Master of Science in the Field of Systems Engineering

Online or on campus

The master of science in systems engineering program provides broad knowledge of the systems approach for designing and managing large-scale engineering systems throughout the lifecycle, with faculty and students exploring case studies and methodologies from NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense, and domestic corporations. Students can pursue the degree by selecting electives in one of two areas of focus: operations research and management science or systems engineering. 

Specific admission requirements are shown on the Graduate Program Finder.

For additional on campus program information, visit on campus program website.

For additional online program information, visit the online program website.


In addition to the entrance requirements, students are expected to be adequately prepared in calculus and probability/statistics concepts. The MS program requires students to have completed MATH 1231 and MATH 1232 (Calculus 1 and Calculus II), and APSC 3115 (Engineering Analysis III). Students who do not meet the MATH 1231 and MATH 1232 prerequisites will be required to take these courses, or their equivalents, in addition to the MS degree requirements. Students who do not meet the APSC 3115 prerequisite will be required to take EMSE 6115, which can be credited towards the MS degree requirements.

Educational Planner

In consultation with an academic advisor, each student must develop an Educational Planner through DegreeMAP that governs the student’s degree requirements. The Educational Planner should be established soon after matriculation and must be completed before the end of the student’s first semester. The Educational Planner must be approved by the advisor.

Curriculum requirements

Non-thesis option—36 credits in coursework. Three types of course requirements are included in the curriculum: common course requirements, focus course requirements, and approved electives. Common course requirements are taken by all students in the MS program in systems engineering. Focus course requirements are taken by all students within the area of focus. Elective courses require the approval of the student's academic advisor.

Thesis option—36 credits, including the thesis. To register in the thesis option, students must submit their advisor-approved plan of study and thesis area to the department chair. In addition to the course requirements, students take the thesis course sequence, EMSE 6998 and EMSE 6999, ideally in the final two semesters of the program. Thesis credits may be used in lieu of electives. Hence, the program of study requires a minimum of 36 credits. While registered in the thesis course sequence, students work with the faculty member under whom the thesis is to be written. Students may consult with their advisors, but they have primary responsibility for their own thesis. Students defend their theses orally before a committee of SEAS faculty members. 

EMSE 6001The Management of Technical Organizations
EMSE 6020Decision Making with Uncertainty
EMSE 6410Engineering Economic Analysis
EMSE 6801Systems Engineering I

Operations Research and Management Science

EMSE 6701Operations Research Methods
EMSE 6710Applied Optimization Modeling
EMSE 6760Discrete Systems Simulation
EMSE 6765Data Analysis for Engineers and Scientists
EMSE 6770Techniques of Risk Analysis and Management
Three of the following:
EMSE 6705Mathematics in Operations Research
EMSE 6715Theory of Games
EMSE 6730Integer and Network Programming
EMSE 6740Systems Thinking and Policy Modeling I
EMSE 6750Stochastic Foundations of Operations Research
EMSE 6755Quality Control and Acceptance Sampling
EMSE 6992Special Topics

Systems Engineering

EMSE 6805Systems Engineering II
EMSE 6810Systems Analysis and Management
EMSE 6820Program and Project Management
EMSE 6850Quantitative Models in Systems Engineering
Two of the following:
EMSE 6540Management of Information and Systems Security
EMSE 6580Information and Software Engineering
EMSE 6815Requirements Engineering
EMSE 6992Special Topics (in consultation with advisor)
Plus two courses (6 credits) selected in consultation with the advisor

Graduation and Scholarship Requirements

Students are responsible for knowing the university’s minimum GPA requirement for graduation and scholarships.  Please visit the Graduation and Scholarship Requirements section on this site to read the requirements.

Students should contact the department for additional information and requirements.

Program Restrictions

Normally, only 6000 level courses (or higher) may be counted toward the requirements for the graduate degree.