Jul 16, 2024  
2024-2025 Florida Tech Catalog 
2024-2025 Florida Tech Catalog

Systems Engineering, Ph.D.

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Major Code: 9097 Degree Awarded: Doctor of Philosophy
Delivery Mode(s): Classroom Admission Status: Graduate
Admission Materials: Letters of recommendation, résumé/CV, objectives, transcripts Location(s): Main campus - Melbourne

The Ph.D. program in systems engineering is designed to provide advanced education and research opportunities to qualified students with master’s degrees. The program prepares students to conduct independent scholarly work, teach in academia or pursue advanced research careers in government, commercial or private sectors.

Admission Requirements

Applicants should have a master’s degree in systems engineering from an accredited institution, though applicants with degrees in other engineering disciplines, physical sciences, computer science or mathematics will also be considered. Applicants must have a graduate degree GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale. International applicants must submit paper-based TOEFL scores of 550 (or the equivalent computer- or internet-based scores) or higher in addition to the GPA requirement. 

General admission requirements and the process for applying are presented under Graduate Academic Information .

The program is ideally suited to applicants with a master’s degree in systems engineering and admissions preference will be given to these applicants. If an applicant does not have a master’s degree in systems engineering, five master’s-level core courses (or equivalents as determined by the department) are required to be successfully completed before beginning doctoral-level coursework, as follows:

Core Courses

Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. in systems engineering requires a minimum of 48 semester credit hours beyond the master’s degree including 24 semester credit hours of doctoral-level coursework and 24 semester credit hours of dissertation research. In addition to the 24 semester credit hours of coursework, the student’s major advisor may require additional courses to better prepare the student for conducting research on the selected topic.

Following successful completion of all necessary coursework, students must pass a comprehensive examination and then prepare a written dissertation proposal and have their dissertation topic approved by a committee formed according to graduate policy. Students who successfully pass the comprehensive examination and have their dissertation topic approved are then admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree.

Students admitted to candidacy must then conduct the necessary research to prepare a written dissertation satisfying the elements agreed to by the student’s doctoral committee and successfully defend the dissertation research and the written dissertation for the committee.

A candidate should have at least one technical paper in review for a refereed journal before the dissertation defense and have completed one conference paper and presented that paper at a recognized conference.

General degree requirements are presented under Graduate Academic Information .


The coursework consists of a set of required courses and a set of elective courses as outlined below. Students who are newly admitted must submit a program plan of study and have that program plan approved by their designated major advisor and department head before registering for any course to be applied toward graduation requirements. Students must not register for any course not on their approved program plan without the approval of their major advisor and department head.

There are four required courses that all students must take as listed below. In addition, students must take at least four elective courses, subject to the restrictions shown below.


In consultation with the major advisor, the student selects four courses applicable to the program and the student’s intended research focus. Latitude is permitted with the consent of the major advisor. The advisor may require the student to take additional courses (beyond the minimum total of eight) if it is felt these courses are needed for research preparation.

Total Credits Required Beyond the Master’s Degree: 48

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