Master of Science degree in Systems Engineering

Systems Engineering is 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.

Systems Engineering expands the capabilities of engineers by applying proven structured methodologies to broaden perspective and hone problem solving skills. The increased complexity of technologies ranging from medical devices to manufacturing designs to larger systems of networked devices require a systems perspective.

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’.

Why choose a master's program in Systems Engineering?

What is Systems Engineering?

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.  

Systems Engineering activities include:

  • 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.

Systems engineers make an impact:

  • Houston, we’ve had a problem,” finds Apollo 13 astronauts communicating across 200,000 miles to Earth asking for and receiving assistance from NASA's systems engineers.
  • 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 due to quality systems engineering. 
  • A building is struck by an aircraft, yet stands for over an hour before collapse, allowing the safe escape of most of the people inside. Quality systems engineering affects people's lives.

Relevant/industry-approved curriculum:

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 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.   

Entrance Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in any discipline from a regionally-accredited educational institution in the U.S. (or international equivalent). 

  • An overall grade-point-average (GPA) of at least 3.0 out of 4.0. (Applicants with a GPA less than 3.0 will be considered for provisional admission with their professional experience factored into the decision.)

Degree Requirements

Effective fall 2015, to complete the requirements for the Master of Science in Systems Engineering, students must successfully complete 10 courses (30 graduate semester credits) and maintain a GPA of at least 2.7.

Required Courses and Electives

REQUIRED COURSES AND ELECTIVES (10 courses = 30 total credits)

CORE COURSES (All 5 courses required = 15 credits)

  • ETLS 507 Introduction to Systems Engineering
  • ETLS 508 Systems Design
  • ETLS 509 Verification and Validation
  • ETLS 601 Program/Project/Team Management
  • ETLS 789 Simulation & Visualization of Dynamic Systems

ELECTIVE CREDITS (Choose any 4 courses from the electives listed below = 12 credits)

Financial and Accounting Electives 

  • ETLS 505 Managerial Accounting and Performance Management

Management and Leadership Electives

  • ETLS 671 Human Aspects of Technical Management
  • ETLS 550/ ETLS 650/ ETLS 850 Leveraging Leadership for a Lifetime I, II, and III (3 x 1 credit courses)
    (Note: these three 1-credit courses are being phased out and replaced with ETLS 660)
  • ETLS 660 Engineering Leadership

Modeling and Simulation Electives

  • ETLS 777 Finite Element Analysis
  • ETLS 785 Simulation Logistics
  • ETLS 810 Advanced Controls

Software Electives

  • SEIS 601 Foundations of Software Development
  • SEIS 610 Software Engineering
  • SEIS 635 Software Analysis and Design
  • SEIS 640 Operating Systems Design
  • SEIS 645 Computer and Network Communications

 Medical Device Electives

  • ETLS 520 Design & Manufacturing in the Medical Device Industry
  • ETLS 722 FDA Medical Device Quality Systems
  • ETLS 724 Medical Device Clinical Studies
  • ETLS 731 Combination Products, Drugs and Biologics
  • ETLS 737 Int’l Regulatory Affairs for Medical Devices

Technical Electives

  • ETLS 501 Production Operating Systems
  • ETLS 506 Statistical Methods for Manufacturing Quality Systems
  • ETLS 672 Excellence in Design
  • ETLS 701 Design of Experiments
  • ETLS 744 Power Systems 

ENGINEERING PROJECT (required) (1 course = 3 credits) (Must be pre-approved by Advisor)

  • ETLS 881 Engineering Project (3 credits) Project/Written Paper and Presentation

Course Sequence

Please meet with your advisor for this program, Professor Bob Monson, early in your program to determine the best class sequence, as some classes are only offered bi-annually.  

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