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Masters in System Engineering Requirements

Masters in System Engineering Requirements

Systems engineering is a field that can involve vast areas of business and industrial functions. Most systems engineering degrees focus on the information technology aspect of the discipline since IT drives so many business operations activities today. But systems engineers are still required to understand aspects of a business that have little to do with IT studies, such as accounting and finance or personnel management and development. The systems being engineered are often IT systems, but can also be industrial production systems or product development systems that require understanding of human and mechanical factors as well as data management.

Areas of Specialization

A systems engineering degree program may have several areas of specialization, much like an MBA degree or a civil engineering program. The University of Maryland Master of Science in Systems Engineering offers nine areas of concentration to choose from: computer & software systems, communications and networking systems, signal processing systems, control systems, process systems, transportation systems, manufacturing systems, operations research, and robotics. Clearly there is a wide range of business and industrial operations areas to focus on in this graduate program.

Boston University takes a multidisciplinary approach to graduate studies in systems engineering. The program is assembled from courses and faculty members contributed by the School of Management, College of Arts & Sciences, and School of Engineering. The goal for BU in graduating its system engineering students is to have trained professionals who can work at systems analysis in the electrical, mechanical, chemical, and biological fields or in one involving business processes and logistics. The classroom work is varied and challenging but those who complete it have an impressive range of fields from which to choose when making career decisions.

Colorado State University takes a different approach to specialization. Their Master of Systems Engineering program offers the student the opportunity to specialize in systems study for the aerospace industry, energy, environment, natural resources, and bioscience/health. This program is completely career oriented, allowing students to graduate with working knowledge that many entry level systems engineers learn on the job. It's a sensible approach to a two year program that seeks to provide detailed understanding of the complex manner in which IT meshes with business operations. Those functions vary radically among today's industries, research labs and product development programs.

Credit and Thesis Requirements

Many schools structure this masters program with the same approach taken with other engineering degrees. There is usually a basic thirty credit course requirement; for programs requiring a thesis. The University of Florida requires thirty credits of coursework from its Master of Industrial & Systems Engineering students; four to six of those credits may be given for thesis work. Students who opt for the non-thesis degree track have twenty four required course units and an additional six credit requirement to be chosen from electives.

The University of Arizona offers a thirty one credit program that requires a final report to be written on a topic chosen by the student and a faculty advisor; there is no thesis requirement for a Master of Industrial and Systems Engineering degree. The Master of Science variation for this degree does require a thesis; however the MS is designed for further academic pursuits at the doctoral level and for that reason research skills are put at a premium. At the University of Michigan the Master of Science in Information Systems Engineering is a professional degree requiring thirty units. Students have the option of a six-credit thesis or a capstone project related to one of the elective courses.

Schools

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