Master of Science in systems engineering (online)

    Electrical Engineering

    Wayne State University's online Master of Science in Systems Engineering (MSSE) program is designed for technical professionals with engineering backgrounds, offering two concentrations ("Commercial Systems" and "Defense Systems"). This 30-credit program aligns with International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) standards, preparing students for certification exams. Emphasizing asynchronous online instruction for cost-effectiveness, the curriculum includes a hallmark capstone course and focuses on meeting academic and professional standards. The program aims to be the first complete Systems Engineering online MS program in Michigan, providing specialized skills for engineers tackling complex systems engineering challenges.

    Program highlights

    • Online- asynchronous coursework
    • Complete a thesis or choose the non-thesis track
    • Apply as a working professional with a degree in engineering discipline
    • No GRE required for admission
    • Two degree concentrations offered: General commercial systems and defense systems

    What you will learn in the online MSSE program


    • A general understanding of design and engineering methods applied to complex systems and products.
    • Understanding and use of the fundamental concepts and terminology in product design and systems engineering.
    • Understanding of the tools, technologies, and methodologies available for design and systems engineering, including Systems Engineering Management, Architecting & Model Based Systems Engineering, Decision Analysis & Risk Management, Systems Integration Analysis, Testing & Evaluation, Production Development, Operations & Support Systems Development, System of System (SoS) Engineering, Enterprise Systems Engineering, Systems Security Engineering, and Value Analysis & Waste Elimination.

     Skills and competencies:

    • Ability to apply relevant academic and professional Systems Engineering methodologies to resolving technical and ethical problems in development of complex products and systems.
    • Ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with teams, leaders, and stakeholders in multidisciplinary development of complex products and systems.
    • Ability to contribute to new thinking and innovation processes in development of complex products and systems.
    • Ability to perform Systems Engineering tasks, including Needs Analysis, Requirements Analysis, and Concept Exploration.

    The MS in systems engineering program provides specialized skills and training needed to address subjects related to systems engineering according to the standards set by the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) and is designed to prepare students for INCOSE certification exams, ASEP and CSEP certification.

    By leveraging INCOSE standards, course projects, internships, and the capstone class, you will not only be prepared for the academic-focused INCOSE “Associate” certification, but also for the practitioner “Certified” certification. This unique feature goes above and beyond any current global program.

    INCOSE ASEP certification logo

    If you have just started practicing - or want to start praticing - systems engineering, then ASEP is for you. This certification is for people at the beginning of their career as a systems engineer. The ASEP has "book knowledge" but not yet significant experience as a systems engineer.

    INCOSE CSEP certification logo

    If you are a practicing Systems Engineer with more than five years of systems engineering professional work experience, then CSEP is for you.

    INCOSE ESEP certification logo

    If you are a systems engineering leader with recognized systems accomplishments and have many years of systems engineering professional work experience, then ESEP is for you.

    Learn more about INCOSE and their certifications

    Careers with a master’s degree in systems engineering

    Systems Engineering positions are expected to grow 21% over the next ten years. The average salary for a Systems Engineer is $82,834, ranging between $62,000 and $109,000 according to Zippia.

    Industries expected to see rapid growth include:

    • U.S. Department of Defense
    • Automotive
    • Aerospace
    • Telecommunications

    M.S. in systems engineering (online) program curriculum

    This highly flexible online program delivers asynchronous coursework with the opportunity for high-touch support for projects, internship opportunities, and ends with a hallmark capstone course.

    There are two concentrations to choose from, each requiring 30 credits of completed course work:

    • General commercial systems: 12 core credits, 3 concentration credits, and 15 elective credits
    • Defense systems: 12 core credits,12 concentration credits, and 6 elective credits

    Review the M.S. in systems engineering (online) program curriculum.

    Admission requirements

    Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School. In addition, the minimum requirements for admission are:

    • Bachelor's degree in Engineering from an institution accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) or equivalent. 
    • 3.0 grade point average in the upper division of their undergraduate program OR have at least three years of full-time engineering work experience.
    • International applicants are required to submit a WES evaluation

    Application deadlines

    • Fall (begins in August): July 15
    • Winter (begins in January): Nov. 1
    • Spring/summer (spring begins in May; summer begins in June): Feb. 1

    Tuition and financial aid

    Wayne State University offers competitive tuition rates and substantial financial assistance, including scholarships and assistantships. These opportunities not only alleviate financial stress but also promote career growth, guaranteeing both educational and financial stability. Since this is an online program, all students, regardless of their residency status (domestic or international), are charged the in-state tuition rate. The total tuition cost for the 30-credit program is currently estimated to be approximately $30,000.

    Learn more about WSU’s cost of attendance

    Apply for our M.S. in systems engineering (online) program

    Choosing WSU's online MS in systems engineering is a strategic move for prospective students seeking excellence in their academic journey. With a distinctive combination of INCOSE certification and access to SERC resources, WSU has established itself as a pioneer in delivering a truly asynchronous online program. What sets us apart is our commitment to creating a high-touch, personally involved learning experience. We go beyond traditional approaches by seamlessly integrating internships into our program, aligning them with relevant courses that amplify the benefits for both students and the enterprises they engage with. Our exclusive capstone course further distinguishes our offering, setting us apart from competitors and ensuring a comprehensive and unparalleled educational experience for our students. Join WSU's online MS in systems engineering and embark on a transformative learning adventure that prepares you for success in the dynamic field of systems engineering.