Skip to Main Navigation
The University of Texas at Dallas
Graduate Admissions

Graduate Program in Systems Engineering and Management


Faculty and Lecturers

Jonsson School of Engineering & Computer Science
Lawrence Chung, Kendra Cooper, Duncan L. MacFarlane, Mark W. Spong, Janell Straach, Lakshman Tamil, Mathukumalli Vidyasagar, Eric Wong, Stephen Yurkovich


Jindal School of Management
Alain Bensoussan, Abhi Biswas, Greg Dess, Robert Kieschnick, Padmakumar Nair, Rajiv Shah, David Springate, Chelliah Sriskandarajah, Jim Szot, Chris White


The Graduate Program in Systems Engineering and Management provides intensive preparation for professional practice in the design, engineering and management of complex systems involving a large number of interconnected components.



The Master’s in Systems Engineering and Management (MS-SEM) program is delivered through an equal partnership between the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science and the Naveen Jindal School of Management. The program focuses on educating students in the broad disciplines of Systems Engineering and Systems Management. Focused concentrations appealing to various industrial applications include: aerospace, defense and space systems; transportation systems; information and communications technology systems; information assurance and cyber-security systems; healthcare systems; energy, environment and infrastructure systems; complex biological systems; and macro-economic and financial systems. Faculty for the primary SEM courses are drawn from both the engineering and management schools; faculty from other schools on campus, and industry leaders with expertise in specific fields teach other courses as appropriate. 



UT Dallas has developed a state-of-the-art computational facility. All systems are connected via an extensive fiber-optic, Ethernet and, through Internet2 and the Texas Higher Education Network, have direct access to most major national and international networks. In addition, many personal computers are available for student use.  In addition to the facilities on campus, cooperative arrangements have been established with many local industries to make their facilities available to UT Dallas graduate students.


Master of Science in Systems Engineering and Management


Admission Requirements

The University’s general admission requirements are discussed here. A student lacking undergraduate prerequisites for graduate courses must complete prerequisites or receive approval from the graduate adviser and the course instructor. A diagnostic examination may be required. Specific admission requirements follow.


A student entering the MS-SEM program should meet the following guidelines:

      A minimum of a BS in engineering, mathematics, physics, chemistry, economics or finance (in order to ensure adequate fundamental skills in mathematics) from an accredited program.

      Must submit GRE and/or GMAT scores, as appropriate.

      Must submit three letters of recommendation from individuals who are able to judge the candidate’s probability of success in pursuing a program of study leading to the master’s degree.

      Must also submit an essay outlining the candidate’s background, education and professional goals.  

Degree Requirements


The University’s general degree requirements are discussed here. The MS-SEM program is designed to be flexible to accommodate different student backgrounds, allowing students to pick up areas in which they are deficient, while still guaranteeing core competency in systems engineering and systems management. This program has both a thesis and a non-thesis option. All part-time MS-SEM students will be assigned initially to the non-thesis option. Those wishing to elect the thesis option may do so by obtaining the approval of a faculty thesis supervisor.  To receive a Master of Science degree in Systems Engineering and Management, a student must meet the following minimum set of requirements.


Course Requirements

The MS in SEM degree requires a total of 36 credit hours consisting of 12 courses in the non-thesis option or 10 courses plus 6 hours of thesis credit for the thesis option. All students must have an academic advisor and an approved degree plan. Courses taken without advisor approval will not count toward the 36 semester-hour requirement. Successful completion of the approved course of studies leads to the MS-SEM degree.


Non-thesis Option

Completion of a minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate level lecture courses including the required core courses. With advisor approval, these may include some 5000 level courses.


Thesis Option

An alternative to 36 credit hours required for the MS-SEM degree, would be the completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate level lecture courses, including the required core courses, and 6 semester hours of a combination of Master’s research (SYSM 6V70) and thesis (SYSM 6V98), submitted to the graduate school, and a formal public defense of the thesis.


Students enrolled in the thesis option should meet with individual faculty members to discuss research opportunities and to choose a research advisor during the first or second semester that the student is enrolled. After the second semester of study, course selection should be made in consultation with the research advisor. Part-time students are encouraged to enroll in only one course during their first semester and in no more than two courses during any semester they are also working full-time.


Research and thesis hours cannot be counted in an MS-SEM degree plan unless a thesis is written and successfully defended. A supervising committee, which must be chosen in consultation with the student’s thesis advisor prior to enrolling for thesis credit, administers the defense. With advisor approval, the lecture courses may include some 5000 level courses.  Full-time students at UTD who receive financial assistance are required to enroll in 9 semester credit hours during the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.


Either Option

In either option, students must earn a grade of B- or better in each of four core courses, two of which must be selected from the following engineering courses and two of which must be selected from the following management courses.


Required Courses

Students are required to take four courses (a total of 12 credit hours) from a set of eight courses in the list below.  Two of the courses must be from the Engineering Core section and two from the Management Core section. The four required courses contribute a total of 12 credit hours toward the MS degree.


SYSM 6301 Systems Engineering, Architecture and Design
SYSM 6302 Dynamics of Complex Networks and Systems
SYSM 6303 Quantitative Introduction to Risk and Uncertainty in Business
SYSM 6304 Risk and Decision Analysis


SYSM 6311 Systems Project Management
SYSM 6312 Systems Financial Management
SYSM 6313 Negotiating Deals & Resolving Conflict Within the Organization
SYSM 6314 Manufacturing & Service Systems Planning & Analysis

Prescribed Elective Courses

These consist of an additional four courses (a total of 12 credit hours) from the set of eight core courses listed above and/or the set of courses listed below. Two of these courses must be chosen from the two Engineering sections (core and elective), and two from the two Management sections. Because a program objective is to maintain a high degree of flexibility, students are encouraged to work with a SEM program advisor to discuss possible (limited) exceptions and substitutions for the prescribed courses



SYSM 6305 Dynamic Systems Optimization
SYSM 6306 Engineering Systems: Modeling & Simulation
SYSM 6307 Linear Systems
SYSM 6308 Software Maintenance, Evolution & Re-Engineering
SYSM 6309 Advanced Requirements Engineering
SYSM 6310 Software Testing, Validation and Verification


SYSM 6315 The Entrepreneurial Experience
SYSM 6316 Innovation Within the Corporation
SYSM 6317 Management of High-Technology Products

SYSM 6318 Marketing Management and Marketing Systems Analysis

SYSM 6319 Business Economics

SYSM 6320 Strategic Leadership


Free Elective Courses

Working with a SEM program advisor, students take four additional and distinct courses from either the remaining 12 courses from the lists above that have not already been taken as required courses or prescribed elective courses, or from other courses offered in management or engineering that form a “concentration” or “specialization” in specific industry sectors.


Areas of Research

The faculty in Systems Engineering and Management conduct research in control systems, systems optimization, supply chain management, entrepreneurship and innovation, and several other areas.


Interdisciplinary Opportunities

In keeping with the established tradition of research at UT Dallas, the Systems Engineering and Management Program encourages students to interact with researchers in other strong programs, including computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, bioengineering, computer engineering, operations management, finance, marketing, innovation and entrepreneurship, and business management.


Last Updated: July 20, 2012