Master of Science

The Master of Science in Systems Engineering program provides unique opportunities for the traditional student as well as for the professional engineering community to broaden their knowledge base and acquire state-of-the-art technical skills. The program helps students to integrate multifaceted engineering projects, model complex engineering systems and optimize their performance, and conduct real-life case studies by carrying out electrical, computers, telecommunications, or mechanical engineering projects. The program prepares engineers for professional practice in today’s complex technical environment, and also, offers cutting-edge knowledge base for innovation and advanced research. To support these goals, both thesis and non-thesis options are available in the program.

The Master of Science in Systems Engineering program requires 31 credit hours of work that includes graduate course work with an option to carry out either a thesis or a graduate project.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the UALR Graduate School admission requirements, the applicants must also meet the following criteria:

  • Education: Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, technology, science or related discipline. The applicants must have an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or 3.3 on the last 60 credit hours.
  • Standardized test scores: Applicants must have a minimum score on the GRE test: a score of 140 on the Verbal Reasoning section, a score of 155 on the Quantitative Reasoning section, and a score of 3.5 in the Analytical Writing section. GRE will be waived if the student’s GPA is 3.5 or higher.
  • English language requirement: International students must satisfy the Graduate School TOEFL or IELTS tests requirements.

Applicants who do not meet all the admission requirements may be recommended for conditional admission. The conditionally admitted students must fulfill the requirements of the UALR Graduate School and those specified in their letter of admission

Degree Requirements

The program consists of a minimum of 31 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree, of which a maximum of six hours can be transferred from a graduate program from another university with the Graduate Coordinator’s approval. In addition, the students are required to:

  • Maintain acceptable academic performance: All master’s course work must be completed with a minimum GPA of 3.0. If a student receives one “C” in the course work, the student will be warned that his/her academic performance is unacceptable and that the student will be reviewed by the Systems Engineering faculty, which will suggest corrective action. A student receiving two “C’s”will be dismissed from the program, pending review by the Systems Engineering faculty.
  • Pass thesis proposal defense / project proposal defense.
  • Pass thesis final defense / project final defense.

Details of the following are documented in the Graduate Catalog:

  • formation of the Master’s Thesis/Project Committee
  • Thesis/Project Proposal Defense
  • Thesis/Project Defense


Thesis Option

    • Core Courses – 12 credits
    • Graduate Seminar – 1 credit
    • Thesis Hours – 6 credits
    • Electives* – 12 credits

*) At least two 7xxx-level electives must be taken.

Non-Thesis Option

    • Core Courses – 12 credits
    • Graduate Seminar – 1 credit
    • Project Hours – 3 credits
    • Electives* – 15 credits

*) At least two 7xxx-level electives must be taken.

Systems Engineering Required Core Courses – 12 credit hours:

  • SYEN 7311 Systems Design and Analysis
  • SYEN 7312 Systems Architecture and Design
  • SYEN 7313 Systems Management and Evaluation
  • SYEN 7314 Multicriteria Decision and Risk Analysis

Systems Engineering Graduate Seminar – 1 credit hour:

  • SYEN 7190 Systems Engineering Seminar

Thesis Hours – 6 credit hours:

  • SYEN 8100-8600 Systems Engineering Master’s Thesis

Project Hours – 3 credit hours:

  • SYEN 7385 Systems Engineering Graduate Project


In consultation with the Graduate Coordinator or thesis/project major advisor, students may take their elective course credits from any of the following sample courses. The courses are listed by categories only for easy reference. For additional sample courses, please visit the Graduate Catalog. Students should take at least two 7000-level elective courses.

Systems Analysis and Applications

  • SYEN 5314 Queuing Theory and Systems
  • SYEN 5322 Modeling Transportation Systems
  • SYEN 5342 Linear Programming and Network Flows
  • SYEN 7315 Complex Engineered Systems
  • SYEN 7316 Advanced Systems Simulation
  • SYEN 7342 Network and Combinatorial Optimization

Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • SYEN 5320 Linear State-Space Control Systems
  • SYEN 5331 Advanced Computer Architecture
  • SYEN 5332 Applied Operating Systems
  • SYEN 5334 Software Systems Engineering
  • SYEN 5354 Power Systems Analysis
  • SYEN 5366 Advanced Digital Systems
  • SYEN 7332 Advanced Operating System Design
  • SYEN 7320 Linear Systems Theory

Telecommunications, Networking, and Signal Processing

  • SYEN 5310 Introduction to Signal Processing
  • SYEN 5336 Advances in Communication Networks
  • SYEN 5352 Spatial Time Series
  • SYEN 5355 Mobile Multimedia Internet
  • SYEN 5366 Advanced Digital Systems
  • SYEN 5356 RF Techniques and Systems
  • SYEN 7357 Advanced Antennas for Wireless Systems
  • SYEN 7355 Statistical Signal Processing

Mechanical Engineering

  • SYEN 5375 Mechanical Vibrations
  • SYEN 5382 MEMS and Microsystems
  • SYEN 5383 Finite Element Analysis
  • SYEN 5384 Computer Methods in Fluid and Heat Transfer
  • SYEN 7317 Nanostructural Materials: Physical and Chemical Properties
  • SYEN 7318 Micro- and Nano-Fabrication
  • SYEN 7374 Elasticity
  • SYEN 7376 Fracture Mechanics