Thank you for your interest in our undergraduate and graduate programs!
Majoring in Systems Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science
UVA Engineering students declare their majors early in the spring term of their first years. First-year engineering students receive an email from the UVA Engineering's Office of Undergraduate Programs in early spring with information on how to declare their majors. Once you declare Systems Engineering as your major, you will be assigned an advisor in SIE. You will receive an email about how advising will operate.
Transferring from a Major Within the School of Engineering and Applied Science to Systems Engineering
Engineering students in other majors can change majors to Systems Engineering. Interested students should obtain a change of major form from the Office of Undergraduate Programs.
Transferring From Outside the School Of Engineering and Applied Science to Systems Engineering
University of Virginia students not enrolled in the School of Engineering and Applied Science must submit an application for admittance to the Office of Undergraduate Programs.
Learn more about how to apply.
We welcome any questions you may have about our undergraduate program. Email Dottie Gardner or call (434) 925-5393.
The Department of Systems & Information Engineering partners with the School of Engineering’s Office of Graduate Programs to manage the application and admissions process for graduate students.
Complete the graduate student pre-application if you would like to be contacted about your interest in our graduate programs.
Learn more about how to apply.
Frequently Asked Questions about Graduate Admissions
When Should I Apply?
Applications are accepted throughout the year. However, financial aid decisions for fall admissions, when we accept most new students, are made in February - March. We encourage you to submit all application materials by January 1st to be considered for admission and financial aid. Financial aid is available to PhD and MS students.
What is the cost of tuition and fees for your program?
You can find these figures on the Student Financial Services Website.
What does the department look for in an applicant?
A typical applicant to the department has a balanced application. We look at all aspects of an application and we do not put more weight on one part of the application over others. A good applicant to the department has commendable recommendations, an impressive educational background, strong standardized test scores, and a well-written essay.
What are the admission rquirements?
General requirements for admission into the Graduate Program in Systems Engineering at UVA are those of the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
In addition, prospective candidates should meet the following prerequisites:
- Calculus. One year of undergraduate calculus, including real analysis and ordinary differential equations. Equivalent UVA courses are: APMA 1110, APMA 2120 and APMA 2130.
- Computer Programming. Working knowledge of at least one high level programming language such as Fortran, Pascal, or C. Equivalent UVA course is CS 2110.
- Probability and Statistics. At least two undergraduate courses in calculus-based probability and statistics. Equivalent UVA courses are APMA 3100 and APMA 3120.
- Linear Algebra. At least one undergraduate course in linear algebra. An equivalent UVA course is APMA 3080.
What is the average GRE score?
All three tests (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical) are viewed in the application process and all tests are important. The average applicant has a Verbal score of 156, a Quantitative score of 164, and an analytical score of at least 3.5.
Do I have to take the TOEFL?
TOEFL and IELTS exam scores are required by all applicants to the program whose first learned language was not English.
Required Minimum TOEFL Scores
- Total: 90
- Listening: 23
- Reading: 23
- Writing: 22
- Speaking 22
IELTS scores should be 7.0 or higher in all catergories.Some students with lower scores may be required to complete the Summer English for Academic Purposes Program prior to admission.
TOEFL Waiver. If you have a four year degree from an English speaking institution, you do not need to provide TOEFL scores. You may request a waiver in your application.
If you do not have a 4 year degree from an English speaking institution, but feel your English is excellent, you may request a waiver by writing us about your English speaking skills. We would then need 2 additional letters of recommendation from native English speaking professors which attest to your English speaking ability. These letters of recommendation need to be submitted directly by those who have written them, and need to be from different people than those who wrote your academic recommendations. This means you will be submitting a total of 5 recommendations. You may request a TOEFL waiver in your application and upload your recommendation letters tthere.
Submitting GRE, TOEFL and IELTS scores. You may provide self-reported scores for application review purposes, as we only need official scores if you are admitted and accept the offer of admission.
- GRE scores can be sent electronically to UVa at institution code 5820.
- TOEFL and IELTS Scores can be sent electronically to UVA at instittution code B875.
How Important are my letters of recommendation?
Recommendations provide the admissions committee with a view of how your supervisors and advisors view you. Recommendations from academic advisors provide information on your research interests, as well as your academic skill and motivation. Recommendations from employers provide us with important information regarding your interests, skills, and motivation in the work environment. Generally supervisors who have worked with you for extended periods of time on a daily basis provide the best information regarding your skills and interests. These are valued much more than recommendations provided by distant advisors or supervisors. Recommendations from advisors outside your employment or academic institution are not as helpful in the admissions review process.
What do you look for in the essay?
The essay is a crucial part of the application. A well-structured, comprehensive, and concise essay should clearly reflect an applicant's experiences, accomplishments, research interests, and professional goals. The essay is the applicant's opportunity to convince the admissions committee that he or she will be a successful addition to the graduate program. The essay provides the admissions committee with an opportunity to determine what an applicant wants in a graduate program and if the Department of Systems and Information Engineering can provide what the applicant is looking for. The graduate program values diverse research interests in diverse areas. Therefore, it is important to be accurate and direct in the essay regarding your research interests. The essay also provides the committee with a writing sample from the applicant. The formulation of arguments and the ability to present them clearly and concisely on paper is an important skill in graduate school.
How important is my academic background or previous work experience?
Strong previous academic performance is valued in the decision process. Most students have an undergraduate degree in engineering, however applicants with non-engineering degrees can apply if they show evidence of background coursework and/or work experience that together provide a basic understanding of engineering and/or mathematical processes. This is important because we want all students in the department to excel and to not fall behind due to a poor understanding of basic engineering or mathematical concepts. Previous work experience is not required but relevant work experience should be discussed in the essay.
How many students will get into the program during a typical year?
The admissions committee is looking for a diverse class every year with varying skills and interests. Poor performances in parts of the application are often compensated by outstanding performances in other parts of the application. The admission committee aims to set the target class size to 20 or 30 students. This will change year-to-year based on the research opportunities and financial aid available. The department strives to provide all qualified students with funding in the form of research assistantships and teaching assistantships to eligible students (MS and PhD degree programs only). Once accepted into the program, students may wish to defer their enrollment. The Department of Systems and Information Engineering will allow admissions deferments for one year, but any funding decisions will be re-evaluated.
We welcome any questions you may have about our Graduate program. Email Jayne Weber or call (434) 924-6473.