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.

For the latest and most complete graduate policies, please view or download the graduate student handbook.

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 online 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 on 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

Students whose anticipated delivery date is during the course of the semester may consider taking time away from their coursework and/or research responsibilities. All female students who give birth to a child while engaged in coursework or research are eligible to take either a short-term absence or formal leave of absence. Students in coursework should consider either working with their course instructor to receive incomplete grades, or elect to drop to part-time status, or to take a semester leave of absence. Students engaged in research must work with their faculty to develop plans for the research for the time they are away.

Students are encouraged to consult with relevant university faculty and staff as soon as possible as they begin making plans regarding time away. Students must contact the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs to register for Maternity Accommodations. Students will complete an information form and meet with a member of the Dean’s Office staff to determine resources and procedures appropriate for the individual student. Planning for the student’s discussion with her academic contact(s) (advisor, associate dean, etc.) will be reviewed during this meeting. 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 or a Formal Leave of Absence.  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. To receive this support students must be registered with the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs for a Maternity Accommodation.

Resolution of grievances

The Grievance Policy for the College of Engineering follows that specified by the university. Please consult the Summary of Graduate Student Appeal and Grievance Procedure:

Graduate students are expected to discuss any concerns or grievances initially with the faculty or staff member(s) involved. Students are strongly encouraged to seek informal resolution of grievances through consultations within the academic unit, department, or program. Students may also seek assistance with the informal resolution of a grievance through the designated college ombudsperson, Suzie Laurich-McIntyre (, or the Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate Education.

If a grievance cannot be resolved informally with the faculty or staff member involved within the academic department, a student may submit a formal, written grievance to the head of the department, unit, or program. If there is more than one student with a grievance on a particular matter, each student must submit a separate grievance. The department, or unit, or program head, or director, or designated committee will issue a written decision on the grievance within thirty (30) days or as soon thereafter as practical.

Graduate students who wish to appeal from the decision rendered at the department, unit, or program level must submit a formal, written appeal to the Associate Dean of Graduate and Faculty Affairs within seven (7) calendar days after receipt of written notice of the decision by the department, unit, or program head, or director or designated committee. The Associate Dean shall render a decision on the appeal within thirty (30) days or as soon thereafter as practical.

Graduate students who wish to appeal the written decision of the Associate Dean must submit a formal written appeal to the Provost within seven (7) calendar days after receipt of the Associate Dean's decision. A copy of the appeal must also be submitted to the Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate Education and to the Associate Dean. The Provost shall render a decision on the appeal within thirty (30) days or as soon thereafter as practical. Decisions by the Provost are final and not appealable.

Contacts for the college and departments are given below:

College of Engineering
Lisa Porter, Associate Dean for Graduate and Faculty Affairs

Biomedical Engineering
Keith Cook, Interim Department Head
Maryia Rakach, Graduate Program Administrator

Chemical Engineering
Carl Laird, Interim Department Head
Heather Costello, Academic Graduate Advisor

Civil and Environmental Engineering
Burcu Akinci, Department Head
David Vey, Director of Graduate Programs

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Lawrence Pileggi, Department Head
Tara Haslam-Moe, Associate Director of Graduate Affairs

Energy Science, Technology & Policy
Paul Salvador, Executive Director

Engineering and Public Policy
Peter Adams, Department Head
Victoria Finney, Graduate Program Administrator

Engineering & Technology Innovation Management
Phillip Yu, Executive Director
Nesli Ozdoganlar, Senior Academic Program Manager

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

Integrated Innovation Institute
Peter Boatwright, Director
Emma Zink, Associate Director

Materials Science and Engineering
Beth Dickey, Department Head
Suzanne Smith, Administrative Associate/Graduate Coordinator

Mechanical Engineering
Jon Cagan, Department Head
Chris Hertz, Graduate Program Administrator