Graduate Advising Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! Click on the appropriate section below to get answers to frequently asked questions.
Also, visit the MAE Graduate Advising page to download your MAE Student Guide today!
How do I get an Advisor?
When and how you find an advisor will depend greatly on whether you are an MS Thesis or MS Non-Thesis student. Please review the advisor procedures below. You can find more information about the difference between the thesis and non-thesis tracks in the MS Requirements guide linked in the Degree Requirements section below.
- MS Thesis students on the thesis track choose secure their own advisor; the advisor also serves as your Advisory Committee Chair. The graduate advisor is mutually agreed upon arrangement between you faculty member after you arrive on campus. Typically students use their first semester to develop professional relationships with research faculty their technical area.
Until a MS thesis student identifies their advisor, the Director of the Graduate Programs (Dr. Kara Peters) can serve in this capacity– advising you on course selection for your first semester. Questions regarding graduate program requirements and Graduate School requirements should be directed to the MAE Graduate Office staff (email@example.com).
- MS Non-thesis students are advised by the Director of Graduate Programs throughout their academic career. Although a project advisor will advise your MAE 586 project, the Director of Graduate Programs will remain your faculty advisor.
Can Distance Education (DE) students complete a thesis MS degree program?
No. Students in the distance MS program are restricted to the non-thesis MS option.
As a DE student, are there other things I need to be aware of?
Yes, see the below:
- You are restricted to the non-thesis MS option. On your Plan of Work (POW), you should select MS Non Option B.
- You will follow the same course planning procedures as on-campus students.
- You are restricted to DE-only courses.
- You must apply to graduate inside the MyPack Portal, just like on-campus students.
- You are welcome to attend the on-campus graduation ceremonies.
- Email your course-selection questions to the Director of Graduate Programs, Dr. Kara Peters, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We frequently add courses to our DE program. All of them are permissible in your Plan of Work.
- Make sure you provide all necessary information and meet any deadlines required of you, just like an on-campus student would.
What is the difference between Engineering Online and Distance Education?
Distance Education (DE) is a general term that refers to any students at NC State who are in online programs. It can also refer directly to the online courses. DE Programs are available in many areas of study such as communication, psychology, or engineering. Engineering Online (EOL) is a platform for Distance Education students who are enrolled in engineering programs. Engineering Online houses many engineering programs such as Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, and Computer Engineering. EOL also has their own certificate programs and professional development courses.
As a student in the online MS program in MAE, you will be considered a Distance Education (DE) student and you will use Engineering Online (EOL) as your platform. Learn more on EOL’s Mechanical Engineering Online and Aerospace Engineering Online page
Who can I talk to about my course plans?
The MAE Graduate Office is your primary contact regarding course advising, questions regarding your Graduate Plan of Work, graduation, and any other graduate program related questions. The Engineering Online assist with course enrollment and all things related to the EOL Student Center platform.
May a DE student attend the graduation ceremony?
Yes, a DE student may attend graduation on campus. However, they must provide the necessary information and meet all deadlines that apply to an on-campus student. The MAE Graduate Office shares this information with all MAE graduate students each semester– be sure to monitor your NCSU student email.
Do I have to register for MAE 801?
No. MAE 801 (Mechanical Engineering Seminar) course is only offered on-campus and is only required for first semester, on-campus MS students.
What is MAE 586 (Project Work in Mechanical Engineering)?
See the MAE 586 – Project Work in Mechanical Engineering section below for additional details. The MAE MS Student Guide explains this requirement in details also; this guide is available on the MAE Graduate Advising page.
Where do I register for classes?
You may enroll in courses online via the MyPack Portal website using your valid Unity ID and password
Where do I find registration guidance?
This link from Registration and Records explains the registration process and provides an Enrollment Wizard for easy enrollment. Please login into the MyPack Portal. Once in the students tab, the enrollment system is accessible. From here you can add and drop courses from your schedule.
- Courses can be graded in three different forms: graded, credit only, and audit.
- Graded courses are subject to the traditional grading system of A, B, C, D, F.
- Credit only courses are subject to a pass/fail grading system of S/U for satisfactory or unsatisfactory.
- Audited courses are not subject to grades, but you will receive an AU if you fulfill the audit requirements and an NR for Not Recognized if you do not meet the requirements of the audit. Graduate students are allowed to audit one course per semester for no additional tuition cost.
