Graduate Academic Requirements and Policies
This section details the general School-wide degree requirements that apply to all NYU Tandon School of Engineering graduate degrees. Academic departments may place additional requirements on individual degrees. Such additional requirements are explained in the programs section of this catalog. In no case may a department specify requirements less stringent than those indicated here.
NYU Tandon School of Engineering conducts outcomes assessment activities to monitor student academic achievement, effective teaching methods and continuous improvement of the School, as well as to comply with accreditation standards. To obtain periodic measurements of student perceptions and intellectual growth, graduate students are strongly encouraged to participate in surveys, focus groups, interviews or related activities. While individual input is collected, data resulting from these assessments is published only in aggregate form.
Definition of Credits
Graduate studies are expressed in terms of credits. One 50-minute period of graduate class work for a 15-week, single semester carries 1 graduate credit. A standard graduate course meeting for two-and-a-half hours per week in a single semester of 15 weeks is equivalent to 3 credits. This format is the most common for graduate courses. Graduate laboratories meet three times per graduate credit (i.e., two-and-a-half-hours per week in a single semester of 15 weeks is equivalent to 1 credit). Courses meeting more or less than two-and-a-half hours each week are assigned credits in the correct proportion. The final examination period is an integral part of the 15-week semester.
Graduate Degrees and Advanced Certificates
Graduate Advanced Certificate Programs
NYU Tandon School of Engineering offers several graduate advanced certificate programs in specialized subject areas for students who do not wish to enroll in a full-degree program. Detailed descriptions of the certificate programs are available from the responsible departments.
Admission requirements for certificate programs are the same as those for related MS programs. Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, and GREs are required from those applying for full-time study. Applicants must be admitted formally to a certificate program before beginning graduate course work.
Depending on the program, 12 to 15 credits must be taken at NYU School of Engineering to earn a certificate, and no transfer credits for certificates are permitted. Courses taken for a certificate may be applied toward the future pursuit of an MS, ME, or PhD graduate degree, but not to another certificate program. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all graduate courses taken at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering to receive a certificate.
Students in such a program who subsequently decide to pursue a graduate degree must file a separate application for admission to the respective graduate program.
Master of Science
Admission to Master of Science programs requires a bachelor’s degree and at least four years of college-level courses in a preparatory discipline from an institution acceptable to the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better is required for admission. GRE scores are recommended for all applicants, and are required for anyone applying for full-time study or seeking merit-based scholarships. Letters of Recommendation, a Statement of Purpose, and a professional resume are also required from all applicants seeking admission to any graduate program.
Candidates for the degree of Master of Science must complete no fewer than 30 credits of graduate courses and research beyond the bachelor’s degree in the program selected. Academic departments may require additional credits for individual degrees. Individual programs may specify required courses, minimum GPAs in specific courses or course groups, or require a comprehensive examination, presentation of a seminar, or completion of a project or thesis. Specific course requirements for each MS program are detailed in the programs section of this catalog. To obtain the MS degree, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (equivalent to a B letter grade) or better in all graduate work undertaken at the NYU School of Engineering and any other school of NYU, including courses not used to fulfill specific program requirements. The average of B or better includes all guided studies, readings, projects, theses and dissertations. Students may offer no more than a combined total of 9 credits of project, guided studies, readings, or thesis toward fulfillment of the MS degree requirements. Students taking project or thesis must register for at least 3 credits of project or thesis every semester until the work is completed and a grade recorded (also refer to the section Maintenance of Studies).
Graduate Credits and Requirements
To satisfy residency requirements for a graduate degree at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, students must complete the following minimum number of credits at the School:
- Graduate Certificate: All credits (12-15, depending on certificate)
- Master of Science: Total number of credits required, less 9 (at least 21 credits of residency)
Graduate Registration Status
Graduate students pay tuition at the per-credit rate. Full-time status is defined by the following:
- Full-time MS students must be registered for 12 credits or more each semester. Students who are normally full-time may register for fewer credits during their last semester by registering for only the number of credits necessary for graduation. During this last semester they are part-time, but can be treated as full-time-equivalent for immigration purposes only (not for the purpose of financial aid eligibility) by requesting full-time-equivalency status from the Office of Global Services.
- Full-time MS students in the lock-step, cohort-based, executive-format MS programs are registered for all courses specified by the program as published in the catalog each semester. These programs require distinct courses and/or projects, each bearing credits approved for the program.
