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SJTU Regulations on the Training of Master Degree Students
Date:2018-10-12 Clicks:

 (This is a translation of the official version in Chinese 沪交研〔2017〕100号. In case of any discrepancy, the Chinese version shall prevail.)

Chapter One: General Provisions


Article 1 To enhance the education and management of master students and to improve the quality of postgraduate education, the regulations are hereby formulated in accordance with “Regulations on Academic Degrees of the People’s Republic of China”, “Provisional Measures for the Implementation of the Regulations on Academic Degrees of the People’s Republic of China”, “Opinions on the Training of Full-time Master Degree Students” of the Ministry of Education and “Notice on the Unified Management of Full-time and Part-time Postgraduate Students” as well as the “Shanghai Jiao Tong University Constitutions”, and with reference to the actual conditions of the University.


Article 2 The regulations are applicable to students pursuing a Master degree at SJTU. The degree pursued could be academic degree and/or professional degree, and the student status could be full-time and/or part-time.


Article 3 The master education at Shanghai Jiao Tong University aims to cultivate students that observe the laws and disciplines, honest and courteous, healthy both physically and mentally. They should have a firm and comprehensive grasp of the basic theories, systematic and specialized knowledge in the related discipline, and be able to undertake scientific research or technical work independently.


Article 4 The education and management of Master students shall follow the principle of 2-level management, namely, the University and the School (Department).The university, school (department) and supervisor each has its own responsibilities and shall fulfill them within the scope of these regulations.


During the training process of the master students, the university and the corresponding academic discipline should make reasonable arrangements on the courses, professional practice, scientific research, academic exchanges and other social activities, so as to cultivate students with full-fledged knowledge in both basic theory and professional skills, and to train the abilities to undertake scientific research or technical work such as design and management independently.


Chapter Two: Study Duration and Overall Arrangement


Article 5 The study duration of the Master degree programs is flexible, with a standard duration of 2 to 3 years. The standard study duration for each program shall be explicitly defined in the program curriculum by the Academic Degree Evaluation Committee of the relevant School (Department).


The study duration of the Master student should not be extended generally. Under special circumstances, those who fail to complete their studies, research tasks or thesis defense on time, can apply to extend their study duration by maximum 1 year. For part-time graduate students, students suspend schooling due to starting a startup, or direct PhD students transferred to Master’s programs, their study duration can be extended to a maximum of 5 years (including the period of suspension).


In general, the study duration of Master students should be no less than 2 years.


According to the national regulations, all full-time domestic no-contractual master students, and some master students in contractual programs that are entitled to financial aids as stipulated in the national policies, shall be awarded scholarships and grants according to their study duration and from the date of enrollment.


Article 6 Disciplines conferring Master degrees should follow these regulations and, by referring to the actual conditions of the discipline and major, establish the program curriculum, which should then serve as the main reference in training the master students in the discipline. The program curriculum for professional master degree program should follow the requirements of the corresponding Steering Committee for Professional Degree Education and the regulations of the University.


The program curriculum of  a Master program should contain the following contents: an introduction of the discipline, objectives of the Master program, standard study duration, course and practice requirements, and requirements on mid-term examination, thesis proposal, thesis defense and other qualification assurance procedures, as well as requirements on academic publication and thesis. Efforts should be made to promote the implementation of each and every section of the training process, strengthen and standardize the management of postgraduate education.


The program curriculum should be discussed and approved by the Academic Degree Evaluation Subcommittee of relevant disciplines, and submitted to the Graduate School for approval and archive.


Article 7 The Master students shall complete the coursework, scientific research, professional practice, thesis work and other work as specified in the program curriculum.

The Master students can apply for thesis defense once they have completed the required coursework, obtained the credits required by the programs, met the GPA requirements, completed all work specified in the master program curriculum, and met the academic publication requirements as in “SJTU Regulations on Master Degree Application”.


Chapter Three: Supervisor and Training Plan


Article 8 The Master student should generally confirm his/her supervisor within 1 month after enrollment, upon the mutual selection of both the student and the supervisor. The supervisor and the supervising group are jointly responsible for the training of the Master student.


Article 9 If the supervisor cannot fulfill his/her duties due to certain reasons, the student is allowed to apply to change his/her supervisor following the relevant regulations of the University.


Article 10 The supervisor and the supervising group shall be fully responsible for the training and education of the Master student, which includes:

(1). guiding the Master student to develop his/her individual training plan;

(2). Supervising and urging the Master students to study on campus and complete their tasks;

(3). examining the performance of the Master students in implementing their study, research and practice plans, and providing detailed suggestions and comments;

(4). helping to enhance the scientific and academic integrity as well as moral conduct of the Master students;

(5). guiding and examining the thesis work of the master students;

(6). proposing to terminate the training process of the Master students who are unable to meet the program requirements.


