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Forms and Policies

The following forms and policies are organized by degree and are ordered to follow the degree timeline for the typical student. Please contact the ME Graduate Coordinator if you need additional clarification on a policy or if there is any difficulty locating information for a form.

Sections of this Page:

All Graduate Students

Master’s Degree Forms & Policies

Doctoral Degree Forms & Policies 

All Graduate Students


Students have the right to petition any College, Rackham, or Department rule or requirement. The Associate Chair for Graduate Education and/or the Graduate Program Committee make decisions on all submitted petitions in consideration of their charge to uphold the integrity and rigor of our graduate degrees. Any petition that bears on graduation plans should be submitted prior to the term in which a student intends to graduate, so there is time for alternate arrangements to be made if the petition is not approved.

To petition, the Online Petition Form must be completed. Students should always attach supporting documentation (e.g. a course syllabus). The result of the petition will be communicated via email at each stage of the process (see flow chart below).  You can also check the status of your petition here.

If you are petitioning a Department rule, then the Department will review and make a decision. If you are petitioning a Rackham or College rule, then the Department will review, followed by Rackham or the College, as appropriate. Depending on which parties are involved in the review process, the response time frame can be a few days to a few weeks. The ME Graduate Coordinator will keep you informed via email.

Petition Flow Chart

Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship: 

All Ph.D. students and students who are supported by NSF or NIH funding are responsible for completing the Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship program.

International Travel Policy:

International travel is increasingly important to our work. Our students are taking to heart our encouragement to study abroad. The University has developed this policy and the resources that support it in order to make the international travel experience more enjoyable and secure for the entire University community.  The new International Travel Policy/SPG #601.31 pertains to all faculty, staff, and students engaged in University-related international travel. It addresses the health, safety, and security of U-M travelers.  This policy addresses the U-M Travel Registry; travel abroad health insurance; emergency evacuation insurance; U-M travel warnings or University travel restrictions; and international travel involving student groups.  

University Travel Registry: All faculty, staff, and students traveling abroad must register their international travel in the Registry before departure. This confidential and secure database provides a convenient tool for the traveler and the department to coordinate travel details. It will also help the University locate you if an emergency situation arises.  

Travel Abroad Health Insurance: All students traveling abroad are required to have travel abroad insurance coverage from the University’s authorized vendor. Faculty and staff traveling internationally are covered under the University’s blanket policy with that vendor.  

Emergency Evacuation Insurance: All faculty, staff, and students traveling internationally are covered under a blanket policy for emergency evacuation due to political unrest or natural disaster.  

University Travel Warnings or Travel Restrictions: This segment delineates policies pertaining to travel to destinations for which the University has issued a Travel Warning, and travel to destinations for which the University has issued a Travel Restriction.  

International Travel Involving Student Groups: Includes specific requirements for University-sponsored travel abroad and student-initiated group travel abroad.

The new policy is posted in full at, and detailed procedures, forms, and so on are available online at

Student Initiated Administrative Review (SIAR):

The Student Initiated Administrative Review (SIAR) is the process by which a graduate student submits to the Mechanical Engineering Departmental Administration a request to review a faculty decision or action and thereby officially launching a dispute resolution process. It is strongly recommended that student first attempt an informal resolution. Once the SIAR process has been formally initiated, a panel of Mechanical Engineering faculty and students who are independent of the matter under consideration will be assembled to review the case. The students involved will be elected by the student body for a one year position to serve as a student member of the administrative review resolution panels. All SIARs will be respected as sensitive to the parties involved but cannot be maintained as confidential due to the nature of the resolution process. Any recommendation yielded from an ME review can be reviewed again by CoE and/or Rackham. However, it is necessary that a student never initiates more than one review at a time for the same incident.

If a student chooses not to pursue the SIAR process, or is unsatisfied with the outcome, a student can request a separate review from Rackham by contacting ([email protected]) or CoE by contacting Angela Farrehi ([email protected], 143 Chrysler Center, 647-7106). The recommended steps to resolving disputes are as follows:

  1. Informal resolution attempted with the student’s faculty advisor or faculty member
  2. Informal resolution attempted with either the ME graduate chair or department char. If this resolution is not successful, the student proceeds to Step 3 and if that step is also unsuccessful, returns to the ME graduate chair or department chair for final discussion. That discussion will be where the SIAR begins convening a panel of faculty and students (Step 4). The graduate chair or department chair works with the student to complete the document and follows up to make sure the student submits it.
  3. Informal resolution attempted with CoE Resolution Officer Angela Farrehi, [email protected], 647-7106.
  4. Formal resolution sought via SIAR process.
  5. If necessary, after or in lieu of SIAR, formal resolution sought with the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education (ADRGE).
  6. If necessary, after or in lieu of SIAR/CoE, formal resolution sought with Rackham Resolution Officer (Darlene Ray-Johnson, [email protected], 734-936-1647).

Find out about the Coe Conflict Resolution Policy here.

Find out more about the Rackham Conflict Resolution Policy here.

The SIAR form outlines Step 4 above. Follow the link for the official policy.

Master’s Degree Forms & Policies

Master’s Degree Audit Form – The Master’s Degree audit form exists to help students plan coursework for their ME Master’s degree.  It does not need to be submitted unless requested by your program adviser. 

Dual Degree Application Form – Students who are interested in getting a dual degree from the University must complete the Dual Degree Application. A student in a Rackham doctoral or master’s program must complete at least one term of coursework in good academic standing in a regular Rackham program before requesting admission to a dual degree program. Please review the guidelines thoroughly for this option.

Dual Degree Election Form – Students in dual degree programs may double-count a limited number of credit hours toward the requirements of both degrees. To request double counting, a student must complete the Dual Degree Election Form no later than one term prior to completing the second degree.

