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 programs draw on our strengths in engineering, business, and management to prepare leaders who can integrate the technical and human-centered processes of this multifaceted discipline.

WPI now offers 2 online MS tracks in Systems Engineering to suit your background and career goals. Our part-time programs will give you the knowledge, skills, and decision-making abilities to design, manage, and lead complex projects. 

 

Choose from the following programs:

  • MS IN SYSTEMS ENGINEERING

    This is the engineering-focused track, designed to increase your technical skills in addition to systems management.

    Requirements: A B.S. degree in computer science or an engineering field that is ABET-accredited.

    Learning outcomes:

    • Gain technical depth in system dynamics, systems engineering, and systems thinking
    • Learn to lead technical teams on complex engineering projects
    • 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.
  • (NEW) MS IN SYSTEMS ENGINEERING LEADERSHIP

    This track is designed to enhance your skills in the management of people, projects, and financials, as well as complex systems.

    Requirements: Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA, with a course of study that included at least two quantitative courses with a grade of 3.0 or higher AND who meet one or more of the following three requirements:

    • Three or more years of professional work experience
    • A professional certification such as INCOSE SEP, PMI PMP, CPA, CFA, CFP, or Six Sigma
    • An existing master’s or earned doctorate with a GPA of 3.0 or higher

    Learning outcomes:

    • Gain a breadth of knowledge in systems engineering, as well as management and leadership topics
    • Learn to lead diverse teams through systems thinking skill building
    • Become an expert at managing people, as well as project finances
    • Expand business acumen while designing and maintaining complex systems
    • Achieve cost and schedule objectives on multidisciplinary projects
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: 

Courses

  • MS IN SYSTEMS ENGINEERING

    DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

    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 (12 credits)

    Each student must complete the core of the Systems Engineering degree program, which consists of the following four 3-credit graduate courses:

    • SYS 501. Concepts of Systems Engineering*
    • SYS 510. Systems Architecture and Design
    • SYS 511. Systems Integration, Verification and Validation
    • OIE 542. Risk Management and Decision Making
       

    Leadership/Management Requirement (3 credits)

    System engineers need to be aware of, and trained in, leadership/management methods and practices. Accordingly, each student must also complete one of the following 3-credit graduate courses:

    • MIS 576. Project Management
    • MIS 582.  Information Security Systems and Management
    • OBC 506. The Heart of Leadership: Power, Reflection, and Interpersonal Skills
    • OIE 554.  Global Operations Strategy
    • SD 550.  System Dynamics Foundation: Managing Complexity
    • BUS 546.  Managing Technological Innovation
       

    Depth Requirement (6 credits)

    To ensure sufficient breadth of knowledge in Systems Engineering, each student must complete a minimum of 18 Systems Engineering graduate credits. In addition to the courses noted in the Core Requirement section, each student must complete two additional 3-credit Systems Engineering graduate courses from those listed below.

    Elective Courses (6 credits)

    Six credit hours of elective graduate courses can be selected to meet the specific needs of students and organizations. 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 (CS), Systems Dynamics (SD), any WPI engineering department or program (such as ECE, BME, ME, ChE, EnvE and RBE), the School of Business, and Mathematics (MA).

    Capstone Experience (3 credits)

    The capstone experience requirement may be satisfied by an instructor-led systems engineering project (SYS 585 Systems Engineering Capstone Experience), an individual directed research project (SYS 598 Directed Research), or a Master’s Thesis (SYS 599 Thesis). Courses taken to satisfy the capstone experience requirement must not exceed a total of 9 credits. Students may not transfer credits to satisfy the required capstone experience.  The capstone cannot be taken until the student has successfully completed at least 24 credits, including all Core Requirements.

    Learn more about the Capstone Experience here.

    Thesis option: Currently, WPI’s online graduate programs do not offer a thesis option, as theses cannot be completed online. If you wish to pursue a thesis on campus, it is the student’s responsibility to find an advisor. Please note that depending on the project’s subject and timeframe, there might not be a faculty member willing or able to advise.

  • (NEW) MS IN SYSTEMS ENGINEERING LEADERSHIP

    DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

    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.  

    Business Courses (12 credits)

    Choose 3 credits from each category

    Leadership/Organizational Behavior and Change

    • OBC 505. Teaming and Organizing for Innovation
    • OBC 506. The Heart of Leadership: Power, Reflection, and Interpersonal Skills
    • OBC 533. Negotiations
    • OBC 537. Leading Change
       

    Finance and Accounting

    • ACC 500. Accounting and Finance Fundamentals (1 credit)
    • ACC 502. Financial Intelligence and Strategic Decision-Making (2 credits)
    • FIN 503. Financial Decision-Making for Value Creation
    • FIN 504. Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation (2 credits)
    • ACC 505. Performance Measurement and Management (1 credit)
       

    Marketing, Strategy, or Entrepreneurship

    • BUS 546. Managing Technological Innovation
    • ETR 500. Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    • ETR 593. Technology Commercialization: Theory, Strategy and Practice
    • MKT 500. Marketing Management
    • MKT 568. Data Mining Business Applications
       

    Information Technology

    • MIS 500. Innovating with Information Systems
    • MIS 571. Database Applications Development
    • MIS 573. System Design and Development
    • MIS 584. Business Intelligence
       
    Technical Depth Courses (12 credits)
    • SYS 501. Concepts of Systems Engineering
    • SYS 502. Business Practices
    • SYS 540. Introduction to Systems Thinking
    • SD 550. System Dynamics Foundation: Managing Complexity
       
    Technical Electives (3 credits)

    Any other graduate-level SYS course with Program Review Board Approval

    Capstone Project (3 credits)

    IDG 598. Systems Engineering Leadership Project

    *or other course(s) in the area with prior faculty approval

    Thesis option: Currently, WPI’s online graduate programs do not offer a thesis option, as theses cannot be completed online. If you wish to pursue a thesis on campus, it is the student’s responsibility to find an advisor. Please note that depending on the project’s subject and timeframe, there might not be a faculty member willing or able to advise.

COURSE SCHEDULE

Subject to change based on availability.

FALL TERM
  • 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
  • BUS 546. Managing Technological Innovation
  • OIE 542. Risk Management and Decision Making

EARLY SPRING TERM

(January start)

  • SYS 501. Concepts of Systems Engineering
  • SYS 510. Systems Architecture and Design
  • SYS 512. Requirements Engineering or 
    SYS 521. Model-Based Systems Engineering
  • SYS 540. Intro to Systems Thinking
  • SYS 579. Complex Decision Making (note course is 14 weeks)
  • SYS 585. Systems Engineering Capstone
  • MA 501. Engineering Mathematics
  • MIS 576. Project Management
  • OBC 505. Teaming and Organizing for Innovation

LATE SPRING TERM

(April start)

  • SYS 501. Concepts of Systems Engineering
  • SYS 511. Systems Integration, Verification and Validation
  • SYS 520. System Optimization​
  • SYS 579D. Engineering Dependable and Secure Systems
    (every other year, starting in AY 2019)
  • OIE 542. Risk Management and Decision Making
  • OIE 598. Engineering Economics
  • SD 550. System Dynamics Foundation:  Managing Complexity

SUMMER TERM
  • SYS 501. Concepts of Systems Engineering
  • MA 501. Engineering Mathematics
  • MA 511. Applied Statistics for Engineers and Scientists
  • MIS 576. Project Management

Course offerings are subject to change. If you are interested in enrolling, please contact us for the most up-to-date information.

For the rotation schedule of additional management and math courses, please click here​.

Software used in this program: Adobe Connect, SysML Modeling Tool: Magic Draw Cameo Systems Modeler (full evaluation license available) or equivalent SysML tool, Magic Draw Cameo Systems Modeler (full evaluation license available) or equivalent SysML tool, Optimization Modeling With Spreadsheets, 2nd Ed., by Kenneth R. Baker, 2011, Wiley, ISBN 978-0-470-92863-9, Windows-based computer to work software problems in class, Microsoft Office 2007 or later, Oracle Crystal Ball software package (free license), Microsoft Excel Risk Solver Platform for Education (RSPE v 12.5)

NEW!

During the 2019 International Symposium, the Certification Advisory Group for the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) approved Academic Equivalency for WPI's newly updated online graduate course, SYS 501. Concepts of Systems Engineering. Academic Equivalency allows any student who receives a final score of 85% or better to waive the Knowledge Exam for INCOSE’s SE Professional certification program, both at the Associate (ASEP) and Certified (CSEP) levels. To learn more about this course and the benefits available to you, visit the links below.

Online Course Demo

Have you wondered what it’s like to take an online course at WPI? You can now explore our Canvas platform. 
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Faculty

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.

Prerequisites

The online MS in Systems Engineering requires a B.S. degree in Computer Science or in engineering field that is ABET-accredited with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

The online MS in Systems Engineering Leadership requires a B.S. degree in any field, from an accredited university.

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.

Webinar: Open House

We are hosting an upcoming webinar to introduce you to our NEW Master of Science in Systems Engineering Leadership. Learn more about the program, what online learning looks like, the application process, and more! We hope you can join us on Tuesday, February 18, at 12:00 PM (EST).