MS Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I apply?

First, apply for admission to the UA Graduate College. A $75 application fee is required and can be paid by credit card. Next, contact graduate academic adviser Linda Cramer at or 520.626.4644. She will work with you to complete the application.

Q: What are the admission requirements?

The guidelines for admission include a GPA of 3.0 (last 60 units), and a background in engineering, including mathematics, physics, computing, some knowledge of probability and statistics, operations research (optimization and probabilistic systems), and dynamics and control.

Q: Is the GRE exam required?

The GRE is only required if you are seeking funding from the department or the UA College of Engineering.

Q: What is the application deadline?

Fall applications are due on Jan. 15. Spring applications are due on June 1.

If your application is not completed by the deadline, you may take classes as a non-degree-seeking graduate student and receive credit for up to 12 units towards your degree. The department may request late admission from the Graduate College once all of the required paperwork is approved.

Q: How are admissions determined?

Once your application is submitted, the graduate committee will review your application and determine your application status, which may be Regular Admission or No Admission. Only students in Regular Admission Status can be awarded a degree.

Students that are not admitted may take classes as a non-degree-seeking graduate student and then reapply (with a new application and $75 fee) after potential performance is determined. All courses taken with nondegree status (up to 12 units) must first be approved by a faculty adviser in order to be used towards an MS degree.

Q: Once I'm admitted, what are my options?

The SIE Graduate Student Handbook (PDF) provides details about requirements and options for all graduate degrees offered by the department.

Students must complete 18 units of SIE required coursework and either 9 units of electives and a project (3 units), or 6 units of electives and a thesis (6 units), or 15 units of elective coursework including a 600 level course with a grade of "A" or "B." Students can also take 12 units of electives and the PhD qualifying examination and receive a MS degree.

Q: Who can I talk to about my plan of study and research interests?

Any SIE faculty member can serve as your adviser. You are encouraged to contact the faculty, make an appointment to meet with them and work out a plan for your degree. You can always meet with the department head (Young Jun Son, or 520.621.6551) to get the process started.

Q: What courses are required?

The MS in systems engineering requires either SIE 520: Stochastic Processes or SIE 530: Engineering Statistics, SIE 550: Linear Systems Theory, and SIE 554The Systems Engineering Process.

Q: Can I take courses in other departments?

Yes, students are encouraged to take specialty courses in other engineering and business programs as electives. Please note that your adviser must approve the courses before you take them. The graduate committee must also approve your plan of study.

Q: I have taken some graduate courses at another university. Can I use these credits towards my UA degree?

Yes, up to 6 units can be transferred into the degree program. These units must be approved by the SIE graduate committee.

University of Arizona College of Engineering