PhD in Systems Modeling and Analysis

Degree Requirements Checklist

This checklist is designed to help students and faculty plan a course of study.  For official degree requirements, please consult the VCU Graduate Bulletin:




Foundation Classes

3 of 4 of: STAT 513, OPER 527, MATH 556, MATH 535, with an A or passed qualifying exam.


700-Level Electives

At least 9 credits, covering at least 2 research areas.



Including 700-level electives, 24 elective credits at the 500, 600, or 700 level.


SYSM 681, 682, 683

SYSM thesis writing sequence.


SYSM 697

Systems research


Qualifying Portfolio

A compilation of research products to date, including output of SYSM 681, 682, 683.  The portfolio is reviewed by three program faculty who make recommendations (e.g. set a take-home exam)


Admission to Candidacy

Complete a form indicating the entire dissertation committee (>= 4 members, including an outside member) after the qualifying portfolio is approved.  Admission to candidacy is granted after all course work has been completed and the qualifying portfolio has been approved. After admission to candidacy, students must maintain continuous enrollment in fall/spring semesters until graduation.


Dissertation Research

After admission to candidacy, take at least 18 hours of SYSM 798 Dissertation Research.


Dissertation Proposal

After admission to candidacy, a written and oral proposal is presented to the full dissertation committee.  Student should have at least one article submitted to a peer-reviewed journal or on a pre-publication site such as arXiv.


Submit Journal Article

A journal article must be submitted before the dissertation defense.


Prepare Second Journal Article

A second journal article should be prepared before the dissertation defense.



The dissertation is submitted to the committee at least two weeks prior to the oral defense.


DegreeWorks Freeze

At the beginning of the last semester, the advisor and/or program director freeze the DegreeWorks audit.  At least 50% of credits at the 600-level or above. GPA is at least 3.0. No grades below C can be counted towards requirements.


Intention to Graduate

At the beginning of the last semester, the student indicates an intent to graduate in eServices.


Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Form (ETD)

By the end of the semester, submit the ETD form to the College with original signatures.


DegreeWorks Final Freeze

By the end of the semester, conduct the final DegreeWorks freeze.