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  • Online Master's in Systems Engineering

    Master of Science in Systems Engineering

    The fully online Master’s in Systems Engineering program examines the systems lifecycle providing you with the skillset to manage the planning, analysis, design, development, integration, testing, implementation, operations, and maintenance of complex systems. The program integrates industry software (such as IBM tools) into courses to ensure you’re equipped with the latest knowledge to effectively lead projects for years to come. Designed specifically for the working professional, the online MS in Systems Engineering program at Drexel combines the technical and computational rigor expected from employers with management courses that you can apply to a wide range of industries.

    Master's in Systems Engineering Online Program Features

    • Rigorous study in Systems Engineering fundamentals with options in computer and electrical engineering, engineering management, and other graduate disciplines
    • Taught by experienced faculty who are also successful professionals in the systems engineering field
    • Highly interactive online method designed to challenge and engage, while remaining convenient for working professionals
    • Established online program with strong reputation among regional and national companies
    • Taught by a dedicated faculty with significant systems engineering experience in both industry and academia
    • Customizable curriculum allows you to take electives from any engineering discipline
    • Collaborative opportunities that leverage many global industrial partnerships

    What Our Students Say

    "The most rewarding part of my experience at Drexel is the ability to recognize system failures and ways on how to resolve them. Being able to apply the knowledge you have gained from the classes in the real world is the best feeling ever." —Valeriya Orlova, current student

    What is a Systems Engineering Degree?

    A Systems Engineering degree focuses on the design, creation, and operation of systems. Most programs study a wide range of mathematical and scientific concepts to understand how a system operates, then explores ways to apply this knowledge to make the system more efficient or easier to use.

    Per the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), systems engineering is a function with five phases:

    • System studies or program planning
    • Exploratory planning to define the problem and goals—this also includes systems synthesis, systems analysis, selecting the best system, and communicating the results
    • Development planning which repeats phase 2 in more detail
    • Studies during development which include developing parts of the system, integration, and testing
    • Current engineering which takes place once the system is operational

    What Does a Systems Engineer Do?

    Systems engineers coordinate the creation, maintenance, and expansion of computer systems within an organization. They are often the main interface between managers, customers, suppliers, and specialty engineers in the systems development process.

    One of the unique functions of a systems engineer is the ability to see the big picture. This helps to integrate all aspects of the engineering process. Key responsibilities of systems engineers include designing and developing solutions to issues such as:

    • Complex Applications Problems
    • System Administration Issues
    • Network Concerns
    • Systems Management and Integration
    • System Performance
    • Testing
    • Scheduling and Cost

    In Which Industries Does a Systems Engineer Work?

    Due to the broad nature of the work, a systems engineer may pursue a career in many industries from software development and robotics, to aerospace, nanotechnology, or civil engineering. Many, in fact, will choose a specific niche:

    Software Systems Engineer
    Software systems engineers research, design, develop, and test operating systems software. They apply principles and methods from computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis. Their work can apply to medical, industrial, military, telecommunications, aerospace, business, and other areas with networks.
    Average Annual Salary: $110,000

    Solar Energy Systems Engineer
    Solar energy systems engineers design energy efficient and solar projects for residential, commercial, or industrial clients. They need to understand local climates, solar technology, thermodynamics, and structural energy needs.
    Average Annual Salary: $96,980

    Logistics Systems Engineer
    Logistics systems engineers design or analyze projects to optimize transportation, routing, shipping, and the distribution of finished goods. This can include cost of containers, network modeling, and managing the flow of information.
    Average Annual Salary: $74,600

    Aerospace Systems Engineer
    Aerospace systems engineers design, construct, and test aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. They often conduct basic and applied research, helping evaluate the adaptability of specific materials and equipment. Also, they may recommend improvements to testing equipment.
    Average Annual Salary: $115,220

    Automotive Systems Engineers
    Automotive systems engineers develop new or improved designs for vehicle parts, engines, transmissions, and other related systems. To do so, they need to understand computer-assisted design technology. They may also direct building, modifications, or testing of a vehicle or its components.
    Average Annual Salary: $87,370

    Related Programs

    Drexel University offers a variety of Graduate Minors that can be added to any master's degree program.
    State restrictions may apply to some programs.


    This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.

    You can transfer up to 15 quarter credits from your institution, pending review from the Program Director.