To audit a course, graduate students must self-enroll in the course first then complete the Audit Request Form. Completed forms should be emailed to the the Graduate School for processing, email@example.com. Note: Audit courses will appear as 1 credit but please be aware that this is an AU credit and does not count toward your program requirements.
Can I register late?
Information on registration deadlines, including late registration deadlines, is available here. Please enroll (register) for your courses prior to the late registration date to avoid a $100.00 non-refundable late enrollment fee. If you enroll during the late enrollment period, payment of tuition and fees will be requested at the time of enrollment. Enrolling for classes after the last day to enroll is strictly prohibited. In order to enroll after this day, students will need permission from the dean of their college and will be subject to additional late fees.Please note, UGS, PBS, Inter-Institutional, new undergraduate, and new graduate students are excluded from the $100.00 fee.
How many credits must I have to be considered full-time graduate student?
In order to have full-time status, students must be enrolled in 9 to 15 credit hours during the semester. Graduate students holding assistantships have additional course load requirements. Please see the Graduate School’s Minimum Requirements and the Minimum Enrollment Requirements for a more detailed explanation.?”).
What is Census Day?
The tenth day of classes each semester is Census Day. Tuition and fees are based on the official number of hours and courses carried at 11:59 p.m. on this day. It is the last day to register or to add a course and the last day to drop a course or change from credit to audit with a tuition adjustment. Students should not change their schedule during the two-day period that includes Census Day. (11.59 p.m. on Census Day ± 24 hours). If necessary, a schedule change may be made after this period. IMPORTANT: Students who are not registered as full-time students on Census Day lose their eligibility for student loans, international students will be out of compliance with their visa requirements, and all students lose eligibility for the Graduate Student Support Plan (GSSP).
What is “FULLY REGISTERED” on Census Day?
The tenth day of classes each semester is Census Day. The tuition and fees charge is based on the official number of hours and courses carried at 11:59 p.m. on this day. It is the last day to register or to add a course and the last day to drop a course or change from credit to audit with a tuition adjustment. Students should not change their schedule during the two day period that includes Census Day (11.59 p.m. on Census Day ± 24 hours). If necessary a schedule change may be made after this period. Full time student status requires at least 9 credit hours.
What are the regulations concerning minimum registration?
Minimum Registration Requirements are explained in the Graduate Handbook here. NOTE: Students who are not registered as a full time student on Census Day will lose eligibility for student loans they may have, international students will be out of compliance with their visa requirements, and all students will lose eligibility for the Graduate Student Support Plan (GSSP).
Why do I have a student advising hold on my account?
Advising holds are released automatically within a few days of your eligibility to register unless 1) there is a special reason for you to meet with someone or 2) you are not eligible to register for some special reason. If after a few days the hold is not released, please contact the MAE Graduate Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Is continuous registration required?
NC State University requires graduate students to be continuously registered. If there is a break in registration, the student will need to re-apply. A Leave of Absence (LOA) of up to two semesters is possible during your academic career at NC State. For details, please see Continuous Registration and Time Limit in the Graduate Handbook (linked below). Additional information for international students can also be found here.
Continuous Enrollment policy (Section 3.14 Minimum Enrollment Requirements)
Time Limit policy (Section 3.4 Time Limits)
Am I required to register during the Summer Terms?
- In most cases, graduate students are not expected to register for summer courses, however there are often courses available.
- If you are scheduling final defenses/exams over the summer, including the summer-fall intersession, you are required to register for at least one credit in the summer term in which you defend. Generally, defending graduate students will register for 1 credit of MAE 696 or 896 which is a 10 week summer session at a discounted price.
- Students taking their PhD Preliminary exams over the summer are not required to be registered.
What is MAE Department Orientation?
The Mechanical and Aerospace Department holds a one-hour orientation for new graduate students. Orientation is held at the scheduled time and place during the first meeting of the MAE 801 seminar.
What is MAE 801?
MAE 801 is a required course for all first semester on-campus MS graduate students who are enrolled in 9 credit hours (i.e. full-time) or more. The course is a placeholder for special seminars, and the meeting dates and times may change with each seminar. First semester MAE students are required to attend 4 scheduled meetings and 4 seminars throughout their first semester. The first scheduled meeting of MAE 801 serves as a time slot for departmental orientation of new graduate students. All new MAE graduate students are required to attend this important session. Additional information regarding the MAE 801 attendance requirement will be discussed during the departmental orientation. Note: MAE 801 is a required course that does not contribute toward your degree credit requirements.
