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Information on Master of Science (MS) Degree Programs in Systems Engineering

Majors Overview September 8, 2015

This article talks about Master of Science (M.S.) degree programs in Systems Engineering and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Science (M.S.) Degree Programs in Systems Engineering

Courses in interdisciplinary MS programs in System Engineering incorporate topic areas such as technology, environmental issues, risk management, and engineering. Schools may offer specialization choices in areas such as logistics or aerospace development. Some schools may require students to complete a final research paper or project. Students complete most programs within two years of study. Online courses are available at some schools.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in an area such as computer science, engineering, physics, chemistry, or mathematics. Schools may accept applicants with a degree in a non-mathematical field, provided they have completed strong undergraduate coursework in mathematics. Schools may also require submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, in addition to transcripts reflecting a minimum grade point average.


Students typically complete the program within 30-38 semester credits over a span of two years. A specific area of emphasis may have to be chosen by students, including aerospace development, mechatronics, infrastructure or logistics. Additionally, students must typically complete core coursework in engineering, systems architecture, and management. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Operations research
•Probability and statistics
•Decision and risk analysis
•Project management
•System architecture
•Systems operation
•Systems development
•Modeling and simulation
•System Logistics

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek various engineering-related jobs. They may choose from possible job titles such as:

•Systems data analyst
•Engineering systems (Electronics specialist)
•Senior systems engineer
•Software systems director

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, computer and information systems managers are expected to see a 15% job growth (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Over the same period, computer systems analysts are expected to enjoy a 25% job growth. In 2012, systems managers brought in an average annual wage of $120,950 while systems analysts earned $79,680 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates seeking continuing education may attend advanced post-graduate certificate programs in topic areas such as information systems engineering, technical management, and environmental engineering. Program graduates may also choose to pursue a Ph.D. in disciplines of engineering such as mechanical engineering, bioengineering, or chemical engineering.

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