As a busy professional you may have wondered how you would ever get the time to pursue a Master’s degree in Systems Engineering and Management. What sacrifices would you have to make in your work or personal life to gain this credential? Thankfully, The University of Texas at Dallas has created a Professional Systems Engineering and Management Master’s degree that will allow you to keep your present job and personal obligations while you pursue your education. Find out more about it in the FAQs below.

What is the study of Professional MS in Systems Engineering and Management (P-SEM) about?
The Professional MS P-SEM program provides a broad-based, formalized education in engineering and management of increasingly complex “macro” systems with a large number of interdependent parts that have a significant organizational or societal impact. These areas are at the intersection of the traditionally separate disciplines of systems engineering and systems management. The current business environment requires that engineers in industry and government be trained to be good managers and leaders, and to be good stewards of corporate or government resources. Conversely, managers in industry need a better appreciation and understanding of technology and how to manage large and complex engineering projects. They are all expected to be cognizant of the broader impact of their management and engineering activities on their companies and the society at large. The Professional MS P-SEM program provides this training.

What are the admissions requirements, and how do I apply for the Professional MS P-SEM program?
For admissions requirements and to apply to the Professional MS P-SEM program, please visit the Apply page.

What undergraduate degree do I need to apply to the Professional MS P-SEM program?
If you have an undergraduate degree in engineering, physics, chemistry, math, economics or finance, you probably have an adequate background in math for the program. If your undergraduate degree is in another field, you may need to strengthen your math skills.

How long does it usually take to complete the Professional MS P-SEM program? 
The Professional MS P-SEM is a 36-credit-hour program consisting of 12 courses which can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis. The time to complete the program varies depending upon a number of factors including what courses you choose to take in your degree plan to customize your degree to suit your career direction, how many courses you sign up for each semester, availability of desired elective courses, schedule restrictions and mandatory enrollment requirements.  While all requirements for the Master’s degree must be completed within one six-year period, and while the fastest anyone has completed this degree is in 15 months, most students take between 2 to 3 years to complete the degree.

Do I need to have work experience to apply to the Professional MS P-SEM program? 
A minimum of three years of relevant work experience is preferred for the Professional Education-based MS SEM program (P-SEM). Candidates with less work experience, unless they are working full time and hence cannot attend classes during weekdays, may consider the traditional master’s degree in SEM (TSEM) program. The Traditional MS SEM follows the same degree plan, but is taught in a full time format on regular weekdays.

I am from a foreign country. Can I be accepted into the Professional MS P-SEM program?
Yes, as an international student, you may be accepted into the program. Our International Student Services Office (ISSO) provides immigration information and support to our UT Dallas students.

What quantitative skills are required? 
Students are expected to have taken advanced calculus, linear algebra, and probability & statistics. Many Professional MS P-SEM engineering courses are quantitatively oriented, and students with less aptitude and education in quantitative methods are at a disadvantage.

Is financial aid available? 
Students can find more information at Financial Aid for the SEM Program. Our designated financial aid counselor for Professional Education is Paula Baxter.

Are there any areas of concentration in the Professional MS P-SEM program? 
Students may select one of the concentrations listed on the SEM Concentrations page.  Concentrations are not required, but rather assist students in course selection if they wish to focus in a particular area.  They do not appear on the diploma.  Courses listed under each concentration are only suggestions of courses most relevant to that concentration.  Also, in lieu of a concentration, students may either – (a) choose to take more courses from the SEM core and prescribed elective courses, or (b) choose their own free elective courses, as long as they get prior approval from PSEM Program Administration.

What is the purpose of having a concentration? 
Concentrations are designed to provide the optimal set of courses to prepare for specific careers in SEM in specific industries or industry sectors. They do not appear on the MS SEM diploma.

Do I have to declare a concentration to receive my degree?
No. You must complete a minimum of 12 courses (36 credit hours) and follow the approved degree plan to earn the Professional MS P-SEM degree. Your concentration will not appear on your diploma.

What kind of careers can I look forward to, and what employers hire Professional MS P-SEM graduates?
There are many career paths in systems engineering and management. See Career Path in SEM for examples.

Are there any online classes for the Professional MS P-SEM degree?
Not at this time, but we will be looking into that in the future.

I am a transfer student. Can I transfer some of my graduate courses from my previous university?
A maximum of 9 credit hours of transfer credits may be granted for equivalent graduate course work completed at other accredited universities with a grade of B or better. All transfer credit requests must be made within the student’s first year of admission into the degree-seeking program. Approval to use these credits towards the PSEM degree must be granted by the director of the PSEM program.  Click here to download the form and the complete list of transfer request rules for transfer credit through the Jindal School of Management (JSOM).   [For non-JSOM coursework, please contact the appropriate school for transfer request policies and procedures.]  NOTE: Acceptance of transfer of semester credit hours will not occur until after the student has completed 9 semester credit hours at UT Dallas with a grade point average of at least 3.0.

Can I receive transfer credit for undergraduate courses that cover the same material as your graduate courses?
No. The 36-hour requirement will not be reduced based on undergraduate coursework. However, you may apply for a waiver of one or more of the core courses. Please see the Waiver Request Rules and Waiver Request Submission Form.

Can courses be taken at other institutions after enrolling in the UT Dallas SEM graduate program?
Students officially admitted to the UT Dallas – SEM graduate program must obtain prior approval before taking any courses at another university. The resultant transfer hours may be denied if prior approval is not obtained. See the Advising Office for details on applying for pre-approvals.

Can I get credit for an internship?

Yes. Students can obtain credit for an internship provided they have followed the university guidelines which includes approval by the PSEM program director.  A maximum of three credit hours can be earned and is considered a free elective.  Students must register for the internship course through the PSEM program.

Students interested in pursuing an internship should work closely with the UTD and JSOM career centers.  Please visit the following links for internship information & guidelines:

Career Management Center (CMC)
University Career Center

Are joint degrees available?
Students can obtain both the Professional MS SEM (PSEM) degree and MBA degree with a minimum of 63 total credit hours as long as:

  1. Student is granted admission to both programs
  2. PSEM degree is completed first
  3. Requirements of both degree plans are met

Careful planning is required to assure you are meeting the requirements of both degree plans so we recommend you consult your PSEM advisor.  See additional information at Double MS PSEM/MBA Program.

What are the faculty’s credentials?
Most faculty members have doctorates from top-tier graduate schools and have published research in leading academic and practitioner journals. Several faculty members also have had extensive work experience in industry and consulting.