Master of Science in Engineering Frequently Asked Questions


  • What is the Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) program, and what engineering disciplines are available for the degree?

    The Master of Science in Engineering program is a general, interdisciplinary engineering M.S. program. Students take classes from core areas such as management, math, technical communications and computing, as well as nine hours of classes from a chosen engineering emphasis. Students with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering may be interested in the online Master of Science in Electrical Engineering degree, with an emphasis in electric power or control systems. For additional information email mse@uark.edu. 

  • Has the MSE program been ranked?

    The MSE program has been ranked 23rd among online graduate engineering programs at public, doctoral granting institutions by U.S. News & World Report, and 29th among all institutions.

  • Are online courses right for me?

    Online courses require a reliable, up-to-date computer, a high-speed Internet connection, and a lot of motivation and self-discipline. Take an online readiness quiz to see if you're ready!

  • What are the requirements for admission?

    1. Applicants must have a bachelor of science in engineering from an engineering program accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET (or equivalent accreditation); and
    2. A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better (A=4.0) on all course work taken prior to receipt of the engineering bachelor degree; or
    3. A GPA of 3.0 or better on the last 60 hours of course work taken prior to receipt of the engineering bachelor degree; and
    4. Students must also submit two official transcripts from each college or university attended.
  • If my undergraduate GPA isn't 3.0 or better, can I still be accepted?

    Applicants who have a bachelor of science in engineering from an engineering program accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET (or equivalent accreditation) with a GPA between 2.50 and 2.99 on all course work taken prior to receipt of the bachelor degree, and have been a practicing engineering for a minimum of three years, may be conditionally admitted. To remove the conditional status and move to regular standing, a student must earn a "B" or better on the first nine hours of program course work, and meet any other conditions specified by the student advisory committee.

  • Will a bachelor of science in engineering technology meet admission requirements?

    No, unfortunately, an engineering technology degree will not meet admission requirements for the MSE program. However, the College of Engineering offers a Master of Science in Operations Management (MSOM) that students with an engineering technology degree may meet admission requirements for.

  • How many hours or courses are required to graduate?

    A total of 30 hours are required to receive the MSE A student has two basic options to meet the 30 hour requirement: a program option or a course work option.

    Program option: Student must present a minimum of 24 hours (eight 3-hour courses) of approved graduate coursework as specified AND a maximum of 6 hours (two 3-hour courses) of GNEG 590V Special Topics courses for a total of at least 30 hours. Project requirements require both a Project Proposal Report and Final Project Report.

    Coursework Option: Student must present a minimum of 30 hours (ten 3-hour courses) of approved graduate coursework as specified.

  • What courses are required?

      • One 3-hour course from each of the following four areas for a total of 12 hours: Mathematics, Computer Applications, Technical Communications, and Engineering Management; and

      • Three 3-hour engineering courses that form a cohesive topic or area of emphasis with the approval of the advisory committee, and

      • Nine additional graduate-level hours from any area with the approval of the advisory committee.

      • A minimum of 60% of the course work must be graduate level engineering, non-operations management (OMGT), classes.

      • A maximum of four 4000-level graduate level courses may be taken; the remainder must be 5000-level or higher.

  • Is it possible to use one course to meet more than one requirement?

    No, one course cannot meet multiple requirements. For instance, the same course cannot meet both the mathematics and computer applications requirements.

  • How are courses delivered?

    Courses are delivered via the Internet using Blackboard, an educational delivery platform. Exams for some classes are also taken online, using Blackboard, whereas others require the student to obtain the services of a local proctor.  This short video series will help you get started using the Blackboard LMS.

  • How do I register for classes?

    Students will be sent a registration form prior to the registration period. Once the course work is decided, the form will be returned to the MSE office and students will be administratively added to the class. Students will not self-enroll using the student information system.

  • How much does it cost to take a class?

    Tuition and fees will be charged at the following rates beginning fall 2018:
    Tuition: $303.88/credit hour
    Distance Technology Fee: $50/credit hour
    Enrollment Fee: $30/credit hour
    A three-hour course would be a total of $1,151.64.

  • How can I get information about Financial Aid?

    Visit the University of Arkansas Financial Aid website

  • How can I see when charges are due for each session in the semester?

