XIV. Graduate Degrees
The faculty of Georgia Tech grants advanced degrees in engineering, science, management, computing, architecture, city and regional planning, public policy, and other technology-related areas. The goals for graduate studies and research are to establish an educational environment that will strengthen students’ personal and professional development, to encourage students and faculty to pursue the discovery and generation of new knowledge through research, to investigate ways of applying such knowledge for the benefit of society and humanity, and to foster the development of new tools, objects, and ideas.
Students whose interests and aptitudes lead them beyond the limits of the traditional undergraduate curriculum may broaden their knowledge of a given field and pursue independent inquiry through graduate study. A graduate education is of particular benefit to students interested in careers in research, management, development, design, or consulting; to those who aspire to formulate and administer policy; and to those who desire careers in higher education.
Graduate Student Work Loads
Full-time students must be enrolled for at least 12 credit hours on a letter grade or pass/fail basis. As an exception, the advisor and school chair may allow up to three hours out of the minimum 12 to be taken on an audit basis in fall and spring semesters; in summer semesters, the advisor and school chair may allow up to six hours out of the 12 minimum to be taken on an audit basis. Hours in excess of the required 12 may be taken on any basis. Full-time students working exclusively on thesis research should be registered for 18 or more hours of 7000 or 9000 level courses (master's or doctoral thesis courses) in fall and spring semesters, and for up to 16 hours during summer semesters.
The maximum load for graduate students in good standing is 21 hours in fall/spring and 16 hours in summer. The minimum load is three hours, except for the semester of graduation. During the semester of graduation, a student is permitted to register for only one hour of master’s or doctoral thesis courses (7000 or 9000). This exception may be used only once for each degree.
Students with fellowships, graduate research or teaching assistantships, traineeships, tuition waivers, or student visas, and those assigned to the Institute by the armed forces for the purpose of pursuing a degree are required to enroll full time. Part-time doctoral students engaged in research for their Ph.D.s should meet the minimum enrollment requirement and register for the number of 9000 level hours consistent with the time they and their faculty advisors spend on the dissertation research.
Graduate Policies and Regulations
The Institute Graduate Curriculum Committee, with the approval of the Academic Faculty Senate, is responsible for establishing academic policy for the graduate programs; however, final authority rests with the Senate. This committee reserves the right to change requirements for degrees as may be appropriate. Students enrolled at the time such changes appear in the catalog have the privilege of following either the regulations stated in the catalog effective the semester in which they enrolled or the regulations in the catalog that records the change.
This catalog records the institute-wide policies and regulations that govern the graduate programs. Schools may make additional rules concerning their programs and the pursuit of their degrees, but such rules may not contradict Institute policies and regulations.
A student may not apply for transfer credit until after matriculation at Georgia Tech. The courses to be transferred would typically be those appearing on the approved program of study form for the masters degree. A doctoral student normally does not request transfer credit. The rules relative to and the process for obtaining transfer of credit for graduate-level courses are as follows:
- Student's in a master's degree program requiring fewer than 33 semester credit hours may receive up to six hours of transfer credit for graduate-level courses taken at an institution accredited by a Canadian or U.S. regional accrediting board, or at a foreign school or university that has a signed partner agreement with Georgia Tech, and not used for credit toward another degree. This ensures completion of at least one-third of the courses for a degree in residence at Georgia Tech (applies to programs that are face-to-face and online format). A student in a master's degree program requiring 33 semester credit hours or more may receive up to nine hours of transfer credit for graduate-level courses taken at an institution accredited by a Canadian or U.S. regional accrediting board, or at a foreign school or university that has a signed partner agreement with Georgia Tech, and not used for credit toward another degree. This ensures completion of at least one-third of the courses for a degree in residence at Georgia Tech (applies to programs that are face-to-face and online format).The student must supply a current transcript for this evaluation.
- To obtain transfer of credit, the student must complete the following procedure:
- The student will confer with the graduate advisor to ascertain whether the courses to be transferred are a logical part of the student's graduate program;
- If the courses are appropriate, the student will deliver to the school that teaches such courses a copy of the current transcript, necessary descriptive materials including catalog descriptions, and textbooks used for evaluation. The faculty of the appropriate school will determine the equivalent Georgia Tech course and the number of credit hours accepted. The faculty member who prepares the transfer credit form should have the school chair cosign it. The school should then send the form directly to the registrar with a copy of the student's Approved Program of Study attached;
- If the student wishes to transfer more than the number of hours permitted in item one listed above, a petition must be submitted to the Institute Graduate Curriculum Committee that includes statements of possible justification for the granting of such a petition, transfer credit forms, and the recommendation of the student's school chair.
- A joint enrollment student may receive graduate credit for up to one-third of the hours required for the degree for graduate courses taken at Emory University or Georgia State University provided that the following is true:
- Georgia Tech does not offer such courses;
- The student's advisor and school chair approve the courses in advance and in writing;
- The student passes the courses with a C or better. Advance approval is satisfied when the courses appear on the student's proposed Program of Study.
- A student may not receive transfer credit from universities outside the United States and Canada unless the courses were taken at a foreign institution or university that is accredited by a Canadian or U.S. regional accrediting board or has a signed partner agreement with Georgia Tech. In any other case, an international student can obtain credit for courses previously taken but not applied toward another degree by filling out an Examination for Advanced Standing Authorization Request Form, paying the appropriate fee at the Bursar's Office, and passing the examination for advanced standing. The school or college that normally teaches the equivalent course will administer any necessary examinations.
Double Counting Credit between Master’s Degrees
Students who are pursuing two Master’s degrees at Georgia Tech may double count a maximum of 6 hours of credit for both degrees. This ensures that each degree involves a minimum of 24 hours of coursework completed at Tech that is not double counted.
The six-hour limit may be exceeded when specifically allowed as a component of an approved degree program.
No staff member beyond the rank of instructor in a school may work for a master's degree in that school. No new staff member with the rank of assistant professor in a school may work for a doctoral degree in that school.
A student who wishes to withdraw her/his name from the rolls of degree candidates must formally withdraw the Online Application for Graduation before the end of the seventh week of the semester (or fourth week of the summer term). This privilege will be extended to a degree candidate only once.