Frequently Asked Questions

New Students Road Map for Success

  1. Visit the web site for the Graduate Programs in Technology: The web site will give you detailed information on program offerings and curriculum design for the graduate programs including Master of Science in Technology degree as well as graduate certificate programs.
  2. Visit the web site for the Graduate School, regarding academic policy and admission procedure. This site will also have information on graduate assistantship and graduate course catalog.
  3. Submit application for admission. The application form is available from the web site of Graduate School: The Graduate School encourages online application, which is generally more expeditious. The application will be sent to the Graduate School directly.
  4. Contact Dr. Peter Ping Liu (581-6267, to schedule a meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to help students gain enough understanding on the graduate programs. It will also help the graduate programs to better understand the background, needs and interests of students.
  5. Writing Expectations: Graduate students are expected to have satisfactory writing skills. It is a good idea to have your own copy of APA Manual (5th ed.) so that you can use it as a format guide throughout your study.
  6. Listserv: This is the only way that the graduate programs make general
    announcements on any issues related to the program as well as graduating exams. It is critical for all students to subscribe to the listserv so that you can stay informed. The instruction to subscribe to the listserv is available at:
  7. Academic Performance: Graduate study is a serious matter. Students are expected to work hard independently as well as to work with teams. Students are expected to maintain academic standards set forth by the Graduate School. It is the responsibility of students to understand and to follow all academic policy by the Graduate Catalog.
  8. Student information: Please inform Dr. Peter Ping Liu about any changes in your contact information including phone number and address. Please also inform other related offices at EIU for those changes as well. Changes occurring with various offices may or may not be coordinated.
  9. Tips for Class Success:
    • Play an active role in all classes since that is your opportunity to improve
      your leadership ability including communication skills.
    • Be positive and pleasant. We are here together to learn, not to complain.
    • Class attendance is required.
    • Be adaptive and learn to work with others. Teamwork is a major building
      block of your leadership.
    • Do your hard work and submit your work on time. Any delay is NOT
    • Cheating will result in dismissal from the program. Direct copy from
      Internet or others is NOT acceptable.
    • Seek help if necessary from the instructor or other resources such as
      writing center.
    • Have a sense of humor.
  10. PAWS: This is your gateway to your academic needs. You will need to contact
    Registration Office or International Programs Office if you have difficulty in
    accessing the system.
  11. Contact the Academic Advising: When you communicate with Dr. Liu for academic issues, please state your full name and include your social security number.
  12. Thesis vs Non-thesis option? These are two possible ways to complete your MS
    degree. A thesis option requires a total of 30 credit hours for graduation including
    a thesis. A typical thesis work will involve literature research, thesis proposal,
    conducting the research plan, writing and final defense of the thesis, under the
    guidance of a graduate faculty. Normally, a student can earn up to six (6) credit
    hours for the completion of a thesis.

    Non-thesis option requires a minimum of 32 credit hours for graduation. A
    graduating student with non-thesis option is required to be certified for
    comprehensive knowledge. The certification is done through a one-hour
    independent study with a faculty on the last semester (Fall or Spring), in which a
    student will write a paper and have oral defense.

    Due to the extensive time required for planning, a non-thesis student needs to
    work with the graduate coordinator two (2) months before the graduating
    semester begins. For example, if you like to graduate in Fall semester, you
    need start planning in July before Fall begins. A student cannot be certified
    in summer term.


Additonal FAQs about graduate studies at EIU can be found at