    Engineering Management Courses  
    EGMT 531 Engineering Economic Evaluation & Analysis 3.0
    EGMT 572 Statistical Data Analysis 3.0
    EGMT 573 Operations Research 3.0
    Systems Engineering Courses  
    SYSE 510 Systems Engineering Process 3.0
    SYSE 520 Global Sustainment and Integrated Logistics 3.0
    SYSE 521 Integrated Risk Management 3.0
    SYSE 533 Systems Integration and Test 3.0
    SYSE 685 Systems Engineering Management 3.0
    SYSE 688 Systems Engineering Analysis 3.0
    SYSE 690 Modeling and Simulation 3.0
    Capstone in Systems Engineering  
    SYSE 598 Capstone in Systems Engineering 3.0
    Electives 12.0
    Complete four of the following:  
    ECEP 501
    Power System Analysis  
    ECEP 502
    Computer Analysis of Power Systems  
    ECEP 503
    Synchronous Machine Modeling  
    ECEP 610
    Power System Dynamics  
    ECEP 611
    Power System Security  
    ECEP 612
    Economic Operation of Power Systems  
    ECES 511
    Fundamentals of Systems I  
    ECES 512
    Fundamentals of Systems II  
    ECES 513
    Fundamentals of Systems III  
    ECES 521
    Probability & Random Variables  
    ECES 522
    Random Process & Spectral Analysis  
    ECES 523
    Detection & Estimation Theory  
    ECES 811
    Optimization Methods for Engineering Design  
    EGMT 635
    Visual System Mapping  
    EGMT 650
    Systems Thinking for Leaders  
    SYSE 511
    Systems Engineering Tools  
    SYSE 522
    Engineering Supply Chain Systems  
    SYSE 523
    Systems Reliability Engineering  
    SYSE 524
    Systems Reliability, Availability & Maintainability Analysis  
    SYSE 525
    Statistical Modeling & Experimental Design  
    SYSE 530
    Systems Engineering Design  
    SYSE 531
    Systems Architecture Development  
    SYSE 532
    Software Systems Engineering  
    SYSE 898
    Master's Thesis in Systems Engineering **  
    Total Credits 45.0

    *Electives from other engineering disciplines and/or Drexel colleges may be considered with approval by your advisor.

    *Pursuing the Master's Thesis option requires completion of the 12 core courses, one elective course, and nine thesis credits. Advisor approval is required if you're interested in waiving core courses.

    View Course Descriptions

    Admissions Criteria

    • A bachelor's degree in an Engineering discipline from an ABET-accredited college or university
      • A bachelor's degree in science (Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, etc.) is also acceptable, but you may be required to take extra undergraduate or graduate courses
      • An undergraduate degree earned abroad must be deemed equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree
    • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 as well as any subsequent graduate-level work

    Required Documents

    With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.

    • A completed application
    • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
    • Two letters of recommendation (at least one professional)
    • In an essay of 500-750 words, please answer the following questions:
      • Why do you wish to pursue the MS in Systems Engineering?
      • Why do you believe you will succeed in the program?
    • Resume
    • Additional requirements for International Students

    Transfer Credits

    You may transfer up to 15 quarter credits from an accredited institution, regardless of whether you completed a master’s degree. Transfer credit decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Systems Engineering program at 215.895.2354 for more information.


    The tuition rate for the academic year 2019-2020 is $1303 per credit.

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Special tuition rates available for Drexel University AlumniMilitary members, and members of our Partner Organizations
      • These rates apply only to new online students and students being readmitted.
      • These rates apply only to fully online courses. Hybrid or on-campus courses may have different rates.
      • Tuition rates are subject to increase with the start of each academic year in the fall term.
      • All students must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
      • Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
      • When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.


    Academic Calendar

    2019-2020 Academic Year


    Classes Begin

    Classes End

    Exams Begin

    Exams End

    Fall 2019

    September 23, 2019

    December 7, 2019

    December 9, 2019

    December 14, 2019

    Winter 2020

    January 6, 2020

    March 16, 2020

    March 17, 2020

    March 21, 2020

    Spring 2020

    March 30, 2020

    June 8, 2020

    June 9, 2020

    June 13, 2020

    Summer 2020

    June 22, 2020

    August 30, 2020

    September 2, 2020

    September 5, 2020

    Apply today for the Online Master's in Systems Engineering

    Apply now to begin your application for obtaining a Drexel degree online!


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