A status of non-matriculated or visiting student allows students to take up to three graduate courses at NYU Tandon School of Engineering (maximum of 2 courses or 6 credits per semester) without formally applying for admission to a graduate program. If these students desire to continue at NYU Tandon School of Engineering as matriculated students in a graduate degree or certificate program, they must follow the formal application process, and admission is not guaranteed.
Maintenance of Studies
MS Students: Under exceptional and well-documented circumstances, graduate students seeking an MS degree in a program that requires an MS thesis or MS project may, with the permission of the thesis or project adviser, request one semester of Maintenance of Studies to complete the project or thesis. For permission to be granted, students and their advisers must provide adequate written justification to the Office of Graduate Academics.
Modifications to Curricula
Curricula and courses change from time to time in order to keep students abreast of the latest knowledge and methods within subject areas. Students are required to satisfy the curriculum and degree requirements in effect at the time of their matriculation and must obtain current degree requirements from their program adviser.
In order to accommodate curriculum and course revisions, it is sometimes necessary to substitute a course for one specified in the curriculum. Students may also request course substitutions to tailor their studies to their interests. Both the program adviser and the Office of Graduate Academics must approve all course substitutions.
Graduate International Students
Full-time Status, Program and Degree Changes
To maintain non-immigrant student status, international students must maintain full-time status every fall and spring semester for the entire semester (i.e., withdrawing from a course during the semester may jeopardize full-time status). Students are not required to enroll during the summer semester and may enroll for credits at their discretion. International students may register for online courses, but must be registered for a minimum of 6 credits of on-ground course work per term. All questions concerning this regulation should be addressed with the Office of Global Services (OGS). Students may take less than a full course of study if fewer credits are needed during the last semester prior to graduation, but they must notify OGS prior to the beginning of the semester and obtain full-time equivalency status. Students may qualify for a reduced course load (RCL) for valid academic and medical reasons. All exceptions must be approved by OGS before the last day of registration (the add/drop deadline) each semester so that courses can be added to the student’s schedule if necessary. Only one semester of reduced course load (RCL) for academic reasons is permitted per degree level.
Students in F-1 and J-1 status must obtain written permission from OGS for any Leave of Absence request, or to withdraw from classes if the withdrawal results in less than a full course load. They also must obtain written permission and the pertinent I-20/DS-2019 form before enrolling in a new degree program. The process of withdrawing from a course, changing programs, changing degree level, or taking a Leave of Absence through the Office of the Registrar keeps a non-immigrant student in good standing only with the School, but not with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), unless proper approval is obtained from OGS. Students planning on employment as part of their course work must obtain prior approval from OGS for any such employment.
Failure to comply with the immigration requirements for full-time status, course withdrawals, program changes, degree level changes, or Leave of Absence violates the non-immigrant student’s status and renders a student ineligible for any benefit of that status. According to USCIS, lack of compliance may also result in deportation.
Policies on Grading and Grades
Computing the Grade-Point Average for Graduate Students
For the purposes of computing GPAs for graduate students and graduate courses, the following schedule is used.
|C+||2.333||Deficient, but Passing|
|C||2.000||Deficient, but Passing|
|P||Pass (no GPA value)|
|I||Incomplete, converts to F after 180 days|
Grades S and U reflect progress on research efforts. Once the thesis or dissertation is completed, the letter grade is entered on the transcript for all research registrations. Noncredit seminar courses are graded P or F. Other than research credits, no credit-bearing courses can be assigned S or U grades. A student cannot graduate if a grade of U is on the transcript for any credit-bearing course or for research efforts at the time of graduation. A grade of I cannot be assigned to a course that is graded S or U. Grades S, U, I, W and AUD are not included in computing the GPA.
Graduate Bridge and Preparatory Courses
Many programs offer graduate bridge or preparatory courses to accommodate the needs of students who lack certain undergraduate preparation. Generally, bridge or preparatory courses cannot be used to satisfy degree requirements, particularly for degrees within the department that offers the course. However, these courses are included in the calculation of a student’s graduate GPA. Some graduate students may be required to take certain undergraduate courses as preparation for advanced graduate study. Undergraduate courses are not included in the student’s GPA calculation.
The first time a graduate student repeats a course, the lower grade is not counted towards the GPA. All subsequent grades in a course repeated more than once are included in the GPA, although degree credit is earned only once.