SUGS Election Form – Students applying to the SUGS degree program must fill out the SUGS Election Form with their admissions application. This form will be finalized the semester of graduation, if not prior.

JI-SUGS Election Form – Students applying to the UM-SJTU JI-SUGS degree program must fill out the SJTU-SGUS Election Form with their admissions application. This form will be finalized the semester of graduation, if not prior.

Transfer of Credit
The transfer of credit form is available for students who are interested in transferring graduate credits for the Master’s Degree. A student must have completed at least 8 credits of graduate level coursework in Rackham, and have at least a B average, before requesting a transfer of credit. Only graduate courses from an external institution can be transferred into graduate courses at the University of Michigan, regardless of the content. Courses can only be transferred if a grade of “B” or better was earned. Additional information can be found in the Transfer of Credit Guidelines.

The following steps must be completed to have your petition request considered:

First, complete a Departmental Petition Request.  If approved, you will be notified via email and then you will submit the Rackham Transfer of Credit Request. With these requests, you must include:

  • A syllabus for each course.
  • A detailed rationale for how your credit transfer request fits the specific categories of your MSE degree (e.g. Cognate, 5XX level ME course, etc.).
  • A detailed explanation of what the equivalent courses at U of M are.
  • Grades earned in the courses.  
  • If any of these classes were taken as an undergraduate, Rackham requires that “If the course was taken as an undergraduate, a signed statement from the Senior Auditor or Registrar (from the institution you wish to transfer the credit from) that the course was not used for the undergraduate degree is required. Only courses taken in the junior or senior year can be transferred. If course requirements involved extra work for graduate students, it must be documented that the extra work was completed.”

The Graduate Chair will electronically approve your request to Rackham.  Upon approval by Rackham, the course(s) will be added to your record.

Doctoral Degree Forms & Policies

Rackham’s Continuous Enrollment Policy
Once admitted to a PhD program, students will register every fall and winter term until their degree is awarded, unless they are taking an official leave of absence. Students will register in spring or summer terms only when they elect courses, take preliminary examinations, or defend their dissertations. Students must be registered for 8 credits of ME995 during the term of the dissertation defense.

Reinstatement Fee – A PhD student who discontinues enrollment in Spring/Summer 2012 or later and subsequently is reinstated into the same program will be assessed a fee equal to one quarter of the prevailing candidacy tuition rate for each fall and winter semester that the student was not registered, up to a maximum of eight semesters. Students who discontinued their enrollment at any time prior to Spring/Summer 2012 are not subject to this fee. Responsibility for paying the reinstatement fee will be split between the graduate student seeking to re-enroll and the graduate program that agrees to reinstate the student, such that the graduate program will pay at least half of the fee. For additional information, please visit Rackham’s Reinstatement to a Ph.D. webpage.

Active PhD Students Not Registered During Spring/Summer
Active PhD students have year-round eligibility for all University facilities and support services, including: University Library, The Career Center, Center for the Education of Women (CEW), e-mail, printing, International Center, University Housing, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Services for Students with Disabilities, Spectrum Center, and Parking Services. Active Rackham PhD students who were registered in the prior winter semester will have access to University Health Service, Recreational Sports, and Student Legal Services (SLS). Additional information can be found in here: PhD Students’ Eligibility for Campus Services According to Status.

Leave of Absence
Events may occur that make it necessary for a student pursuing a PhD to interrupt his or her progress toward a degree. Since students in PhD programs are required to be continuously enrolled, they may ask for a temporary leave of absence when certain life events make impossible continued active participation in the degree program. A leave of absence enables a student to not register during a fall or winter term and remain in compliance with the continuous enrollment requirement. A leave will be granted to students for illness or injury, to provide care or assistance for family and dependents, to meet military service obligations, or for other personal reasons. The official Leave of Absence Policy is maintained by the Rackham Graduate School.  Additional information can be found on the Leave of Absence webpage.

Extramural Study
A student who enrolls at another institution to pursue study relevant to the PhD in a period that overlaps substantially with a University fall or winter term may be eligible for extramural study status (extramural study is not an appropriate status for a student who is engaged in fieldwork or archival research, or who has an internship but is not enrolled in a formal course of study at another institution). The official Extramural Study Policy is maintained by the Rackham Graduate School. Additional information can be found on the Extramural Study webpage. 

ME Annual Progress Update (APU) Policy
The annual progress update is a formal process to review the research and academic progress of all PhD students. It is intended to be a communication tool for PhD students and research advisors to ensure there is adequate progress toward the degree. Pre-candidate PhD students are required to complete the annual progress update twice a year, once in the Fall and once in the Winter. Candidates are required to complete the update once per year in the Winter term. Access to the APU system will be sent via email from the Academic Services Office.

Student Initiated Degree Program Form – Student Initiated Degree Programs (SIDP) provide students with the opportunity to combine studies from two PhD programs, which will lead to a single PhD citation. For additional information, review the SIDP program requirements and policy. Students who are interested in participating in this program should discuss the opportunity with the Graduate Chair and research advisor.

Advancement to Candidacy – If you’ve met the candidacy requirements, you will be advanced after successful completion of the RFE.  If you would prefer not to be advanced, you should indicate so on the RFE registration form or email [email protected].

Dissertation Committee Form – Please see Rackham’s Quick Reference Chart for guidelines on the composition of dissertation committees. Upon completion of the Dissertation Proposal Exam, your Committee Chair should send a memo to [email protected], which listed the names, titles, and departments of all committee members.

Nomination for Special Membership on Dissertation Committee Form – A nomination for special membership on a dissertation committee form is necessary when a member of the dissertation committee does not meet the requirements for membership as set forth by Rackham.  You should provide the materials listed here to the Graduate Coordinator to be submitted on your behalf via the Dissertation Committee Form.