Systems Engineering, MS
Systems Engineering is concerned with the analysis of needs and requirements, design, production, deployment, operation, maintenance, refinement, and retirement of reliable systems considering various system constraints. Systems Engineering comprises the product, process, and resource management and focuses on architecture, human factors, decision support, performance and evaluation, and management.
System engineers are the visionaries who take a global perspective of the system. Whereas discipline-specific engineers deal with system components, the systems engineer is concerned with the integration of these components and the overall success of the system throughout its life cycle. Our educational and research program reflects the systems engineer's unique perspective on the system life cycle.
Mason's graduate program in Systems Engineering recognizes the importance of balancing an education in quantitative models and engineering tools with a proper understanding of the systems perspective. Concentration areas include Advanced Transportation Systems (ATS), Architecture-Based Systems Integration (ABSI), Command, Control, Communications, Computing, and Intelligence (C4I), Energy Systems (NRGS), Financial Systems Engineering (FNSE), Systems Engineering and Data Analytics (SEDA), Systems Engineering of Software-Intensive Systems (SESI) and Systems Management (SMG).
The graduate program leading to the Master of Science in Systems Engineering (MSSE) emphasizes both analytical and practical aspects of engineering complex systems. Students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in using qualitative and quantitative tools relevant to systems engineering practice. The program also prepares students for careers in research and development and for pursuing advanced graduate study leading to the Ph.D. degree in Systems Engineering and Operations Research.
Admissions & Policies
Foundation and Admission Requirements
Each applicant for the MS program should meet the following entrance requirements:
- Have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in engineering, mathematics, computer science, physical sciences, economics, or a related field.
- Have completed courses in multivariate calculus, matrix algebra, differential equations, applied probability and statistics, and a computer language.
- Provide evidence of satisfactory educational achievement in at least one of the following forms: a GPA of at least 3.00 as an undergraduate or an acceptable GPA in graduate courses. International students must also achieve satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
- Have achieved a satisfactory score on the TOEFL examination for non-native English speakers.
- Have two letters of recommendation submitted by former professors or supervisors
Students who enter the program must have a working background in engineering mathematics and computer systems. A student lacking these foundations may apply for admission to the program but may be required to take one or more foundation courses. The department offers SYST 500 Quantitative Foundations for Systems Engineering as an intensive review of undergraduate engineering mathematics, including matrix algebra, calculus, differential equations, probability, and statistics. Students who have not completed a two-semester calculus sequence and matrix algebra will be required to complete these courses prior to taking SYST 500 Quantitative Foundations for Systems Engineering. Upon acceptance, each student will be required to take a foundation qualification test a week or two before school starts, unless waived by the department chair or graduate coordinator. Students who fail the test will be required to take SYST 500 Quantitative Foundations for Systems Engineering or other foundation courses. A sample test is available from the department.
Familiarity with analytical modeling software, such as spreadsheets or math packages, is also expected. Students should acquaint themselves with these software packages before beginning classes.
Advising & Plan of Study
All entering systems engineering students must attend an orientation meeting. Each student is assigned a faculty advisor upon acceptance. Students must meet with their advisors during their first semester and design an approved plan of study. Students are encouraged to seek out their advisor when questions arise and when their plan of study needs to be revised. Any changes to the plan of study must be approved by the faculty advisor. A copy of the plan of study must remain on file with the department.
Total credits: 30-33
To obtain the Master of Science degree, students must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate-level courses that consist of five core courses, three concentration courses, an elective, and a systems engineering project.
Approved basic methods and concentration courses for the eight concentration areas are listed below. Students are expected to select a set of concentration courses that constitute a clearly defined focus. These courses must be approved by the student's advisor. Each student is required to have a current plan of study on file with the Systems Engineering and Operations Research Department.
Candidates for the MS must have a minimum GPA of 3.00 in coursework applied to the degree, which may include no more than 6 credits of C. The GPA calculation excludes all transfer courses and Mason nondegree studies credits not formally approved for the degree.
Online MS in Systems Engineering
The graduate program leading to the Master of Science in Systems Engineering can be completed entirely online. The delivery mode for the online program is asynchronous, but many courses are also offered in synchronous mode. Students may also plan a program with some courses taken online and some in the classroom. The following courses are offered online at least once a year: SYST 500 Quantitative Foundations for Systems Engineering, SYST 505 Systems Engineering Principles, SYST 510 Systems Definition and Cost Modeling, SYST 520 System Engineering Design, SYST 530 Systems Engineering Management I, SYST 542 Decision Support Systems Engineering, SYST 573 Decision and Risk Analysis, SYST 611 System Methodology and Modeling, SYST 618 Model-based Systems Engineering, SYST 620 Discrete Event Systems, SYST 621 Systems Architecture Design, SYST 630 Systems Engineering Management II, SYST 699 Masters Project, OR 531 Analytics and Decision Analysis, OR 541 Operations Research: Deterministic Models and OR 542 Operations Research: Stochastic Models.
* This program will start from Spring 2019 semester.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated July 4, 2018