Dec 04, 2022  
Graduate Record 2022-2023 
    
Graduate Record 2022-2023

Systems Engineering


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


The department offers three graduate degrees: Master of Engineering (M.E.), Master of Science (M.S.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). 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 Program for Working Professionals The Systems Engineering Program 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, and entrepreneurial engineers.

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

  • Core courses supplying the fundamentals of systems engineering.
  • Elective courses focusing on techniques of analysis and application of fundamentals to a problem area.

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 or SYS 7993), Supervised Project Research (SYS 6995 or SYS 8995), Graduate Teaching Instruction (SYS 8997 or 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 6995 or 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 who desire 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 steppingstone towards the doctorate. The program consists of three components.

  • Coursework to gain fundamental and advanced knowledge.
  • Research conducted in a collaborative environment leading to a thesis and scholarly papers.
  • Engagement in UVA’s intellectual life.

Degree Requirements


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

Required Credits


The M.S. requires at least 30 credit hours of graduate-level coursework and research and must satisfy the following requirements.

  • 9 credit hours of core courses distributed thusly: SYS 6001 + 6 hours from the following SYS 6003, SYS 6005, SYS 6007 and SYS 6021.
  • At least 15 credit hours of elective courses distributed thusly:
    • At least three 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 three credit hours of Independent Study SYS 6993 or SYS 7993.
    • No more than three credit hours of Supervised Project Research SYS 8995.
    • 2 courses of Systems Engineering Colloquium (SYS 7096). The student should register for one course in each semester of the first year of study.
  • At least 6 credit hours of Thesis (SYS 8999).

Doctor of Philosophy


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is an advanced graduate degree for students wishing to contribute to knowledge creation through independent, original, cutting edge research. The program provides a springboard for careers as an academician, as a researcher, as a consultant or in management/leadership within a university, institute or government setting.

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 three components.

  • Coursework and teaching to gain fundamental and advanced knowledge, as both student and GTA.
  • Research conducted in a collaborative environment leading to a doctoral dissertation and scholarly papers.
  • Engagement in UVA’s intellectual life.

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 semesters of colloquium, and 26-36 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. Establish a working relationship with the faculty advisor(s)
    2. Begin coursework
    3. Identify a research area and doctoral committee
    4. Prepare a plan of study
    5. Pass the qualifying exam (August)
  • Year 2
    1. Finish coursework
    2. Establish research
    3. Present and defend dissertation proposal (March–June)
  • Year 3
    1. Continue research
    2. Continue or complete teaching requirement (as a GTA)
    3. Submit a paper for publication
    4. Attend and present at a research conference
  • Year 4-5 (as needed)
    1. Complete research
    2. Continue or complete teaching requirement (as a GTA)
    3. Publish additional papers or proceedings
    4. Defend dissertation

Curriculum


Mandatory Courses

  • SYS 6001 – Introduction to Systems Analysis and Design (Foundation Course)
  • SYS 7096 – Systems Engineering Colloquium (2 semesters as SE Ph.D student)

Foundations (3 courses selected from the following)

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

Methodological Areas (4 courses from at least 2 areas)

Students must take four courses from at least two of the methodological areas listed below. The courses in each of the areas below are only exemplars as course offerings change from year to year. Other courses in these areas may be used to fulfill methodological requirements as approved by the student’s doctoral advisory committee. Additionally, certain courses are listed in multiple areas. In these cases, the student must decide which area the course satisfies for their plan of study. Each course may only satisfy one area for the student’s plan of study.

Optimization

  • CS 6161 – Design and Analysis of Algorithms
  • ECE 6501 – Convex Optimization for Engineering and Data Science
  • STAT 6020 – Optimization and Monte Carlo Methods in Statistics and Machine Learning

Autonomy & Controls

  • ECE 6502 – Introduction to Control Systems
  • ECE 7856 – Nonlinear Control Systems
  • ECE 8825 – Adaptive Control
  • MAE 6592 – Robotic Manupulators  
  • MAE 6592 – Experimental Robotics
  • SYS 6060 – Autonomous Mobile Robots 
  • SYS 6581 – Learning in Robotics 
  • SYS 6581 – Robots and Humans
  • SYS 6582 – Reinforcement Learning
  • SYS 7005 – Stochastic Processes, Autonomy, and Controls

Statistical Modeling & Machine Learning

  • ECE 6501 – Geometry of Data 
  • ECE 6501 – Machine Learning in Image Analysis
  • CS 6316 – Machine Learning 
  • CS 6501 – Statistical Learning and Graphical Models 
  • CS 6762 – Signal Processing, Machine Learning and Control
  • STAT 5170 – Applied Time Series 
  • STAT 6160 – Experimental Design
  • STAT 6440 – Introduction to Bayesian Methods 
  • SYS 5581 – Applied Time Series and Forecasting
  • SYS 6016 – Machine Learning
  • SYS 6018 – Data Mining 
  • SYS 6581 – AI for Social Good
  • SYS 7063 – Simulation Optimization

Human Factors

  • CS 6501 – Human-Computer Interaction
  • SYS 6024 – User Experience Design
  • SYS 6026 – Quantitative Models of Human Perceptual Information Processing
  • SYS 6036 – Design of Experiments
  • SYS 6064 – Applied Human Factors Engineering
  • SYS 6581 – Mobile Sensing and Health 
  • SYS 6581 – Behavioral Design 
  • SYS 6581 – Qualitative Methods for User-Centered Design 
  • SYS 6581 – Human Factors in Safety 
  • SYS 6581 – Human Factors Design for Community Health
  • SYS 6582 – Human Error in Complex Systems 

Decision and Risk Analysis

  • SYS 6014 – Decision Analysis
  • SYS 6034 – Discrete-Event Stochastic Simulation
  • SYS 6041 – Ethics in Engineering Research and Practice
  • SYS 6050 – Risk Analysis

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.

Receiving Credit for Prior Graduate Coursework

PhD students entering the SE program with a Master’s degree from another institution are bound by the coursework requirements listed in the above curriculum; however, they may use their prior graduate coursework to fulfill them. The request for credit transfer must be submitted separately and must include the following documents: a petition form, a description of course content or syllabus, and an official transcript. Regardless of transfer credit, students must take at least 6 hours of ESE graduate course offerings.