What is Systems Engineering?
Systems Engineering is an interdisciplinary and structured approach to designing and deploying successful systems. The Systems Engineering degree blends engineering, systems thinking, and management topics to address the business and technical needs of all stakeholders throughout the entire design process, from concept to production to operation to disposal.
What can I do with a Masters of Science degree in Systems Engineering when I graduate?
Graduates of this program are prepared to lead engineering teams and manage complex interdisciplinary projects. Graduates often move into positions of leadership in their current organization, but can also look forward to new employment opportunities in the defense, space, transportation, energy and telecommunications industries, as well as many other fields that look for the knowledge and skills necessary to engineer large and complex systems.
Is the Masters of Science degree in Systems Engineering accredited by ABET (Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology)?
Not currently. The Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET, the accreditation agency for engineering programs in the United States, is considering developing specific criteria for Systems Engineering. Application will be made for accreditation of the Systems Engineering program, both MS and BS degrees by ABET as early as possible after the first BS graduates. SPSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and all degrees must adhere to their accreditation requirements.
What is the curriculum like?
The program consists of 12 courses (36 semester hours) with 6 required courses. The program allows for 2 systems engineering electives and a 4 course concentration. The concentration can be in the SyE program can be from they SYE program for from other SPSU graduate programs. This flexibility allows students to customize their degree to their interest and background.
Graduates of the program will master both the theory and practice of the following technical areas:
1. Requirements Analysis and Management – Methods to develop, deploy and manage systems; including developing the mission, identifying the system and subsystem level requirements, and verifying the requirements are met.
2. Decision Analysis – Know how to use simulation, optimization and decision-making techniques to evaluate and select alternative system architectures.
3. Life Cycle Engineering – Understand and apply the basic phases of system development and how those phases interface with the project management process and the system life-cycle.
4. Risk Management – Identify, assess, manage and mitigate system and process risks.
5. Modeling – Support the development of the functional, operational, physical, and interface architectures of systems with modeling tools and methods.
6. Human Factors – Develop user-centered designs that integrate the requirements for humans in systems and interfaces.
7. Engineering Project Planning and Management – Manage the technical, administrative, budget and scheduling aspects of a project in conjunction with the human aspect of system development.
8. Discipline Oriented Skills – Develop domain specific skill related to technical and managerial disciplines.
I see the courses are all online; do I have to attend an online course at a particular time?
The courses are delivered online and are scheduled to meet one evening a week for 1.5 hours. Attendance policies are up to each professor. However, most professors are aware that our students work full-time and often travel for work. All of the meetings are archived so that students can view it later if they can't attend. Each semester, there may be one or two meetings where students do a presentation or participate in a discussion that is required and announce in advanced so that students can make arrangements to attend.
Who teaches the courses?
Our professors hold doctoral degrees and have industrial experience.
Will my company reimburse me as I complete each course?
Many companies do have a tuition reimbursement program for graduate degree courses that compliment the skills you need in your current position. You should contact your company's Personnel Department to find out more information in this area. If your company requires you to complete each class before they will reimburse you, then you will need to pay for each class at the beginning of each semester (and then be reimbursed by your company at the end of the semester). If your company will pay for your classes when you register at the beginning of each semester, then your company simply needs to send us a letter on their company letterhead confirming this policy, and we will send future bills to your company instead of to you.
How do I buy my books and other course materials?
You may purchase your textbooks from our campus bookstore, which has an online store. You may also buy the recommended textbook from a bookstore near you or from an Internet Bookstore.
How long will it take to get the MS degree?
Most of our students take 1 or 2 courses each semester. So it will take usually 2.5 to 3.5 years for a student attending classes part-time to finish the degree.
I would like to take some graduate course, but I am not ready to commit to pursuing a Master’s degree at this point. Do you offer any graduate certificates?
Yes, we offer a graduate certificate in Systems Engineering. The certificate consists of 4 courses that could later be applied to the MS degree.
If I start out as a certificate student, will my credit earned count toward the MS degree?
Yes, if you are accepted to the MS program, the 4 courses will count toward the MS degree either as required courses or as electives.
How do I apply?
Go to the graduate admissions website for either a printable admissions form or to apply online. See the admissions page for more details of what is required with your application.
Who qualifies for a GRE waiver?
If you have previously earned a Master’s degree, have above a 3.5 undergraduate GPA, or have 4 or more years of relevant work experience earned after your baccalaureate degree, you can request a GRE waiver.
Can I begin the program before taking the GRE?
You can be admitted provisionally if you meet all of the admissions requirements but have not yet taken the GRE. You must submit GRE scores before completing 9 credit hours. Provisional students do not qualify for federal financial aid.
Can I get transfer credit for Master's level courses I took at another institution?
First, you will need to send a copy of your transcript to our Admissions office. After we have had a chance to review your transcript, we will be able to answer your questions about transfer credit on a course-by-course basis.