How do I find out class availability?
Within the department, not every class is offered every semester or even every year. To see a list of suggested courses that have been offered in the past and are typically still offered, please see the list of Graduate Course Suggestions by Topical Area here. This tool can be helpful in scheduling future courses and for creating your Plan of Work (POW). You can also view the NC State Course Catalog for a list of often-offered MAE courses with descriptions, or the NC State Class Search for courses offered in a specific semester. If you have questions about future course offerings please consult the MAE Graduate Office (email@example.com).
What courses are recommended for MAE graduate students?
Recommended courses for first-semester graduate students is found on our Graduate Advising page. Otherwise, MAE graduate students can chose whichever MAE graduate level graded course that fit your interest. To see a list of suggested courses that have been offered in the past and are typically still offered, please see the list of Graduate Course Suggestions by Topical Area here. A list of course offerings for an upcoming semester can always be viewed using the NC State Class Search.
If you are having trouble selecting courses to enroll in, feel free to contact the Director of Graduate Programs directly for advising.
How do I create my Graduate Plan of Work (POW)?
Create your Plan of Work in MyPack Portal (MyPack Portal > Student Homepage > Planning and Enrollment Tile Tile> Graduate Plan of Work). You may save in-progress work and submit it at a later date. You may make changes at any time up until submission. Detailed instructions for entering the POW are available here.
When do I submit my POW?
We recommend graduate students submit their Graduate Plan of Work no later than the second semester that you are enrolled. Note: the Advisory Committee must also be created to submit your PoW for approval. Additional information can be found in the MAE MS Student Guide and MAE PhD Student Guide (both found at the top of this page).
I’m a MS student, what PoW template do I choose in MyPack Portal?
For each concentration area there are two templates MS students can choose from (thesis and non-thesis).
Academic plan 14 MEMS:
1. Mechanical Engineering MS
2. Mechanical Engineering MS Non-Thesis (Option B)
Academic plan 14 AEMS:
1. Aerospace Engineering MS
2. Aerospace Engineering MS Non-Thesis (Option B).
NOTE: If you are a Distance Education student, you are restricted to the non-thesis option and should select Option B on your Plan of Work.
Must all courses be on the POW?
No. Only list courses that apply toward your degree requirements. For example, you should not include MAE 801 on you Plan of Work since this class does not count toward your degree requirements. Additionally, as a master’s student the only 600 level courses you should include on you POW are 693, 695, or 696. Similarly for a doctoral program, the only 800 level course PhD students should include on their PoW is MAE 893, 895, or 896.
IMPORTANT: MAE 699 (MS Thesis Preparation) and MAE 899 (PhD Dissertation Preparation) should not be included on the Plan of Work.
How many credits must I have to be a full-time student?
In order to have full-time status, students must be enrolled in 9 to 15 credit hours during the semester (audit credits do not count toward full-time). Graduate students holding assistantships have additional course load requirements. Please see the Graduate School’s Minimum Requirements and the Minimum Enrollment Requirements for a more detailed explanation.
Can I take a 400-level course and have it count towards my MS or PhD?
- As a MS student, you can receive graduate-level credit for one 400-level course outside of the department that has relevance to your program. You may take other 400-level courses but they will not contribute toward your graduate degree course requirements.
- As a PhD student, no 400-level course credits can contribute toward your doctoral degree course requirements.
How do I add a course that needs departmental approval or requires overriding a prerequisite?
You may add a course that is restricted or needs departmental approval if you contract with the professor via email and get written permission to enroll– clearly explain why you cannot self-enroll. Once you have written approval, forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org to so the Graduate Programs Coordinator can manually process your course enrollment.
How do I audit a class?
The Graduate School requires students to complete and submit an Audit Request form AFTER registering for the course using Enrollment Wizard. Completed forms should be submitted to the Graduate School for processing, email@example.com. IMPORTANT: audit request forms should be submitted to the Graduate School before Census Day.
What are the minimum credit hours required during my last semester before graduating?
