MEng Program Requirements: An FAQ


The MEng Program

The MEng Program is a five to five-and-a-half year program in which students earn a bachelors and masters degree.  They may earn the degree simulanteously or sequentially. In essence, the MEng is a four-year bachelor's degree and a two-year master's degree on a compressed time scale.  This program allows Course 6 undergraduates (in 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, and 6-7) the opportunity to work on a thesis, take graduate courses, and study their field in greater depth.  A Master's degree may also be useful for industry employment or applications to doctoral programs.


Undergraduate and Graduate Status

The MEng program takes an additional two or three semesters after the undergraduate program (with a possible fourth term of support eligibility for TAs).

In the last regular semester of the MEng students must be an official part of the graduate program.  Graduate students and undergraduate students are different categories of students; students are not allowed to alternate between statuses. A graduate student status supercedes and undergraduate status.  Students may be both undergraduates and graduate students simultaneously for the purposes of eight terms of undergraduate housing.  


Switch student status to become MEng Student

Email to indicate  which term you wish to become a graduate student.


Best term to become a graduate student

With a source of graduate funding and sufficient progress with requirements, students will often choose to become a grad student in the fourth year (eighth term). Students must have at least 180 units beyond the GIRs with all but one or two of the GIRs completed to become a grad student early. Not all of the requirements for the undergraduate degree have to be completed in order to become an MEng student.  In order to earn MEng, students must be a full-time graduate student for at least one regular semester (not counting summer term or IAP) to earn the degree. Some students may opt to become graduate students after the start of the fifth year due to funding or to finish undergraduate requirements.



There are two major sources of funding for MEng students: Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships. Students work approximately 20 hours a week either assisting in the teaching of a class or by doing research, which may be related to your thesis research. Full-time assistantships pay a monthly stipend as well as full tuition and health insurance.

The undergraduate office encourages students to begine the search for funding before begining the MEng program. It is possible to find funding through postions as lab assistants, problem graders, or undergraduate TAs. Professors may also to fund students as research assistants (this funding may be a continuation of work done in a UROP or a SuperUROP). Funding for the MEng program is not guaranteed.

Students are always welcome apply for Course 6 Graduate TAships.


Registration Limits for RAs and TAs

Students with full-time TAships RAships may only register for two twelve-unit subjects plus twelve units of thesis credit and twelve (RAship) or twenty-four (TAship) units of assistantship credit. Students should only have six subjects left to complete for the bachelor's and master's degrees when becoming a graduate student. Students holding a half- TAship or half-RAship may register for an additional class. Students credit for their thesis work, as well as TAships and RAships each term. As a result they are registered for 48 to 60 units.

TAs should register for 24 units of 6.981,12 units of 6.THM (thesis), and two classes. RAs should for 12 units of 6.991 and 12 units of 6.THM (thesis) and two classes.

Term limits:  MEng students are only eligible for grad support during their first three regular grad terms (summers are excepted). If a student has been a graduate TA at least once or has unusual circumstances that have delayed progress on the thesis or classes, the student may request one additional term (a fourth term) of support eligibility.  Students should only spend four terms the MEng degree.


Details of the MEng Requirements


How many Units are needed?

The MEng requires 90 units (in total) beyond the units that are required for the undergraduate degree(s) which may be broken down in the following way:

66 units of credit--at least 42 units must be Approved Advanced Graduate Subjects (AAGS) credit


24 units of Thesis (6.THM)

The 42 units of Approved Advanced Graduate Subjects (AAGS) classes must be fulfilled by taking three and one half or four AAGS. Most MEng students will have four 12-unit classes or 48 units of credit in Course 6 ( The fourth course may be from any department as long as it is recognized as a Course 6  AAGS. An AAGS from another department (non-6 AAGS) may be approved by your advisor.

Additional units beyond AAGS classes (in order to fullfill 66 units) are generally derived from RA, TA, or 6-A credit, excess undergraduate units (beyond the 180 units of GIRs required for an undergraduate degree) often in the form of headers and AUS classes taken to complete the undergraduate subject requirements.

Because most subjects have twelve units, many students finish with least 96 (48 + 24) units in their graduate program instead 90 units.


How do Thesis Units work?

Thesis units work differently than for other subjects. Students must register for 12 units of 6.THM in each graduate term until their thesis is submitted. However, only 24 units will affect their grade point average (the thesis receives a letter-grade).

Please refer to the MEng Thesis Guide for additional informaiton.


How does the Thesis Proposal work?

Students are encouraged to find the subject of their MEng thesis during their junior or senior year. Often students begin research while completing UROP or SuperUROP projects.   Students register for 6.THM during the summer term or fall  semester of their graduate year.  Students are encouraged to submit a thesis proposal after determining the scope of their research project with their supervisor.  Proposals are due during the first semester of the MEng program and will serve as a point of departure for the thesis work.

What are the Subject Requirements?

 It is necessary to fulfill the requirements of and receive the 6-1, 6-2 or 6-3 degree along with, or before,  the MEng degree. The MEng requires a three-subject concentration and two restricted electives along with the Master's thesis.

For the 6-7 MEng degree one must receive the 6-7 degree with or before the 6-7 MEng and complete the MEng restricted electives and the required classes in computational biology, biology or CS. See


What is the MEng Concentration?

To ensure that students are able to deomonstarte a depth of knowledge in a particular area of study, they must choose three subjects from the same feild ( from  the two undergraduate AUS and the four Course 6 AAGSes). In addition, students must also take  two subjects from the restricted electives list, and complete their  Masters thesis.

How much progress on the MEng is required each term?

MEng students are expected to make  progress on their theses each term and are expected to take at least one class (if needed) each term.  Students are encouraged to take courses and work on the thesis simultaneously, in order to ensure timely completion of the degree.


What are Buckets?

Buckets mean having the right number of the right kind of units in your undergraduate and graduate programs.

To graduate with MEng you need to have 66 units, plus your thesis units, in your graduate program, including 48 AAGS units.  At the same time you must continue to have all of your GIRs and 180 units beyond the GIRs in your undergraduate program.  This means that you need to have roughly 474 total units (17 GIRS = 204, 180 units beyond the GIRs, 66 units in your grad program, plus a minimum of 24 thesis units = 474 units).

Not everybody needs to do buckets and most of the time we can just do them here for you, maximizing your gpa.  But if we email you in in the term when you're on the MEng degree list to come to the Undergraduate Office to do buckets or some other degree problem, please respond.  No preparation is needed


What are the Support and Enrollment Limits?

MEng students may only have  RA and TA support for their first three regular terms (not including summer).  Students may petition for one additional term of support if they have served as a TA for one semester or have other extenuating circumstances.  


What are the Academic Requirements for the MEng?

MEng graduate students must maintain a 4.0 gpa and must earn grades that are a B- or better in all courses.  Students must also make continual progress towards their thesis each term. Students who do not meet these requirements may receive warning letters from the Office of the Vice Chanellor and may not be permitted to complete the program.