Student Handbook

The Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Instrumentation and Applied Physics Handbook provides detailed information regarding requirements and procedure for completing the Master of Engineering in Engineering with concentration in Instrumentation and Applied Physics degree offered by Illinois Physics.

The Graduate College Handbook outlines the Graduate College requirements and regulations that apply to all graduate students. Additional program requirements may be beyond those of the Graduate College. The information in this manual supplements and may supersede the information provided in the Graduate College Handbook. Students are advised to consult both the Graduate College Handbook and this manual when planning or revising their program of studies.

Please consult with the Instrumentation and Applied Physics Program Coordinator if there are doubts regarding the interpretation of the policies or requirements in this manual, or if there are questions about the program involving matters not covered in this manual.

Contact Information

Graduate Programs Coordinator
Graduate, Professional, and Online Programs
The Grainger College of Engineering
403-A2 Engineering Hall
1308 West Green Street
Urbana, IL 61801

Professor of Physics and Director, Physics Master of Engineering Programs

Department of Physics
437d Loomis Laboratory of Physics
1110 West Green Street
Urbana, IL 61801

General Information

University Policy

The commitment of the University to the most fundamental principles of academic freedom, equality of opportunity, and human dignity requires that decisions involving students and employees be based on individual merit and be free from invidious discrimination in all its forms.

It is the policy of the University of Illinois not to engage in discrimination or harassment against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, unfavorable discharge from the military, or status as a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era and to comply with all federal and state nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action laws, orders, and regulations. This nondiscrimination policy applies to admissions, employment, access to, and treatment in the University programs and activities. Complaints of invidious discrimination prohibited by University policy are to be resolved within existing University procedures.

For additional information or assistance on the equal opportunity, affirmative action and harassment policies of the University, please contact: Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion located at 614 E. Daniel Street, Suite 303, Champaign, IL 61820; by telephone at (217) 300-9580; or by email at

Statement on Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is essential for maintaining the quality of scholarship in the Department and for protecting those who depend on the results of research work performed by faculty and students in the Department. The faculty of The Grainger College of Engineering Illinois Physics expect students to maintain academic integrity at all times in the classroom and the research laboratory and to conduct their academic work in accordance with the highest ethical standards of the engineering profession. Students are expected to maintain academic integrity by refraining from academic dishonesty, and by refraining from conduct which aids others in academic dishonesty, or which leads to suspicion of academic dishonesty. Violations of academic integrity will result in disciplinary actions ranging from failing grades on assignments and courses to probation, suspension, or dismissal from the University. See the University’s Student Code for more information.

Program Information

The M.Eng. in Instrumentation and Applied Physics is a self-funded program in which students are responsible for paying their tuition and fees. Students in this program are not eligible for Board of Trustee (BOT) tuition-waiver-generating assistantships at the University of Illinois.

Orientation Program

New Student Orientation is offered to introduce incoming graduate students to the M.Eng. in Instrumentation and Applied Physics program. All incoming graduate students, both new students to the University and prior graduates of the University of Illinois, are required to attend orientation.


Incoming graduate students are advised to read relevant portions of this manual regarding M.Eng. degree requirements and prepare a tentative plan for the courses in which they plan to enroll while pursuing the M.Eng. degree, using the Course Plan Worksheet. Before arriving at the university students should register for classes through the Student Self-Service Enterprise system. Enrollment modifications can be made through Student Self-Service in the first ten business days of the start of classes. After this period, approval of the course instructor, course department, and faculty advisor or program coordinator is needed to add classes. Students may drop classes without approval until the deadline set by the Office of the Registrar.

Students are advised to make an appointment to review the Course Plan Worksheet with the program coordinator or faculty advisor as soon as possible after their arrival, but certainly within the first ten business days of the start of the semester. Students are expected to make advising appointments once a semester to modify the Course Plan Worksheet as needed.

Students are expected to register for a minimum of 12 credit hours each fall and spring semester.  Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.  Please discuss alternate plans with your advisor.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students must maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of at least 3.0 to show satisfactory academic progress toward their degree.

A student who fails to maintain a CGPA of at least 3.0 is placed on academic probation. Please see the Graduate College Handbook for details regarding academic probation and dismissal. A degree candidate must achieve a CGPA of at least 3.0 to graduate.

Credit Restrictions

No courses used to fulfill any degree requirement may be taken using the “Credit/No Credit” option.

Credit Loads

The standard recommended credit load for students is 16 hours per semester.

Annual Evaluation Process 

All graduate students enrolled in the Instrumentation and Applied Physics program for more than one-year must complete an annual evaluation. Students in their first or final semester are not required to complete the evaluation, and students who complete the degree within one year are exempt from this requirement. Every February, students in the program complete their self-evaluation first, which is then used by the program to complete their evaluation. Students who fail to complete the self-evaluation by the deadline will have an advising hold placed on their record. Students will receive program feedback on their academic progress electronically by the last week of March. Students who have questions about their academic performance should contact the program coordinator or faculty advisor to set up an appointment. Students who do not receive satisfactory reviews on their evaluation will meet with their faculty advisor to develop an academic plan to help assist them to get back on track to successfully complete the program requirements.

Degree List

Students approaching graduation are required to add themselves to the degree list via Student Self-Service by the deadline specified on the Graduate College Calendar. Failure to add to the degree list by the deadline will result in not graduating until the next semester.

Academics & Curriculum

Please visit the Curriculum page to learn about specific degree requirements.

Academic Advising

The Program Coordinator can assist students with the following tasks:

  • Admission Process and Requirements
  • General Academic Advising
  • Graduate Petitions
  • Degree Conferral
  • Student Orientation
  • Seminars and other information related to the program.

The Faculty Advisor can assist students with the following tasks:

  • Provide students with more detailed guidance on selecting courses and other degree requirements.
  • Discuss academic and personal challenges students are having in courses. 
  • Input on technical career paths.
  • Recommendation letters.
  • Information on helpful resources and people on campus.

Petitions & Problem Solving

Graduate College Petitions

To request exceptions to the Graduate College policies or deadlines, students are required to complete a Graduate Student Request form.

Below are some examples of when students might request an exception:

  • Missed deadline exception
  • Time extension
  • Curriculum change

Students should complete the online petition at the link above after seeking advice from the program coordinator of faculty advisor. Petitions are sent to the Graduate College by the program for final review. The student and the program are notified via email of the Graduate College’s final decision on the petition. Petitions can take up to 3 weeks once it is received by the Graduate College. It is also important to note that just because the program has approved the exception it does not mean that it will automatically be approved by the Graduate College.

Program Petitions

To request substitutions to the degree requirements, or exceptions to the program policies or deadlines, students are required to complete a program petition.

Below are some examples of why students might request an exception:

  • To complete an alternate course that is not on the approved list
  • To request a reduced course load

Students are advised to complete the online petition at the link above after seeking advice from the program director or faculty advisor. Students will be notified via email of the Program’s decision.

Managing Conflict and Problem Solving

The University has procedures to provide assistance to students experiencing conflict. Examples of conflict may include, but are not limited to, conflict with colleagues, staff, or faculty, or concerns about academic issues such as grading equity. Policies and procedures for conflict resolution are overseen by several offices on campus, including the Graduate College, the Office of the Dean of Students, International Student and Scholar Services, the Office of Access and Equity, and, in some cases, individual departments. The type of conflict will determine from which university office(s) the student should seek assistance.  Students with conflict concerns are advised to speak with their program coordinator or faculty advisor, and to consult Part I, Chapter 9 in The Graduate College Handbook.