Vince and Judy Vidas Program in Systems Engineering MSSYSE

Major: Systems Engineering
Degree Awarded: Master of Science in Systems Engineering (MSSYSE)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Minimum Required Credits:
Co-op Option: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 14.2701
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 17-2199

What is Systems Engineering?

Fundamentally, the function of systems engineering is to guide the engineering development of complex systems, or in some cases, new technology. 

  • It is a set of process, principles, fundamentals, and tools and a cultural aspect that focus to guide the design of complex and complicated systems. 
  • Emphasis is on the total operation of the system and requires a thorough understanding of system requirements for operation and performance. 
  • It involves defining the system as functional relationships in the early conceptual stages of the process. 
  • It includes a rigorous analysis of alternatives to assure optimal system design in later stages. 
  • It also involves integration of subsystem and emerging technology to develop a system that satisfies the defined requirements. 

A systems engineer needs to have the ability to think within the context of a systems point of view. This involves understanding of the system linkages and interactions between the subsystems and components that comprise the entirety of the system.

About the Program

The Master of Science in Systems Engineering is an interdisciplinary curriculum which integrates systems thinking with the ability to execute the systems engineering process as well as the ability to understand the complete system. The degree provide skills to enable systems development throughout the entire life-cycle, from conceptual development and engineering design through the operation and sustainment phases. A master’s degree in systems engineering is an excellent complement to any engineering or STEM bachelor’s degree. The program continues with the Drexel School of Engineering tradition by preparing students to be successful in their careers. Study can be on a part-time or full-time basis, and the program is available both online and on campus.

Drexel's MS in Systems Engineering is certified by the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), and is one of several programs in the world to hold this distinction. Graduates will automatically qualify for a Systems Engineering Professional (SEP) Certification from INCOSE without having to take the certification exam. 

The MS Systems Engineering curriculum will do the following:

  • Include models relevant to sustainable, high performance systems as they relate to effective systems engineering
  • Expose students to model-based systems engineering using SysML and DODAF, also covering major aspects of the systems domain
  • Teach systems engineering processes and skills to integrate user needs, manage requirements, conduct technological evaluation, and build elaborate system architectures, assess risk and establish financial and schedule constraints
  • Prepare students to intelligently manage and contribute to any engineering challenge, including concept development, technology assessment, architecture selection, and proposal development. The courses stimulate and challenge students as they consider sustainability-oriented projects and become serious systems engineering managers and practitioners

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the Drexel University Master of Science in Systems Engineering will be competent in their ability to:

  • develop and implement models and tools to enhance and optimize complex systems;
  • develop and manage processes relevant to complex systems development;
  • architect, design, implement, integrate, verify, validate, support and decommission complex systems;
  • use systems engineering tools and practices to identify and execute effective technical solutions;
  • manage system-intensive projects within cost and schedule constraints.

Certificate Opportunity

Students may complete a Graduate Certificate as a standalone pursuit or as a gateway to the full Master of Science in Systems Engineering. Students subsequently can apply those credits toward completion of a master's in systems engineering.

Additional Information 

For more information, visit the MS in Systems Engineering program, or visit the Certificate in Systems Engineering page.

Admission Requirements

Degree and GPA Requirement

A bachelor's degree in an Engineering discipline from an ABET-accredited college or university is required. A bachelor’s degree in science (Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, etc.) may also be acceptable. An undergraduate degree earned abroad must be deemed equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree. A minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for a bachelor’s degree as well as for any subsequent graduate-level work is required.

TOEFL Requirement

For students whose native language is not English and who do not hold a degree from a US institution, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required. TOEFL scores must be less than two years old to be considered. Minimum total score of 94 (internet-based). Official documents of this exam must be submitted directly to the Graduate Admissions Office. Unofficial photocopies will not be accepted.

Other Requirements

  • Submission of an application
  • Official, sealed college transcripts
  • An essay
  • Two or more letters of recommendation

Degree Requirements

Students may take their required elective credits from any graduate-level course(s) in engineering, business, or another college for which they have adequate preparation and can obtain approvals from the college and the systems engineering program.

All candidates are encouraged to discuss areas of interest with the program advisor and to develop a proposed plan of study during the early stages of the program.

Note: Specific course requirements may be waived for students who have taken equivalent courses elsewhere.

