Master of Science (MS) Program

MS Program

The MS program in Sustainable Transportation and Logistics is a 30-credit, full-time, 3-semester program with a minimum GPA of 3.0 required in every semester. The program is designed to provide ample opportunities for learning state-of-the art knowledge and industry best practices validated with industry interactions.

It can also be pursued on a part-time basis to enable those working in industry to benefit from the program. 

Course Curriculum

The degree culminates in one of two options: Comprehensive Exam (all-course option) or the Master’s Thesis. Although the all-course option, which requires 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive exam, is the recommended path for most Masters’ students, a student, with approval of his/her permanent advisor, has the opportunity to choose a thesis as the culminating experience. 

All Course/ Comprehensive Examination

The curriculum consists of five courses that are designed to provide a common platform of relevant engineering principles & practices, coupled with managerial concepts & practices. Upon entering the program, the candidates will complete these five core courses as a cohort, followed by five courses in one of the following two tracks: (1) Transportation or (2) Logistics.

A student must maintain a 3.00 overall GPA (rounded to 2 decimal places) to earn a MS degree in transportation and logistics. Courses applicable towards a degree must be taken for a letter grade, and the student must have received a grade of A, B, or C. Courses with grades of D or F do not count towards satisfying a student’s degree requirements. Courses taken S/U will not count towards a degree, other than research/thesis hours or Individual Problems, or any other S/U course explicitly required by the program.

Upon completion of 30 credit hours of course work, each student enrolled in the coursework-only MS program must pass a comprehensive examination (C-exam), which will be scheduled at the conclusion of the student's program of study. The comprehensive examination is designed to evaluate the student’s mastery of their program of study and their ability to integrate knowledge acquired through their program. The comprehensive examination date will be established by the Institute’s Director of Graduate Studies and will be held within one week of the conclusion of each semester. The examination format can take the form of an oral and/or written exam. 

Master's Thesis

For those interested in pursuing the MS thesis option, the thesis counts for a total of 6 credits, meaning that the student only needs an additional 24 credits of coursework to graduate. The MS thesis must be successfully defended before the student’s MS thesis committee. The MS thesis committee is chaired by the student’s permanent advisor and includes at least one additional graduate faculty member from the core or affiliated faculty of the Stephen Still Institute. The student’s advisor will help to form the committee.

Prior to the MS thesis defense, the student in consultation with his/her advisor will prepare a first draft of the thesis. Upon completion of a "reader's copy," the student’s committee members will have one week to review the document and decide whether revisions are required or if the defense can be scheduled. If revisions are necessary, then additional time will be needed for further review. The thesis must include a cover page listing the student’s advisor and committee members, along with spaces for their signatures. Once the thesis is ready for defense, general announcements must be posted one week prior to the defense. The defense should consist of an oral presentation open to the public of about 30 minutes in length, with an additional 10 to 15 minutes for general questions. Immediately after the open session the defense will continue with the student's thesis committee only.

After the defense, the committee will determine whether the student has successfully defended the thesis or whether additional work is required. After successfully completing a thesis defense, the candidate must submit to The Graduate School an electronic copy of the thesis as described on their website.

Advisors for Master’s Thesis Option

All Master’s students opting for thesis as the culminating experience of their Master’s degree must select, with mutual agreement, a permanent advisor as soon as possible but no later than the end of their second semester of full-time study. Once selected, students are required to consult with their permanent advisor to plan their coursework and research for each remaining semester and in the preparation of the Application to Candidacy and other forms that must be submitted. The permanent advisor provides guidance and helps direct the student’s project or thesis. The student’s MS thesis committee is chaired by the student's permanent advisor.