Ph.D. in Systems Engineering

The Ph.D. in systems engineering is a transdisciplinary graduate program offered by The Polytechnic School.

Why Systems Engineering?

The program is aimed at advancing the understanding of complex engineering systems, including systems that encompass both technological and social, cultural, environmental, and other interacting components that impact the input, output and interactions within a system. The program will prepare students to identify, model, analyze, interpret, optimize and manage the multidimensional interactions of the ever-increasing complexity of modern technological and societal challenges. Students will be required to complete a core of five courses (three credits each). The core provides the foundation for systems thinking, systems identification, systems modeling, systems design and analysis, and perspective taking using diverse disciplinary methodological approaches. Students graduating from this doctoral degree program will possess the necessary expertise to advance systems integration of key industry and government sectors, and to contribute to the body of knowledge on interdisciplinary methods, techniques and strategies for designing and managing complex systems. The program is designed for students that have completed a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a closely related field, and that have demonstrated excellent mathematical aptitude.

Admission Requirements

Applicants who meet the following requirements are eligible to apply.

  • a minimum of a BS in engineering or a closely related discipline from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or from appropriately credentialed institutions in other countries
  • a minimum of 3.75 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = A) in the applicable bachelor’s degree

Application Process

The admission process begins with the online Graduate Admissions application, which can be found online at: PhD in Systems Engineering – Graduate Admissions. The application requires that following items must be submitted:

  • Two (2) Letters of Recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose: Submit online a 300- to 500-word statement of purpose describing your motivation and rationale for obtaining a PhD in the Systems Engineering program at Arizona State University and how it relates to your long-term career goals.
  • CV/Resume
  • Official transcripts from each college or university attended.
  • A GRE Waiver may be requested for PhD Systems Engineering applicants with a completed undergraduate engineering degree from a U.S. ABET accredited undergraduate program with 3.0+ cumulative GPA, or applicants with a completed MS degree from a U.S. ABET accredited undergraduate program. Please note, if GRE requirement is waived there is no guarantee for admission.
  • International applicants must also meet the English proficiency requirements, as defined by Graduate Admissions. Please be sure to review the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score requirements, as your application will not be processed without valid proof of English proficiency.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 84 semester credit hours are required for the PhD degree, distributed as follows:

  • A maximum of 30 credit hours of coursework from a previous master’s degree in engineering or a related field may be applied to the PhD.
  • Three core courses, totaling 9 credit hours.
  • One foundation course, totaling 3 credit hours.
  • Additional coursework that is directly in support of the research area. This must total, at a minimum, 15 credit hours.
  • 12 credit hours of EGR 792, Research.
  • 12 credit hours of EGR 799, Dissertation

Core Courses

All students enrolled in the PhD in Systems Engineering must complete the following core courses* as early as is reasonable in their program. Students must also complete one course from their foundation area. Additional curriculum details are available in the PhD Systems Engineering program handbook (linked on left sidebar).

  • EGR 602: Principles of Independent Research
  • EGR 608: Advanced Simulation
  • EGR 611: Complex Engineering Systems

*This list is approved for Fall 2019.

If a student needs additional preparation before taking one or more of the core courses the required deficiency courses may not be used as part of the Plan of Study, although the grades received in these courses will be used in computing the overall GPA. Additionally, PhD programs of study are dependent on both the background and the chosen specialization of individual students, and preparation beyond the minimum core requirements is occasionally necessary.