate Studies thesis and dissertation office is best reached by email at editor@ucf.edu.

    General Requirements

    • Students will complete a formal thesis on a topic selected in consultation with an advisory committee and will meet both departmental and university requirements for the thesis. 

    • A minimum of six credit hours of thesis credits is required.

    • No more than six credit hours of thesis credits will be applied toward degree requirements.

    • To be considered full-time after completion of coursework, students must be continuously enrolled in three hours of thesis research every semester (including summers) until successful defense and graduation. This enrollment each semester reflects the expenditure of university resources. Students that wish to enroll in part-time hours must consult with their adviser. For more details about enrollment, please refer to the UCF Graduate Catalog: www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu > Policies > Master’s Program Policies > Thesis Requirements > Thesis Enrollment Requirement and the UCF Graduate Catalog: www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu > General Policies > Full-time Enrollment Requirements.

    • A written thesis and final oral defense are required for each thesis student.

    • The thesis document may be among the biggest academic efforts that you will ever make. It is required that all theses be officially submitted in electronic form. It is highly recommended that you (the student) discuss format and content with your adviser and carefully review other theses before you get started. 

    Master’s Thesis Committee

    • The thesis committee will consist of a minimum of three members. All committee members should hold a doctoral degree and be in fields related to the thesis topic. At least two members must be department faculty (one to serve as chair). Off-campus experts, joint faculty members, adjunct faculty, and other university faculty members may serve as the third person in the committee. 

    • In unusual cases, with approval from the department chair, two professors may chair the committee jointly. For additional information, please visit www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu/content/policies.aspx?id=5708#Thesis_Requirements.  

    • All members vote on acceptance or rejection of the thesis proposal and the final thesis. The final thesis must be approved by a majority of the advisory committee.

    Graduate Research

    Research is a vital part of graduate education. The development of research skills and the practice of good research ethics begins with graduate study. Faculty serve a crucial role and are the primary source for teaching research skills and modeling research ethics.

    1. In the CECE department, much of our research is carried out as a part of Contracted Sponsored Research. Faculty obtain sponsored research from many different government agencies, and/or industry, and thus commit the university to doing certain research tasks. Students are typically hired to help the faculty conduct the research, and as such are contractually obligated to give their “best efforts” to accomplishing the research tasks. In most cases, students who are supported on assistantship agreements may use the results of their work as the basis for their thesis.

    2. It is important to be honest and ethical in conducting research as well as in taking classes. Report all data factually and completely. Please see Thesis and Dissertation Requirements at www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu/content/policies.aspx?id=5700#Degree_or_Certificate_Completion.

    3. Patents and inventions may arise from the faculty and graduate student research. UCF has clear guidelines and a Patent and Invention Policy in the Graduate Catalog. Please see www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu/content/policies.aspx?id=5700#Patent_and_Invention_Policy.

    4. Students should be aware that in our department, we require that theses be written in a journal article format. The UCF College of Graduate Studies conducts workshops on thesis and dissertation formatting, library research, and writing essentials through their Pathways to Success program. When beginning to write their thesis, students should always see www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/ETD. It is highly recommended that each student coordinate with his or her faculty adviser as to the preferred journal format, prior to beginning to write the thesis.

    5. There are specific Laboratory Safety Procedures that must be followed by each student working in a lab in the CECE Department. It is department policy that each student is responsible for knowing and following the safety procedures. Please see the laboratories manager and/or your faculty adviser to get a copy of the safety procedures for the appropriate lab.

    Financial Support

    Financial support is a major concern for graduate students, especially since many rely on financial support from the university to pursue graduate study. In combination, the college, the university, and the Department provide financial assistance to graduate students in several ways: (1) fellowships and scholarships are available to academically outstanding students, (2) Graduate Teaching Assistantships – GTAs (for grading or for lab teaching) are available in limited numbers, (3) Graduate Research Assistantships – GRAs (for helping faculty with research) are more widely available depending on the funding levels of the faculty.

    • Students with assistantship agreements are expected to work 10 to 20 hours per week on their assigned tasks (whether it be grading, lab teaching, or research), while they are maintaining satisfactory progress in completing their academic courses. 

