2020 Best Systems Engineering Master's Online Degrees

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 3/9/2020
2020 Best Online Master's in Systems Engineering Badge

This list highlights the 24 best value colleges offering online master's programs in systems engineering. George Mason University is ranked #1, offering a Master of Science in Systems Engineering for $20,910 per year. Graduates of the school reported a median salary of $145,000. University of Maryland - College Park ranks #2, with a median salary of $136,300 and an annual tuition rate of $19,080.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

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RankSchool Annual Tuition Mid-Career Salary
# 1 #1 George Mason University $20,910 $145,000
# 2 #2 University of Maryland - College Park $19,080 $136,300
# 3 #3 University of Virginia $8,115 $131,000
# 4 #4 The George Washington University $17,550 $128,400
# 5 #5 Texas A&M University-College Station $26,402 $131,300
# 6 #6 Columbia University in the City of New York $31,560 $132,700
# 7 #7 Lehigh University $22,500 $127,000
# 8 #8 Naval Postgraduate School $16,000 $123,700
# 9 #9 University of Colorado Boulder $10,000 $120,900
# 10 #10 Iowa State University $10,425 $120,900
# 11 #11 University of Southern California $31,125 $129,100
# 12 #12 Stevens Institute of Technology $24,780 $122,300
# 13 #13 Worcester Polytechnic Institute $23,490 $121,600
# 14 #14 Johns Hopkins University $55,530 $131,500
# 15 #15 Purdue University - Main Campus $20,220 $116,800
# 16 #16 Arizona State University $8,512 $112,000
# 17 #17 Missouri University of Science and Technology $18,000 $115,200
# 18 #18 University of California - Los Angeles $16,000 $112,880
# 19 #19 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor $24,983 $115,600
# 20 #20 Colorado State University-Fort Collins $16,275 $111,200
# 21 #21 Southern Methodist University $20,250 $109,800
# 22 #22 Drexel University $29,969 $112,100
# 23 #23 University of Wisconsin - Madison $13,000 $105,200
# 24 #24 University of Florida $11,040 $104,400
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

2020 Online Colleges Offering Systems Engineering Degrees - Ranking Details

#1 George Mason University

  • Annual Tuition: $20,910
  • Median Salary: $145,000
  • Locations: Fairfax (VA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The Master of Science in Systems Engineering program at George Mason University allows students to specialize their degree in a concentration that best suits their academic and professional interests and goals. The 30-credit hour program offers three tracks: architecture-based systems integration, software engineering of software-intensive systems, and systems management. Graduates of the online systems engineering degree at GMU have gone on to begin careers with companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and the Aerospace Corporation. 

#2 University of Maryland - College Park

  • Annual Tuition: $19,080
  • Median Salary: $136,300
  • Locations: College Park (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The curriculum for the Master of Science in Systems Engineering offered at the University of Maryland-College Park emphasizes teaching advanced strategies for working with complex, multidisciplinary engineering systems. Students in the 30-credit hour program can choose to specialize their studies in any of the 10 areas of concentration offered, including communication and networking systems, robotics, manufacturing systems, and cybersecurity. The online systems engineering degree was created with substantial industry input, ensuring that students graduate with the knowledge and competencies necessary to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation.

#3 University of Virginia

  • Annual Tuition: $8,115
  • Median Salary: $131,000
  • Locations: Charlottesville (VA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of Virginia provides students the opportunity to further their education and expand their career possibilities with a Master of Science in Systems Engineering. Students enrolled in the 32-credit hour program focus their studies on the advanced fundamentals of systems engineering through courses in mathematical programming, stochastic systems, and systems engineering colloquium. Students are encouraged to enroll in coursework outside the engineering department to develop skills important in any industry, including critical thinking, business analytics, and communication. Graduates of the online systems engineering degree are qualified to pursue a career as a systems engineer or research engineer or to further their education with a Ph.D.

