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Western Kentucky University

Frequently Asked Questions

How is this degree different from an MBA?

MBA programs traditionally emphasize management by the numbers, i.e., using financial measures to gauge performance, marketing analysis to forecast profitability, etc., with some organizational behavior. The MSETM program, on the other hand, builds upon your technical expertise and adds the managerial aspects of leading in a technologically-rich environment. Our graduate students learn about economics and organizational behavior, but they also learn about quality systems, legal and ethical issues, supply chains, project management, and emerging technologies. If you plan to manage engineering or technical professionals, our program is one to choose. We have students in the MSETM program who already have MBAs. They are in our program because this degree is applicable to their technical-professional growth and salary.

How is this degree different from an Engineering MS degree?

Engineering MS degrees are usually heavily loaded with prerequisites in the specific engineering discipline (e.g., mechanical, electrical, industrial, etc.). What is required is a fundamental knowledge of the technical requirements for a specific business and a high level of technical literacy. Most specific business knowledge can be learned with business/industry experience. However, an advanced degree is required for a promotion. Thus, the MSETM degree provides the skill sets needed to manage in a technical environment and thrive.

Are there jobs/careers for MSETM graduates?

The MSETM career path would lead to job titles like Chief Operations Officer (COO), Plant Manager, Facilities Manager, Engineering Manager, or Information Technology Manager. Our graduates fall into four primary categories:

  • Managers
  • Engineers
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Educators

Imagine job titles such as Project Manager, Project Engineer or Quality Manager, Quality Engineer, Facilities Engineer, Small Business Owner, Professor, Senior Technical Staff, Operations Managers, etc.  The applied areas are wide ranging such as manufacturing, construction, architecture, technical health services, information technology, telecommunications, government, food processing, technology development, vocational teaching, design, and administration.

Can I take classes without being admitted into the MSETM program?

Students can enroll in coursework prior to admission as a non-degree seeking for one semester. During this time, the student may not receive financial aid. Upon admission, the credit hours received may be used towards the program.

I had a low GAP score. Can I still be admitted to the program?

Yes. With additional documentation such as a statement of goals, letters of support, scholarly papers or projects, applicant can be admitted into the program conditionally with full admission based upon performance in specified graduate course work. Conditional admission usually results in additional requirement or stipulations being placed on the student to remain in the program. A common stipulation of conditional admission is the requirement that the student maintain at least a 3.5 GPA during the first 12 hours of the program. International students may gain admittance to the program through the completion of the Navitas pre-masters program (PMP) at WKU.

I have already taken the GMAT. Can I substitute it in place of the GRE score?

Yes. Speak with the program coordinator on how the scores are converted.

I am a WKU student. Can I start the MSETM program while I am still an undergraduate?

Yes. Undergraduates at WKU may enroll in graduate course work (i.e., courses requiring graduate standing) provided they meet the following conditions:

1. Student must file all appropriate paper work through the Office of Graduate Studies and Research.

a. Application for Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Courses.
b. Letter of recommendation from director of graduate program (or department head) that speaks to the student's ability to perform at graduate level and justification of appropriateness of enrollment in such courses.

2. Undergraduate students must have declared a major or minor in the subject area or a closely related area for which the graduate course is offered.

3. Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the major or minor area to which the graduate coursework is closely related.

4. Students may enroll in no more than 15 hours of coursework (graduate and undergraduate combined) in any semester in which enrollment in graduate-level courses occurs.

5. With the concurrence of the student's undergraduate advisor, department head and dean, graduate coursework may be used to satisfy undergraduate degree requirements; however, graduate credit hours used to meet the requirements for a baccalaureate degree may not be used toward a graduate degree.

Students wishing to pursue graduate credit must file the appropriate paper work with the Office of Graduate Studies.

What is the maximum number of credit hours that I can take per term?

The number of semester hours of credit that may be earned during a given term may not exceed 15 hours. Appointed Graduate Assistants (GAs) cannot take more than 12 credit hours per semester.

How long do I have to complete my degree?

