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    Oakland University
  Jan 19, 2018
2012-2013 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Science in Systems Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
102A Science and Engineering Building  (map)
(248) 370-2177 • Fax (248) 370-4633

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Daniel N. Aloi
102K Science and Engineering Building
(248) 370-2185 


Program Description

The Master of Science in systems engineering degree program is designed to prepare students for significant engineering-related careers in industry as well as simultaneously for further graduate study. Admission is open to students with a bachelor’s degree in any engineering discipline. The program offers three distinct options:

  1. Dynamic systems and control engineering option
  2. Robotic systems engineering option
  3. System modeling and computer simulation option.

Admission terms and application deadlines

Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning by the semester deadlines listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to departments for admission review.

  • July 15 for fall semester
  • November 15 for winter semester
  • March 15 for summer semester
Readmission and program transfer

Requests for readmission and program transfers must be completed and approved prior to the beginning of a semester.

International application deadlines

International applications are reviewed for fall and winter admission only. To ensure adequate time for review, international applications must be completed at least six months before the desired date of intended enrollment in the University. All international application materials must be submitted by May 1 for fall admission and by September 1 for winter admission. International applicants are not eligible for Special Graduate classification.

Special Graduate classification

Applicants who are seeking a graduate degree or graduate certificate, but are unable to meet the deadline for filing all required application materials or credentials for graduate admission, may contact the department and request Special Graduate temporary admission.  The applicant must submit an Application for Admission to Graduate Study, plus a copy of a transcript providing evidence of a bachelor’s degree awarded and any specific evidence concerning their qualifications for graduate study as required by the department.  Up to 12 credits may be earned in the Special Graduate classification. Admission as a special graduate student in no way assures subsequent admission to a degree or graduate certificate program.

Students may request special graduate classification beginning  with the dates below.

  • August 1 for fall semester
  • December 1 for winter semester
  • April 1 for summer semester

Note: Special Graduate classification will not be granted after the first week of classes in a semester.

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all of the following university and program application documents by the published application deadlines.

University graduate application requirements
  • Application for Admission to Graduate Study     
  • Official transcripts providing evidence of an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. institution, OR a degree equivalent to a four-year U.S. baccalaureate degree from a college or university of government-recognized standing.
  • Official transcripts for all post-secondary educational institutions from which the applicant earned a degree (beginning with the first baccalaureate) and for all enrollment in graduate-level coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree. International university transcripts must be evaluated by a professional credential evaluation service.
    • As part of the admission requirements, graduate programs may require official transcripts from post-secondary educational institutions from which the applicant earned an associate’s degree and all enrollment in coursework both pre- and post-bachelor’s degree.
  • Two official and original Recommendation for Graduate Admission forms.
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • International supplemental application and supporting documentation must be submitted before international applicants can be issued the Certification of Eligibility (I-20). This certificate is required to apply for a student visa from the U.S. embassy or consulate.

Program application requirements
  • The recommendation forms must be from two members of the undergraduate major department or practicing engineers who are familiar with their accomplishments and promise
  • Applicants may be requested to submit scores from the Graduate Record examination (GRE) if they graduated from an institution not accredited by a regional accrediting agency of the USA.
  • Bachelor of Science in any engineering discipline
  • Grade-point average of 3.0 or better.

Admission review and assessment

Admission to graduate study at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department.  

Degree requirements

To fulfill the requirements for a Master of Science degree in systems engineering, a student must:

  • Complete at least 32 credits of graduate-level work, of which at least 24 credits must be in approved courses offered by the School of Engineering and Computer Science.
  • Earn a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in courses applied toward the degree.
  • Complete the requirements specified for the program in systems engineering.
  • Satisfy all requirements concerning academic progress.

The degree requirements may be satisfied by taking only coursework. However, a graduate engineering project (SYS 690) or master’s thesis research (SYS 691) provides a unique and valuable learning experience in which an individual student works with a faculty member in an area of mutual interest. Therefore, students are encouraged to include such an experience as their program permits.

A student must fulfill the program requirements for one of the options listed below to be awarded the Master of Science in systems engineering.

