Graduate Advising


Please read the frequently asked questions below and do not hesitate to contact our graduate advising staff if you need additional assistance.

480-965-0595, CAVC 437
SEBE.Advising@asu.edu

Graduate students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with all university and graduate policies and procedures. Be sure to review the policies below, and also from the Graduate Education Office, at https://graduate.asu.edu/policies-procedures


Frequently asked questions

1. Who is my faculty advisor?

While SSEBE's graduate advisor can help you with programmatic concerns (See above), course concerns should be directed to your faculty advisor. Every graduate student will have a faculty advisor who will recommend courses each semester and provide advice on the graduate program.

Master's students (M.S. or M.S.E.) in Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering (CESE) who enter the program without an advisor should first consult with the faculty coordinator for their specialty area. Students may later select a different faculty advisor.

Master's students in the Del E. Webb School of Construction programs who enter the program without a faculty advisor will be assigned a faculty advisor. Students may later select a different faculty advisor.

2. How do I register for courses each semester?

Once admitted to a graduate degree program or graduate certificate program, students must be registered for a minimum of one credit hour during all phases of their graduate education, including the term in which they graduate. Please see the ASU Graduate Policies and Procedures for details.

Each semester, an advising hold is placed on your My ASU account. You should meet with your faculty advisor at least once per semester to select courses for the following semester.

Once a course schedule has been selected, you need to send an email to the graduate advisor and include your faculty advisor in the "cc" field. Please be sure to include your name and ten-digit ASU ID. When the faculty member replies with their approval of the courses, the graduate advisor provides clearance for the student to register by removing holds on CEE or CON classes.

If the hold is for a class offered by another department, the student will need to contact that department's advising office to see if they can be allowed in. Contact information can be found by searching the ASU website. Class schedules and pre-requisites are listed in the course catalog.

Students should pay close attention to the ASU Academic Calendar for information on course registration, including the online add/drop deadline, the single course withdrawal deadline, the complete withdrawal deadline and tuition payment deadlines.

3. What is a Plan of Study (iPOS) and how do I file one?

The Plan of Study (iPOS) functions as a contract between a student, SSEBE and the Graduate Education Office. The iPOS should be submitted when a student has completed some, but not more than 50%, of their coursework, typically after one semester. The iPOS link will appear when the student logs into My ASU. SSEBE encourages master's students to submit an iPOS in the first semester of study and doctoral students to submit an iPOS in the second semester of study. For screenshots and a tutorial to complete your iPOS, please see https://graduate.asu.edu/sites/default/files/how-to-ipos.pdf

BE SURE TO COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING STEPS for approval of your iPOS

  • M.S. and Ph.D. students need to obtain the signature of all committee members. If needed, the faculty chair can sign the paper form and the other two committee members can send an email to SSEBE's graduate advisor. Non-thesis students must have their faculty chair sign the form. Go to the "Summary" tab in your iPOS and then "Print Course Page."
  • Once you have obtained all signatures, submit this document to the graduate advisor's office in CAVC 437 or via email (scan the document).

The graduate chair gives final approval on all SSEBE plans of study. Your iPOS will be routed to the Graduate Education Office for final approval. You can check the status of your iPOS in My ASU.

4. I didn't do too well in my courses this semester. How will this affect my standing in the program?

Satisfactory Academic Progress
All graduate students are expected to make systematic progress towards completion of their degree. This progress includes meeting the conditions listed within this document and achieving the benchmarks and requirements set by the degree programs. If a student fails to meet the requirements of their degree program and/or the outlined requirements, they may be put on probation or withdrew from the program.

Probation
You will be placed on academic probation if one or more of the following apply:

  • Your overall GPA for all post baccalaureate courses taken at ASU falls below 3.00 in any one semester.
  • Your term GPA is below a 3.00.
  • Your iPOS GPA falls below 3.00 at any time.
  • You receive a "D" or "E" in a required deficiency course, or in a course at the 400 level or above.

You will be notified of probation status one-to-two weeks after the conclusion of each fall and spring semester (after all grades have posted).

You will be taken off of probation by bringing your GPA up to a 3.00 or higher by the time you complete the next nine credit hours of approved coursework.

