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SYSE 501 - Foundations of Systems Engineering

  • 3 credits
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Introductory overview of the systems engineering perspective and is presented to set the conceptual and practical framework of the entire systems engineering graduate program. Covers the foundational components of systems engineering, the concept development stage every viable system must go through, and the process steps of the engineering development stage. Several issues related to post-development and special topics areas are presented.

Topics include systems engineering management, needs analysis, concept development, concept exploration, concept definition, systems engineering decision tools, engineering design, integration and evaluation, production, software systems engineering, and operation support. Students will practice the principles taught in the course by following a project of the individual student's choice.


Credit allowed for only one of the following: ECE 501, ENGR 501, or SYSE 501.

Important Information

Military personnel admitted to a College of Engineering online degree program may be eligible for a 15% tuition discount. Tuition discounts can only be given if you provide the appropriate discount code at the time of registration. Call (877) 491-4336 or email to learn more.
Discounts are not applicable to Denver sections.

Textbooks and Materials

Section 801


  • Systems Engineering: Principles and Practice, 3rd Ed. (2020)
    Alexander Kossiakoff
    ISBN: 9781119516668


  • INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook: A Guide for System Life Cycle Proces, 5th Ed. (2023)
    ISBN: 9781118999400

Textbooks and materials can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore unless otherwise indicated.


Gregory Marzolf

9704916047 |

Assistant Professor of Systems Engineering

Colonel Gregory Marzolf (USAF retired) is a skillful leader with over 30 years of experience working in and across large organizations. He’s held diverse assignments including working with large Department of Defense aviation systems, conducting operational test and evaluation for all Air Force fighter, bomber, unmanned, and high altitude platforms. He also executed nuclear air-launched cruise missile and free-fall munitions testing.

Marzolf recently commanded the Air Force’s premier large-force multi-domain combat exercise—RED FLAG—at Nellis AFB, NV where he worked to develop and refine multi-domain warfighting integration.

He is a credible and well-networked author, developer, advocator, and manager of advanced concepts and complex systems.

He joined Systems Engineering in the summer of 2017 and teaches SYSE 501 – Foundations of Systems Engineering, and SYSE 603 – Introduction to Systems Test and Evaluation.

Learn more at: