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Other questions? Email Dr.Hayhoe.


Frequently Asked Questions

To aid you in your decision and application processes, we have provided answers to commonly asked questions regarding finances and classes. Please contact the department if the provided responses fail to adequately answer your questions.

Academic Appeals




Are there any special scholarships or assistance programs for veterans or children of deceased or disabled veterans?
Special scholarships are not offered for particular groups; however, all MSTCO students are eligible to apply for the David C. Leonard Scholarship.

What method of payment is acceptable?
You may pay by check, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, cash, or company reimbursement.

Are any tuition rate discounts applicable?

What sources of financial aid are available?
Graduate students are eligible to apply for the David C. Leonard Scholarship. Other financial aid sources are not available at this time as the MSTCO program is designed as a part-time degree program for working adults. However, we do offer a deferred payment plan to students who are reimbursed by their employers. With this plan you defer payment until the end of the semester. For more information, contact George Hayhoe.

How much does the program cost per credit/per course?
As of Fall 2012, tuition is $810.00 per credit hour. Other fees may be assessed by the University.

What is the difference in cost per credit/per course, if any, between the regular terms (fall and spring) and the summer term?
Generally, no difference exists since rates are based on credit hours. Tuition rate increases, if any, take effect during Summer terms.

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How large are the classes?
TCO classes usually range from 12 to 20 students per course.

Do I have to complete a master's thesis?
Students take TCO 685, Project Research, in lieu of preparing a thesis. This collaborative, real-world project serves as the capstone for the MSTCO program and draws on all the student's knowledge and skills. For students who intend to enter a doctoral program and would prefer a thesis, consult with Dr. Grady or Dr. Hayhoe.

How many times a week do the classes meet?
WebEx-based voice and video chats are scheduled one day per week (the time of day is adjusted to meet work schedules and time zones). You will need to work on classwork several times each week; some of this time may be on your own, but other times will be with student teams.

How many weeks are in a term?
Fall and Spring semester terms are 15 weeks, with a 16th week for exams (final class deliverables due). Summer terms are 10 weeks.

How many terms in a year?
Mercer is on a semester system and offers a Fall, Spring, and Summer term each year. The Summer term for TCO is currently very limited; TCO 685 and a TCO 691 special topics elective are currently offered alternate summers. Discuss your plans for scheduling this course with Dr. Hayhoe.

How many hours per session?
Synchronous whole-class meetings or small-team meetings vary by subject and task. Classes currently earn 3 semester hours credit.

What time do classes start?
Synchronous class meetings are set in the evenings at a time when students can be available. For example, chat sessions with students spanning the globe from Tokyo to Vermont usually convene at 8:00 pm Eastern Time.

How many classes can I take?
One or two per session. Most students are working full time, and many have families, so we advise careful consideration of your workload and time availability. Students new to the program probably should begin with one course. Please refer to the listing of courses available over the next two years.

Are there any breaks between the fall and spring semesters?
Yes, a break generally occurs from the second week in December to the first week in January. Additionally, a brief Fall Break and a week-long Spring Break are typically scheduled. You can check the academic calendar.

Must I come to campus in Macon or Atlanta?
No. We do invite you to schedule a campus visit if you can. Additionally, we encourage you to come for graduation if possible.

How many students who enroll in the MSTCO program via distance learning actually complete the program?
Thus far, our retention rate is about 90%. This is an approximate percentage, since students may discontinue classes for a term or two before re-enrolling. We try to determine during the Admissions process that you have the qualifications as well as the motivation to succeed.

Do many students fail?
A few have decided to drop out because they did not have the time needed to devote to the program, or it was not a good match with their experience and background. We work with students to develop a realistic course completion plan, and we provide regular feedback and advice. As a result, very few students fail to make satisfactory progress.

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What is the procedure for bringing an academic appeal?
The academic appeals procedure for graduate programs in the Mercer University School of Engineering can be downloaded here.

What is the procedure for resolving other types of grievances?
For all other grievance procedures, please refer to the Mercer University Student Handbook

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