Article 11 The supervisor and the supervising group shall supervise the Master student to work out a feasible and tailored training plan within one month after his/her enrollment, by following these regulations, referring to the corresponding program curriculum, and combining the actual conditions of the student. The training plans, approved by the supervisors and the discipline chair, should be submitted to the Graduate Affairs Office of the School(Department) for archive. Once the training plan is finalized, both the Master student and the supervisor shall adhere to it.


Article 12 If it turns out that the training plan is unable to be implemented either fully or partly due to objective reasons, the master student can apply for a revision within the first 2 weeks of the relevant semester. The student shall fill out the application form, ask for approval form the supervisor and the discipline chair, and then submit to the Graduate Affairs Office of the School (Department) for revision and archive.


Chapter Four: Coursework and Assessment

Article 13 The master programs adopt the credit system, and the courses of the program curricula are comprised of general courses, specialized core courses, specialized frontier courses and specialized elective courses. All courses specified in the training plan are compulsory, and some of them will be used for GPA calculation.


Article 14 The requirement on total credits, GPA credits, credit requirements of each module, and courses used for GPA calculation shall be determined by the Academic Degree Evaluation Committee of the discipline related. The discipline should specify the requirements by taking into account the basis requirement on graduate courses and the characteristics of the discipline (major). Each discipline and major should specify the credits of each course and specify the minimum credit requirements for each module.


Article 15 The basic requirements for Master courses are as follows, and the Master program curriculum of each discipline (major) shall include but not limited to the following courses:

I. General courses

(1). Theory of Marxism, 3 credits

Study on the Theories and Practice of Socialism with Chinese Characteristic (2 credits; compulsory);

 The Outline for Dialectics of Nature (1 credit; elective);

Marxism and Social Science Methodology (1 credit; elective);

Domestic students must choose one of the two elective courses.

(2). First foreign language, 2 credits

   All full-time Master students must take the English for Academic Purpose course (GPA counting); students who fail to meet the conditions to exempt the Fundamental English course shall take the course (2 credits), whose credits will be counted as optional elective course credits.

II. Specialized core courses

Specialized core courses generally include 3~6 credits from mathematics courses (excluding disciplines related to humanities, medicine, etc.), and there should be a minimum credit requirement.

These courses are generally included in the GPA calculation.

III. Special frontier courses and specialized elective courses

Symposium: minimum 1 credit.


Article 16 Master students from Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR and Taiwan province can apply for exemption from the Theory of Marxism courses, but shall take other social science courses approved by the University instead.


Article 17 International graduate students pursuing Master degrees at SJTU do not need to take the Theory of Marxism courses. International graduate students in English-taught programs shall take the courses of Introduction to Chinese Culture (2 credits) and Chinese Language (2 credits), which will be counted as general courses. And international Master students in Chinese-taught programs must take Introduction to Chinese Culture (2 credits) and other social science courses (2 credits) approved by the University. These will also be counted as general courses as well.


Article 18 The master students are allowed to take courses in a related discipline that not listed in the program curriculum of their own. Upon the approval of the supervisor and the school (department), these courses can be enlisted as specialized elective courses in their training plans. The credits obtained will also be counted, but cannot be used for  GPA calculation.


Article 19 The master students are also allowed to take courses not listed in their individual training plan based on their interests. Upon the consent of the supervisor, these courses can be recorded as optional elective courses.


Article 20 For graduate courses taken at SJTU prior to their enrollment as a graduate student, the student can apply to be exempted from taking them again, in conditions of a passing grade and that the relevant course satisfies the requirement of the program curriculum. Upon approval, the credits of such courses shall be counted toward the total credits. The application of exemption shall be submitted within the first 2 weeks of the related semester (The original transcript is also required). The application should be approved by the supervisor and the corresponding course instructor, and then submitted to the Graduate School for approval and archive.


Chapter Five: Mid-term Assessment


Article 21 The mid-term assessment is an important part of the master education. It is also an important measure to regulate the graduate education management and to guarantee the quality of the postgraduate education. The assessment shall include a personal progress summary, review of course completion, the progress of the thesis, evaluation by the supervisor, and an oral presentation to the assessment committee.


Article 22 Basic requirements of mid-term assessment: The students shall complete all the courses as specified in the training plan and pass the exams; the GPA should be no less than 2.7 (applicable to students following the new GPA scheme with a maximum of 4.0, the minimum requirements for students following the previous GPA scheme with a maximum of 3.3  should be ≥ 2.0); the thesis proposals should have been passed.


Article 23 The mid-term assessment for Master students shall generally be completed within the first semester of the second academic year. The results of the assessment shall be marked as passed/failed. For the Master programs whose course arrangements have a long span of time, the program curriculum should specify the progress requirement at the time of mid-term assessment (such as the minimum credits required, the minimum GPA credit, etc.).


Article 24 The Master students who fail to pass the mid-term assessment shall be given a warning, and be required to take corrective actions and reported to the School (Department). The student can apply for a 2nd mid-term assessment provided that he/she has made substantial improvement. Students who fail to pass the 2nd mid-term assessment should be counselled out from the University.

