The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has added a doctoral program in systems engineering to its Graduate School offerings.

 The doctoral program was approved by the Louisiana Board of Regents last week.

Mark Zappi, dean of ULL's College of Engineering, says it's the first Ph.D. in systems engineering in the state.

Zappi says the program prepares engineers to manage and problem-solve complex engineering systems, such as coastal engineering, aircraft; or aerospace design and manufacturing and power grids.

He said the first group of students will be accepted in the spring semester and at least 10 engineering students are ready to move into the program now.