Required Courses
EGMT 572Statistical Data Analysis3.0
EGMT 573Operations Research3.0
SYSE 520Global Sustainment and Integrated Logistics3.0
SYSE 533Systems Integration and Test3.0
SYSE 598Capstone in Systems Engineering3.0
SYSE 640Model Based Systems Engineering3.0
SYSE 682Introduction to Systems Science3.0
SYSE 685Systems Engineering Management3.0
SYSE 688Systems Engineering Analysis3.0
SYSE 690Modeling, Simulation and Other Tools3.0
Complete five of the following:
Power System Analysis
Computer Analysis of Power Systems
Synchronous Machine Modeling
Power System Dynamics
Power System Security
Economic Operation of Power Systems
Fundamentals of Systems I
Fundamentals of Systems II
Fundamentals of Systems III
Probability & Random Variables
Random Process & Spectral Analysis
Detection & Estimation Theory
Optimization Methods for Engineering Design
Leading and Managing Technical Workers
Analysis and Decision Methods for Technical Managers
Engineering Economic Evaluation & Analysis
Financial Management
New Product Conceptualization, Justification, and Implementation
Value Creation through New Product Development
Engineering Project Management
Project Planning, Scheduling and Control
Global Engineering Project Management
Visual System Mapping
Managing Engineering Disasters
Systems Thinking for Leaders
Engineering Law
Integrated Risk Management
Engineering Supply Chain Systems
Systems Reliability Engineering
Systems Reliability, Availability & Maintainability Analysis
Statistical Modeling & Experimental Design
Systems Engineering Design
Systems Architecture Development
Software Systems Engineering
Master's Thesis in Systems Engineering **
Total Credits45.0

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


If a student decides to pursue the Master's Thesis option, the student will complete the 30 core credits, 6 elective credits, and nine thesis credits. Advisor/Director consultation and approval is required if a student is interested in waiving core courses when pursuing the Master's Thesis option.

Sample Plan of Study

First Year
SYSE 6853.0SYSE 5203.0EGMT 5723.0EGMT 5733.0
SYSE 6823.0SYSE 6883.0SYSE 6403.0SYSE 5333.0
 6 6 6 6
Second Year
EGMT 5313.0SYSE 5253.0SYSE 5303.0SYSE 5983.0
SYSE 5233.0SYSE 5223.0SYSE 6903.0 
 6 6 6 3
Total Credits 45
First Year
SYSE 6853.0SYSE 5203.0EGMT 5313.0VACATION
EGMT 5723.0SYSE 6883.0SYSE 6403.0 
EGMT 5013.0EGMT 5733.0SYSE 6823.0 
 9 9 9 0
Second Year
SYSE 6903.0SYSE 5983.0  
EGMT 5043.0SYSE 5253.0  
SYSE 5333.0SYSE 5223.0  
 9 9  
Total Credits 45

Note: Second Year Summer is less than the 4.5-credit minimum required (considered half-time status) of graduate programs to be considered financial aid eligible. As a result, aid will not be disbursed to students this term.

Dual Degree Programs

Students with a previously completed master’s degree at Drexel may pursue a second master’s degree in a different major without the need to go through the admission process again or to complete another 45.0 credits of graduate coursework. Up to 15.0 credits from the first master's may be transferred into the second master’s degree program, enabling students to complete the second master’s degree with a minimum of 30.0 new graduate credits.

Career Opportunities

The MS in Systems Engineering prepares students to become effective systems engineers, leaders, managers, and future executives. With a systems engineering background, students are able to tackle a wide array of engineering challenges from the entire systems life cycle, including concept development, technology assessment, architecture selection, and proposal development.

Systems engineers are highly valued in industry because their skills complement those in traditional engineering fields.  Whereas other engineering disciplines usually focus deeply in only one area, systems engineers must integrate all of those areas into a comprehensive and effective system. This is a versatile skill-set that allows for a flexible career path, as systems engineering expertise is sought by a wide range of industries such as healthcare, defense, communications, aerospace, government, transportation, finance, and more. Drexel University’s MS Systems Engineering will prepare students from any of these fields to lead large, complex projects in their organizations.

Systems Engineering Faculty

Richard Grandrino, MBA (Drexel University). Teaching Faculty. Manager for advanced logistics operations at Lockheed Martin
Steven Mastro, PhD (Drexel University). Adjunct Faculty. Machinery Research and Silencing Division of NAVSEA Philadelphia. Work focuses on advanced sensor and control technologies for condition-based maintenance, damage control, and automation.
Miray Pereira, MBA (Rutgers University). Adjunct Instructor. Manages a team of consultants responsible for development, facilitation and implementation of fundamental demand management systems and capabilities for DuPont, most recently with the DuPont Safety & Protection Platform in strategic planning, mergers & acquisitions.
Walter Sobkiw, BS (Drexel University). Adjunct Faculty. Author of "Systems Engineering Design Renaissance" and "Systems Practices as Common Sense."
Fernando Tovia, PhD (University of Arkansas). Adjunct Instructor. Core quantitative analysis,strategic planning, supply chain management and manufacturing systems.
John Via, DEngr (Southern Methodist University). Teaching Professor. Pharmaceutical, Bio-pharmaceutical, and Medical Device development and manufacturing
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