The nonthesis option is appropriate for practicing and/or employed engineers who wish to acquire advanced background in chosen subject areas without having the need to pursue rigorous research. The degree can be earned with a part-time program of study.
Transfer to the thesis option may be done at any time. However, all of the requirements of that degree program must be met. This includes the appointment of a new advisory committee and possibly a new major professor, the formulation of a new plan of study, and the identification of a research area from which a thesis can be produced. Courses taken in the nonthesis program may be applied to the thesis program only at the discretion of the new advisory committee.