- You must be registered for a minimum of 9 credit hours to be classified as a full-time student. The exceptions are fully explained and summarized here (Section 3.14 Minimum Enrollment Requirements).
- Non-Thesis Master’s Students: A minimum of three (3) hours is required during the semester in which the student is completing the last course(s) required to complete the degree. Students who have completed all credit hour requirements for their degree may register for three (3) hours of MAE 689 (Non-Thesis Master Continuous Registration – Full Time Registration).
- Thesis Master’s Students: A minimum of three (3) hours is required during the semester in which the student is completing the last course(s) required to complete the degree. For thesis students, this could include MAE 695. Students who have completed all credit hour requirements (including research credits) for their degree except for completing their research and/or writing and defending the thesis should register for three (3) hours of MAE 699 (Master’s Thesis Preparation) each semester until graduation.
- In certain cases, international students who are in their absolutely last semester may file a Reduced Course Load form through OIS and register for just a single credit hour.
- Doctoral Students: A minimum of three (3) hours of MAE 899 (Doctoral Dissertation Preparation) can be taken if all credit hour requirements for their degree (including research credits and the oral preliminary examination) have been completed. There are no lectures for this course, it simply gives PhD students time to prepare for their final defense.
- In certain cases, international students who are in their absolutely last semester may file a Reduced Course Load form through OIS and register for just a single credit hour.
How do I get the grade distribution reports?
- Grade distribution reports can be found on WolfTech Gradient here. The grade distribution reports give the semester and year the course was taught, which instructor taught the course and a breakdown of the grades. For privacy reasons, only classes with enrollments greater than 20 students have their grades reported. Therefore, just because a class you are looking for is not in the grade distribution report system does not mean it was not taught during a specific semester.
What is MAE 586 project work (for Non-thesis MS students)?
MAE 586 – Project work in Mechanical Engineering is an independent project course with no formal lectures. Instead, students perform an analysis or experiment under the advisement of a project advisor.
Additional information regarding this course requirement is included in the MAE MS Student Guides found on the MAE Graduate Advising page.
How do I find a project and adviser for the MAE 586 project?
DE Students: are assigned a project advisor after registering for the course. Students will receive their project advisor details one week prior to the first day of class.
On-Campus Students: consult with a MAE faculty member that shares your research interest to develop your own project idea, and project proposal. Contact the MAE Director of Graduate Programs for assistance identifying a project advisor
Additional information regarding this process is included in the MAE MS Student Guides found on the MAE Graduate Advising page.
What is a MS thesis defense (Final Examination)?
Candidates for master’s degrees (except those in the non-thesis graduate program) must pass a comprehensive oral examination to demonstrate to the advisory committee that they possess a reasonable mastery of the subject matter of the major and minor fields and that this knowledge can be used with promptness and accuracy. The Graduate Handbook describes this MS thesis defense in greater detail (section 3.5 Comprehensive Examinations).
What are the PhD exam procedures (Prelim Exam and Final Exam)?
Doctoral students schedule their oral preliminary and final examinations in consultation with their advisory committees. The written preliminary examination has a written component and an oral component; the oral component can only be scheduled after a PhD student has completed all graded coursework for their degree. The final oral examination is scheduled after the dissertation is complete except for such revisions as may be necessary as a result of the examination, but not before all required coursework has been completed.
These guidelines are outlined in the Graduate Handbook (section 3.5 Comprehensive Examinations). MAE departmental requirements are outlined below:
PhD Written Prelim Exam: The MAE department requires the written preliminary exam will take the form of a Dissertation Proposal. The dissertation proposal MUST be 5-6 pages in length and include the following sections:
- Research Objectives
- Proposed Work
**This new written prelim requirement starts fall 2019, and is required for all PhD and direct-to-Phd Students.**
Dissertation proposals that do not follow the above guidelines will not be accepted. Here are some examples of the Dissertation Proposal you can use as a reference/guide: Sample # 1 and Sample # 2. Additionally, the MIT Communication Lab is great resource you can use as a guide to create your Dissertation Proposal. Please note, while these sample proposals are good examples of content guidance, these samples were not written to the aforementioned departmental criteria.
