College of Engineering graduate students will work closely with department faculty in their chosen field. However, the college establishes standards for graduate education that apply across all programs. These standards are articulated in the college policies below.

Responsible conduct of research (RCR) education

The College of Engineering fully supports the position of the university on research ethics, as stated on the Office of Research Compliance site: "Carnegie Mellon University promotes the responsible conduct of research through high standards of ethics and accountability in planning, conducting and reporting research. The responsible conduct of research is demonstrated through behavior that meets generally accepted standards. These standards are set forth by state and federal regulations, institutional policies, professional codes of conduct and personal convictions."

The College of Engineering graduate students participating in research will be required to take the appropriate on-line training offered by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). For college graduate students, the CITI physical science module package is recommended rather than the module package for engineers, although both are acceptable. Please check with your department for which Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) course(s) it requires. The courses are available at CITI's Website. Select Carnegie Mellon University as your participating institution when you create your account.

The course(s) may take a few hours to complete but can be done over a period of time. Upon completion of the course(s), print the certificate(s) of
completion for submission to your department's graduate coordinator.

Further information about the Carnegie Mellon program for Responsible Conduct of Research Education is available at the Office of Research Compliance.

(policy created 8/20/2010)

Graduate student consulting

Full-time graduate students within the College of Engineering are ordinarily expected to devote their full attention and energies to their educational and research endeavors. Classwork and research assignments are planned to completely occupy full-time students, thus effectively precluding outside employment and consulting.

All full-time students are generally advised to decline such work and concentrate on their graduate studies. In exceptional cases, there may be opportunities for outside consulting or employment which would provide helpful experience in addition to financial remuneration.

Before assuming such commitments, all full-time graduate students are urged to consult their academic advisors and/or department heads about such opportunities. Students receiving financial aid in the form of research or teaching assistants or fellowships are required to obtain consent from both their academic advisor and department head for any such outside employment or consulting.

Student maternity accommodation

Female students who anticipate the delivery of a child during the course of a semester may need to take time away from their academic responsibilities. There are two Maternity Accommodations: 

  • Short-term maternity accommodation – A short-term absence from academic responsibilities up to a maximum of six (6) weeks.  Short-Term Maternity Accommodation may be extended by two (2) weeks, for a total of eight (8) weeks, where a longer absence is medically necessary.  Prior to the absence students must work with relevant university faculty and staff to adjust their course work, research, teaching and other academic responsibilities during the period of absence. This may include extensions of time to complete assignments, incomplete grades, and/or dropping courses, shifting research responsibilities and adjusting TA assignments.  Students who take a Short-Term Maternity Accommodation will remain enrolled.
  • Formal leave of absence– A formal leave of absence under the student leave policy. Generally, the Student Leave Policy permits students to take a leave of absence for a full-semester, mini-semester, or for the time remaining in the semester during which the leave is taken. Students who take a formal leave of absence drop all remaining courses for the semester and are unenrolled for the semester. International students must consult with the Office of International Education before considering this option due to visa implications. 

Carnegie Mellon also offers financial assistance to female students who give birth to a child:

  • Interest free loan – Any female student who gives birth to a child is eligible to apply for an interest-free maternity loan from the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. 
  • Stipend continuation – Doctoral students who receive an academic stipend funded by Carnegie Mellon are eligible to continue to receive stipend funding for up to six (6) weeks during a Short-Term Maternity Accommodation. Continued academic stipend funding may be extended by two (2) weeks, for a total of eight (8) weeks, if an absence longer than six weeks is medically necessary. Doctoral students who take a Formal Leave of Absence will no longer b eligible to continue to receive stipend funding.

For more information, please review the Student Maternity Accommodations Protocol. For questions regarding support for stipend-supported doctoral students, please first contact your department head. If needed, your next contact regarding the support is the College of Engineering's associate dean of graduate and faculty affairs.



Resolution of grievances

Graduate students are expected to discuss any concerns or grievances initially with members of their academic departments, including their academic advisor and Department Head, as appropriate. If a student wishes, the Associate Dean for Graduate and Faculty Affairs of the College of Engineering is available for consultation. All such discussions will be considered confidential at the request of a student.

If resolution of an academic grievance or concern cannot be obtained within their academic departments, graduate students may file a formal appeal of academic actions to the Associate Dean for Garduate and Faculty Affairs of the college. In accordance with the Carnegie Mellon Student Handbook, such appeals will ordinarily be heard and decided by the Engineering College Council. Written materials and findings of such appeal processes are considered confidential for all parties involved.

If a resolution cannot be reached by this process, an appeal may be made to the Provost at the request of either the student or the college.

Contacts for the college and departments are given below:


College of Engineering
Jonathan Cagan, Associate Dean for Graduate and Faculty Affairs

Biomedical Engineering
Bin He, Department Head
Maryia Rakach, Graduate Program Administrator

Chemical Engineering
Lorenz Biegler, Department Head
Allyson Danley, Graduate Coordinator

Civil and Environmental Engineering
David Dzombak, Department Head
Maxine Leffard, Graduate Program Administrator

Electrical and Computer Engineering
James Hoe, Interim Department Head
Tara Haslam-Moe, Associate Director of Graduate Affairs

Energy Science, Technology & Policy
Paul Salvador, Executive Director
Nora Siewiorek, Assistant Executive Director

Engineering and Public Policy
Douglas Sicker, Department Head
Victoria Finney, Graduate Program Administrator

Engineering & Technology Innovation Management
Jimmy Williams, Executive Director
Karen Fleischman, Assistant Executive Director

Information Networking Institute
Dena Haritos Tsamitis, Director
Jessica Becker, Senior Associate Director of Academic Affairs and Student Services

Materials Science and Engineering
Greg Rohrer, Department Head
Suzanne Smith, Administrative Associate/Graduate Coordinator

Mechanical Engineering
Allen Robinson, Department Head
Chris Hertz, Manager of Academic Programs