2022 Best Online Colleges for Systems Engineering Degrees

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 6/7/2022
2022 Best Online Master's Degrees in Systems Engineering Badge

As technology advances, engineers become more and more vital to a growing economy. Students with a degree in mathematics or science can solidify their career path by earning a master's degree in systems engineering. This path allows you to develop complex projects and processes that are used in a wide variety of industries. Advancing your education in this field will set you up for high-level roles in aerospace, civil engineering, software development, cybernetics, or project management. Many degrees focus on a specific area of interest, such as energy or information technology. Below you'll find a list of the best system's engineering online degrees, including their course requirements, program lengths, and career outlooks. 

View our methodology for more details about rankings or learn more about OnlineU.

2022 Best Online Master's Degrees in Systems Engineering Badge
Find an Online Degree:
Find an Online Degree:

ON THIS PAGE

2022 Best Online Colleges for Systems Engineering Degrees

RankSchool Salary Score Median Starting Salary
# 1 #1 University of Southern California 94 94 $125,714
# 2 #2 Georgia Institute of Technology 88 $117,910
# 3 #3 Johns Hopkins University 84 $114,155
# 4 #4 University of Virginia 78 $108,239
# 5 #5 The George Washington University 76 $106,809
# 6 #6 Southern Methodist University 72 $104,021
# 7 #7 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 70 $102,847
# 8 #8 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide 68 $101,436

Why Trust Us?

27 Data
Researchers

60,000 Degrees Researched Annually

20,000 Hours Spent on Research Annually

Launching Rankings Since 2009

Meet our team

2022 Online Colleges Offering Master's Degrees

Ranking Details

#1 University of Southern California

  • Salary Score: 94
  • Median Starting Salary: $125,714
  • Locations: Los Angeles (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

University of Southern California (USC) is a large nonprofit that offers an online Master of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering requiring 30 credit hours. The curriculum provides students with an in-depth understanding of industrial engineering practices and theories. Some core courses include Inventory Systems, Engineering Project Management, and Enterprise Wide Information Systems. To graduate, students must complete nine advisor-approved elective courses, which can take one and a half to two years with a full-time schedule. Alumni may find jobs in aerospace, defense, health care, or communications. USC also offers a Master of Science in Systems Architecting and Engineering, which focuses on the design, implementation, and management of complex systems.

At USC, students use Blackboard to access their coursework, which is fully online.

#2 Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Salary Score: 88
  • Median Starting Salary: $117,910
  • Locations: Atlanta (GA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT) is a large, public institution that offers an online Master's in Applied Systems Engineering requiring 30 credit hours. The curriculum aims to train students in systems engineering, modeling, and design. Some core classes include Leading Engineering Teams and Systems Design and Analysis. To graduate, students must complete all program requirements, including a 12-week, team-based capstone project that can take two years with a full-time schedule. Graduates may go on to explore careers as software engineers, data scientists, or database developers.

At GIT, students use Canvas to access their coursework digitally. While learning materials are primarily online, there are three mandatory in-person visits to Atlanta, GA. Online students may access academic and IT support as well as collaborative tools.

#3 Johns Hopkins University

  • Salary Score: 84
  • Median Starting Salary: $114,155
  • Locations: Baltimore (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is a medium-sized nonprofit that offers an online Master of Science in Systems Engineering. The curriculum aims to equip students with technical engineering skills through systems analysis, design, and production. There are five areas of focus for students to choose from, including Project Management and Software Engineering. Some core classes include Engineering and Measuring Influence, Enterprise Systems Engineering, and Introduction to Model Based Systems Engineering. To graduate, students must complete at least 10 courses (seven core, three electives) within five years. Graduates typically work in aerospace, civil engineering, or manufacturing. Johns Hopkins also offers a software-focused Master of Science in Information Systems Engineering, which can lead to a career in cybersecurity, data engineering, or information management.

At JHU, students use Blackboard to access their coursework, which can be fully online or a hybrid between online and in-person learning. Online students have access to the University Life Design Lab for career development and planning.

#4 University of Virginia

  • Salary Score: 78
  • Median Starting Salary: $108,239
  • Locations: Charlottesville (VA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

University of Virginia (UVA) is a large, public institution that offers an online Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering requiring 30 credit hours. The curriculum trains students to develop the necessary skills to design, develop, test, and maintain complex systems. Some core classes include Optimization Models and Methods, Stochastic Modeling, and Human Factors in Safety. To graduate, students must complete all core and elective courses within UVA's Engineering School, which can take one to two years, depending on a student's schedule. Graduates may pursue careers in the healthcare, automotive, aerospace, or manufacturing industries.

At UVA, students use Canvas to access their coursework, which is entirely online. Online students have access to peer advice and counseling as well as academic support.