PhD Oral Prelim Exam: The oral prelim can be scheduled once the written dissertation proposal has been completed. MAE graduate students should submit their dissertation proposal when submitting their Oral Prelim Exam Request form to the MAE Graduate Office (firstname.lastname@example.org). Note, the advisory committee should receive a copy of the dissertation proposal before a student requests to schedule the oral prelim exam.
PhD Final Exam: The dissertation is an original contribution to the literature in the field of mechanical engineering or aerospace engineering. The final oral defense is the examination of the methodology used and the conclusions reached in the research performed by the candidate, as reported in the dissertation.
Qualifying Exam (required for Direct-to-PhD students only): This is a departmental requirement that all Direct-to-PhD (d-PhD) graduate students must complete. Additional details regarding this exam is in the MAE PhD Student guide.
When should I defend?
This information is included in the MAE MS Student Guides and the MAE PhD Student Guides available on the MAE Graduate Advising page.
How do I schedule my defense?
Review the How to Schedule My Defense section of the MAE MS Student Guide or MAE PhD Student Guide available on the MAE Graduate Advising page.
Are there funding possibilities in the department?
Yes. We do fund some of our graduate students. Funding generally occurs in the form of a Research Assistantship (RA) or a Teaching Assistantship (TA). Generally, international students must take and pass an NC State University speaking test before they can apply for a TA. RAs are available from individual faculty and vary according to the active grants and contracts that the faculty member has at any particular time. You may go to the Research link at our departmental web site and review our faculty interests. You may then contact those faculty members whose technical interests overlap with your own and inquire directly about possible research opportunities. Generally, TAs and RAs are not granted to non-thesis students. For more details, please go here.
What types of financial support are available through the department/university?
Students admitted to the Graduate School may be awarded financial support in the form of an assistantship or fellowship (sometimes referred to as a traineeship). Please see details in the Graduate Handbook (Section 4.1 Assistantship, Fellowships, Traineeships, and Grants).
Research and Teaching Assistantships are the two most common ways graduate students receive financial support during their studies. Both our Research Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships are extremely competitive.
A Research Assistantship (RA) is given at the discretion of your advisor from their available research funding in order for you to focus on conducting research.
A Teaching Assistantship (TA) uses departmental funds and carries with it obligations associated with the teaching mission (such as grading homework, teaching undergraduate labs, etc.).
The important thing to remember is that financial support is not guaranteed in either form. The best way to secure funding is to have an advisor and discuss with them the potential of RA funding or getting a recommendation for a TA position.
Could you provide me with additional funding sources outside of the department?
Other sources of financial support available to graduate students are fellowships and Grants, which unlike Research or Teaching Assistantships, are dedicated to the graduate student, and are the responsibility of the student if they wish to apply. Fellowships and Grants provide the student with more opportunities than a traditional assistantship. Many fellowships and grants are intended for students just beginning their graduate studies, so there is much to be gained by applying for these sources of funding early.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an application to the Department of Education for Federal Student Aid. In order to be eligible for Federal Student Aid, the student must complete a FAFSA, and submit it to the Department of Education, as well as NCSU. For more information on Federal Student Aid, as well as the application, please see here.
Could you provide me with information about the NC Space Grant?
The NC Space Grant offers a Graduate Student Fellowship Program which can provide up to $8,000 of additional support to the recipient. This is not to be used as a primary source of funding, but to act as a supplemental to other funding. For more information, please see here.
Could you elaborate more on Research and Teaching Assistantships?
Research and Teaching Assistantships are the two most common ways graduate students receive financial support during their studies. Both our Research Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships are extremely competitive. A Research Assistantship (RA) is given at the discretion of your advisor from their available research funding in order for you to focus on conducting research. A Teaching Assistantship (TA) uses departmental funds and carries with it obligations associated with the teaching mission (such as grading homework, teaching undergraduate labs, etc.). The important thing to remember is that financial support is not guaranteed in either form. The best way to secure funding is to have an advisor and discuss with them the potential of RA funding or getting a recommendation for a TA position.
What are TA rules and the appointment hierarchy?
- Some new students are offered a TA position as a recruiting mechanism. Otherwise students are not considered for TA positions unless they have an advisor.
- Non-thesis MS students are not supported with TAs unless they possess needed special skills.
- MS students are not supported on a TA for more than two semesters.
- TAs are not provided to students who do not qualify for the GSSP (explained in following sections).
- No GSSP exceptions for MS students.
