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 engineering topics) provides students with a broad educational background that covers the technical and non-technical issues commonly encountered by engineers in professional practice. Students with an undergraduate engineering degree from an ABET accredited program satisfy the pre-program requirements apriori. Not all students in the program have an undergraduate degree in engineering. The department requires these students to make up any deficiencies by completing the required pre-program courses listed in the Coursework Requirements.

The MS degree can be earned under either the Plan A (thesis) or Plan B (independent project) option. This requires a minimum of 30 academic credits, at least 24 of which 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. This test is used to gauge incoming student’s knowledge of mathematics, science, and basic engineering principles, as well as their preparation for graduate-level coursework. Students requiring pre-program work must take the general examination in the first semester following the completion of their pre-program, and prior to their semester of graduation. The general examination may be repeated once. Passing this exam advances the student to master’s candidacy. Students who have passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination within the three years prior to their admission to ORE are exempted from taking the general examination.

The core, option-area, and elective courses offered by ORE are listed in the Coursework Requirements. The core courses provide students with a broad understanding of the topics of interest to ocean and resources engineering discipline. This includes hydrostatics, oceanography, water wave mechanics, and underwater acoustics. The laboratory course connects material covered in the classroom with observations made and data collected in the ocean. The option-area courses prepare students for specialization in coastal, offshore, ocean resources, and oceanographic engineering, or an interdisciplinary field of study. The capstone design project is typically team-taught by faculty members and practicing professional engineers. Its objective is to familiarize students with the planning and design of an engineering project in a consulting firm setting. All MS students are required to attend 15 seminars which cover the latest in developments and research – as well as contemporary issues – related to ocean and resources engineering. The core, option-area, and seminar requirements amount to 25 academic credits; the remaining credits are to be chosen to form a coherent plan of study.

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

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PhD Degree

Students pursuing a PhD are required to achieve a broad understanding of the principal areas of ocean and resources engineering, as well as a thorough understanding of their research area. Students are expected to have knowledge related to fundamental engineering courses (see Appendix B for the MS pre-program requirements), as well as the core courses of the ORE MS degree. Doctoral students are also encouraged to take courses relevant to their research interests.

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.)

Intended PhD candidates must take a written qualifying examination , preferably before or during the third semester of full-time enrollment. In addition to covering basic undergraduate mathematics and engineering fundamentals, the examination tests the students’ understanding of ORE 411, 603, and 607. The examination is conducted by ORE’s PhD qualifying exam committee and the outcome is determined by a vote of the departmental faculty. The qualifying examination may be repeated only once.

After passing the qualifying examination and advancing to candidacy, the student forms a dissertation committee and begins preparing their dissertation proposal. The dissertation committee should consist of a minimum of five graduate faculty members with at least one ORE departmental faculty member and at least one faculty member from outside ORE. The majority of this committee should be comprised of either ORE departmental faculty or cooperating faculty members. The committee must be approved by the ORE Graduate Chair who, in consultation with the Committee Chair, may appoint additional member(s) to the committee. Upon completion of their dissertation proposal, the student must take a comprehensive examination which is conducted by the dissertation committee. This is meant to measure the student’s preparation and ability to conduct original research in the area of their proposed dissertation topic. The examination consists of a presentation of the student’s proposed research followed by an oral component in which the student must defend the novelty of their proposed research, address any issues raised by the committee, and demonstrate his/her ability to successfully conduct the proposed research. The comprehensive examination may be repeated only once.

PhD students are expected to publish their research in refereed journals. This provides feedback from the research community while developing a publication track record prior to graduation. The student must present and defend their dissertation at a final examination, which is conducted by the dissertation committee. This examination may not be repeated except with approval from the graduate faculty involved and the Dean of Graduate Division, which has additional rules pertaining to the defense.

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