#4 The George Washington University

  • Annual Tuition: $17,550
  • Median Salary: $128,400
  • Locations: Washington D.C.
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The George Washington University offers a Master of Science in Systems Engineering degree for students looking to expand their knowledge and skills in the discipline and increase their career possibilities. The program curriculum provides advanced instruction in the technology and theory behind systems engineering in addition to business and management practices. Students complete 36 credit hours of coursework in system and architecture analysis, team management, risk management, and engineering large-scale systems. Upon completing the online systems engineering degree, graduates are prepared to take the Certified Systems Engineering Professional exam administered by the International Council on Systems Engineering.

#5 Texas A&M University-College Station

  • Annual Tuition: $26,402
  • Median Salary: $131,300
  • Locations: College Station (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The online Master of Science in Engineering Management degree at Texas A&M University-College Station allows students to choose an area of specialization that best suits their academic and professional interests and goals. The curriculum for the specialization in systems engineering covers all aspects of the discipline, with coursework in system performance modeling, systems thinking and architecture, management of engineering systems, and decision-making under risk and uncertainty. Upon completion of this 30-credit hour program, graduates are prepared to begin or advance a career in a number of engineering industries, including aerospace and defense.

#6 Columbia University in the City of New York

  • Annual Tuition: $31,560
  • Median Salary: $132,700
  • Locations: New York (NY)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

There are two options for a systems engineering master’s online at Columbia University. The Master of Science in Industrial Engineering (MSIE) is a 30-credit program that offers a concentration in Systems Engineering. The Master of Science in Systems Engineering (MSSE) is also a 30-credit degree. Both programs can be finished in less than two years by full-time students, although most working students choose to take a little longer. The systems engineering curriculum in the MSIE and MSSE programs do not just focus on the independent aspects of engineering, but the integration and organization of discrete parts into an efficient, coherent system. Students learn to take a holistic view of engineering projects and ideal approaches to design and management. Admission to the Columbia Engineering program requires a baccalaureate degree in engineering, statistics, mathematics, science, or a related field with a strong academic record from an accredited institution. Online students benefit from internship options, career services, and job placement opportunities. The school also offers a course in Professional Development.

#7 Lehigh University

  • Annual Tuition: $22,500
  • Median Salary: $127,000
  • Locations: Bethlehem (PA)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The Master of Engineering (MEng) in Healthcare Systems Engineering at Lehigh University is a 30-credit online program that ends with a capstone project focused on solving a real-world healthcare problem. Students who are able to take a total of 10–12 courses across the fall, spring, and summer semesters can finish in less than 12 months. Those who are working full-time, and/or who must take mathematics leveling courses to prep for the degree, may finish in 3.5 to six years. The cross-disciplinary field of healthcare systems engineering master’s online trains graduates to use operations research, analytics, healthcare understanding, and quality improvement to design, analyze, and manage complicated healthcare systems and processes. The HSE program maintains relationships with a variety of healthcare agencies, major hospitals, government agencies, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies, which also creates research and mentorship opportunities for students. The asynchronous format of the Classroom Online learning platform allows for flexible participation and scheduling. Application fees are waived through 2020. Two reference letters, transcripts, a virtual interview, and favorable academic performance are required for admission.              

#8 Naval Postgraduate School

  • Annual Tuition: $16,000
  • Median Salary: $123,700
  • Locations: Monterey (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

The Naval Postgraduate School offers a range of different online systems engineering degrees at the master’s level. All have a different number of credit hours, but all are two-year programs. There is a Master of Science in Engineering Systems (MSES) and a Master of Science in Systems Engineering (MSSE) that has an option to specialize in Aviation Systems. The curriculum is the same between the MSES and MSSE. However, the MSSE is for graduates with ABET-accredited undergraduate engineering degrees or equivalent, and the MSES degree is for those who do not. The NPS also offers a Joint Executive Systems Engineering Management program for students to earn a Master of Science in Product Development (MSPD) or a Master of Science in Systems Engineering Management (MSSEM), which has an option to specialize in either Systems and Program Management or Systems Integrated Development. The admissions requirements for these degree programs vary from general to extremely specialized. For example, the MSSEM/MSPD program requires at least five years’ experience in the field, reduced to three years’ experience for applicants who already hold a master’s degree. The MSEM/MSSE with Aviation Systems specialization is restricted to graduates of the 48-week U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) program.      