- Priority for TA positions is as follows:
i. PhD candidates near completion (in last semester) whose RA funding has recently ended.
ii. PhD candidates whose advisor supplies 1⁄4 time RA funding for shared TA/RA position.
iii. MS candidates whose advisor supplies 1⁄4 time RA funding for shared TA/RA position.
iv. PhD then MS candidates whose advisor guarantees RA funding the next semester.
vi. PhD candidates with advisor endorsement.*
vii. MS candidates near completion (in last semester) whose RA funding has recently ended*.
vii. MS candidates with advisor endorsement.
*Note: Faculty advisors are limited to “x” TA positions for their students where “x” is determined by current policy and funding conditions.
TA positions are not guaranteed or permanent and should not be considered your sole source of financial assistance for your entire student career.
What are RA/TA expectations?
- A TA or RA is an appointment with a specific start and end date. If you have a TA or RA you should be on campus and available to work for the department during the full time of your appointment. Any variation from this requires permission from the Graduate Office (for TAs) or your advisor (for RAs).
- With Research Assistant positions, it is expected that you will focus on conducting research. Be sure both you and your advisor have a clear understanding of what is expected for milestones and final products of your research. Semester milestones may include: problem solving, data collection, a presentation, or conference/ journal papers. It is a good idea to get a clear outline of what is expected of you, in writing if possible (an email perhaps), since research is always changing and your advisor’s expectations may change with them. Agreed upon goals will protect you from having requirements added to your research when you are nearing completion.
- If you receive a Teaching Assistantship, you will be assigned a course or courses for which you will be expected to provide assistance. Once you have received the list of courses in which you will be responsible, it is necessary for you to contact the course instructor immediately. The course instructor will set the details of your responsibilities. Typical responsibilities of a TA may include: holding office hours, grading assignments, teaching a lab section, or assisting in other course work. Each instructor and course may have different responsibilities associated with them, so it is important to get a clear definition of the instructor expectations. Office hour meetings with undergraduate students are held in room 3257 EB III. If you are a TA and you do not have a work space assigned in your lab, please see the Graduate Office (3113 EB III) about having a desk assigned to you in one of the Teaching Assistant suites.
What is the Graduate Student Support Plan (GSSP)?
The Graduate Student Support Plan (GSSP) provides eligible students with health insurance and tuition support (for a limited number of semesters) at no cost to the student. To qualify for GSSP, a student must:
- Be supported on a qualifying graduate assistantship (teaching or research) or fellowship of, at least, $666.67 per month.
- Meet the minimum enrollment requirement – Full-time, at all times.
- Be enrolled in an on-campus master’s or doctoral program. Distance Education and Graduate Certificate programs do not qualify for the Graduate Student Support Plan.
If I am a RA/TA (with GSSP), do I have health insurance?
GSSP comes with a health insurance plan for the student receiving the assistantship. The student will be automatically enrolled in this insurance plan if he or she satisfies the requirements of the plan. Graduate students supported under GSSP will be automatically waived from enrolling in the UNC system-wide health insurance plan, called the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).
Since Full Time Enrollment is a requirement of GSSP, please also be mindful of the credit hours in your last semester; see “What are the minimum credits during my last semester?”
What are the regulations concerning minimum registration?
Minimum Registration Requirements are explained here. NOTE: Students who are not registered as a full-time student on Census Day will lose eligibility for any student loans they may have, international students will be out of compliance with their visa requirements, and all students will lose eligibility for the Graduate Student Support Plan (GSSP).
If I am a RA/TA (with GSSP), do I have health insurance?
The GSSP comes with a health insurance plan for the student receiving the assistantship. The student will be automatically enrolled in this insurance plan if he or she satisfies the requirements of the plan. Graduate students supported under the GSSP will be automatically waived from enrolling in the UNC system-wide health insurance plan, called the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).
What are my options if I am not eligible for GSSP?
As of Fall 2010, it is required that all students enrolled in the University of North Carolina system show evidence of an existing “credible coverage” health insurance plan or enroll in the UNC system-wide health insurance plan. Graduate students supported under the GSSP will be automatically waived from enrolling in the UNC system-wide plan, called the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). Find out more about SHIP here. Those with other health insurance plans will need to fill out the waiver form at the start of each semester or they will be enrolled in SHIP automatically. More information about Student Health Services can be found here and specific information about the available health insurance options can be found under the “Insurance & Charges” section.
