Dec 09, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog and Handbook 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog and Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Degree Program Tracks & Pathways

Florida Poly offers two Graduate degrees: a master’s in computer science and a master’s in engineering, each will multiple tracks and pathways toward completion. Computer Science offers tracks in computer science and data science; while the engineering degree offers tracks in mechanical, electrical, computer engineering, an interdisciplinary track in robotics, and engineering management. Each track is managed by its reprsentative department and students take classes and work with faculty in the department that corresponds to the degree-track they have been admitted to. While some departmental policies may differ, the Graduate Division oversees management of all graduate programs in the University.


Degree Programs, Tracks, Academic Departments

Once you have been admitted to Florida Poly, you will pursue a master’s degree in either Engineering or Computer Science. Your diploma will read Master of Science in one of those degree names. Your program of study, will, however, consist of a track of study, depending upon your preparation and area of interest, and your transcript will reflect that chosen track.

All graduate degrees, current and future, are overseen by the Graduate Division in close cooperation with the Office of the Provost. The Academic Departments have the responsibility of managing the specific “tracks” that correspond with the disciplines that support those degrees. 


Degree Program Structure

There is a degree progam core that includes requirements for all students in the degree regardless of track, and there is a “track” core that consists of required, common courses specific to the chosen track. Both degree programs include a culminating activity, whether it is a thesis, group or individual project, or course-based project experience. All tracks support a thesis or project as the culminating activity, except engineering management, which is course-based.

The programs are structured similarly as follows:

  • Two courses (6) credits of core program coursework;

  • Two courses (6) credits of track-specific coursework;

  • Six (3-6) credits in culminating activity:

    • Thesis 1 and Thesis 2

    • Project

    • Project Course and Culminating Course

  • Twelve (12) credits of technical electives.

  • A maximum of 6 credits of upper division undergraduate courses (4000-level only) that do not count toward any other degree program in the student’s history;

  • A maximum of 6 credits of coursework from another institution that meet all of the graduate degree program requirements.

Thirty (30) credits are required for the degree.


Pathways - How long does the program take to complete?

Florida Poly offers different time-scales in which to obtain a master’s degree. The traditional pathway is two years (fall-spring, fall-spring), culminating in a thesis or project. The second pathway is an accelerated one and at this time only available in the MS Engineering - Mechanical Engineering Track or the Engineering Management Track. The accelerated program is completed in approximately 10 months.

Decision Tree

When you are admitted to Florida Poly, you have some decisions to make about how you will take your degree and when.

  1. What degree do I want? Master’s in Engineering? Master’s in Computer Science?
  2. What disciplinary track do I want to pursue that is associated with that degree?
  3. Do I want to attend full-time or part-time?
  4. When do I want to complete the program? Traditional (2-years)? Accelerated? (10 - 12 months) or part-time? (sometime within 6 years)

Your decision carries with it some stipulations and requirements; therefore, you must consider your path carefully and with respect to your individual life-situation and needs.

Traditional Pathway

The traditional pathway is a standard two-year master’s culminating in a thesis or project. Typically, students who pursue this pathway are interested in a graduate assistantship and intent on doing focused research with a faculty member in their field. The traditional path requires four full-time semesters of 9-credit hours each with 3 required in the final semester. A thesis or project proposal is required, usually by the end of the second full term. Opting for the traditional pathway does not guarantee the awarding of an assistantship.

Accelerated Pathway

The accelerated pathway is a course-only model that begins in a fall term with four classes (12 credits), continues to spring for four more classes (12 credits), and finished in Summer A term with two online courses for six (6) credits. The whole program of 30 credits takes approximately 10-months to complete. This is a cohort program, meaning that those you enter with are who you will finish with and in the same time schedule. The following rules apply to those admitted to the accelerated pathway. There are no exceptions to these rules.

  1. Once you start the cohort, you are expected to finish it in the scheduled time.
  2. Students who withdraw from/drop a course are removed from the program-cohort and must reapply to the University’s graduate division to continue in their selected program/track. Readmission is not guaranteed, and you will not be permitted to take the accelerated option any longer. Students should not view this as a go-at-your own pace model (for that you would enroll part-time).
  3. All regular academic standing rules apply - students must maintain a 3.0.
  4. Students on the accelerated pathway are not eligible for graduate assistantships at any time.
  5. Students may be eligible for certain scholarships and/or fee waivers, but it is expected that they will pay for some portion of their education. Students should inquire with the Office of Financial Aid.


Credit-hours per Term

Formally, students are required to take 9-credits minimum per term for three terms (spring and fall) with 3 credits in the final, fourth term, usually thesis 2 or project. Sometimes, depending on student status and other circumstances, exceptions are allowable. Status includes full-time, part-time, domestic, international, graduate assistant, and so on.

  • First Academic Year: All students, regardless of status, must take 18 hours minimum in their first year at the rate of 9-credits pre term.
  • Second Academic Year: Most students should take 9 credits in the fall term, and 3 in the spring term where the final course (thesis 2 or project) is the only remaining requirement to graduate. For purposes of Federal requirements, this constitutes full-time in the final semester. In some cases, exceptions may be granted where full-time domestic students, GAs or non-GAs, may elect to take 6 credits in fall and 6 in spring. For most domestic students, 6 credits at the graduate level constitutes full-time from a financial aid perspective; however, some scholarships may have limitations. Graduate Assistants are required to take 9 but pending academic progress and other considerations may be permitted to take 6 credits.
  • International Students: Regardless of assistantship status, international students must enroll in 9 credits per term. The plan for study for international students is 9 - 9 - 9 - 3. Thesis 2 or Project for the final term is considered full-time for international purposes.

Accelerated Pathway

Designed to be completed in approximately 10-months, the accelerated pathways require students to take 12 credits in fall, 12 credits in spring, and 6 credits in summer A term (6-week term from mid-May through June) typically delivered online or in hybrid mode.


International Students: Key Links

Graduation Requirements

Per FPU-5.0096AP Graduate Degree Graduation Requirements, a student must meet all of the following requirements to be awarded a graduate degree from Florida Poly:

  1. Satisfactory completion of the applicable program degree requirements and established curriculum as identified in the University Catalog in effect at the beginning of the student’s most recent period of continuous enrollment.
  2. Satisfactory completion of 30 credit hours of approved graduate courses and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.
  3. Earn at least two-thirds of the credits applied towards the Graduate degree through the University.
  4. Completion of any pre-requisites or deficiencies as identified at admissions by the Faculty Advisor, Department Chair, or Division Director; and
  5. Submission of a completed Graduation Application to the Office of the University Registrar so that it is received by the Registrar on or before the “Graduation Application Deadline” as noted on the Academic Calendar for the semester in which the student anticipates graduating.

All work used to meet degree requirements, including coursework and the successful defense of a thesis or project, if applicable, must be completed within the six-year period immediately prior to degree conferral. An approved leave of absence does not increase or alter the time limits for degree completion.