Jul 03, 2020  
Graduate Record 2019-2020 
    
Graduate Record 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Systems Engineering


Return to: School of Graduate Engineering and Applied Science: Departments/Programs  


The department offers three graduate degrees: Master of Engineering, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy. The plan of study is always tailored to the individual needs and interests of the student; however, each student must gain the knowledge of the fundamental methodologies and techniques of systems engineering.

The M.E. student first learns the fundamentals of systems analysis, design, and integration, and applies this knowledge to an ME project (non-thesis option).

The M.S. student first learns the fundamentals of systems, decision, and information sciences, and next applies this knowledge to a more focused research project leading to a master’s thesis.

The Ph.D. student first acquires the advanced knowledge in one area of systems, decision, and information sciences, and next contributes to knowledge through research leading to a doctoral dissertation.

Current basic research in the department explores theoretical and methodological issues in the following areas: computational statistics, performance evaluation, capacity assurance, and resource allocation; multivariate systems monitoring; discrete event simulation; probabilistic modeling, empirical model building, data fusion, and data mining; risk assessment and management; learning algorithms; optimization, dynamic programming, and Markov decision processes; Bayesian forecasting and decision theory; cognitive systems engineering, human-computer interaction, decision support systems design, control theory and systems integration.

Research Projects M.S. and Ph.D. students typically associate with an ongoing research project in the department. These projects involve both theoretical and applied elements and allow students to work closely with faculty on challenging, contemporary problems. Examples of current research projects include network optimization, intelligent transportation system, air traffic prediction system, probabilistic forecasting of weather, flood warning system, spatial knowledge discovery, regional crime data analysis, clinical and biological data integration, critical safety data analysis, mitigation of risk to cyber and physical infrastructure, credit scoring and credit portfolio management, valuation of intellectual property, design of hospital systems, and airline cockpit displays, and supervisory control of unmanned vehicles.

Degree Programs for Working Professionals The Department of Systems and Information Engineering offers two programs specifically designed for working professionals.

The Accelerated Master’s Program in Systems Engineering (AMP) enables working professionals to earn a Master of Engineering degree in one year while continuing to work full time. The practice-oriented degree has a focus on systems thinking and data analytics, broadly applicable skills which are in strong demand. The curriculum is augmented by business topics taught by faculty from the Darden Graduate School of Business. Class meetings on Grounds give students the advantage of interacting face-to-face with full-time faculty and cohort of talented classmates in a focused learning environment. Working together in small groups and sharing the perspectives of a diverse cohort of experienced engineers lead to long-lasting friendships and a strong professional network among members of the cohort and AMP alumni.

The accelerated schedule includes one week in residence in late May, twenty alternate weekends (all day Fridays and Saturdays) over the next ten months, and a final week in residence the following April. Comprehensive tuition includes courses and fees, books, software, and meals and lodging while the cohort is on grounds for classes. Financial aid is available in the form of education loans.

The Department of Systems and Information Engineering participates in the Virginia Engineering Online (VEO) program by presenting graduate-level courses in a distributed learning environment. VEO students achieve a Master of Engineering degree. VEO students participate in live class sessions alongside their student peers sitting in the classroom, accessing the interactive sessions via their computer and Internet connection. Class sessions are also recorded for later viewing/reviewing.

Masters of Engineering


Master of Engineering (M.E.) is a graduate professional degree for those wishing to pursue careers in industry, consulting, or government. Our program is designed to provide a blend of fundamental knowledge and professional skills needed by

  • practicing systems engineers,
  • management engineers,
  • entrepreneurial engineers.

It is an intensive, non-thesis, 12-month program built of five components.

Degree Requirements


A candidate for the Master of Engineering degree must fulfill the general requirements of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and must complete an approved plan of study consisting of at least 30 credit hours.

Required Credits


The plan of study must include at least 30 credit hours of graduate-level work and must satisfy the following requirements.

  • 9 credit hours of core courses: SYS 6001 and 6 hours from the following SYS 6003, SYS 6005, SYS 6007 and SYS 6021.
  • 21 or more credit hours of elective courses distributed thusly:
    • At least 12 credit hours of systems engineering courses at the 6000 or 7000 level. These credit hours cannot be earned through Independent Study (SYS 6993 and SYS 7993), Supervised Project Research (SYS 6995 and SYS 8995), Graduate Teaching Instruction (SYS 8997 and SYS 9997), Thesis (SYS 8999), and Dissertation (SYS 9999).
    • No more than 3 credit hours of Independent Study (SYS 6993 or SYS 7993).
    • No more than 3 credit hours of Supervised Project Research (SYS 8995).
    • No more than 3 credit hours at the 5000-level from the School of Engineering and Applied Science. (The 5000-level courses in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences are nominally equivalent to 6000-level courses in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.)

