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South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

— Science and Engineering since 1885 —

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

    South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
   
 
  Nov 22, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 SDSM&T Academic Catalog

General Degree Requirements


Supervision of Advanced Degree Programs

The supervision of the general study program of each student, including compliance with all the various South Dakota Board of Regents, institutional, and Office of Graduate Education policies, is primarily the responsibility of the advisor.  For all thesis and dissertation degrees, the graduate student advisory committee assists in this role.  The graduate student advisory committee consists of a minimum of:

  • a major professor,
  • a graduate representative, (must not be from the student’s department/program),
  • one additional member for master’s students, for a minimum total of 3 members, or
  • 3 additional members for doctoral students, for a minimum total of 5 members.

For the purposes of these roles (below), faculty may be in the professorial track (tenure-track or non tenure-track), instructor or lecturer track, or research scientist track. 

The major professor is primarily responsible for supervision of the graduate student’s research and thesis/dissertation preparation, as well as ensuring that academic standards and requirements are met and satisfied.  The advisor and the major professor may or may not be the same person, depending on restrictions or requirements within the student’s program and/or department.

The major professor serves as chairperson of the graduate student advisory committee and assists the student in selection of other members of the committee. To be eligible to serve as a major professor on a graduate student advisory committee, the person must be a full time faculty member at SDSM&T. In the case of emeritus faculty or retired faculty, departments may petition the dean of graduate education for an exception to this policy. For supervision of a master’s program, the major professor must have a minimum of an M.S. degree. For supervision of a doctoral program, the major professor must have a minimum of a doctoral degree.

A co-major professor is not required, but may be beneficial to the student’s committee. To be eligible to serve as a co-major professor, the person must be approved by the student’s department or program. For supervision of a master’s program, the co-major professor must have a minimum of an M.S. degree. For supervision of a doctoral program, the co-major professor must have a minimum of a doctoral degree.

The Graduate Representative is a faculty member of a graduate student advisory committee (must not be from the student’s department/program) that represents the Office of Graduate Education and is a voting member on a doctoral or master’s committee whose responsibilities are to:

  • represent the broad concerns of the Office of Graduate Education and the University with respect to high standards of graduate education and scholarly performance,
  • assure that all procedures are carried out fairly and according to the guidelines of the Office of Graduate Education,
  • participate in conducting final examinations and provide an outcome report to the Office of Graduate Education immediately following the final exam,
  • assist in the resolution of committee disputes.

To be eligible to serve as the graduate representative on a graduate student advisory committee, the person must be a full-time faculty member at SDSM&T. The person must be from a department other than the student’s home department, and must be approved by the student’s major program and the dean of graduate education. For supervision of a master’s program, the graduate representative must have a minimum of an M.S. degree. For supervison of a doctoral program, the graduate representative must have a minimum of a doctoral degree.

To be eligible to serve as a committee member at large on a graduate student advisory committee, the person must hold a minimum of a B.S. degree, and must be approved by the student’s major program. Students must have a minimum of one committee member with a doctoral degree. Departments may petition the dean of Graduate Education for exceptions.

Off-campus persons, including emeritus faculty, retired faculty, and members of industry, may serve as a co-major professor or committee member at large if they meet the requirements listed above. The committee must consist of a minimum of 3 members from the SDSM&T campus. If a committee contains more than 5 members, a majority of the committee must be members from the SDSM&T campus.  In the case of emeritus faculty or retired faculty, departments may petition the dean of graduate education for an exception to this policy.  

A person with graduate student status cannot serve on a graduate student advisory committee.  Under extraordinary circumstances departments may petition the Council of Graduate Education for an exception to this policy.

A change in major professor may be accomplished at the student’s request by submitting a request with the change of advisor form, with all appropriate approval signatures, to the dean of graduate education. Such a change of major professor also requires a new program of study.

Changes of committee members other than the major professor require:

  • approval by the major professor via email,
  • approval by the new committee member via email,
  • documented approval of the current program of study by the new committee member.

A change of the graduate representative requires:

  • approval by the major professor via email,
  • approval by the new committee member via email,
  • documented approval of the current program of study by the new committee member,
  • approval by the dean of graduate education.

If a student completes the M.S. degree and wishes to continue for a Ph.D. the student must apply to the doctoral program.  If a student is enrolled in an M.S. program and wishes to enter the doctoral program without completing the M.S. degree, the student must apply for a transfer of programs.

If a student is enrolled in a master’s program, the student’s department/program shall determine by qualifying examination or by review of his/her record to date whether the student shall be permitted to transfer to the doctoral degree.  Upon approval of the transfer, the department head or program coordinator, after consultation with the student and the existing advisory committee, shall expand the student’s committee to a total of 5 members who will assist with the student’s doctoral program.

Program of Study

For all thesis and dissertation degrees, the graduate student advisory committee will assist the student in formulating a schedule of coursework leading to the advanced degree.  A copy of the appropriate form and graduate student advisory committee signatures must be filed by the student and submitted to the student’s department/program and the Office of Graduate Education no later than the mid-term of the semester after which 9 credit hours have been completed or for which a grade of Incomplete has been issued.  This is usually the second semester of study for full time degree seeking students.  These forms can be found at the graduate education website. 

Revised programs of study must be filed in a timely manner by the student and with the same offices as the original schedule. Minor course substitutions can be made with the approval of the major professor via email, along with a brief explanation of the changes.

Students in pursuit of a thesis or dissertation degree who have been granted a leave of absence before submission of a program of study will be required to submit a program of study by midterm of the semester after completion of 9 credit hours.

For all non-thesis programs, a program of study signed by the major professor or advisor (in addition to the signature of the program coordinator or department head) must be filed by the student and submitted to the student’s department/program and the Office of Graduate Education no later than the middle of the semester prior to the semester of graduation. The program of study is used for degree  audits to ensure that students have fulfilled all degree requirements.

Students enrolling in an accelerated MS program must fill out an Accelerated MS Advising Plan and find an interim advisor or major professor prior to admission to the MS program.  The Accelerated MS Advising Plan can be revised at any time, with the concurrence of the interim advisor or major professor and the department/program head or coordinator. Accelerated MS students must submit a program of study in the first semester following the completion of the BS degree.

Research Credits

Research credit may be applied toward the fulfillment of credit-hour requirements used toward the advanced degree. Research credits are defined as either doctoral dissertation credits (898), doctoral non-dissertation research credits (888), masters thesis credits (798), or masters non-thesis research credits (788). All other credits are course credits.  Elective credits are “course credits”.

Certification of Degree Requirements

Before a diploma can be released, the dean of graduate education must certify that the student has fulfilled all degree requirements. For certification of the degree for a given semester, ALL requirements must be complete on or before the scheduled due dates published by the Office of Graduate Education.  Note that all keys must be returned to the facilities office before the degree is granted.

Graduate students must meet the minimum registration requirement (currently 2 credits) during the specific semester or summer in which they complete all requirements for their degree and become eligible for graduation.  There will be no grace period; hence, students who fail to complete all degree requirements prior to the official closure date for a given semester or summer will be required to register for a minimum of 2 credits during a subsequent semester or summer in order to graduate.

Students are strongly cautioned not to make travel plans or other arrangements that will be difficult or costly to change until they are certain that all degree requirements can and will be satisfied.  It is the responsibility of the student to know and comply with these degree requirements.