Log into your Student Center in UAConnect.  Under the Finances section, you will see Account Inquiry under the heading My Account.  From there, click on Charges Due to see due dates associated with specific 8-week sessions.

  • Do I have to come to the Fayetteville campus at all for the program?

    Since classes are delivered through the Internet, students do not have to be physically present on campus to take a course. Though it is preferable to take the comprehensive oral exam on-site, if needed, it can be taken via a video conference instead.

  • What is a proctor and how do I go about finding one?

    A proctor is someone who administers an exam on behalf of the instructor, ensuring that the registered student is the one taking the exam and that all procedures are adhered to. Proctoring of exams helps maintain the integrity of the program and program accreditation. 

    Every faculty member handles things a bit differently, but most of the engineering professors require that the student obtain the services of a live proctor. Suggestions for a live proctor include someone from the student's human resources office, a supervisor, a commanding officer, a librarian, or a pastor. Some students go to a testing service center at a local university or community college. Military bases usually have an education office that will provide proctoring services. A proctor may NOT be a friend, relative, or other person with identifiable conflict of interest. Students will be emailed a blank proctor form after enrollment each semester if they are in a class that required a proctor. 

    If a proctor is required by the professor, once the proctor has been identified and signed the completed form, the form is sent to mse@uark.edu and the professor. The professor will send the exam directly to the proctor. The proctor will be responsible for making sure the student follows all rules sent along with the exam, as well as returning the completed exam to the professor. Some proctoring facilities will only accept and return hard copies of the exam, whereas others will accept and return electronic versions. If the proctor will only work with hard copies, the student may have to provide return postage.

    ProctorU is an online proctoring service that is used in the OMGT classes for the mid-term and final exams taken through Blackboard. ProctorU requires the student make an appointment for each exam. A webcam and microphone are required. Once logged in to the ProctorU website, they’ll verify the student's credentials. After they verify it is the correct student, they have the student sweep the room with the web camera so they can verify the environment is suitable. They then enter the exam password into Blackboard and monitor the student while completing the exam. 

  • Is a thesis required?

    No, a thesis is not required. Students can either take ten 3-hour courses, or eight 3-hour courses and two 3-hour GNEG 590V Special Topics courses with a project to meet requirements.

  • Is there a comprehensive exam?

    Yes, students must complete a comprehensive oral exam towards the end of their program; it is a Graduate School requirement. The comprehensive oral exam may be completed on-site or via video conference. Many students find it helpful to keep a copy of the syllabus for each class they took, as well as the textbooks, class notes, PowerPoint presentations, etc., to use as study aids for the comprehensive exam.

  • What sort of GPA do I have to maintain to complete the program?

    A GPA of 3.0 or better is required to receive the degree. Additionally, no more than two "C" grades are allowed; no credit will be received for courses with "D" or "F" grades, though they will be calculated into the GPA.

  • How long can I take to complete the program?

    Students have up to six years to complete the program. A student may take up to two courses each session. However, it is very difficult to take two technical engineering courses in one 8-week session. Students should plan to take two years to complete degree requirements.

  • Do classes follow the University semester schedule?

    Courses are offered in eight-week sessions, two sessions in each fall and each spring semester and one session in the summer.

    Fall 8W1: August - October
    Fall 8W2: October - December
    Spring 8W1: January - March
    Spring 8W2: March - May
    Summer 8W1: May - July

  • Is the refund schedule the same as the one for on-campus, full-term classes?

    Refunds will be given following the University 8-week session schedule, posted on the Registrar's website under academic dates; the full-term or semester classes follow a different schedule than the 8-week sessions. Generally speaking, a student will be given a 100% refund if an individual class is dropped by the third day in the 8-week session. After that date, there will not be a refund for dropping an individual course. Remember, you cannot drop all of your classes; that is considered withdrawing. For session specific dates, please contact the MSE office at mse@uark.edu or 479-575-3669.

  • What if I don't have a bachelor's degree in an engineering field ?

    No problem! We offer a Master of Science in Operations Management (MSOM) degree geared toward working students who hold undergraduate degrees in non-engineering fields. Our students are professionals and managers in organizational settings where project planning, quality management, economic decision-making, supply chain management, human behavior analysis, operations research, and other skills are critical to success. Interested? Get more information.

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