Nominal Plan of Study


Fall Semester


Total Credits Fall: 15

Spring Semester


Total Credits Spring: 15

  • SYS xxxx - Systems Engineering Elective Credits: 3
  • SYS xxxx - Systems Engineering Elective Credits: 3
  • SYS xxxx - Systems Engineering Elective Credits: 3
  • …    xxxx - Elective Credits: 3
  • …    xxxx - Elective Credits: 3

Minimum total number of credit hours 30


Master of Science


Master of Science (M.S.) is a graduate degree for those wishing not only to acquire fundamental knowledge, but also to contribute to the advancement of knowledge through independent, original research. The program prepares students for careers as practicing systems engineers or research engineers, and serves as a stepping stone towards the doctorate. The program consists of five components.

  • Core courses supplying the fundamentals of systems and decision sciences.
  • Elective courses through which the student can expand and deepen the knowledge relevant to his/her research.
  • Colloquium, a regular meeting of graduate students and faculty for presenting and discussing contemporary systems problems and research.
  • Research conducted individually, under the guidance of a faculty advisor, and leading to a master’s thesis and a technical paper.
  • Participation in the intellectual life of the University.

NOTE: This is the typical schedule for on-grounds M.E. students.  The Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP) operates on a different schedule in which two courses are completed in parallel over five weekends within a 10 week period.  See the AMP website for the current academic year calendar at http://amp.sys.virginia.edu.

Degree Requirements


A candidate for the Master of Science degree must fulfill the general require- ments of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the following specific requirements.

  • Complete an approved plan of study consisting of at least 32 credit hours.
  • Present satisfactorily a thesis proposal.
  • Author or coauthor at least one manuscript of a technical paper.
  • Defend satisfactorily a thesis.

Required Credits


The plan of study must include at least 32 credit hours of graduate-level work and must satisfy the following requirements.

  • 9 or more credit hours of core courses distributed thusly:
    • At least one course in the “methodological” aspects of systems engineering: SYS 6001, SYS 6021, SYS 6023, SYS 6050, SYS 7001
    • At least one course in the “optimization” aspects of systems engineering: SYS 6003, SYS 7042
    • At least one course in the “stochastic” aspects of systems engineering: SYS 6005, SYS 6018, SYS 6034
  • 15 or more credit hours of elective courses distributed thusly:
    • At least 6 credit hours of systems engineering courses at the 6000 or 7000 level. (These credit hours cannot be earned through Independent Study SYS 6993 and SYS 7993, Supervised Project Research SYS 6995 and SYS 8995, Graduate Teaching Instruction SYS 8997 and SYS 9997, Thesis SYS 8999, and Dissertation SYS 9999.)
    • No more than 3 credit hours of Independent Study SYS 6993 or SYS 7993
    • No more than 3 credit hours at the 5000 level from the School of Engineering and Applied Science. (The 5000-level courses in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences are nominally equivalent to 6000-level courses in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.)
  • 2 or more credit hours of Systems Engineering Colloquium, SYS 7096.The student should register for one credit hour in each semester of the first year of study
  • 6 or more credit hours of Thesis, SYS 8999.

Nominal Plan of Student


(When the student serves as a Teaching or Research Assistant)

Spring Semester


  • SYS XXXX System Engineering Elective Credits: 3
  • SYS xxxx Elective Credits: 3
  • SYS xxxx Elective Credits: 3
  • SYS xxxx System Engineering Colloquium Credits: 1

Summer Session


  • SYS xxxx Teaching or Research Credits: 3

Fall Semester


  • SYS xxxx Elective Credits: 3
  • SYS xxxx Elective Credits: 3
  • SYS xxxx Teaching or Research Credits: 3

Minimum total number of credit hours 32


Doctor of Philosophy


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) is an advanced graduate degree for those wishing to contribute to knowledge through independent, original research at the cutting edge of systems engineering. The program provides a springboard for careers as academicians, researchers, consultants, and higher-level engineering managers in universities, institutes, industry, and government.

Doctoral students should possess initiative, inquisitiveness, ingenuity, and perseverance. Our program affords each student the flexibility to design a plan of study that fulfills the individual’s career objectives and intellectual aspirations. The primary concern of the faculty is to give each student guidance to and opportunity for a complete educational experience and superior professional preparation. Towards that end, the program includes four components.

  • Courses through which the student acquires fundamental and advanced knowledge
  • Colloquium, a regular meeting of graduate students and faculty for presenting and discussing contemporary systems problems and research
  • Research conducted individually, under the guidance of an advisory committee, and leading to a doctoral dissertation and scholarly papers
  • Participation in the intellectual life of the University.

Degree Requirements


School of Engineering and Applied Science Degree Requirements

The program must include a combined minimum of 72 credits of research and graduate level course work beyond the baccalaureate. The program must also include a minimum of 24 credits of formal course work. Classes at the 4000-level or below do not count toward the graduate degree requirements. Transfer of course credit from other schools of recognized standing may be included in the program of study; however, only courses with a grade of B or better may be transferred. The student and advisor will work on a course plan for approval by their committee and department graduate director.

