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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Graduate Programs

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Master of Science in Engineering

The Electrical and Computer Engineering and Technology department and the Mechanical and Civil Engineering department together offer a Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) degree program. Students in this program may design their own program of studies by choosing courses from Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science. The program is designed to serve the following:

  • Engineers in business and industry who want to continue their formal engineering education at the postgraduate level
  • New engineering graduates who want to increase their depth of knowledge and develop an area of specialization
  • Graduates from other related science and engineering disciplines who want to broaden their backgrounds by pursuing engineering studies at the graduate level

The program responds to the increasingly complex interdisciplinary engineering needs by frequent course content evaluation and by offering new courses in response to recommendations from our constituents. The MSE program strives to maintain applied research partnerships between education and industry. The ultimate goal of the MSE is to prepare Electrical and Mechanical Engineers for leadership roles in technology based industries.

Combined BS/MS Program

Current ECET students pusuing an Electrical Engineering (EE) or Computer Engineering (CE) Bachelor of Science (BS) degree and planning on completing their MSE degrees at MSU may be granted permission to take classes that would count toward both their BS and MSE degrees.  The minimum required GPA is 3.0.


  1. Prior to senior year when students normally take EE 4xx classes, students apply to Graduate College and select the Combined Program.
  2. The Graduate College, with consent of the department, grants Conditional Admission.
  3. Students register for up to 12 credits in courses they want double-counted.  For example, register for both EE 450 (3 credits) and EE 550 (3 credits) at the same time.  Only 3 of these credits will count towards the limit on number of credits taken in a semester.
  4. The cost for an EE 5xx course credit will be the difference between the cost of an undergraduate credit and a graduate credit times the number of course credits.
  5. Students receive grades for both courses and both are entered on transcripts. 

The MSE offers three program options that are summarized below (more details in the bulletins):

  1. Thesis Option - The thesis program requires 32 credit hours.
  2. Alternate Plan Paper - This plan requires a total of 34 semester credit hours.
  3. Design Option - The design option requires 32 credit hours. 

In all cases MSE students must:

  1. Obtain the approval of their major advisor and committee of their planned program of graduate study
  2. Pass the comprehensive examination
  3. Present results of their work to their committee.

If you are a student who meets the acceptance criteria and are interested in the combined program, please do the following:Alternate Plan Paper


Guidelines For Completing The Alternate Plan Paper For The MSE Degree


Your master’s in engineering (MSE) program offers an alternate plan paper option.  This option may be satisfied by producing a paper summarizing the current state of the art in a selected area of technology.  In order to be acceptable to met the requirements of this option your paper needs to conform to the following guidelines:


A)      Approval:  The subject of your paper needs to receive the prior approval of your major advisor.  This approval is at his/her sole discretion and may not be appealed.  To get approval you must submit a half paper outline of the proposed topic for your paper.  Your outline needs to include 1) the proposed subject, 2) the proposed scope of your review (i.e. - what years?  Journals?  Conferences?  Etc.), and 3) the proposed breadth of your review (i.e.-to what extent are you examining the subject).


B)      Paper Preparation:  Your paper needs to be of sufficient length to adequately cover your chosen topic in both breadth and depth.  This would normally be expected to involve a minimum of 12 pages of written materials but may be longer depending on the subject and the judgment of your advisor.  Your advisor has the sole discretion to require a longer submission; however a 12 page minimum shall be required.  Other requirements include:


1)        References:  Your basic requirement is for at least 35 references to support your work.  Your references may be papers, books, patents, or conference proceedings.  In no case are internet references acceptable.  All quotations and paraphrases must be referenced.  All illustrations, figures, etc. must also be referenced.

2)       Figures, illustrations, etc:  Figures and illustrations are required to provide clarity for your written material.  These need to be clearly labeled and attributed to the original source.  In the event that this material exceeds 20% of your paper, the page count will be expanded accordingly (i.e. - your written material exclusive of graphics must be at least 80% of the minimum 12 pages - or 10 pages of written material).

3)       Basic Documentation:  Your final submission must be clean of all spelling and grammar errors and must include all items completely.  Any spelling errors will result in an automatic rejection of the submission.

4)       Format:  Your submission must conform to IEEE standards.  Your paper is to written as if for submission to an IEEE journal.  This includes the placement of headers, labeling of figures, references, etc.  In case of any questions, the most current IEEE standards issue will prevail.  In addition, you are required to submit three copies on high rag content paper (70% or better).  All items are to be computer generated - this includes sketches, drawings, equations, etc.  All type must be 12 point or smaller.  Attached to the back page of each copy you are to attach a disk with the paper in PDF format.  The paper is to be placed into a clear vinyl cover.

C)      Submission:  Your paper is to be submitted first to your advisor.  Upon his/her approval a copy is to be given to each of your committee members for their written approval.  Any objection by a committee member is to be resolved prior to your paper being deemed accepted.


    • Apply to the Graduate College for admission to the Combined Program. This one of the program options that appears in a drop-down menu. 
    • Obtain the Combined Program form from the ECET office and return it for our records. This is NOT the application, just informing the department of your intentions and that you are following the process.