Modeling and Simulation Graduate Degree FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I don't have an undergraduate degree in M&S. What preparation must I have to succeed in the M&S graduate degree programs? 

A. An undergraduate degree in M&S is not required. The UAHuntsville M&S degree program is meant to be accessible to students from a wide range of backgrounds, but a certain minimum level of technical expertise is expected. To succeed, a student should meet two critieria: (1) he or she should be able to write a simple computer program in a high-level programming language, such as C++, Java, C#, or similar; and (2) he or she should have completed two semesters of calculus(e.g., MA171 and MA172) and preferably one semester of differential equations(e.g., MA238). The latter requirement (differential equations) is probably the most problematic for some students. Two of the courses in the M&S program require students to work with simple differential equations, and students with no exposure to them will be at a disadvantage in those courses. Students without either (1) or (2) should not assume that the M&S program is not for them; they can readily acquire the needed level of expertise by taking an additional course or two, and the skills thus acquired will surely be useful when the students works professionally in the M&S field. 

Q. I already have a Master's degree and I'm interested in the M&S Ph.D. Do I have to take all of the Master's level M&S courses? 

A. Generally speaking, students who already have a Master's degree will probably not have to take all of the Master's level M&S courses, but they will probably have to take some of them. The number of the previous Master's level courses that will count towards a UAHuntsville M&S Ph.D. degree depends on the previous degree and courses and the university where the courses were completed. An evaluation must be done by the Graduate Program Coordinator for each previous course to determine if it can be accepted in lieu of one of the M&S courses. Over time, a list of which courses can be accepted will be developed, promulgated, and applied consistently to each student. Regardless, all M&S students are bound by the university requirement that at least half of the credit hours required for a UAHuntsville degree must be from UAHuntsville courses. 

Q. UAHuntsville has several educational offerings in M&S. What are their differences and similarities? 

A. UAHuntsville currently offers four different degrees and certificate programs in M&S. They are all different, and each has its own focus and requirements.
(1) M.S.E. in M&S; offered by the Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) department, this is an ISE degree program with an emphasis on M&S methods relevant to ISE, especially discrete event simulation.
(2) M.S. in Computer Science with M&S certificate; offered by the Computer Science (CS) department, this is a conventional CS master's degree program with an elective focus on M&S, especially as applied to computer systems.
(3) Professional and Continuing Studies M&S certificate; this is a professional education program, not a degree program; upon the completion of four 14-hour courses the student is awarded a professional education certificate.
(4) M.S. and Ph.D. in Modeling and Simulation; UAHuntsville's newest M&S offerings, these are degrees in M&S (as opposed to ISE or CS). Students in these interdisciplinary programs take courses in ISE, CS, Mathematics, and other disciplines and are educated in the full range of M&S methods and applications. 

Q. Are the UAHuntsville M&S degree programs available on-line or via distance learning delivery? 

A. The M&S degree programs are not officially on-line/distance learning programs and not all of the courses in the program are available as on-line/distance learning courses. However, many of them are available as on-line/distance learning courses. A student willing to select courses based on their on-line/distance learning availability and to pursue the non-thesis option could complete a UAHuntsville M&S M.S. degree entirely via on-line/distance learning. It is not possible to complete a UAHuntsville M&S Ph.D. degree in this manner. 

Q. How do I apply for the M&S M.S. or Ph.D. degree program? 

A. Interested students should apply for admission to UAHuntsville by following the standard university procedures for prospective graduate students; details can be found online at UAHuntsville Graduate Admissions. When asked to identify a major, select "Modeling and Simulation". 

Q. When can I enter the program? 

A. Courses in the M&S program are offered every semester, and students can enter in the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters without difficulty. Newly admitted students should plan on taking the program's introductory course, MOD 501 Survey of M&S, which is offered every Fall semester, at their first opportunity. 

Q. What financial support is available for students in the program? 

A. Students seeking financial aid should apply for it by following the standard university procedures; details can be found online at UAHuntsville Financial Aid. A varying number of Graduate Research Assistantships for M&S students are available in the Center for Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis (CMSA); M&S students interested in a research assistantship should send their resume to the CMSA's Director, Dr. Mikel Petty, at pettym@uah.edu. While non-U. S. citizens are very welcome in the M&S degree program, because of the nature of some of CMSA's research projects, only U. S. citizens can be considered for CMSA research assistantships.