Systems Engineering Master of Engineering (M.E.) – Systems Engineering Specialization, Master of Science (M.S.) in Systems Engineering

Master of Science


There are two options for students pursuing the M.S. in systems engineering – Plan A (thesis option) or Plan B (project option).

  • Minimum of 30 credits of graduate work in approved program of study.
  • Minimum of 24 credits must be earned at Colorado State University, 21 of which credits at the 500-level must be earned after formal admission to the University.
  • No more than two courses at the 400 level taken at Colorado State University are permitted.
  • No more than two 500-level or higher graduate courses may be transferred from another accredited university.
  • Electives or course substitutions must be approved by an academic advisor.

Plan A only

  • Electives or course substitutions must be approved by an academic advisor.

Plan B only

  • 15 credits must be core courses, 12 credits of technical electives, and 3 credits of independent study (ENGR 695), or a comparable course with a minimum of 3 credits with approval of graduate advisor.


The M.S. program starts with a core systems engineering foundation and concludes with a thesis or independent study. You are encouraged to start with ENGR 501, but can take the remaining courses in any order. At least four courses applicable to the degree will be offered each fall and spring semester. Students typically enroll in no more than two classes per semester.

Course delivery options allow you to study when and where it works best for you, whether that be streaming the lecture from your computer while it's happening live on campus or watching a recorded version at a time more convenient for you. In certain semesters, select courses (noted by an asterisk below) can also be attended in-person at our South Metro Denver location.

Core courses (15 credits)

Technical electives (6 or 12 credits)

Your electives can span a broad number of technical electives. Examples include:

A maximum of 6 credit hours at the 400 level is permitted. The remaining credits must be at the 500 level or above. For a listing of technical electives, contact the systems engineering advisor Additionally, any course from the core courses list, if not taken as part of your required 15 core credits, can be taken as a technical elective option.

Thesis (Plan A students only)

Independent study (Plan B students only)

  • ENGR 695 – Independent Study (3 cr.)
    • Either ENGR 695 must be completed or an appropriate 3 credit (at a minimum) course that is consistent with the student's plan of study must be completed as approved by the Program Advisor.

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