Demand is soaring for systems engineers, as organizations across many industries are recognizing that complex engineering initiatives must be holistically designed and managed. From developing and directing logistics, schedules, risks, and opportunities, to leading teams and coordinating operations, systems engineers bring clarity and structure to these processes. WPI’s Online MS in Systems Engineering program draws on our strengths in engineering, science, and management to prepare leaders who can integrate the technical and human-centered processes of this multifaceted discipline.

Our part-time program will give you the knowledge, skills, and decision-making abilities to design, manage, and lead complex systems engineering projects.  After completing the MS program, graduates will be prepared to:

  • Work with customers and other stakeholders to determine what they want their systems to accomplish in their operational environments.

  • Analyze requirements for systems, explore alternatives for implementations and design and engineer systems in a way that minimizes technical risks.

  • Develop integration, verification and validation strategies for systems to determine they were built correctly and they meet users’ needs.

  • Describe, design and develop complex hardware and/or software architectures that enable the functionality of complex systems and systems-of-systems.

  • Work with program managers to plan, document and control the design and development of systems in a way that minimizes budget and schedule risks.

Systems engineering helped me understand how the complexity of a major engineering effort can be controlled and guided so that what the customer wants the customer gets.
Mike Bonin
Senior Engineer
General Dynamics Electric Boat
Each of the classes gave me a better perspective on what I did at work. They gave me new or improved methods to approach a problem & tools apply on projects. There was hardly a week where I didn't get something that I could take back and use at my job.
Anne Glavan
Supervisor D355
ORP Engineering Planning & Contract Change Eval, GDEB

Other online graduate program in Systems Engineering: 



30 credit hours required, and specific courses are determined in conjunction with an academic advisor. All courses are three credits each unless otherwise specified. A thesis is not required but all students must complete a capstone experience. 

  • Core Requirement (9 credits)
  • Management Requirement (6 credits)
  • Depth Requirement (6 credits)
  • Elective Courses (6 credits)
    Six credit hours of elective graduate courses can be selected to meet the specific needs of students. All elective courses must be approved by the student’s faculty advisor and can be selected from courses offered by the following departments and programs: Computer Science, Systems Dynamics, any WPI engineering department or program, the School of Business, and Mathematics.
  • Capstone Experience (3 Credits Minimum)
    SYS 585. Systems Engineering Capstone Experience
    One of the central priorities in WPI’s educational philosophy is the application of academic skills and knowledge to real-world problems. With an advisor's guidance, students choose a systems engineering project that offers substantive evaluation and application of the coursework covered in the program. Learn more about the Capstone Experience here.



  • SYS 501. Concepts of Systems Engineering
  • SYS 511. Systems Integration, Verification and Validation
  • SYS 502. Business Practices for Systems Engineers
  • SYS 585. Systems Engineering Capstone
  • Business Depth TBD
  • MA 501. Engineering Mathematics


(January start)

  • SYS 520. System Optimization
  • SYS 510. Systems Architecture and Design
  • SYS 540. Intro to Systems Thinking
  • Business Depth TBD
  • OBC 500. Group and Interpersonal Dynamics in Complex Organizations


(April start)

  • SYS 501. Concepts of Systems Engineering
  • SYS 511. Systems Integration, Verification and Validation
  • Elective TBD
  • SYS 585. Systems Engineering Capstone
  • Business Depth TBD
  • MA 501. Engineering Mathematics




  • MIS 576. Project Management
  • OIE 541. Operations Risk Management
  • SD 550. System Dynamics Foundation: Managing Complexity
  • OBC 500. Group and Interpersonal Dynamics in Complex Organizations


Our students work closely with WPI’s renowned Systems Engineering faculty: real-world experts who enrich the curriculum with decades of professional experience in all aspects of the field. Many continue to be active members of industry as employees and consultants in a variety of leading companies, including Verizon, MITRE Corporation, and the United States Air Force.


The online MS in systems engineering requires a BS in engineering from an ABET-accredited university with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

After Graduation

Many of our graduates advance in their current organizations or apply their enhanced skills to new opportunities. Organizations employing WPI systems engineering alumni include BAE Systems, General Dynamics Electric Boat, Raytheon, Textron, U.S Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center, and many more.

"Open House" Webinar

View the on demand webinar to learn more about the program!