Withdrawals
SSEBE will request the withdrawal of a student from one of the academic programs if:

  • A student on probation does not earn a GPA of 3.00 or higher by the time the next nine semester hours are completed (research, thesis, dissertation, and continuing registration hours do not count).
  • A student receives a "D" or lower grade while on academic probation.
  • A student fails to meet any other conditions imposed as a part of their probation.
  • A student fails to obtain at least a "B" grade in all courses cited as deficiencies upon admission to the program.
  • A student does not fulfill their provisional admission requirements.

5. I am thinking about taking a semester off. How will this affect my degree progress?

Refer to the Graduate Education Office's Continuous Enrollment policies.

Once admitted to a graduate degree program, master's and doctoral students must be registered for a minimum of one credit hour (not audit) during all phases of their graduate education. This includes periods when they are engaged in research, taking comprehensive exams, and/or working on or defending theses or dissertations.

These credits must appear on the iPOS or must be an appropriate graduate-level course (e.g. 595 or 795, Continuing Registration). Courses with grades of "W" and "X" are not considered valid registration for continuous enrollment purposes; students completing work for a course in which they received an "I" must maintain continuous enrollment.

Graduate students planning to discontinue enrollment for a semester or more must request approval for a leave of absence. Students may petition SSEBE for a leave of absence for a maximum of two semesters during their entire program. The petition for a leave of absence, once endorsed by the members of the student's supervisory committee and the SSEBE Graduate Chair, will then be forwarded to the Graduate Education Office for approval by the Graduate Education Office Vice Provost.

This request must be filed and approved before the anticipated absence. An approved leave of absence will enable students to re-enter their program without re-applying to the university. Students who do not enroll for a fall or spring semester without an approved leave of absence by the Graduate Education Office are considered withdrawn from the university under the assumption that they have decided to discontinue their program. Students removed for this reason may reapply for admission to resume their degree program; the application will be considered along with all other new applications to the degree program.

6. How long do I have to complete my graduate degree?

All work toward a master's degree must be completed within six consecutive years, beginning with the semester and year of admission to the program. Graduate courses taken prior to admission that are included on the iPOS must have been completed within three years of the semester and year of admission to the program.

In order to extend this time limit, you must submit a petition to SSEBE, the Engineering Dean's Office and, ultimately, the Graduate Education Office for approval.

Doctoral students must complete all program requirements within a ten-year period or within five years of passing the comprehensive exam, whichever is less. The ten-year period starts with the semester and year of admission to the doctoral program. Graduate courses taken prior to admission that are included on the iPOS must have been completed within three years of the semester and year of admission to the program (previously awarded master's degrees used on the iPOS are exempt).

In order to extend this time limit, you must submit a petition to SSEBE, the Engineering Dean's Office and, ultimately, the Graduate Education Office for approval.

In addition, Ph.D. students must defend the dissertation within five years after passing the comprehensive examinations. Therefore, the maximum time limit is the shortest of the following:

  • Time period since initial enrollment (10 year time limit)
  • Time after passing the comprehensive exams (5 year time limit)

7. I am planning to take the comprehensive or qualifying examination. How do I sign up?

Each specialty area has different requirements for the comprehensive examination (at both the master's and doctoral levels).

Master's level
If you are an M.S./M.S.E. student and plan to take the comprehensive exam and graduate in a particular semester, you should notify your faculty advisor and the graduate advisor. The faculty advisor will administer the comprehensive exam.

Construction M.S. students opting for the non-thesis option will have one sitting of the exam, administered by the construction faculty coordinator.

Comprehensive exams typically take place shortly before the end of the semester in which you plan on graduating.

Once you complete the comprehensive exam, you must obtain the signatures of your faculty chair and committee on the Report of Final Master's Culminating Experience form. Once all signatures have been obtained, submit the form to the graduate advisor for the graduate chair's signature. The results will then be entered into the iPOS.

Report of Final MSE Comprehensive Exam - Masters (DOC)

Doctoral level
Ph.D. comprehensive/qualifying exams are taken prior to defending a dissertation proposal prospectus.

Ph.D. students should confer with their faculty advisor and supervisory committee regarding the comprehensive exam process.

Upon completion of the Ph.D. comprehensive exam, you must obtain the signatures of their faculty chair and committee on the Report of Doctoral Comprehensive Exams form. The form must then be submitted to the graduate advisor for the graduate chair's signature. The results will then be entered into the iPOS.

Once you have taken the written and/or oral part of a comprehensive exam, you have a maximum of five years to complete the degree.