NOTE: If you are an international student you are required to maintain health insurance throughout the duration of the I-20/DS-2019. Please visit the Office of International Services website here for more information.
What is “APPLY TO GRADUATE”
Each student must make sure to Apply to Graduate in MyPack Portal for the term in which he/she plans to graduate. It is advised that students apply to graduate at the same time that they schedule their defense but it can be done at any time in the semester up until 5:00 p.m. on the “Apply to Graduate Deadline Date”. This date is found here. A student must Apply to Graduate in order to participate in commencement, have the degree posted on the transcript, and receive a diploma. The student must file an application to graduate in the computerized Student Information System (SIS). Students access SIS through MyPack Portal using their Unity ID and password. The navigation through the system is: Student Self Service > Degree Progress/Graduation > Apply For Graduation. Detailed instructions are available here (page 12).
Where can I find more details on graduations?
What are the minimum credit hours during my last semester before graduating?
You must be registered for a minimum of 9 credit hours to be classified as a full-time student. The exceptions are fully explained and summarized in the Graduate Handbook (Section 3.14 Minimum Enrollment Requirements ).
Non-Thesis Master’s Students: A minimum of three (3) hours is required during the semester in which the student is completing the last course(s) required to complete the degree. Students who have completed all credit hour requirements for their degree may register for three (3) hours of MAE 689 (Non-Thesis Master Continuous Registration – Full Time Registration).
Thesis Master’s Students: A minimum of three (3) hours is required during the semester in which the student completes the degree. Typically, thesis students register for MAE 695. However, students who have completed all curricular requirements (including research credits) for their degree can register for three (3) hours of MAE 699 (Master’s Thesis Preparation) and use the time to prepare for the final defense.
Doctoral Students: Students who have completed all curricular requirements for their degree (including research credits and the oral preliminary examination) can enroll in 3 credit hours of MAE 899 (Doctoral Dissertation Preparation) during their final semester to prepare for the final defense.
How do I get my Unity ID, Password & Student ID Number?
You should receive your Unity ID and Student ID Number in your final admission letter from the Graduate School. Your Student ID Number is also available in ApplyYourself. To get started with setting up your Unity ID and Password, please visit the My IT site, here, from the Office of Information Technology. For more information about your Unity ID please go here, and for help with your Unity ID, Password, or other IT-related problems please visit the OIT’s help page, here.
How do I check my NCSU email and academic calendar?
All students enrolled at NCSU have an affiliated email address which uses their Unity ID and is in the form of UnityID@ncsu.edu. To access your email, go to gmail.ncsu.edu and input your Unity ID and your Unity password into the indicated fields. This email address will be a major source of communication between you and the university; specifically, it is one of the ways instructors send out information about their courses. It is important to check your NCSU email often. Because NCSU email is hosted by Gmail, you have access to a host of Gmail applications and Google applications and services. In order to stay on top of important university dates, we suggest you add the “NC State Academic Calendar” to your NCSU Google calendar following these easy to follow directions. Please also add the MAE GSA calendar. This will keep you up to date on social events planned for the department. Simply type email@example.com in the field below Other Calendars.
MAE Student Guides and Graduate School Handbook
Is there an MAE graduate student handbook to help me start at NCSU?
- Yes, the MAE graduate students can access the MS Student Guide and PhD Student Guide for a detailed overview of program requirements and required tasks you’ll need to complete during your graduate program. Also, all graduate students must follow the policies and procedures outlined in the Graduate School’s Graduate Handbook.
Getting around campus
How do I get around campus?
In order to get around campus, the University has its own bus service, the Wolfline, which travels between all of the NCSU campuses. The Wolfline has 13 daytime routes and 2 night routes which it serves during the semester. The Wolfline is free of charge to students and the general public. For more information on the Wolfline routes, effective service dates, and for the online bus tracking tool, please see here.
How do I get a parking permit or take university buses?
If you go through the transportation link in the “Student Services” section of MyPack Portal, you can access the transportation office, which handles all parking passes, parking tickets, and has an interactive map of the university buses. Also, please visit the Transportation website here to find additional information about parking permits, buses, alternative transportation, and more.