#9 University of Colorado Boulder

  • Annual Tuition: $10,000
  • Median Salary: $120,900
  • Locations: Boulder (CO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

At the University of Colorado Boulder, the online Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MS-EE) is a 30-credit degree program with six, eight-week sessions per year. This systems engineering degree program is highly customizable, with courses grouped into specializations grouped into six focus areas: Embedded Systems, Power Electronics, Photonics and Optics, Control and Communications, Computer Engineering, and Electromagnetics, RF, Microwaves and Remote Sensing. Students can take courses within these specializations to earn graduate certificates that can either stand alone or be stacked to build toward completing the MS-EE degree. For courses to count towards a certificate, students need at least a 3.0 GPA. Certificates are available in the Industrial Internet of Things, Embedded Programmable Logic, Power Electronics, Semiconductor Photonics, and Optical Science and Engineering. All online coursework is delivered through Coursera. Although classwork can be done whenever and wherever during the session, all assignments are due before the last day of class, and that date is absolute. The MS-EE program has no application. Rather, admission is based on students getting a 3.0 or better on a series of for-credit MS-EE courses. However, students are advised to check the website for the list of prerequisite skills.                                        

#10 Iowa State University

  • Annual Tuition: $10,425
  • Median Salary: $120,900
  • Locations: Ames (IA)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The Master of Engineering (MEngr) in Systems Engineering at Iowa State University is a 30-credit degree that can be finished in two years. The program is designed for working professionals looking to further develop their analytical skills and their ability to evaluate, design, and create complex engineered systems. Almost every industry is in need of the kinds of professionals who can work with a multidisciplinary team to model, conceptualize, and integrate discrete concepts, materials, and people into a working whole. The curriculum’s focus is on System Engineering, Engineering Management is a required aspect of the core coursework, giving students a professional, business-oriented perspective of their industry. For unrestricted admission, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 or higher GPA from an ABET-accredited engineering program, current full-time employment as an engineer or two years of engineering experience, and undergraduate coursework in engineering statistics, calculus, and engineering economy. Other requirements include application and fee, official transcripts, resume, and three recommendation letters. All information technology, academic, and student services are offered online, including advising and career services.                           

#11 University of Southern California

  • Annual Tuition: $31,125
  • Median Salary: $129,100
  • Locations: Los Angeles (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

The University of Southern California offers two online systems engineering degrees at the master’s level. The Master of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering (MSISE) and the MS in Systems Architecting and Engineering (MSSAE). Both are 30-credit degrees that can be finished in 1.5-2 years by full-time students and 2.5-3.5 years by part-time students. The MSSAE degree offers the following specialization tracks: Aerospace and Mechanical Systems, Artificial Intelligence/Neural Networks, Automation and Control Systems, Communication and Signal Processing Systems, Computer and Information Systems, Construction, Engineering Management Systems, Integrated Media Systems, Manufacturing Systems, Network-centric Systems, Software Process Architecture, and Systems. The MSISE program is targeted at technical professionals who aspire to reach the highest level of management and leadership responsibility in the workplace. The MSSAE is an interdisciplinary program that is delivered in cooperation with the departments of Computer Science, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and the USC Marshall School of Business. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in Engineering or related field with a satisfactory GPA. Also required are GRE scores, transcripts, resume, recommendation letters, and a personal statement. Professional experience recommended. Included in online student resources are excellent career services.

#12 Stevens Institute of Technology

  • Annual Tuition: $24,780
  • Median Salary: $122,300
  • Locations: Hoboken (NJ)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The systems engineering master’s online at Stevens Institute of Technology is a Master of Engineering (MEng) in Systems Engineering degree with concentrations available in Large-Scale Cyber-Physical Systems, Embedded Cyber-Physical Systems, Software Systems, Space Systems, or unspecified. Students in the Space Systems concentration have the option of receiving an MEng in Space Systems Engineering. This 30-credit MEng degree requires ten courses and a final project or thesis. The curriculum provides a multidisciplinary approach to the industry with a blend of management, engineering, and systems subjects, teaching graduates to address industry issues at the system and enterprise levels, in a market where technology, quality, globalization, productivity, and complexity are key drivers of a business. Stevens is recognized as a space systems engineering education provider to professionals at NASA and the worldwide space industry. Students can also take combinations of electives that allow them to graduate with one of a large number of graduate certificates, including but not limited to Data Exploration and Visualization for Risk and Decision-Making, Computational Social Science, Integrated Ship Systems Engineering, Software Systems Architecture, Systems Engineering of Embedded/Cyber-Physical Systems, and Urban Resilience. Application requirements include application and fee, two electronically submitted recommendation letters, official transcripts, and GRE scores. 

