Please note: Due to low enrollments, the stand-alone Systems Engineering program is being discontinued.  No new students will be admitted to the masters degree program, but select SYSE courses for non-admitted students and for students from other PSU programs will be offered. The possibility of Systems Engineering being taken over by another Department is being explored.

If you are interested in taking SYSE courses or if you are interested in hearing about the future of the Systems Engineeering program, please contact me, Herman Migliore.

Masters of Engineering in Systems Engineering

Systems Engineering focuses on defining customer needs and required functionality early in the development cycle, documenting requirements, then continuing with design synthesis and system validation while considering the complete problem: Operations --Performance -- Test-- Manufacturing -- Cost & Schedule--Support--Disposal. Systems Engineering integrates all the disciplines and specialty groups into a team effort forming a structured development process that proceeds from concept to production to operation. Many of us already practice systems engineering, but call it something else: design or development of product, process, and service. This course of study will enable the engineer to function in an interdisciplinary team and apply their area of engineering specialty toward the development of a product, process, or service.


Learning Objectives (45 Credits in Total)

  • Improve students' ability to engineer complex products, processes, or services.
  • Develop students' understanding of basic systems concepts and their application to the engineering life-cycle.
  • Develop students' understanding of key systems engineering skills, including team building, communication, synthesis & creativity, problem solving, management of time and resources, database management, and life-cycle viewpoints.
  • Build on students' existing knowledge and project experiences by providing additional domain specialization or project management tied to systems engineering skills.

Core Courses (16 Credits)

SYSE 591 Systems Engineering Approach
SYSE 573 Requirements Engineering
EMGT 540 Operations Research in Engineering & Technology Management
One of 3 Modeling Classes:
SYSC 514 System Dynamics
SYSC 527 Discrete System Simulation
SYSC 529 Process Modeling and Simulation


Elective Courses (16 Credits)

Each student will be under the advisement of the Director of Systems Engineering. Elective courses come from any PSU departments based on a plan of study agreed upon by advisor and the student. Courses from other universities and PSU courses taken before admission may be acceptable, as evaluated on a case by case basis, and up to a limit of 15 credits. A transfer or pre-admission course may be acceptable only if the course was not used toward any other degree.

Systems Engineering courses available on-line as electives.:


Projects (9 Credits)

Each student will participate in an industrial project (SYSE 506). These industrial experiences will involve the student, faculty advisors and an industrial advisor. The project must encompass systems level considerations as applied to a product, process or service requiring knowledge from multiple engineering disciplines.


Integrative Workshops (4 Credits)

A total of four credits of interactive workshop are required. Registration for some or all credits may be done any term, but workshop activities are continuous over the entire masters program. The student will be guided to consolidate their project experience and knowledge from elective courses with concepts from their systems engineering core courses. This interaction could be conducted on-line in SYSE 590 Integrative Workshop (IW). Two important concepts in Systems Engineering are integration and management of interfaces, related to both physical components and product development process. The objective of IW is for the student to exercise these concepts as applied to their course work and project work. The workshop will span the student’s entire program under the guidance of an advisor, thus giving the time to achieve several goals. One, the student is given feedback as they apply discipline skills in systems settings. Two, the student will be asked to reflect on past approaches as it relates to newer more advanced systems skills. Third, the IW will review systems topics over several terms, thus reinforcing their use. In this way, behavioral change, from engineering specialty thinking to systems engineering thinking, will be achieved. The program also benefits because students continuously assess how well all courses INTEGRATE to achieve Systems Engineering education goals.

Workshops will culminate in a student portfolio summarizing the academic knowledge and practical experience students gained while in the Systems Engineering program. Student Program Portfolios will include:

  • Study Plan and Record of Courses Actually Taken
  • Reflection on Coupling of Technical Specialties and Systems Fundamentals
  • Demonstration of Systems Engineering process as applied to their portfolio:
    • defining the specific objectives of compiling their own portfolio, given that their advisor and employer are customers/stakeholders;
    • proposing several approaches for compiling their portfolios and selecting a feasible approach;
    • evaluating process at end of their program

Dual Degree

1. 'Dual Master's Degrees' are explained in PSU Bulletin..

2. In order to share courses, the student must be formally admitted to both programs the term before the final term in the first degree.  The Grad Office form, GO-19M, includes the request for a Dual Degree.

3.  In addition to the GO-19M, we need to complete "Memo For Acceptance of Credits for Dual Degrees".  This memo explicitly states the shared courses and must be approved by both programs and by the Grad Office before graduating from the first degree.

4. Up to 1/3 of the credit  requirements of the shorter degree program can be used to as shared courses for both programs. Since the masters in Systems Engineering requires 45 credits, up to 15 credits can be shared with the other program unless the total course requirement for the other program is less than 45 credits.

5. You may graduate from one degree before the other -- no need to do both at same time.  But, other requirements remain in effect over the combined period, such as:

  • seven year limit on using old classes;
  • you must be admitted to both programs before the final term of the first degree;
  • you must submit an approved Memo for Acceptance before graduation from the first.

6.  SYSE Project (9 credits)
Project work may be taken under SYSE 506 and includes a comprehensive report.

7.  Integrative Workshop (4 credits)
Registration and credit may be taken to suit your financial advantage.  You must start working on your web-based portfolio immediately.  For examples, see Student Program Portfolios