Graduate Student Handbook
NMT GRADUATE STUDENT GUIDE
This section provides guidance for graduate students regarding requirements and procedures listed in the Course Catalog.
The following subsections outline steps related to your first year of studies; what you must do to maintain satisfactory academic progress; how you will design the program leading to your degree; time limits placed on your studies; and the completion of final requirements. Answers to many of your questions can come from a careful review of the contents. Please direct all questions related to your academic program to your academic advisor, related to your research to your research advisor, or related to anything for your graduate experience to the Center for Graduate Studies (firstname.lastname@example.org or 835-5513).
First Year in the NMT Graduate Program
Preliminary, Qualifying and Entrance Examinations
Several of NMT's graduate programs require and administer examinations to new students, primarily as an advising tool. The section on Special Examinations by Department provides some information on departmental requirements. You should direct inquiries about specifics for these examinations to your graduate program.
Choosing an Advisor and Advisory Committee
When you are first admitted to a graduate program, the department chair or an appointed
faculty member will serve as your temporary advisor. Your temporary advisor will help
you with identifying the members of your formalized committee. If you are a distance
student, you may contact the Academic Computing Technology
Office or the Center for Graduate Studies for assistance – particularly with collecting signatures on forms.
After admission and before the end of your second semester, full-time graduate students must select and formalize an advisor and advisory committee. Part-time and distance education students must formalize their committees by the time they complete 12 credits. Your advisor should be a faculty member whose interests and specialties coincide with yours. Generally your advisor serves as both academic and research advisor; however, under some circumstances, the research advisor and academic advisor may be different people. Your academic advisor must be a Regular Faculty Member (regular means tenure track) in your program and it is the academic advisor who will serve as the head of your advisory committee. Your research advisor is responsible for guiding you to the completion of your research project and for supervision of the preparation of your research report (thesis, dissertation or independent study paper).
Students in professional masters programs are not required to form a committee, e.g., Professional Master of Hydrology.
Besides helping you with your research, your advisor will help you select your advisory
committee. If you plan to have separate academic and research advisors, consult with
both of them to select the rest of your advisory committee. Regular faculty members
from your department may not be in the minority, and all the
members should have some proficiency in the area of your research interests. There is no upper limit for the number of members on your advisory committee; however, keep in mind that the more people there are on your committee, the harder it will be to arrange meeting times for everyone. Your advisory committee should serve as your first set of personal resources when you need assistance. Feel free to approach them, any other faculty member, or the Dean of Graduate Studies, when looking for advice. If you find later that there are more appropriate choices for your committee, or if your research interests and directions change, you may, with the concurrence of your department, reconstitute your committee. Be aware that changes in committee can slow progress as each new member has the responsibility to question that status of research from the very beginning; this means that changing your committee can reset your research to the very beginning stage of the
The Dean Graduate Studies and the department chair are ex officio members of all advisory committees for graduate students in the department. This means that your department chair and Dean Graduate Studies must also approve your work in order for you to graduate. While your advisory committee guides your research, final approval rests with the department chair and the Dean Graduate Studies. Make sure your department chair is kept informed of your progress.
MS Advisory Committee
Your master's degree advisory committee must have at least three faculty members:
at least two must be regular (tenure track) faculty in your department and a third
member who may be from outside your department or an adjunct in your department. Regular
faculty in your department may not be outnumbered on the committee by other members.
The department chair and Graduate Dean must
approve your proposed advisory committee.
After you have selected your advisor and committee, complete your graduate committee form in the New Mexico Tech Banweb. After you log into Banweb, select "Student and Financial Aid", then "Graduate Forms", then complete the form "Initial Form - Graduate Advisory Committee". Make sure that you select "Thesis" or "Independent Study" for your study option.
The Committee can be changed on the Committee Change form on the same page if you are simply replacing one committee member with another one or adding or removing a single member. Otherwise make the changes in the "Initial Form - Graduate Advisory Committee" and resubmit. If you need to make substantial changes to your committee, contact the Center for Graduate Studies to have the "Initial Form - Graduate Advisory Committee" form re-enabled.
To guarantee that you have the tools to complete your research, your advisory committee will help you choose the courses to be used for your degree program. They will also approve your thesis topic and serve at your thesis defense. It is your responsibility to call meetings of your committee at least once a year.
Ph.D. Advisory Committee
The doctoral advisory committee must have at least four faculty members: at least
two regular (tenure track) faculty members from your department including your academic
advisor, a member from outside of your department, and the forth committee member
who may be from inside or outside of your department. Regular faculty in your department
may not be outnumbered on the committee by
other members. The department chair and Dean of Graduate Studies must approve your proposed advisory committee.
After you have selected your advisor and committee, complete your graduate committee form in the New Mexico Tech Banweb. After you log into Banweb, select "Student and Financial Aid", then "Graduate Forms", then complete form at "Initial Form - Graduate Advisory Committee". Make sure that you select "Dissertation" for your study option. The Committee can be changed on the Committee Change form on the same page if you are simply replacing one committee member with another one or adding or removing a single member. If you need to make substantial changes to your committee, contact the Center for Graduate Studies to have the "Initial Form - Graduate Advisory Committee" form re-enabled.
Your advisory committee will help you choose courses to guarantee sufficient background
for your proposed research and for the candidacy examination. They will administer
the candidacy examination, approve your dissertation proposal, supervise your research
and serve at the defense of your dissertation. Although the committee will assist
in directing your studies, it is your responsibility to call meetings of your committee
at least once a year. As you approach the completion of your research, it is recommended
that you call a meeting 6-9 months before your expected completion where you do a
preliminary presentation of your dissertation with a clear timeline for your completion.
This gives your committee an opportunity to guide any corrections to the plan at a
time that minimizes
delays in completion.
Advisory Committee Report Form
Your formalized Course Program is the first thing you present to your advisory committee. This is a study plan for your degree. First, list all the completed courses to be used for your degree as shown on your transcript (be sure to include the credit hours for each course) and then list all the courses you plan to take, including your thesis, independent study, or dissertation credits (Note that Directed Research and other S/U courses do not count toward the required number of credits for any program.) Your committee will consider modifications to your list when there are courses that might be more appropriate for your proposed course of study. Once the course program is acceptable, the committee will indicate its approval by initialing and dating your list and your course program. Your course program can be altered, with the concurrence of the advisory committee, department chair, and Dean of Graduate Studies. This form, at the time of your graduation, must match exactly the courses listed on your transcript that are to be used for your degree. The Course Program for full-time students must be on file before the end of the third semester. Part-time and distance education students must have their Course Program on file by the time they complete 18 credits. The time period for completing this form has been extended to allow students to see what courses are being offered, but note that students are strongly encouraged to discuss courses with their committee early and often. Students who take courses without prior approval, risk having them not count toward a degree.
Professional Master's Degrees
Professional master's programs do not require research and may be completed with coursework. Examples of professional master's programs include the Professional Master of Hydrology and the Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering; see the catalog for additional master's degrees that do not require research.