Report of Comprehensive Qualifying Exam - PhD (DOC)


8. I am ready to defend my thesis. What procedure should I follow?

Your defense date must fall within the timeframe to hold a defense for the semester you plan to defend. You MUST be registered for at least one credit during the semester you defend.

Confirm that all members of the committee can attend the defense. The chair, or co-chairs, cannot be absent. If a member is unable to attend, follow the absent committee member policy.

You must have an approved iPOS on file with the Graduate Education Office.

Prior to scheduling the defense, the student should contact the graduate advisor for the appropriate forms. Both forms (Master's Schedule Defense Form and Format Approval Sheet) require the signatures of the student and their committee chair.

You must schedule the defense with Graduate Education Office at least 10 working days in advance (according to the Graduate Education Office calendar). When you schedule a defense, you will also submit your completed, formatted thesis for format review.

You should e-mail the graduate advisor and include the date, time and location of the defense, as well as an abstract. This information will be used to post announcements on the SSEBE website and to e-mail faculty, students and staff.

The thesis defense is a public event. Both the Graduate Education Office and SSEBE will announce the defense and invite the public to attend. The public can view the student's presentation, but will be asked by the committee to exit the defense once the committee begins deliberations.

After the defense, the pass/fail form should be submitted to the graduate advisor for the graduate chair's signature. If you need to complete revisions, the form should remain in the Advising Office until the revisions are complete. The graduate advisor will have the student's committee chair sign off on final approval once all revisions are complete. The student should ensure that they are completing the revisions within the timeframe established by the Graduate Education Office for a particular semester. The Advising Office will submit the form to the Graduate Education Office.

9. I am ready to defend my Ph.D. proposal prospectus. What procedure should I follow?

You must have an approved iPOS on file with the Graduate Education Office in order to defend your dissertation proposal prospectus.

The comprehensive examination and dissertation proposal are usually completed after you complete 30 credit hours of coursework beyond the master's degree—sometimes two separate events. You should consult with your faculty advisor before the defense.

When you are ready to defend your dissertation proposal, you should contact the graduate advisor for the Prospectus Report form. The committee will sign the forms, signifying that you have successfully defended and passed your comprehensive exams. After the defense, both forms should be submitted to the graduate advisor for the graduate chair's signature. The results will then be entered into the iPOS.

Once you have completed your comprehensive exams and proposal defense, you are advanced to candidacy.

Report of Dissertation Proposal/Prospectus (DOC)

10. I am ready to defend my dissertation. What procedure should I follow?

Ph.D. students cannot hold a dissertation defense unless they have achieved candidacy. Additionally, Ph.D. students must defend within five years of being advanced to candidacy.

If you plan on defending your dissertation in a particular semester, you should ensure that your defense date falls within the timeframe to hold a defense for that semester.

You should confirm that all members of the committee can attend the defense. The chair, or co-chairs, cannot be absent. If a member is unable to attend, you need to follow the absent committee member policy.

Prior to scheduling the defense, contact the graduate advisor for the appropriate forms. Both forms (Doctoral Defense Schedule Form and Format Approval Sheet) require the signatures of both the student and their committee chair.

You must schedule defense with Graduate Education Office at least 10 working days in advance (according to the Graduate Education Office calendar). When you schedule a defense, you will submit your completed, formatted dissertation for format review.

You should e-mail the graduate advisor and include the date, time and location of the defense, as well as an abstract. This information will be used to post announcements on the SSEBE website and e-mail faculty, students and staff.

The dissertation defense is a public event. The public can view a student's presentation, but will be asked by the committee to exit the defense once the committee begins deliberations.

11. I am planning on graduating. What procedure should I follow?

If you are planning on graduating, you should set-up a meeting with the graduate advisor to discuss procedures and pick up a graduation check sheet.

You should apply for graduation by the deadline listed on the ASU Academic Calendar.

You must complete all requirements for graduation—defense or comprehensive exam—by the deadlines listed by the Graduate Education Office at
https://graduate.asu.edu/completing-your-degree

IMPORTANT! You MUST be registered for at least one credit during the semester you will graduate, including summer.

The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering encourages all graduates to attend both our convocation (learn more about the ceremony) and the University's commencement.

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School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment
Main Office
College Avenue Commons (CAVC)
660 S. College Avenue
Tempe, Arizona 85281
Tel: 480-965-3589
Fax: 480-965-0557
Email:
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Academic Advising Office
CAVC 437
Tel: 480-965-0595
Email:
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