Systems Science Masters Program
The Systems Science M.S. program emphasizes the systems theories and methodologies taught in the current Systems Science Ph.D. Program. Students choose a combination of Systems Science courses plus approved courses in associated disciplines. Concentration areas include (but are not limited to) the faculty research areas. Upon completion of the program, students will understand a wide variety of systems ideas, be able to use them in modeling and analysis, be able to tap methods and ideas from a variety of disciplines, and will gain expertise in problem solving and in being integrative thinkers.
To be granted an M.S. degree, students must meet the requirements below and submit the necessary Graduate Office forms. The minimum credit hours required is 45, including at least 1 (maximum of 3) credit of SySc 507 Seminar (with a Pass grade). All students will be required to complete 24 credits of graded courses (Pass/No Pass courses are not applicable) listed under Systems Science in the PSU catalog, including selected new 510/610 courses that are under development. The Master's program has two options: Thesis Option and Non-Thesis Option. Note: There is a seven-year limit imposed by the University on courses for masters degree (this is not true for Ph.D.). The SySc Graduate Program requires degree completion with this same seven-year limit for both thesis and non-thesis students.
Students must take 12 additional credits of Systems Science courses and/or approved courses from other departments (see document entitled, "Approved Resource Courses for the Master of Science Program in Systems Science"); and 9 thesis credits.
A student selecting the thesis option must form a thesis committee of at least 3 faculty members (two committee members must be Systems Science core faculty; the third member may be either from Systems Science or from another PSU department), and pass an oral thesis defense.
Students must take 21 additional credits of Systems Science courses and/or approved courses from other departments (see document entitled, "Approved Resource Courses for the Master of Science Program in Systems Science"). We will allow a maximum of 4 by-arrangement credit hours towards the 45 credits for a Systems Science Master's degree, for the non-thesis option only.
A student selecting the non-thesis option will be required to pass two written comprehensive exams, each of which covers a minimum of 16 credit hours of course work. One of the examiners must be a Systems Science core faculty. Students admitted to the Ph.D. Program who pass their comprehensive exams meet this requirement automatically. Ph.D. students who do not pass their comprehensive exams meet this requirement if they pass two of their written exams, one of which is a Core Systems Science exam. The oral exam for the Master's degree is held only if the student gets a marginal on one of the two written comprehensive exams.
Admission is based on the applicant's academic transcript, 2 letters of recommendation, a statement of interests and objectives, and other background material considered individually by an admissions committee, in line with general University admission policies. The GPA requirement is 3.0 for undergraduate and 3.0 for graduate. GRE/GMAT scores are recommended but not required. Students admitted to the Ph.D. Program (either Option) need to submit a GO19D to be admitted to the Master's program.