Systems Engineering Requirements

A candidate for the Ph.D. degree must fulfill the general requirements of the School of Engineering and Applied Science listed above and the following specific requirements:

  • Complete an approved plan of study consisting of at least 12 credit hours of courses, 2 credit hours of colloquium, and 24-34 credit hours of research* – all credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree.
    * Research credit hours apply to the 72 credit SEAS requirement listed above.
  • Pass a comprehensive examination.
  • Present satisfactorily a dissertation proposal.
  • Present at least one colloquium.
  • Publish, or have under review, at least one scholarly paper in an archival journal, and publish at least one paper in conference proceedings.
  • Defend satisfactorily a dissertation.

The nominal sequencing and timing of the doctoral program

The nominal sequencing and timing of the doctoral program requirements is as follows:

  • Year 1
    1. Identify a Research Area
    2. Establish a working relationship with the faculty advisor
    3. Form an Advisory Committee
    4. Develop and submit a Plan of Study
  • Year 2
    1. Finish taking courses
    2. Take Comprehensive Examination
    3. Develop a Plan of Research
    4. Present Dissertation Proposal
    5. Petition for Admission to Candidacy
  • Year 3
    1. Present Colloquium
    2. Submit a paper for Publication
    3. Defend Dissertation

SIE PhD Curriculum


Mandatory Courses

  • SYS 6001 – Introduction to Systems Analysis and Design (1 course)
  • SYS 7096 – Systems Engineering Doctoral Colloquium (2 semesters as SIE doctoral student)

Foundations (3 courses selected from the following)

  • SYS 60XX – Autonomy and Controls I
  • SYS 6007 – Human Factors I
  • SYS 6003 – Optimization Models and Methods I
  • SYS 6005 – Stochastic Modeling I
  • SYS 6021 – Statistical Modeling I

Methodological Areas (5 courses from at least 2 areas)

Certain courses are listed in multiple areas. In cases where a course is listed in multiple areas, the student must decide which area the course satisfies for the student’s plan of study. Each course may only satisfy one area for the student’s plan of study. Other appropriate courses – as approved by the graduate committee in advance of registration – may be substituted into these areas.

Optimization

  • SYS 6042 – Network and Combinatorial Optimization
  • SYS 7063 – Simulation Optimization

Autonomy & Controls

  • APMA 6548 – Introduction to Chaos, Bifurcation, and Stability
  • ECE 6502 – Introduction to Control Systems
  • ECE 7856 – Nonlinear Control Systems
  • ECE 8825 – Adaptive Control
  • SYS 60XX – Autonomous Mobile Robotics
  • SYS 60XX – Collaborative Autonomy
  • SYS 60XX – Reinforcement Learning
  • SYS 6014 – Stochastic Control and Decision Analysis
  • SYS 7005 – Stochastic Processes, Autonomy, and Controls

Statistical Modeling

  • STAT 5170 – Applied Time Series
  • STAT 6440 – Introduction to Bayesian Methods
  • SYS 6016 – Machine Learning
  • SYS 6018 – Data Mining
  • SYS 7063 – Simulation Optimization

Human Factors

  • SYS 6036 – Design of Experiments
  • SYS 60XX– Human Factors Design for Community Health
  • SYS 6024 – User Experience Design
  • SYS 6023 – Cognitive Engineering
  • SYS 6026 – Quantitative Models of Human Perceptual Information Processing
  • SYS 6064 – Applied Human Factors Engineering

Decision and Risk Analysis

  • SYS 6014 – Stochastic Control and Decision Analysis
  • SYS 6034 – Discrete-Event Stochastic Simulation
  • SYS 6035 – Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation
  • SYS 6041 – Ethics in Engineering Research and Practice
  • SYS 6050 – Risk Analysis
  • SYS 6070 – Environmental Systems Processes
  • SYS 7001 – Systems and Decision Science
  • SYS 7075 – Bayesian Forecast-Decision Theory


Note: Courses marked XX are currently offered as special topics courses and are planned to be made official courses within the year.

Research Electives (3 courses)

Courses at the 6000 and 7000 levels are chosen in consultation with the advisory committee to support the student’s research program.

Provisional Plan of Study based on Prior Coursework

Courses taken as part of previous graduate work may help to fulfill the above requirements. Any student wishing to receive such credit must petition the SIE graduate studies committee. In all cases at least 4 courses must be taken within the SIE graduate offerings, with the restriction that independent study courses and courses originating in other departments and cross-listed with SIE are not eligible.

In the summer before matriculation, each entering graduate student will be assigned a provisional plan of study based on the above requirements. This provisional plan will govern the selection of courses until such time as it is superseded by a plan of study developed by the student’s advisory committee. Thus, it is in the interest of the student to form the advisory committee expeditiously and thereby move to a plan of study tailored to support the student’s personal research objectives.