Course Withdrawal: The W Grade
Students may withdraw from a course or courses without academic penalty until the published withdrawal deadline of the normal fall or spring semester. Students should process their own withdrawals online via Albert Student Center during the first two weeks of the semester. After the first two weeks, students must complete a paper add/drop form and submit the form to the Office of Graduate Academics. In all cases, students are encouraged to consult with their academic advisers, as withdrawing from certain courses may delay their planned graduation date, and international students should make sure that they do not drop below full-time status (9 credits). Students who have been placed on final academic probation are not permitted to withdraw from courses without prior approval from the Office of Graduate Academics.
When the course duration varies from the norm, such as in six-, nine- or 12-week courses, please consult with the NYU Tandon SOE Records and Registration Office for deadline information. Withdrawn courses remain on the student’s transcript with a grade of W and are not calculated into the GPA. Once entered on the student’s record, a W cannot be changed to any other grade. An F grade is recorded for any student who ceases to attend a course without formally withdrawing by the required deadline.
International students who wish to withdraw from a course, or courses, must have prior approval from OGS if withdrawing will leave them with fewer than nine credits of registration.
Graduate students may audit courses instead of receiving credits and grades for them. Students must seek the consent of an instructor and follow all expectations and regulations.
If a student cannot complete the course work at the usual time because of valid reasons, such as illness or other critical emergency, the instructor may give a grade of Incomplete/I. In such cases, the instructor and the student must develop a detailed plan for completion that includes a specific completion date. Ordinarily this date should not extend beyond the intersession, in fairness to students who finish course requirements on time and to ensure that students complete prerequisites for advanced courses. An Incomplete grade converts to an F if the student fails to complete the work within the specified completion timeline, or at most by 180 days after the end of the semester in which the student was enrolled in the course. All Incomplete grades must be converted before graduation.
The grade of Incomplete/I is used sparingly and only in cases with valid reasons, not merely because students have planned poorly or overloaded themselves. An Incomplete grade should not be issued if a student is unable to complete the course requirements without attending or participating in the course a second time. If the student reregisters for a course in which an Incomplete grade was given, the Incomplete grade lapses to an F. If successful resolution of an Incomplete grade would require the repetition of any course or portion of a course, the instructor should not assign an Incomplete, and should instead counsel the student to withdraw from the course.
Change of Grade
Grades on file with the Registrar, with the exception of Incomplete/I grades and temporary grades (S or U), are considered final unless an error in calculating or recording the grade is discovered. No correctly reported final grade may be changed based upon re-taking an examination or completion of additional work. Incomplete/I grades are handled according to the policies described under Incomplete Grades. Temporary grades (S or U), used for continuing projects, thesis or dissertation, will be converted to standard letter grades upon completion of the project, thesis or dissertation. Once recorded with the Registrar, these grades are treated as all other final grades. If an error in calculating or reporting a grade is discovered, the instructor will submit the change of grade request to the Department Chair. If approved by the Department Chair, the request will be submitted to the Associate Dean for Graduate Academics for consideration. Any incorrectly assigned grade must be corrected within one semester.
If a student who has completed a master’s degree at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering wishes to pursue another master’s degree(s), the student’s GPA is re-started. In this way, the academic performance for each degree is accurately represented. A GPA cannot be restarted at the beginning of or during the PhD degree program. Any GPA restart is noted on the student’s transcript.
Leaves of Absence and Readmission
Leave of Absence
A student who wishes to temporarily suspend graduate studies may request a Leave of Absence. If a Leave of Absence is being requested for medical reasons, please consult with the Office of Student Affairs. A request for a Leave of Absence for any reason other than medical must be approved by the Office of Graduate Academics. If the leave is approved, the student’s matriculated status is maintained, and the student may resume his or her studies after the Leave of Absence. The Registrar will record a Leave of Absence on the student’s transcript.
Leaves of Absence, if approved, are granted for a maximum of one year except in extreme cases, such as compulsory national service (if such service is for more than one year). International students must also receive approval for the leave from OGS, as an approved Leave of Absence is an academic decision and does not override OGS concerns. For students admitted prior to Spring 2019, the Leave of Absence does not extend the time limit for earning a degree. For students admitted as of Spring 2019, any approved Leave of Absence does not count against the maximum time to completion, and the time limit will be extended by the number of semesters granted for Leave of Absence. (See section on Maximum Time for Program Completion.) The approval of a Leave of Absence does not preclude subsequent academic disqualification.
