Degree Requirements

The MS SEM program is designed to be flexible to accommodate different student backgrounds, allowing students to learn in 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.

The MS SEM degree requires a total of 36 credit hours consisting of 12 courses in the non-thesis option or 10 courses plus six hours of thesis credit for the thesis option.  All students must have an academic adviser and an approved degree plan. Courses taken without adviser approval will not count toward the 36 semester-hour requirement. Successful completion of the approved course of studies leads to the MS SEM degree. Please also note that the University’s general degree requirements are discussed in the graduate catalog.


Completion of a minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate-level lecture courses including the required core courses. With adviser approval, these may include some 5000 level courses. Students must earn a grade of B- or better in each of four core courses (see below).


An alternative to the 36 credit-hour requirement for the MS SEM degree is the completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate-level lecture courses, with a grade of B- or better in each of the required core courses (see below), six semester hours of a combination of master’s research (SYSM 6V70) and thesis (SYSM 6V90), 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 adviser 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 adviser. 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 adviser prior to enrolling for thesis credit, administers the defense. With adviser approval, the lecture courses may include some 5000 level courses.  Full-time UT Dallas students  who receive financial assistance are required to enroll in nine semester credit hours each semester.

Course Requirements


Students are required to take four courses (a total of 12 semester credit hours) from a set of eight courses from the lists 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 semester credit hours toward the MS degree.

Engineering Core Courses (two required)

SYSM 6301 Systems Engineering, Architecture and Design

SYSM 6302 Dynamics of Complex Networks and Systems

SYSM 6303 Statistics and Data Analysis

SYSM 6305 Optimization Theory and Practice

Management Core Courses (two required)

SYSM 6311 Systems Project Management in Engineering and Operations

SYSM 6318 Marketing Management

SYSM 6333 Systems Organizational Behavior

SYSM 6337 Accounting for Managers


Students are required to take an additional four courses (a total of 12 semester 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 (core and elective). Because a program objective is to maintain a high degree of flexibility, students are encouraged to work with an MS-SEM program advisor to discuss possible (limited) exceptions and substitutions for the prescribed elective courses.

Engineering Elective Courses

SYSM 6304 Risk and Decision Analysis

SYSM 6306 Engineering Systems: Modeling and Simulation

SYSM 6307 Linear Systems

SYSM 6308 Software Maintenance, Evolution, and Re-Engineering

SYSM 6309 Advanced Requirements Engineering

SYSM 6310 Software Testing, Validation and Verification

SYSM 6325 Requirements Design, Development, and Integration for Complex Systems

SYSM 6326 Systems Life Cycle Cost Analysis

SYSM 6327 Systems Reliability

Management Elective Courses

SYSM 6312 Systems Financial Management

SYSM 6313 Systems Negotiation Deals and Dispute Resolution

SYSM 6315 The Entrepreneurial Experience

SYSM 6316 Managing Innovation within the Corporation

SYSM 6319 Business Economics

SYSM 6320 Strategic Leadership

SYSM 6332 Technology and New Product Development

SYSM 6334 Systems Operations Management

SYSM 6335 Organizing for Business Analytics: A Systems Approach

SYSM 6336 Earned Value Management Systems


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.