Students may complete the requirements for the MSES program following one of two degree plans: thesis or non-thesis plans, each requiring a minimum number of 30 units.
The thesis plan will require students to perform independent research and will culminate in the completion of a thesis based on the findings of the research. For successful completion of the thesis course, students must submit a research proposal, conduct the research, write the thesis, and successfully complete a final oral defense. Students who choose Thesis Option may not do the directed experiential learning or the project. The thesis plan is intended for students who plan to pursue a career in research or plan to pursue a PhD.
The non-thesis plan allows students to choose to do directed experiential learning, a project, or they may satisfy the entire unit requirement throught coursework. Students must complete a minimum of 30 units.
1. Project: primarily intended for students concurrently employed. MSES students who are concurrently employed in a technical capacity may work with their faculty advisor and worksite supervisor to develop a proposal for a worksite project. The project should be complementary to their MSES curricular plans. It will presumably be a project which is of value to their employer. The assumption is that the student/employee will do this project as a part of their regular employment, receiving normal pay; but this is not required by the University. Upon completion of the project, the student will submit a paper documenting the project.
2. Directed Experiential Learning: requires seven and one-half months of paid practical experience. Pacific will assist students in securing engineering or computer science employment or a paid interniship at a graduate engineer level. Students work with the Co-op Director, their faculty advisor, and their worksite supervisor to develop a list of expected professional and technical learning objectives, with the experience culminating in the preparations of a report which documents the fulfullment of these objectives.
Students in the blended program who choose the non-thesis plan with the directed experiential learning option could postpone their co-op experience until they are admitted into the blended program. If they are accepted into the program, then, after they have completed a minimum of two graduate courses, they can register instead for the graduate level "Directed Experiential Learning" (DEXL). DEXL is similar to Co-op except that technical expectations are elevated. At the end of the work experience, students must submit a comprehensive report documenting fulfillment of specified technical and professional learning objectives.
3. Coursework: Students can satisfy the entire 30 units through coursework. This allows students to take two additional courses, increasing their technical breadth and/or depth.
All students will complete a set of core courses that covers the broader subjects of research and analysis in addition to courses specific to their chosen concentration.