    • The thesis option is the only option for students who are receiving a fellowship or assistantship (GTA or GRA) from the department.

    • To maintain financial support, students must meet their obligations by making satisfactory progress towards their degree, enrolling full time, maintaining a 3.0 GPA in their Plan of Study, and doing acceptable research or grading or teaching work as defined by their supervisor.

    • The duration of financial support may vary from one semester to another.

    • International students are expected to be here as full-time students, and may not work off campus except under certain strict conditions. For information about the types of employment available to international students, and the requirements and restrictions based on visa type, see the International Services Center’s website: www.intl.ucf.edu > Students > Employment.

    Graduate Teaching

    Graduate students may be appointed as graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) to carry out responsibilities as classroom teachers (instructors of record), co-teachers or classroom assistants, graders, lab assistants, or other roles directly related to classroom instruction. Mandatory training requirements must be met for a student to be hired in the position of Graduate Teaching Associate, Assistant or Grader. The training, offered by UCF’s Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, covers course design, learning theories, ethics, and other topics relevant to preparing GTAs for their responsibilities. See www.students.graduate.ucf.edu > Student Finances > GTA Information for training requirements and registration instructions.

    Students who are non-native speakers of English and do not have a degree from a U.S. institution must pass the SPEAK test before they will be permitted to teach as Graduate Teaching Associates (position code 9183) or Graduate Teaching Assistants (position code 9184). The SPEAK test is not required for students who will be appointed as a Graduate Teaching Grader (position code 9187). Additional information including how to register for the test can be accessed through the GTA Information section of the College of Graduate Studies student website.

    Conference Presentation Support

    The College of Graduate Studies offers a Graduate PresentationFellowship that provides funding for master's, specialist, and doctoral students to deliver a research paper or comparable creative activity at a professional meeting. Students must be the primary author and presenter. For additional information, visit funding.graduate.ucf.edu/presentation/.

    The Student Government Association also funds individuals for travel. To apply for SGA funding, fill out the Conference Registration and Travel (CRT) Individual Allocation form and submit it to the SGA Office located in the Student Union, room 214. Additional information, including links to form may be found at www.graduate.ucf.edu > Graduate Travel awards.

    Graduate Student Associations

    The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit www.gsa.ucf.edu. For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see your program adviser.

    Professional Development

    A graduate student’s professional development goes beyond completing course work, passing exams, conducting research for a thesis, and meeting degree requirements. Professional development also involves developing the academic and non-academic skills needed to become successful in the field of choice.

    • UCF has an active professional development program for graduate students, including the Professoriate Program, sponsored by Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, the GTA Certificate Program, sponsored by FCTL, the Graduate Student Association Seminar Series, the Graduate Research forum, sponsored by the College of Graduate Studies, and special award recognitions such as the Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant, the Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching, the Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis, and the Award for the Outstanding Dissertation (see sections below for more information).

    • Students are expected to publish the results of their research. In fact, the CECE department strongly encourages students to write their thesis in the journal paper format.

    • Graduate students in CECE are encouraged to present a poster or a topic of research at conferences while still a student, and often their faculty mentor will be able to fund one or more such opportunities. Also, see the Financial Support section of this handbook for information about travel support.

    Pathways to Success Workshops

    Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to register, please visit www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/pathways/.

    Graduate Research Forum

    The Research Forum will feature poster displays representing UCF’s diverse colleges and disciplines. The Research Forum is an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster presentation in each category will be given and all participants will receive recognition.

    The College of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Student Association invite all UCF students, community, and employers to attend the Graduate Research Forum. For more information, contact researchweek@ucf.edu.  

    Instructor Training and Development

    The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) promotes excellence in all levels of teaching at the University of Central Florida. They offer several programs for the professional development of Graduate Teaching Assistants at UCF.

    • GTA Training (mandatory for employment as a GTA)
      This training provides information and resources for students who will be instructors in a two-day workshop. The seminars cover a variety of topics, including course development, learning theories, lecturing, and academic freedom. Those interested in additional training can also attend an optional training session that normally follows the mandatory training.

    • Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty Program
      This certificate program (12-weeks) consists of group and individualized instruction by Faculty Center staff and experienced UCF professors. Textbooks and materials are provided.

