D E G R E E    R E Q U I R E M E N T S

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We are a graduate program offering MS and Ph.D. degrees. The degree requirements are described below,

RCR TrainingMS DegreePhD Degree

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training

The University of Hawaii values research integrity. To help ensure compliance with UH policies, all ORE students are required to complete the online portion of the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training before submitting a research proposal. Details are available on the UH RCR website in the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative Certification (CITI) section.

MS Degree

The Ocean and Resources Engineering program at the MS level has the following requirements:

The pre-program, which includes a general education component, one year of college level mathematics and science, and one and one-half years of basic engineering topics, provides students a broad education background and covers technical and non-technical issues commonly encountered by engineers in professional practice. Students with an undergraduate engineering degree would satisfy the pre-program requirements. Not all students in the program have an undergraduate degree in engineering. The department requires these students to make up the deficiencies by taking basic engineering courses listed in Coursework Requirements.

The MS degree can be earned under either Plan A (thesis) or Plan B (independent project) option. The program requires a minimum of 30 academic credits. At least 24 credits must be earned in advanced courses numbered 600 or above. Up to two credits of directed reading and six transferred credits can be counted toward the MS requirements. Students who satisfy the pre-program requirements must take the General Examination during the first semester of their full-time enrollment to test their knowledge in mathematics, science, and basic engineering, and their preparation for the graduate-level coursework. Passing the exam advances the students to master�s candidacy. Students who passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination within the last three years are exempted from taking the General Examination.

The core, option-area, and elective courses offered by the department are listed in Coursework Requirements. The core courses provide the students a broad understanding of the ocean and resources engineering disciplines that include hydrostatics, oceanography, water waves, fluid-structure interaction, and underwater acoustics. The laboratory course connects materials covered in the classroom with observations made and data gathered in the ocean. The option-area courses prepare students for specialization in coastal, offshore engineering, or ocean resources engineering. The capstone design project is team-taught by faculty members and practicing professional engineers. Its objective is to familiarize students with the planning and design of a real-life engineering project in a consulting firm setting. Students are required to read a number of engineering case studies and write a paper on issues related to ethics and professional practice. All MS students are required to attend 15 seminars that cover the latest development and research as well as contemporary issues related to ocean and resources engineering. The core and option-area courses and seminar requirement amount to 25 academic credits and the remaining credits are to be chosen to form a coherent plan of study.

Students complete their study with a Plan A thesis or Plan B independent project. The Plan A thesis is research oriented and students receive six academic credits for the work. The Plan B independent project focuses on engineering application or design and carries three academic credits. Both require a proposal outlining the subject area, objectives, proposed methodology, sources of data, and anticipated results that must be approved by a committee of at least three graduate faculty members with at least one ORE departmental faculty member. The majority of the committee should either be ORE departmental or cooperating faculty members. The committee must be approved by the Graduate Chair of the department who may appoint an additional member to the committee after consultation with the Committee Chair. The project provides students an opportunity to explore and contribute to the development of the latest technology in an ocean and resources engineering discipline. The work results in a thesis or a report that demonstrates both mastery of the subject matter and a high level of communication skills. The student must present and defend the work at a final examination, which provides the faculty a final opportunity to assess the student�s understanding and ability to integrate his or her work at the MS level.

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PhD Degree

Students pursuing the PhD degree are required to achieve a broad understanding of the principal areas of ocean and resources engineering, as well as a thorough understanding of a specific area. Students must, at a minimum, possess the knowledge covered by the core courses of the MS degree in ocean and resources engineering as well as a minimum of three other courses relevant to their research topic.

The ORE program at the PhD level has the following requirements:

The pre-program, core course, and seminar requirements are the same as those for the ORE program at the MS level. PhD students are also required to take an advanced mathematics course at the graduate level (see Coursework Requirements.)

All intended candidates for the PhD degree must take a written qualifying examination preferably before or during the third semester of full-time enrollment. In addition to covering the basic undergraduate fundamentals, the 4-hour examination tests the students� understanding of ORE 411, 603, 607, and 609. The examination is conducted by the PhD qualifying exam committee of the department and the outcome is determined by a vote of the departmental faculty.

After passing the qualifying examination and being advanced to candidacy, the student may begin preparation of the dissertation proposal and forms a dissertation committee consisting of a minimum of five graduate faculty members with at least one ORE departmental faculty member and at least one member from outside ORE. The majority of the committee should be either ORE departmental or cooperating faculty members. The committee must be approved by the Graduate Chair of the department who may appoint an additional member to the committee after consultation with the Committee Chair. Upon completion of the dissertation proposal, the student must take a comprehensive examination conducted by the dissertation committee to test his or her ability to carry out original research and preparation for the proposed dissertation topic. The examination consists of a presentation of the student�s proposed research work followed by an oral component in which the student must defend the novelty of the proposed research, address any issues brought up by the committee, and demonstrate his/her ability to successfully conduct the research.

PhD students are expected to publish their research work in refereed journals in order to obtain feedback from the research community and to develop a publication track record prior to graduation. The student must present and defend the dissertation at a final examination, which is conducted by the dissertation committee.

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