In most circumstances, non-medical Leaves of Absence are only approved for students in good academic standing with NYU Tandon SOE.
Students who do not maintain continuous registration and who are not on an approved Leave of Absence must apply to NYU for readmission if they wish to continue their graduate studies. Re-admitted students must pay accrued fees for the lapsed semester(s). If readmitted, their subsequent program attendance will be guided by the terms and conditions of the readmission and by the Bulletin and rules in effect at the time of readmission. Lapsed semesters do not extend the maximum time permitted to complete the degree. If students who re-apply cannot complete their studies within the allotted time permitted from the date of their initial admission to NYU Tandon School of Engineering, they can be re-admitted as a new student, but prior courses will be treated as part of the total transfer credits permitted (see section on Transfer Credits).
Leave of Absence and Readmission for Veterans
Students in graduate programs taking a Leave of Absence to perform military services are reinstated into the same degree program with the same academic status that they had when last in attendance at the institution. The length of absence from the institution cannot exceed five academic years unless the student requests and receives an exception from the Office of Graduate Academics. Such requests when approved by the Office of Graduate Academics constitute assurance of reinstatement to the degree program from which the leave was taken. If the period of absence exceeds the approved leave, students must apply for readmission.
Withdrawal from the University
Graduate students who wish to withdraw completely from NYU Tandon SOE (as opposed to a term withdrawal) must first withdraw from all courses in which they are currently registered, and then they must complete the online total withdrawal form. To receive W grades for the semester, the withdrawal must be completed by the withdrawal deadline indicated in the academic calendar. The mere absence from courses does not constitute official withdrawal, but results in F grades recorded for courses not completed. No complete withdrawal is official unless and until this form is completed and submitted to the NYU Tandon SOE Office of Records and Registration and approved by all required signatories. Students who submit an online total withdrawal request which is approved must reapply to NYU Tandon SOE should they wish to resume their studies in the future, and readmission is not guaranteed.
NYU Tandon School of Engineering is concerned about the health, safety and well-being of its students. Students judged to be a threat to themselves or to others may be withdrawn involuntarily from the School. The School seeks, whenever possible, for such students to be allowed to continue as active students if they agree to undergo professional care. Full details concerning this policy are available from the Office of Student Affairs.
Application Process for the Award of Master of Science
Graduate students must file a formal application via Albert Student Center for the award of any NYU Tandon School of Engineering degree or certificate. Filing dates for each semester are published by the University Registrar. Students who do not file by the published deadline dates become candidates for the next conferral period.
Degrees are conferred and diplomas issued three times per year, typically in January, May, and September. All work for the degree must be completed and submitted before the graduation date.
NYU policy prohibits the awarding of a degree to members of the School teaching staff who hold a rank above the grade of Instructor.
Please note that a degree is not awarded unless the student applies for graduation, even if all requirements have been met. The date of the degree follows the application date for its award, not when all requirements are completed. If the application is filed more than two years after completion of degree requirements, the approval process is not automatic, and additional administrative actions may be required on a case-by-case basis.
Diplomas are mailed to the student about eight weeks after the degree conferral date. Diplomas are issued only once, subject to rare exceptions made on a case-by-case basis. Replacement diploma procedures and fees are published on the University Registrar’s website. Replacement diplomas for the NYU Tandon School of Engineering will be printed with the school name at the time of the student’s graduation.
Continuation of Studies Beyond the Initial Certificate or Master of Science
Students planning to pursue additional studies immediately following the award of an advanced degree by NYU Tandon School of Engineering should complete a new application for admission and submit it to the Graduate Admissions Office for review and approval by the department in which the new degree will be pursued. Examples are: 1) progressing from a certificate program to an MS program; 2) progressing from an MS program to a PhD program; 3) seeking a second MS degree from NYU School of Engineering. For rules governing the application of prior NYU School of Engineering credits towards a new degree program, please refer to the section on Transfer Credits and Transfer Policy Exceptions.
Internship Policies and Guidelines
Graduate internship courses are designated by CP-GY.
These courses provide an opportunity for full-time students to pursue internship and work experiences in their fields of study that enhance and augment classroom learning, while also enhancing the overall educational experience by obtaining practical experience.
