WHAT IS AN M.ENG. OR MENG?
An M.Eng. degree is a Master of Engineering degree in some field of engineering study. The only difference, though it is substantial, between a Master of Engineering degree and a Master of Science degree is that the M.Eng. does not include a major research project. It is course based and considered a terminal degree that leads to professional practice. The final evaluation is not a thesis defense, it comes from the Portfolio that students create throughout their time in their program.
The degree consists of the courses that would be taken for an M.S. though there may be more options for the electives. Rather than taking thesis credits, students take the Portfolio courses and complete the Portfolio in the final term. Both the Intro and Completion courses are taught each term and Completion is taught in the summer as well. The total credits must still meet the 45 credit minimum.
WHAT IS A PORTFOLIO?
The portfolio is a document that demonstrates mastery of the engineering material and other graduate skills through selective presentation of work from classes. A resume is required, professional goals and demonstration of communication skills as well as the ability to integrate engineering with other disciplines. Students must also discuss engineering ethics and the legal context in their particular field.
HOW DO I WRITE A PORTFOLIO?
Students take the Intro to Portfolio course (graded, 1 credit) their first term as MEng students. Numbered ENGR 520, this course introduces the concept, provides guidelines and rubrics and other orientation subjects that will be useful. There are various homework projects through the course that check off the official Graduate School requirements and pre-work for the portfolio.
In their final term, the term they graduate, students take ENGR 521 Portfolio Completion (graded, 1 credit) in which they are guided through pulling the materials together and writing the document. It is written and submitted in sections throughout the term. About mid-term it is reviewed by department faculty for technical ability. The final corrections are made and professional pieces added and the entire Portfolio is re-submitted. The portfolio is graded according to the College of Engineering rubric and a decision is made whether the student passes. This is the final exam for the graduate degree.
WHY A PORTFOLIO?
M.Eng. students do not conduct in-depth research as M.S. students do. The portfolio, therefore, serves as the final evaluation of the graduate work. However, because it also contains a resume and professional goals, it can serve as a professional document that sums up the students’ skills and abilities during the job searching process.
CURRENT PROGRAMS PARTICIPATING
- Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering (CBEE)
- Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science (EECS)
- Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (MIME)
Anita Hughes, M.S., M.B.A.
The instructor for both courses serves as a guide for the process and for much of the Graduate School required documentation and works closely with the individual departments to guide students.
“My expectation is that students will engage in the process and do the homework, however small. Each piece fulfills a requirement or prepares the student to move quickly to finish the portfolio in the final term. Students who involve themselves with the project, work with the instructor and with faculty generally do well. I try to bring my personality and humor to the course without straying off task, so there may be some unexpected pictures occasionally to make a point. Come to class, ask questions, and enjoy the process!"