Degree Requirements

M.S. Degree

The M.S. degree program requires completion of 30 semester credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree as detailed below. A Plan of Study (PoS) should be developed with the adviser by the end of the first semester of work. An oral examination covering the research-based paper or thesis and the student's understanding and ability to apply the subject matter to the research is required. Students typically require two years to complete their MS degree. An overall GPA of 3.0 or higher must be maintained.

The ABEN M.S. program requirements are:

  • 30 credits after the B.S.
  • 20-24 credit hours are from course work, while 6-10 credit hours are typically provided for a master's thesis
  • A minimum of 6 credits of NDSU ABEN courses numbered 601-689 or 700-789 is required
  • ABEN Graduate Seminar (ABEN 790).

Ph.D. Degree

Ph.D. candidates are encouraged to indicate their research interests when applying for admission and to select an adviser before entering the program. Typically, 3-4 years are required to complete the Ph.D. program after the completion of an M.S. degree.

The degree requirements are in accordance with the NDSU Graduate School requirements. The student's academic adviser will usually be selected during the acceptance process. Prior to the end of the first academic year, the student and academic adviser will arrange for appointment of a Graduate Advisory Committee.

The student and major adviser will prepare a Plan of Study by the end of the first year in residence. The student's Graduate Advisory Committee, the ABEN Department Chair, and the Dean of the Graduate School shall approve the Plan of Study. The Plan of Study (PoS) must be filed in the Graduate School of NDSU. An overall GPA of 3.0 or above must be maintained.

The ABEN Ph.D. program requirements are:

  • 60 credits after the M.S. or 90 credits after the B.S.
  • A minimum of 27 credits from NDSU courses numbered 601-689 and 700-789, at least 12 credits of which must be numbered 700-789
  • A minimum of 30 credits of NDSU ABEN dissertation and graduate seminar after the M.S. or 45 credits after the B.S.
  • A minimum of 9 credits of NDSU ABEN courses numbered 601-689 or 700-789, or 15 credits if entering with other than an ABEN B.S.
  • ABEN Graduate Seminar (ABEN 790)
  • It is expected that one or more journal articles will be submitted for publication prior to the award of the degree.


*Any student receiving an M.S. or Ph.D. degree from the NDSU ABEN department must have taken the following fundamental courses prior to attaining the graduate degree. If the courses (or their equivalent) were not taken prior to matriculating at NDSU, they should be taken in addition to other coursework required for the graduate degree.

  • Differential Equations (NDSU: Math 266)
  • Statics (NDSU: ME 221) and Dynamics (NDSU: ME 222); these two may be substituted by a calculus-based Physics I class
  • Thermodynamics (NDSU: ME 350); may be substituted with ABEN 644 which may also count toward graduate degree
  • Fluid Mechanics (NDSU: CE 309 or ME 352)
  • Physics II/Electricity and Magnetism (NDSU: PHYS 252)

The major advisor may appeal to the ABEN Graduate Committee (not the student’s graduate advisory committee) for substitutions or waivers of these requirements.

It should be noted that undergraduate courses are not subject to tuition waivers from the graduate school and funding sources may also not allow tuition for undergraduate courses. It is up to the major advisor and student to decide how tuition for these courses will be paid for. It is a reasonable expectation that the student may be required to cover such costs.