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

Degree Overview

Professors Erika Miller and Jeremy Daily discuss the online master's in Systems Engineering. Learn more about the interactive and flexible nature of the program and what it can do for your career.

Earn your master's in systems engineering online

What is systems engineering?

Systems engineering is a discipline that accounts for both the technical and business needs of stakeholders when solving complex problems. It provides a perspective that considers the requirements of all components and constituencies within the system, allowing companies to design the most efficient and effective approaches to solving the problems they face.

Explore cross-disciplinary applications of systems engineering

Many problems faced by companies today are unsolvable by any one area of engineering. Systems engineering emphasizes a systems thinking approach, which allows you to cross disciplines and analyze and understand relationships between various sub-components of a given system. This provides for the design and implementation of solutions that span disciplines (electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, finance, production, etc.) and considers all aspects of the project or product lifecycle.

For example, how do you design, manufacture, bring to market, maintain, and eventually retire a new commercial or military aircraft? A systems engineering solution may bring together mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering along with finance and sales to approach this complex issue. Understanding the relationship between various components and how to organize and manage them in an efficient way is where systems engineering comes into play.

Solve complex problems using systems thinking

Systems thinking is a technique students learn in the master's program, involving various modeling and analysis strategies for understanding the relationship between all components in a system. A system is a construct or collection of different elements that together produce results not obtainable by the individual elements alone. The elements, or parts, can include people, hardware, software, facilities, policies, and documents — all things required to produce systems-level results. The results include system-level qualities, properties, characteristics, functions, and dynamic behaviors and performance.

Examples of systems may include:

  • A city - with all its structural, economic, environmental, management, energy, healthcare, and other components.
  • Airline manufacturing - with its associated engineering, project management, financial, design, production and other components.
  • A smart grid (electric grid) – with networks of suppliers, component manufacturers, market places, and more.

Use systems management to integrate business solutions

Systems management involves the implementation and coordination of technical processes to achieve a specific outcome. This includes things like product lifecycle management (design, manufacturing, in-use, maintenance, and end-of-life), risk management, and engineering team management, among others.

As a whole, students in the online master's in systems engineering program learn to integrate human, physical, energy, communications, management and information requirements through the application of mathematical and scientific principles when designing solutions to complex problems.

What you will learn in the online master's program

CSU's online system's engineering graduate program offers two master's degrees, a Master of Engineering and a Master of Science. Content for both degrees covers technical and management processes to systems design. Technical processes involve modeling and describing systems using a suite of tools to model behavior. This includes:

  • Systems optimization
  • Model-based systems engineering
  • Utility Theory (ways of making decisions and understanding decision support tools)
  • Lifecycle assessment
  • Multidisciplinary optimization (MDO)
  • Probabilistic design
  • Verification/validation strategies

Additionally, the systems engineering master's program offers the advantage of a hybrid course delivery strategy. This option allows you to study when and where it works best for you, whether that be online while the lecture is happening live on campus or watching a recorded version after work or on the weekend.

What Next?

  • Earning a Master of Engineering

    Next: M.E. Curriculum »

    Find out completion requirements and curriculum specifics to see if the Master of Engineering with a systems engineering specialization is right for you.

  • Earning a Master of Science

    Next: M.S. Curriculum »

    Discover the ins and outs of earning your thesis-based Master of Science in Systems Engineering, including completion and research requirements and program curriculum.