    For more information: www.fctl.ucf.edu > Events > GTA Programs or call 407/823-3544.

    Graduate Excellence Awards

    Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. The award categories include the following:

    Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant – This award is for students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (Not intended for students who are instructor of record)

    Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching – This award is for students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the student’s teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.

    Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis – It recognizes graduate students for excellence in the master's thesis. The focus of this award is on the quality and contribution of the student's thesis research. Excellence of the master's thesis may be demonstrated by evidence such as, but not limited to: publications in refereed journals, awards and recognitions from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field. The university award will be forwarded to a national-level competition sponsored by the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) when the thesis discipline corresponds to the annual submission request.

    For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see the College of Graduate Studies administrative www.graduate.ucf.edu/GradAwards.

    Other

    For information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, see their website: www.csgs.org > Awards.

    For grant-proposal writing resources: uwc.ucf.edu/gradwriting.php

    Job Search

    UCF’s Career Services department offers a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their website at www.career.ucf.edu.

    For specific services or resources provided by the academic program, please contact the graduate program director or academic adviser.

    Forms

    • College of Graduate Studies Forms
      A listing of forms and files for the College of Graduate Studies.
    • Graduate Petition Form
      When unusual situations arise, petitions for exceptions to policy may be requested by the student. Depending on the type of appeal, the student should contact his/her program adviser to begin the petition process.
    • Traveling Scholar Form
      Required form of graduate students who would like to take advantage of resources available on another campus, but not available at UCF; for example, special course offerings, research opportunities, unique laboratories and library collections.

    Plagiarism

    Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and presenting it as your own. Any ideas, data, text, media or materials taken from another source (either written or verbal) must be fully acknowledged.a) A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.b) A student must give credit to the originality of others whenever:

    1. Directly quoting another person's actual words, whether oral or written;
    2. Using another person's ideas, opinions, or theories;
    3. Paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
    4. Borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
    5. Offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

    When using the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, students must give credit to the original source at the location or place in the document where that source's material is found as well as provide bibliographic information at the end of the document. When students are verbally discussing the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, they must give credit to the original source at the time they speak about that source. In this manner, students must make clear (so there is no doubt) within their written or verbal materials, which parts are gained from other sources, and which are their own original ideas, theories, formulas, graphics, and pictures.The Office of Student Conduct has a set of criteria that determines if students are in violation of plagiarism. This set of criteria may be set to a higher standard in graduate programs. Therefore, a student may not be found in violation of plagiarism by the Office of Student Conduct, but a professor or program requiring higher standards of attribution and citation may find a student in violation of plagiarism and administer program level sanctions. The standard in doctoral programs should be the highest as students earning these degrees are expected to be experts in their fields and producing independent work that contributes knowledge to their discipline.

    Example of Material that has been appropriately cited:

    Paraphrased Material

    Source: Osborne, Richard, ed. How to Grow Annuals. 2nd ed. Menlo Park: Lane, 1974. Print. Page 24: As a recent authority has pointed out, for a dependable long-blooming swatch of soft blue in your garden, ageratum is a fine choice. From early summer until frost, ageratum is continuously covered with clustered heads of fine, silky, fringed flowers in dusty shades of lavender-blue, lavender-pink or white. The popular dwarf varieties grow in mounds six to twelve inches high and twelve inches across; they make fine container plants. Larger types grow up to three feet tall. Ageratum makes an excellent edging.

    Use and Adaptation of the Material:

    You can depend on ageratum if you want some soft blue in your garden. It blooms through the summer and the flowers, soft, small, and fringed, come in various shades of lavender. The small varieties which grow in mounds are very popular, especially when planted in containers. There are also larger varieties. Ageratum is good as a border plant (Osborne 24).

    Explanation:

    The writer has done a good job of paraphrasing what could be considered common knowledge (available in a number of sources), but because the structure and progression of detail is someone else’s, the writer has acknowledged the source. This the writer can do at the end of the paragraph since he or she has not used the author’s words.

    The above example was provided by Northwestern University.

    Northwestern University, Sept. 2016. “Academic Integrity: A Basic Guide.” Accessed 20 September 2017.

    For more information about Academic Honesty, Click here.

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