All requirements for MSETM degree must be completed within six years from the date the first course is taken. Failure to complete a degree in six years will result in the loss of all credits taken outside of the time limit. Students may request an extension to be approved by your advisor, the department head, the dean of the college, and the dean of the Graduate School. Extensions are considered on a case-by-case basis, and a student is not guaranteed approval.

Can I transfer units from another graduate degree program?

A maximum of twelve (12) semester hours of graduate credit earned at other institutions or programs at WKU may be accepted toward meeting course requirements for the graduate program with advisor approval.

The following requirements must be met:

1. The credit(s) must have been earned at an accredited graduate institution;

2. The course work to be transferred must be properly designated as having been taken for graduate credit;

3. The grade point average must be at least 3.0 (4.0 scale) on all graduate course work appearing on the transcript before specific courses can be transferred;

4. Additionally, the courses to be transferred must carry a grade of B or better;

5. Credits must have been earned within the six-year time limit for degree completion;

6. Any course(s) to be transferred must be appropriate for degree completion; and

7. At least 12 hours in the major area must be taken at WKU.

The “Transfer Credit Practices” report published by the American Association of Registrar’s and Admissions Officers is the reference used in evaluating credits.

Transfer credits taken during the final semester of a program will delay program completion until official transcripts have been received in the Office of Graduate Studies and Research.

Students who have taken graduate courses in as part of the Kentucky Technology Management and Applied Engineering Consortium may transfer up to 15 units with advisor approval.

Can I transfer unused undergraduate courses into the MSETM degree program?

No. Only courses specified on the Form C and approved by the advisor for graduate level credit apply to the program.

What is the Research Tool Requirement?

The research tool is a University requirement that can be met by demonstrating competency in an appropriate research technique. For the MSETM program, this competency is met by taking the course AMS 571 Research Methods in Technology Management. This course supports graduate research for the thesis or graduate project.

Undergraduate courses taken previously cannot be used in lieu of the research tool, but other graduate courses from other programs (500 and up) may count with advisor approval. AMS 571 must be completed within the first 15 units of the graduate program with a minimum grade of B. This course must be taken prior to obtaining admission to candidacy.

What Grade Point Average (GPA) must I maintain?

A 3.0 (B average) GPA must be maintained overall and and for the degree program.

When do I need to submit my Form C?

The Form C MUST be submitted prior to the completion of twelve (12) hours of graduate course work (inclusive of transfer credit). Form C is developed by the student together with the advisor and lists the courses needed to graduate. Failure to file the Form C will result in not being able to register for any additional courses until the Form C is submitted with appropriate signatures.

What is a Form D?

Form D is the admission to candidacy that must be submitted by all degree seeking students. The purpose of the Form D is to provide a planned, formal review of student progress toward the specified program of study (Form C). The form is filed after completion of AMS 571 and at least 15 credit hours, but at least one semester prior to graduation.

What does admission to candidacy require?

Admission to candidacy requires the following:

  • Approved Form C
  • Removal of any deficiencies or conditions for full admission
  • GPA of at least 3.0 on all graduate course work
  • Completion of the Research Tool course (AMS 571)
  • Approval by the major advisor
  • Approval by the Dean of the Graduate School

The Form D MUST be approved and signed by the advisor or departmental representative before submitting the form to the Graduate School.

When should I submit the Form D?

The Form D should be submitted before completion of 21 credit hours and after completion of the research tool course (AMS 571). Any prior coursework deficiencies must removed with a grade of A or B, and the completion of at least 15 hours of course work.

Do I have to take a comprehensive examination before I receive my degree?

Yes. All graduate students must complete an oral examination. For the MSETM program, this is typically done at the time the student  defends his/her thesis.

The following requirements must be met before students are permitted to take the comprehensive exam: (a) gain admission to candidacy; (b) have no more than nine hours remaining on the degree program; (c) complete any additional requirements as specified by the faculty in the department; and (d) complete at least one half of the course work in an approved program minor (if applicable). Students must also submit Form E with the graduate committee signatures.

When do I need to submit my thesis ?

Students should submit their thesis and schedule their oral defense by the date set by Ogden College.

To whom do I submit my thesis?

Students submit their thesis to their selected graduate committee. Once the graduate committee approves the thesis, the student then submits it to the college reader for final review.

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 Last Modified 9/24/14