Eligibility and Requirements: Students
F-1 international students are required to complete at least two semesters of full-time study in the United States (U.S.) to be eligible for internship authorization. This may include time spent studying at another U.S. institution, including completion of a bachelor’s degree immediately prior to studying at NYU. Please contact the Office of Global Services for details on F-1 internship eligibility.
All graduate students must have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.000, as reflected on their academic transcript. Students cannot enroll in CP courses if they have an incomplete grade (I) in any course from a prior semester. Students cannot enroll in a subsequent CP course if they have an incomplete or a fail grade (F) from a previous CP course. Students cannot enroll in a CP course if they have received Maintenance of Study (MOS) and/or a Time Extension for their current degree program.
Eligibility and Requirements: Work Experiences
During the academic year, work experiences must be at least 12 weeks long. During the summer, they must be at least 8 weeks long. Additionally, the work experience must be a minimum of 240 hours. Start and end dates need not coincide with the first and last day of the semester, but must fit within the semester in order to ensure that final reports may be submitted and grades may be submitted in a timely manner.
During the academic year, students cannot work more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session. Students who are in their final semester of study and who require, and are registered for, no more than 3 credits (in addition to internship credits) may be approved to work 40 hours per week. During the summer, students are permitted to work full-time, provided that they are not also taking more than 3 credits. Work hours must be consistent with the organization’s regular work schedule.
Work experiences must comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (www.dol.gov/whd/flsa). As such, students must be paid at least minimum wage unless specific exceptions apply. The Department of Labor outlines a six-point test (www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm) regarding unpaid internships. Employers should consult their legal counsel for more information.
Students must be hired as employees of the participating organization and must be paid directly by the organization using a W-2 form. Employers cannot pay students as independent contractors using an IRS 1099 form.
Employers must agree to assign a responsible, ranking employee as the student’s supervisor. This individual will provide appropriate supervision and mentoring, including establishing clear goals and expectations regarding tasks and projects. Employers must be willing to submit written midterm and final evaluations of the student’s work. Experiences will not be approved for companies that are not permitted to submit written evaluations. Employer supervisors must review the student’s final report so that proprietary and/or confidential information can be removed.
Students must obtain an offer letter on organization letterhead from the prospective employer. This letter must identify the company, its address, contact information, the student’s job title, and start and end dates of the internship.
Students must update their placement information through their NYU CareerNet account Profile, per instructions provided by the Wasserman Center for Career Development.
Prospective employers must complete the Employer Registration Form, which includes a detailed job description.
Students will submit their offer letter, Employer Registration Form, and printed NYU CareerNet Profile to their departmental adviser who will identify a suitable faculty adviser. The faculty adviser will be responsible for all academic matters related to the work experience. The faculty adviser will evaluate the relevancy of the work experience and, if approved, will direct the student to register for the appropriate CP course.
For approved International Students, the faculty adviser will provide the Office of Global Scholars (OGS) with all relevant information in order to process work authorization. International Students cannot begin working until they have received work authorization.
The company supervisor must provide a mid-term evaluation and a final evaluation to the faculty supervisor. The student will submit a project report at the end of the term. Some departments or programs may also require a presentation. The report (and presentation, if required) will be included as a part of the assessment for the student’s grade. Faculty advisers will provide guidelines for the reports. All CP courses will be graded as Pass (P) or Fail (F).
With the faculty adviser’s approval, consecutive work experiences may be completed with the same employer. Students must complete the same registration process and follow all procedures for re-applying and enrolling in another CP course. International Students must obtain prior permission from OGS for every period of employment. Students are not authorized to work during the interim period between the end of their prior CPT and the beginning of their next even if they will have an internship with the same company; this jeopardizes their visa status.
NYU Tandon does not permit graduate students to renege on internship offers, as it is unfair to companies, harms the school’s reputation, and discourages companies from continuing to hire current and future students. Even when at-will laws apply, students may not renege on an internship offer once accepted. Students may turn down an offer if it is not to their satisfaction. However, once an offer has been accepted, students are expected to and required to honor their agreement with that company, even if they should later receive a better offer from a different company. Once an internship has been approved by a student’s department for academic credit, no other internship will be approved for the same student in the same semester. Students must complete their internships; leaving an internship before the end date is prohibited.
Penalties for violating the anti-reneging policy include, but are not limited to: receiving an F for the internship course and not being permitted to do another internship. For international students, this means no further CPT will be approved.