Systems Engineering

“Houston, we’ve had a problem,” finds three men communicating across 200,000 miles to Earth asking for assistance. A fully loaded airliner is struck by a bolt of lightning, sending billions of watts of electrical energy through the plane, yet remains in control.  A building is struck by an aircraft, yet stands for over an hour before collapse, allowing the safe escape of most of the inhabitants. The increased complexity of technologies from medical devices, to manufacturing designs, to larger systems of networked devices requires a systems perspective.  Systems Engineering expands the capabilities of engineers by applying proven structured methodologies to broaden perspective and home problem solving skills.   Systems engineers are the people who rescued the astronauts, who keep airliners in flight, and who discover the real limits of engineering approaches and designs. In an increasing complex environment. The School of Engineering at the University of St. Thomas provides a Systems Engineering curriculum designed to prepare students to earn the title of ‘Systems Engineer’.


Systems Engineering: an applications-oriented Masters program designed to enable the student to transition from the role of a domain-expert Engineer to a Systems Engineer, and is intended for people who need to design, develop and manage large and complex systems in industry. Major emphasis is placed on System Design, Verification & Validation, Simulation, and Project Management.

The Master of Science degree in Systems Engineering is intended for people who need to design, develop and manage large complex systems in our modern world.

Systems Engineering is defined for this degree as a creative human activity in which engineers design and develop complex interconnections of devices, sub-systems, and components to meet human needs.  The activity involves, in general, the following:

  • Determination of the need
  • Developing possible basic conceptual designs
  • Determination of what existing devices and systems might meet the need
  • Development of the requirements that such a system must meet
  • Development of testing and validation procedures
  • Development of maintenance, upgrading, and improvement of the system
  • Planning effective means for disposal and recycling of components at an appropriate time.

At the request of local industry, the faculty of the School of Engineering at the University of St Thomas researched, developed, and reviewed the Systems Engineering program to ensure that it would meet the needs of local and regional industries.  Interaction with industry and meeting their express needs has been the cornerstone of the School of Engineering. 

The Master of Science degree in Systems Engineering will prepare engineers and related technical professionals for a career in systems engineering.  It will prepare engineers who demonstrate lifelong learning, ethical behavior, sensitivity to cultural needs in the design and development of systems, and inclusion of people from traditionally underrepresented groups.

The curriculum is multi-disciplinary and oriented toward industry needs. Faculty with industry experience teach classes based in theory and emphasizing applications relevant to the regional industries.   

The Master of Science degree in Systems Engineering students complete 36 credits including a core of 15 credits, plus courses in Simulation, Human Aspects, Financial Analysis and technical electives.  The curriculum includes an engineering project that can be done individually or as a group.  Students also have the option of taking two additional courses in lieu of this Engineering Project.

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