Master of Science with a Major in Systems Engineering (MSSE)

What is Systems Engineering?
Systems engineering is the branch of engineering that develops systems, where a system is a collection of elements that work together as a unit. Systems engineering may be applied to large systems, such as power plants, or to small systems, such as circuit components. It may be applied to hardware or to software systems. It may be applied to tangible products such as automobiles or to intangible products such as services or processes. All branches of engineering use the principles of systems engineering.

The goal of systems engineering is development and management of systems (products and services) that satisfy customer requirements considering engineering, technology, environmental, management, risk, and economic factors by viewing the system as a whole, over its life cycle.

Systems engineering is also the practice of “good engineering.” Through systems engineering and related courses, the student gains exposure to a variety of topics such as reliability, quality, logistics/supply webs, operations research, engineering management, software engineering, telecommunications and environmental engineering. “Systems thinking” skills are developed which foster more effective practice for the engineer or engineering manager within the business enterprise. The systems engineering program’s objective is to make you a better engineer or manager by imparting an enhanced understanding of the impact of your engineering decisions, and the impact of other decisions on you.

Why Study Systems Engineering?
Studying systems engineering is useful because it encourages looking at the big picture as opposed to focusing only on details. System engineering covers the total system life cycle, including concept, design, use, maintenance, and disposal. It looks at the system through the eyes of all the stakeholders, such as customers and users, who have an interest in the system. Systems engineering applies science, mathematics, and management to problem-solving in ways that complement all branches of engineering.

Why SMU?
The SMU Systems Engineering Program has been developed in response to the growing need by industry and government for engineers who are not only specialists in a particular area, but who have a systems perspective in order to more effectively practice engineering and manage within the business enterprise. The program offers flexibility for: (1) systems engineers who are entering the field, updating skills or acquiring new skills, (2) engineers who need to acquire a broadening of their technical and management education from a systems perspective, (3) engineers with upper-level management aspirations, and (4) engineering students seeking to increase their market value by acquiring knowledge and skills necessary for engineering of products and services from a systems perspective.

In addition,

  • The Systems Engineering Program is designed to build on your engineering/technical education and experience to broaden your exposure while developing your problem definition and problem solving skills. The program is intended to fill a niche between core engineering specialization and a business program.
  • We have a growing program, evolving in response to industry and government needs.
  • Learn from faculty with extensive industry experience and systems-engineering practice.
  • We offer a variety of convenient delivery options to fit your job & personal lifestyle.
  • The program provides life-long access to systems engineering technology resources through the Student and Alumni Council of the Alliance for Systems Engineering Education.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor of Science in engineering,* mathematics, or one of the quantitative sciences. (*A Bachelor of Science in an appropriate engineering discipline is required for the System Engineering and Design track.)
  • G.P.A. of at least 3.00 out of 4.00 scale in previous undergraduate and graduate study.
  • A minimum of two years of college-level mathematics, including at least one year of calculus.

Degree Requirements