The forms of mid-term assessment shall be archived by the Graduate Affairs Office of the School (Department).


Chapter Six: Master Thesis


Article 25 The thesis work is an important part of the master education. During the thesis work, the master student is trained comprehensively to carry out scientific research and/or undertake professional tasks. It serves as the essential means to cultivate the innovation ability, and to develop the ability to identify the problem, analyze the causes, and find the solution by using the knowledge learned. The master students should actively participate in the research projects undertaken by their supervisors and choose topics that are of important practical value. The thesis work should lead to new findings and new insights.


Article 26 The master thesis work should include: thesis proposal, mid-term assessment, thesis evaluation, and oral defense.


Article 27 Thesis proposal

I. The master degree thesis proposal should generally be carried out before the end of the first semester of the second academic year (thesis proposal for the Medical school students should follow the corresponding program curriculum).The forms for the proposal can be downloaded from the Graduate School website. The thesis proposal shall include:

(1). The proposed title of the thesis;

(2). The significance and analysis of the current status both in China and abroad of the chosen research topic;

(3) the objectives, main contents, and key issues to solve of the research topic;

(4) the research method, technical route, and approach to be adopted, and the feasibility analysis;

(5) the originality/innovativeness of the research topic;

(6) the planned scheduling and the expected outcomes;

(7) the literature review and preliminary results of the research topic.

II. The thesis proposal report shall be held in public within the discipline or related disciplines. The discipline chair or supervisor shall invite at least three experts from related disciplines to evaluate the proposal.

III. In the thesis proposal report, the master student should present in details the selected topics, the supervisor can make necessary explanation. The experts should evaluate the chosen topic of the thesis work, with a focus on innovativeness and feasibility, and provide detailed suggestions and comments to the thesis work.

IV. The discipline group shall designate a person to minute the proposal report. The thesis proposal and the opinions by the experts shall be archived in the Graduate Affairs Office of the discipline (or school/department).


Article 28 Mid-term assessment

(1). The discipline shall organize the mid-term assessment of the master degree thesis one semester prior to the thesis defense.

(2). The assessment committee shall evaluate the progress of the student’s thesis work. The evaluation result will be either qualified or unqualified. The master student whose thesis work is marked as unqualified shall be warned, and be requested to submit a corrective action report. Besides, the University shall organize an anonymous review of his/her thesis before the oral defense.


The mid-term assessment report should be archived by the Graduate Affairs Office of the school (department).


Article 29 The format of the master thesis shall follow the specific requirements of each school (department). The oral defense and degree application shall be carried out based on the degree type and in accordance with the “SJTU Regulations on (Academic) Master Degree Application” or “SJTU Regulations on Professional Master Degree Application”.


Chapter Seven: Professional Master Degree Training


Article 30 The Professional Master Degree Programs are career-oriented, with an emphasis on practical research, innovation and entrepreneurship. They aim to equip students with a solid theoretical foundation and broad professional knowledge in a particular field and to train experienced professionals with strong problem-solving skills, high professionalism and international perspective.


Article 31 The professional master education should differ from the academic master education in terms of training objectives, courses, teaching philosophy, training mode, quality standards, and faculty/staff team. It is necessary to highlight the characteristics of the professional degree programs.


Article 32 The training of the professional master students is encouraged to be co-supervised by two supervisors, one inside and the other outside the University. The internal supervisor takes the major responsibility, while the external supervisor will participate in supervising the practice, project research, thesis, and other works.


Article 33 The program curriculum for professional master should be optimized in accordance with the characteristics of professional degree education. The curriculum design and the courses should follow the training objectives and the basic requirements, with an orientation for practical application, catering to the career requirements. The program should focus on improving the comprehensive qualification, practical knowledge and abilities of the students. The program curriculum should fully integrate the industrial needs, reflecting the latest academic and industry trends. Both domestic and international experts with rich practical experience in the related industry should be employed to participate in the program design and the course delivering.


The delivering of the professional master degree courses shall enhance the application of diversified teaching methods, such as case study, on-site practice, and training simulations, highlighting the training of practical research and technological innovation abilities, and strengthening the assessment of their abilities to apply their knowledge to solve real-life problems.


Article 34 Professional practice is an important part of the professional master training. A comprehensive, high-quality and industry-oriented professional practice is the necessary guarantee for training high-level practical talents. During their course of study, the professional master students shall have no less than six months of professional practice.

Each training unit should highlight the discipline characteristics, and build more training bases inside and outside the University through school-enterprise cooperation based on complementary strengths. Schools (Departments) shall also establish a permanent team of faculty/staffs with practical experience to ensure that professional practice can be carried out according to plans and in a standardized way.


Chapter Eight: Miscellaneous


Article 35 These regulations are subject to interpretation by the Graduate School and come into force on September 1, 2017. In case of any discrepancy between this and previous version of the regulations, this version shall prevail.

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