#5 The George Washington University

  • Salary Score: 76
  • Median Starting Salary: $106,809
  • Locations: Washington D.C.
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The George Washington University (GW) is a medium-sized nonprofit that offers an online Master of Science in Systems Engineering requiring 36 credit hours. The curriculum aims to provide students with a broad understanding of systems design, development, and implementation. Some core classes in this major include The Management of Technical Organizations, Model-Based Systems Engineering, and Program and Project Management. To graduate, students must complete all core systems engineering courses, which can take one to two years, depending on the student's schedule. Alumni may go on to enter careers in the software, energy, manufacturing, or aerospace industries.

At GW, students use Blackboard to access their coursework, which can be fully online or asynchronous with in-person learning. Online students may access mental health services, career counseling, tutoring, and GW's digital library.

#6 Southern Methodist University

  • Salary Score: 72
  • Median Starting Salary: $104,021
  • Locations: Dallas (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Southern Methodist University (SMU) is a medium-sized, private nonprofit affiliated with the United Methodist denomination. It offers an online Master of Science in Systems Engineering requiring 30 credit hours. The curriculum delves into systems management, risks, engineering, and technology. Some core classes include Integrated Risk Management, Systems Engineering Design, and Systems Analysis Methods. Students must complete all nine core courses before completing three courses from their chosen track (On-Campus/Distance Education or Cohort). This can take one to two years depending on the student's schedule. Graduates may enter the aerospace or manufacturing industries. SMU also offers a Master of Science in Datacenter Systems Engineering, which focuses on cloud infrastructure engineering.

At SMU, students use Canvas to access their coursework, which is hybrid online/in-person. Additionally, online students may access SMU's counseling services.

#7 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

  • Salary Score: 70
  • Median Starting Salary: $102,847
  • Locations: Ann Arbor (MI)
  • Accreditation: HLC

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (UM-Ann Arbor) is a large, public institution that offers an online Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering + Design requiring 30 credit hours. The curriculum aims to provide students with a broad understanding of complex products and processes. Some core classes include Energy Systems Engineering Project, Risk Analysis, and Vehicle Dynamics. Students must complete all program requirements to graduate, such as core course, electives, and a practicum. Students can take one to two years to graduate on a part-time schedule, and graduates may then pursue careers in energy systems management and manufacturing. UM-Ann Arbor also offers a Master of Engineering in Energy Systems Engineering, which is more deeply focused on sustainable energy, storage, and conversion.

At UM-Ann Arbor, students use the digital learning platform, Canvas, to access their learning materials. Coursework can be fully online or asynchronous via in-person learning. Additionally, UM-Ann Arbor offers academic resources, such as tutors, to their online students.

#8 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide

  • Salary Score: 68
  • Median Starting Salary: $101,436
  • Locations: Daytona Beach (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide (ERAU) is a medium-sized nonprofit that offers an online Master of Systems Engineering requiring 30 credit hours. The curriculum covers complex technology projects. Some core classes include System Quality Assurance, Systems Engineering Project, and Organizational Systems Management. Students must complete 18 core courses, 12 electives, and a capstone project. However, they have the choice between a technical track or an engineering management track. Each pathway can take one to two years, depending on a student's schedule. Graduates of the program may go on to explore careers in software development, aerospace, or manufacturing. ERAU also offers a Master of Science in Unmanned & Autonomous Systems Engineering which focuses on unmanned robotics and autonomous systems.

At ERAU, students use Canvas and EagleVision to access their coursework, which is mostly online but includes some in-person projects. Additionally, online students have access to personal academic advising.

Find an Online Degree:
Find an Online Degree:

Online Master's in Systems Engineering Overview

In order to be admitted to an online systems engineering master's degree, an applicant must have a bachelor's degree in either engineering or another field that provides them with a solid background in math and science. Other common requirements include letters of recommendation, a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, a personal statement or essay, a resume, and GRE test scores.

Graduates of one these programs will be competitive in the job market, and may able to find work as systems engineers in plenty of different fields from aerospace to healthcare to government, where they will spend their days using their engineering knowledge to solve complicated problems at all levels of production. Tuition for a master's degree in systems engineering will vary depending on the school, and can fall anywhere from $13,500 to close to $30,000 a year.

Related Articles

2022 Best Online Bachelor's in Systems Engineering

See our list of online schools offering systems engineering degrees at the bachelor's level. Learn more about this online degree and careers in the field.

By Margaret Wack | 9/15/2022

Best Online Master's in Software Engineering Degrees

Online master's in software engineering degrees can be earned from these schools, which are ranked based on tuition rates and reported alumni salaries.

By Liz Heintz | 8/31/2022

2022 Best Online Engineering Degrees

Find the best online engineering bachelor's degree for you. This page investigates all the types of online engineering degrees available.

By Jordan Beliles | 7/8/2022

ADVERTISEMENT

Start Your Online College Search:

Review schools that align with your career aspirations.

ADVERTISEMENT

Start Your Online College Search:

Review schools that align with your career aspirations.