Course requirements

1. Dynamic Systems and Control Engineering Option (32 credits)

Required courses (12 to 16 credits)

Students are required to select at least three courses from:  

Depth areas (8 to 16 credits)

A student is required to take at least two courses from one of the following depth areas. Students may take more than one depth area.

(Depth area courses are listed at the end of this section.)

  • Advanced Control Systems
  • Robotic Systems
  • Intelligent Systems
  • Dynamic Systems
  • Nonlinear Systems
  • Microprocessor Control Systems
  • Optimization of Systems
Electives** (0 to 8 credits)

Additional credits may be taken from the following electives: 

With approval: 

Thesis option (8 credits)

2. Robotics Systems Engineering Option (32 credits)

Required courses (12 to 16 credits)

Students are required to select at least three courses from:

Depth areas (8 to 16 credits)

A student is required to take at least two courses from one of the following depth areas:

(Depth area courses are listed at the end of this section.)

  • Computer Systems
  • Dynamic Systems
  • Intelligent Systems
  • Linear Control Systems
  • Microprocessor Control Systems
  • Nonlinear Systems
  • Optimization of Systems
Electives* (0 to 8 credits)

Additional credits may be taken from the following electives: 

With approval: 

Thesis option (8 credits)

3. Systems Modeling and Computer Simulation Option (32 credits)

Required courses (12 to 16 credits)

Students are required to select at least three courses from the following. Other electives that are appropriate to the student’s Plan of Study require prior approval of the faculty adviser and department chair. 

Depth areas (8 to 16 credits)

A student is required to take at least two courses from one of the following depth areas.

(Depth area courses are listed at the end of this section.)

  • Dynamic Systems
  • Mechanical Systems
  • Microprocessor Control Systems
  • Nonlinear Systems
  • Optimization of Systems
Electives* (0 to 8 credits)

Additional credits may be taken from the following electives: 

With approval: 

Thesis option (8 credits)

Systems Engineering Depth Areas

The student must select at least two courses from one of the following depth areas associated with their option above:

  • Advanced Control Systems:
SYS 632 , SYS 635 , ECE 645 
  • Computer Systems:

SYS 563 *, ECE 567 , ECE 570 *, ECE 571 , ECE 576 , ECE 585 *,  ECE 666 ,
ECE 671 , ECE 672 

  • Dynamic Systems:
 SYS 520 , SYS 575 *, SYS 675 , ECE 525 , ME 521  
  • Electrical Systems:
ECE 525 ECE 570 *, ECE 572 *, ECE 583 , ECE 585 *, ECE 537 , ECE 638 ,
ECE 683 
  • Intelligent Systems:
SYS 635 , SYS 645 , ISE 512 *
  • Linear Control Systems:
ECE 433, SYS 520 SYS 575 *, SYS 630 , SYS 675 
  • Mechanical Systems:
ECE 523 *, SYS 575 *, SYS 623 , SYS 675 , ME 521 
  • Microprocessor Control Systems:
SYS 674 , ECE 525 ECE 570 *, ECE 572 *
  • Nonlinear Systems:
SYS 510 , SYS 623 SYS 632 , SYS 635 
  • Optimization of Systems:
SYS 510 , SYS 630 , SYS 631 , CSE 513 
  • Robotic Systems:
ECE 523 *, ECE 678 SYS 575 *, SYS 623 , SYS 675 
  • Stochastic Systems:
SYS 517  or ISE 517 , SYS 585 *, SYS 631 , ECE 533 

*These courses are cross-listed as advanced undergraduate and graduate courses. If completed as a 400-level course or equivalent as part of a baccalaureate degree, the course may be used to offset graduate program requirements. However, credit will not then be awarded and must be earned by completion of an approved substitute course.

**At most 4 credits of ECE 594  and ECE 690  can be used toward the degree.

***A minimum of 8 credits are required for master’s thesis (SYS 691 ).

Satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.

Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good academic standing

All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  • Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  • Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  • Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  • Going on a leave of absence
  • Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.

Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.

