It’s important to understand the foundations of graduate education at Texas A&M University. Below are the basics that govern graduate education.
Who Are You?
The key to many of the processes and procedures depends on what kind of student you are. Texas A&M at Qatar has the advantage of being home to two categories of graduate students; depending on what campus they are admitted to.
College Station Student – If you were admitted to the main campus you are a “College Station student” (sometimes you’ll be called a “main campus student”). Department on the main campus is ultimately responsible for you but our graduate studies office can assist you in many areas.
Qatar Student – If you were admitted to the Qatar campus, you are a “Qatar student”. Right now only chemical engineering has a program so all of our Qatar students are chemical engineering majors. Program on the Qatar campus is responsible for the student but respective home department on the main campus is also involved. Again the graduate studies office here can assist you in many areas Some processes and procedures will vary depending on whether you are a College Station or Qatar student.
Who Does What?
The Office of Graduate Studies OGS (located on the main campus)Whether you are a College Station or Qatar student, you fall under the umbrella of the Office of Graduate Studies on the main campus. OGS sets the minimum requirements for a degree and how that degree is awarded. They are the official holder of your graduate student records and all documents (degree plan, thesis, etc.) eventually ends up in their office for approval and filing.
Graduate Studies Services (located at the Qatar campus)This is the office on the Qatar campus that facilitates all interaction between the Qatar campus and the academic programs located here. We assist and provide guidance to all graduate students at the Qatar campus in their progress towards a degree. We collect official documents for transmittal to the main campus as well as keep records for each student. We also are responsible for all graduate assistantships or other employment issues as they pertain to graduate students. In order for us to serve this role, you must keep us updated on all your activity at the Qatar campus.
Academic Department/Academic Program
Depending on what category of student you are (see above) you are a student in an academic department (main campus) or its corresponding academic program (Qatar campus). Departments are sometimes referred to as “home departments”. These departments/programs can set more strict requirements and processes for degree progression and award. It is important that you understand that there are OGS requirements and those of the department/program you are a student in. Faculty members of the programs at the Qatar campus are directly linked to their respective home departments.
Qatar Graduate Studies Office
Chemical Engineering Program
College Station Students
Chemical Engineering Department Graduate Advisor: Towanna Arnold
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Graduate Advisor: Tammy Carda
Mechanical Engineering Department Graduate Advisor: Missy Cornett
Petroleum Engineering Department Graduate Advisor: Eleanor Schuler
College of Science: This will depend on what department in the college you are associated with so work directly with your faculty advisor on the Qatar campus.
As noted above, both the university (via OGS) and your respective department/program have certain requirements you must meet and restrictions on what courses you can take and more importantly what you can use on your degree plan. Whether you are a College Station or Qatar student you must adhere to these requirements.
That said, it is extremely important you know about these and follow them.
University Requirements University requirements are the minimum requirements you must follow to be awarded your degree. You can find them in the Texas A&M University Graduate Catalog and these will depend on the degree you are pursuing; a Master of Science, Master of Engineering, or Ph.D.
Important Note for College Station MS Students Regarding Distance Learning Courses M.S and Ph.D. students are only allowed to use distance education courses for up to 25% of those courses used on their degree plan. Distance education courses are those that have a 7XX section number assigned to them. M.Eng. students are allowed to take all their courses via distance education since the M.Eng. distance program in petroleum engineering is an approved program.
Department/Program Requirements These requirements will be different for each department/program you are a student in. Most departments have information available online. Below are links to what is currently available. If you are unsure about this or unable to find anything please contact your faculty advisor.
Chemical Engineering Department (College Station Campus)
Chemical Engineering Program (Qatar Campus)
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (College Station Campus)
Mechanical Engineering Department (College Station Campus)
Petroleum Engineering Department (College Station Campus)
College of ScienceThis will vary depending on the department you are a student in. Please contact your faculty advisor directly.
So what is your degree plan?
Your degree plan is many things but the easiest way to think about it is that it literally is “what you plan to take while you progress toward your degree.” Make sense?
This is where the Office of Graduate Studies really becomes involved in your graduate education. They are the official “keepers” of your academic record, including your official degree plan (and any changes you make to your degree plan), your thesis title (if applicable), and graduation. Essentially all paperwork ends up in OGS.
The first step in completing your degree plan is to assemble your graduate committee. This committee will guide and advise you throughout your graduate career.
M.S. your committee should be comprised of at least one faculty member (preferably the chair) whose research closely matches your research interests.
M.Eng. Your committee responsibilities will most likely fall to the graduate advisor of your particular department or program.
You should consult with the committee chair and members to decide the courses you plan to take from your first semester to your last.
You may use the GSI form to more easily map out different plans. Once you and your committee/advisor are satisfied with your degree plan you will need to submit the GSI form to the Qatar graduate studies office. We will then assist you in inputting your degree plan into the Online Degree Plan Submission System. Once entered and submitted, your online degree plan will be routed electronically for approval through your committee members, then your home program and/or department, and finally by OGS.
It’s really not too complicated so do your best to get this done by the end of your first semester or you will have a registration hold placed on your record and not be able to get the courses you want to take.