Have you ever wondered how to find the time to pursue a Master’s degree in Systems Engineering and Management?  While many technical managers and engineers want to earn their MS degree, they struggle to find the time to attend the classes required to earn it. Thankfully the University of Texas at Dallas has created a Systems Engineering and Management Master’s degree that will allow you to keep your present job and maintain personal obligations while you pursue your education. It’s called the Professional Master’s Degree Program. Find out more about it in the FAQs below.

What is the study of MS in Systems Engineering and Management (SEM) about?

The MS 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 not only to be good managers and leaders, but also 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 also expected to be cognizant of the broader impact of their management and engineering activities on their companies and society as a whole. The MS SEM program delivers this training.

What are the admissions requirements, and how do I apply for the MS SEM program?
For admissions requirements and the application process for the MS SEM program please visit the Apply page.

What undergraduate degrees meet the admissions criteria for the MS SEM program?
If you have an undergraduate degree in engineering, physics, chemistry, math, economics, or finance, you probably have the strong background in math that is required for the program. If your undergraduate degree is in another field, you may need to strengthen your math skills in order to be admitted.

Where can I find more details on the tracks and courses?

Please see:

How long does it usually take to complete the MS SEM program?

The MS SEM is a 36-credit-hour program, excluding prerequisites. It usually takes three semesters to complete the program at 12 hours per semester. (Most students who work take two courses per semester and finish in six semesters.) Rarely, a student carrying heavy course loads can complete the program in one calendar year, provided that necessary courses are offered during the summer semester. Some international students take nine hours in the fall and spring, go home for the summer, and return for nine hours in the fall and nine hours in the spring. Other students enroll on a part-time basis and take longer to complete the program.

Do I need to have work experience to apply to the MS SEM program?

The MS SEM is an academic degree. However, in the Professional Education-based MS SEM program, a minimum of three to five years of relevant work experience is preferred.

I am from a foreign country. Can I be accepted into the MS SEM program?

Yes, as an international student you may be accepted into the program; we have international students from many countries. International students must have three to five years of work experience, as do all P-SEM students.  In addition, international students must have student visas, are required to carry a minimum course load of nine credit hours in both the fall and spring semesters, and must follow international student guidelines as outlined by UT Dallas International Student Services.

What quantitative skills are required?

Students are expected to have taken calculus, statistics, and linear algebra. Many MS 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.

Are there any areas of concentration in the MS SEM program?

Students can concentrate in any of the 10 areas indicated on the SEM Concentrations page.

What is the purpose of having a concentration?

Concentrations are designed to provide the optimal set of courses relevant to specific industries or industry sectors within SEM.

Do I have to declare a concentration to receive my degree?

No. You must complete a minimum of 12 courses (36 credit hours) to earn an MS SEM degree. All credits can be core courses, or you can take a minimum of four courses (12 credit hours) in a concentration while still satisfying your core-course requirements. Your concentration will not appear on your diploma.

What are the course requirements for each concentration?

Typical courses appropriate for each concentration are listed at SEM Concentrations. You can discuss alternatives with your adviser.

What kind of careers can I look forward to, and what employers hire MS SEM graduates?

There are many career paths in SEM. See Career Path in SEM for examples.

Are there any online classes for the MS SEM degree?

Not at this time, but there may be in the future.

I am a transfer student. Can I transfer some of my graduate courses from my previous university?

Transfer credits may be granted for equivalent graduate course work completed at other accredited universities with a grade of B or better within the past six years. Up to 9 credit hours of course work from other universities may be transferred to the degree program.  Transfer credits must align with the UT Dallas MS SEM program and must be approved by three different entities: (1) the Advising Office; (2) the relevant UT Dallas faculty member for the course in question; and (3) by the director of the MS SEM program. Transfer credit applications are available in the Advising Office.

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.

What is a waiver?

A waiver allows the student to skip a core course and enroll in a more advanced course in its place. Waivers of up to three courses may be granted in recognition of previous coursework completed with a grade of B or better within the past six years. Applications are available in the Advising Office, and they must be approved by the director of the MS SEM program. Waivers are usually discouraged, because graduate courses are typically deeper and broader in coverage than their undergraduate counterparts. Further, expectations are higher and competition is much stronger at the graduate level. To receive a waiver of a graduate course, the student is expected to have completed two undergraduate courses with similar content

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?

There is no formal internship within the MS SEM program; however, the Career Center can help SEM students craft an internship for credit.

Are joint degrees available?

Yes. Students can enroll in the MS SEM and MBA programs concurrently and can complete the dual MS SEM/MBA program with as few as 63 credit hours. Find more information at Joint MS/MBA. Careful planning is required, and we recommend you first consult your MS SEM adviser.

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. Faculty bios can be found here.