Department requirements:  The minimum satisfactory grade for graduate work is 3.0. Credit for completion of a course in the Master of Science program will be given for grades of 2.5 or above but not more than two grades may be in the range of 2.5 to 2.9. Graduate credit will not be awarded for grades below 2.5. To repeat a course, a student must have the permission of the graduate committee of the school.

All grades received as a graduate student are used in computing the GPA except that, if a course has been repeated, the most recent grade is used in the calculation of the GPA. A graduate student is placed on academic probation if the student’s overall GPA drops below 3.0 or if the student receives more than one grade below 3.0, including the original grade(s) of any repeated course(s). A graduate student receiving a grade less than 3.0 while on probation is subject to dismissal. A graduate student receiving more than two grades below 3.0 is subject to dismissal whether or not the student was put on probation previously.

In all programs the minimum grade point requirement is an average of at least 3.0. If a student’s GPA is less than 3.0 after having attempted 16 credits, the student will be recommended for dismissal from the program.

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.

Related program information

Plan of study

All accepted applicants, in consultation with their assigned faculty program adviser, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the faculty program adviser and submitted by the student to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.

Master’s and graduate certificate students must submit a department-approved plan of study by the end of their first semester of graduate coursework. Doctoral students must submit an approved plan of study prior to completion of the first year of coursework.

Note:  Credit granted for successful completion of a course toward an undergraduate degree program may not be repeated for a graduate degree. If a substitution is approved, the minimum number of program-approved graduate credits will be required. A Petition of Exception - OU Course Waiver/ Substitution requesting the substitution must be approved.

Course approval

Approval by the master’s degree adviser and the department chair is required for independent study, engineering projects, master’s thesis or special topics courses that are used toward the degree. In addition, approval of the faculty administering the independent study, advising the thesis or project or teaching the special topics course must be obtained before registering for these credits.

Course credit

Normally, graduate credit is awarded only for courses numbered 500 or higher. However, up to 4 credits of Oakland University senior-level (400-499) courses in the major can be approved for graduate credit by the student’s adviser. With the added approval of the graduate committee of the school, an additional 4 credits of senior-level courses can also be counted toward the required 32 credits. Course credit will not be awarded for work applied toward another degree. Students who have received credit for the 400-level version of a cross-listed senior/graduate course cannot receive credit toward a graduate degree for the 500-level version of that course.

No more than 8 thesis or project credits may be used toward the degree requirements.

Transfer credit

Students transferring from other institutions are allowed to transfer a maximum of 9 credits of graduate coursework with the approval of the department.

Workload and scheduling

Full-time students must register for 8 to 12 credits per semester. Graduate assistants must be full-time students and commit 20 hours per week toward their research or teaching assistantship assignment. Graduate assistants normally register for only 8 credits per semester; however, a 12-credit load can be taken with the approval of the chair of their department.

For the convenience of part-time students employed in industry, courses are arranged in late afternoon and early evening. However, these students should be aware of the very real demands of graduate studies and should keep outside work commitments and their academic load in balance.

Master’s adviser

The progress of each regular student toward the Master of Science degree is directed by the student’s adviser, a faculty member of the School of Engineering and Computer Science who is assigned at the time of admission. Incoming students seeking the degree are urged to discuss their proposed concentration area with their adviser or other faculty members in that area. Students who wish to change their adviser can do so with the approval of the chair of their department.

Master’s project or thesis

Although the master’s degree requirements may be satisfied by taking only coursework, either a graduate engineering project (SYS 690 ) or a directed master’s thesis research (SYS 691 ) may be included as part of the program in place of elective courses.

Students electing a thesis option must accumulate a minimum of 8 credits of SYS 691 . Successful completion and defense of a thesis is a prerequisite for earning thesis credits. Students choosing the thesis option must select an advisory committee, which is composed of at least three faculty members from the School of Engineering and Computer Science. The selection of the committee and the Plan of Study must be approved by the department chair. The chair (major professor) of the advisory committee will direct and guide the research. The student must propose a research topic to the committee for approval, at least one semester before graduation. The completed thesis must conform to university standards (see Thesis and Dissertation ). At the completion of the research and its documentation, the content of the thesis must be publicly presented and defended. Successful defense of the thesis is a prerequisite for earning the research credits.