Travel and Ordering
What should I do if I am planning on travel to attend a conference/workshop?
Before you attend a conference/workshop, you will need to:
- Estimate your travel costs, including items such as your registration fee for the conference, airfare or ground transportation, and lodging.
- Obtain the project account number from your advisor.
- Visit Ms. Toni Rand in Room 3111 in EB3 to get help setting up an online travel authorization system for your advisor to approve the travel. If you have already gotten your travel authorization, bring this to Ms. Rand. Ms. Rand will pay for your conference registration fee, and provide telephone numbers of contracted travel agencies for you to book your flights and hotels.
I am working in a lab, and I need to order supplies (the price is either listed on the Market Place or given by the vendors). What should I do?
You will need to:
- Obtain the project account number (FAS account number) from your advisor.
- Fill out a purchase request form.
- Obtain signatures from your advisor.
- Turn in this form to Ms. Toni Rand in R3111 EB3.
- Pick up the form (with approved purchase order number) in R3002 EB3 a few days later.
- Fax the form to the company to complete your order.
- Machine Shop
How do I use the Machine Shop?
Machine shop services require completion of the request form here. This form should be completed and signed by your advisor, then submitted to John Cameron in the shop, room 1228 EB 3. If you are a student please read the Student Machine Shop Handbook found here.
Where can I find a list of student organizations involved with the MAE department?
For a full list of student organizations in the MAE department or relevant to MAE students, please go here. Please be advised that this list includes organizations that are undergraduate-only, graduate-only, and for both undergraduate and graduate students together.
What does the MAE Graduate Student Association do?
The MAE Graduate Student Association (GSA) serves as part of the University Graduation Student Association (UGSA), which acts as an advocacy group for graduate student issues to the University. The MAE GSA advocates for MAE graduate student issues to the University and the MAE department. The MAE GSA welcomes the recommendations of graduate students on issues and events for graduate students. If you want to contact the MAE GSA, email MAEGSA@gmail.com or go here.
What is The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)?
ASME is one of the most active student organizations within the department, where students, both graduate and undergraduate, can get important connections with industry professionals from some of the largest employers of mechanical engineers. ASME holds weekly meetings. For more information please see here.
What is the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)?
AIAA is a student organization which serves as a linking organization between aerospace engineering students and potential employers. AIAA consists of both graduate and undergraduate students who interact with employers and the national organization. For more information on the NCSU chapter of AIAA, go here.
What is the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)?
The student chapter of ASHRAE hosts monthly meetings with engineering firms. Meetings generally cover what it is like to work as a mechanical engineer, some projects the firm has worked on and any opportunities for students with the firm. The chapter also occasionally hosts tours related to HVAC and energy around campus, like the solar house and Centennial Campus utility plant. Students are encouraged to participate in the national ASHRAE design competition and take co-ops and internships with HVAC firms. For more information on the NCSU chapter of ASHRAE, go here.
Could you provide me with information on computer labs?
All NCSU students can access any Unity (University) and Eos (Engineering) Computer Labs using their Unity ID and password. Inside the Unity and Eos Computer Labs, students can access Microsoft Windows©, Linux, Solaris, and Apple© computers. There are Eos Labs all over the campus, including inside Engineering Buildings I, II, and III, Burlington Hall, Mann Hall, and Daniels Hall, and there are Unity Computer Labs throughout campus. For information on Eos computing labs, please go here. Information on Unity computing labs is here.
How do I print in computer labs?
NC State computer labs use WolfPrint printers and printing services. In order to print in either Unity or Eos computer labs, you must have money deposited on your Wolfpack One Card (or AllCampus account). Printing fees are automatically deducted from your account ($0.10 per page for B/W printing, and $0.25 to $0.30 per page for color printing) using the PaperCuts system. For more information please go here to view the WolfPrint site, view the WolfPrint User FAQs, or make a deposit on your One Card.
What are the available computer programs?
As an engineering student, you will be given access to a variety of computer programs which will be useful in your studies and for your research. Some of these programs are available through the Unity or Eos computer labs, but some are also available for download through the Eos website or can be accessed through the Virtual Computer Lab (VCL) which allows students to emulate Unity and Eos computer systems. VCL can be found here. Through these systems, you can access such programs as AutoCAD, MATLAB, Maple, and Mathematica.