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MS Thesis Information

Completing a master’s thesis is an excellent way to gain research experience, build a strong relationship with UIC Engineering faculty members in your field, and develop expertise in a particular topic—which can increase your standing in the eyes of potential employers and/or doctoral programs.

Master’s thesis projects in mechanical and industrial engineering are guided by faculty advisors. Below is information that is essential to all students who are pursuing the MS in Mechanical Engineering or MS in Industrial Engineering with the thesis option.

Thesis Timeline

  • Advisor selection: MS students must select a degree advisor by the end of the first semester of the program—no later than after the completion of 16 semester hours of coursework. Students record their choice by submitting an advisor selection form, which can be obtained from the graduate coordinator in the MIE department office.
  • Course selection: In consultation with their advisors, students propose a list of courses for approval. This must be completed before the end of the second semester, but no later than after the completion of 20 semester hours of coursework. Students propose and file this course list using the MS program of study form, which also is available from the graduate coordinator in the MIE department office.
  • Determination of thesis defense committee: In consultation with their advisors, each student nominates a thesis defense committee to the graduate committee. This is done via the committee recommendation form available on the Graduate College forms page. The form must be received by the Graduate College no later than three weeks before the proposed thesis defense date. The graduate committee makes a recommendation to the graduate dean, who officially appoints the nominated committee.
  • Submission of thesis: Two weeks before the proposed thesis defense, the thesis defense committee should receive a reasonably finished copy of the thesis.
  • Receipt of forms from Graduate College: The Graduate College provides the thesis defense committee with an examination report form and two thesis certificate of approval forms. The completed forms are returned to the student after the defense, and the student must forward them to the Graduate College with copies of the thesis.
  • Submission of graduation request form: In the semester during which a student plans to complete the requirements for a degree, the student fills out the graduation request form, which is available on the Graduate College forms page. These forms are evaluated and signed by the director of graduate studies and forwarded to the Graduate College by the Friday of the seventh week of classes. The student must submit a final version of the thesis to the Graduate College no later than Friday of the 10th week of classes. A typed copy of the thesis must be filed with both the advisor and the graduate committee in addition to the copies required by the Graduate College.

Students should note that the failure to meet any of these deadlines may delay the thesis defense process and/or graduation.

Thesis Committee

The committee consists of at least three members, one of whom must be a tenured member of the graduate faculty (see the “List of UIC Graduate College Faculty” section on the Graduate College faculty page). One member may be from outside the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering or from outside the university. Approval of the thesis by a majority of the committee is required.

Thesis Manual

UIC’s Graduate College publishes a thesis manual that sets forth requirements for format and other procedures. It must be strictly followed when preparing a project or a thesis. Students can find this manual in PDF on the Graduate College forms page in the “Committees, Exams, Defense, and Thesis” section.