#13 Worcester Polytechnic Institute

  • Annual Tuition: $23,490
  • Median Salary: $121,600
  • Locations: Worcester (MA)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers a Master of Science in Systems Engineering (MSSE), a Master of Engineering (MEng) in Power Systems Engineering, and an MS in Electrical & Computer Engineering (MSECE), which allows students to specialize in one or more technical areas, including Power Systems Engineering and Systems Engineering. These online degrees are all 30-credit, 10-course, non-thesis programs, although the MSSE requires a capstone project. The WPI MSSE is an engineering-focused track with a curriculum that balances enhanced technical skills with business, management, and leadership skills. The MEng in Power Systems prepares graduates to work as professional electrical engineers in the electric utility industry. All courses are technical, with in-depth expertise in today’s power systems industry. The MSECE program recognizes electrical and computing engineering as one of today’s fastest-growing technical fields. The curriculum focuses on technologies that can solve real-world problems. The MSSE requires a 3.0 or higher GPA, an ABET-accredited degree in Computer Science or engineering. The MEng in Power Systems Engineering requires a 3.0 or higher GPA, an ABET-accredited degree in electrical engineering. Other disciplines will likely need a leveling mathematics course. Prospective students can learn about the degree and online resources through a webinar on the WPI website.        

#14 Johns Hopkins University

  • Annual Tuition: $55,530
  • Median Salary: $131,500
  • Locations: Baltimore (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Johns Hopkins University offers an MS in Systems Engineering and an MS in Engineering in Systems Engineering with the following concentrations: Cybersecurity, Human Systems, Modeling and Simulation, Project Management, Software Systems, and Systems. There is an MS in Healthcare Systems Engineering, an MS in Space Systems Engineering that offers focus areas in Leadership and Management or Technical, and an MS in Information Systems Engineering with focus areas in Cybersecurity, Data Engineering, Enterprise and Web Computing, Human-Computer Interaction, Information Management, Network Engineering, Software Engineering, and Systems Engineering. All programs require 30 credit hours to complete. The systems engineering curriculum is geared towards technical professionals learning to integrate different methods of design, modeling, analysis, production, and operation in the modern systems within a range of industries. Faculty are practicing engineers who use case studies and problem-solving activities to deliver course objectives. The state-of-the-art online classrooms are highly interactive. Academic advising, support services, and digital resources are included for ease of use, and professional collaborations and networking opportunities are available globally. Applicants must meet graduate admissions requirements, have prior engineering or science degree, and at least one year’s full-time experience in the field.  Online graduate students have student resources comparable to on-campus students.

#15 Purdue University - Main Campus

  • Annual Tuition: $20,220
  • Median Salary: $116,800
  • Locations: West Lafayette (IN)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Purdue University’s Interdisciplinary Master of Science in Engineering program is either awarded as a Master of Science (MS) or an MS in Engineering (MSE). Students with an ABET-accredited engineering bachelor’s degree are awarded the MSE. The MS/MSE program is 30 credits and can be finished in a little over three years by taking one class per semester with the occasional summer course, although some finish faster. Thesis and non-thesis options are available. Available but not required specialty concentrations include Systems Engineering and Integrated Vehicle Systems Engineering (INTV). This flexible program allows MSE/MS students to customize their course plan to their career goals, company goals, or current marketplace demands. Online faculty are the same teaching engineering courses on campus. Classes are asynchronously delivered by streaming video, made available soon after they are recorded in the classroom on-campus. All assignments, activities, projects, and tests must be completed by their due dates. Most three-credit courses require nine to 12 hours of work per week, but this will vary depending on the class. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering and be accepted to the Purdue Online, College of Engineering. An array of technical and academic resources are available to assist online students.            

#16 Arizona State University

  • Annual Tuition: $8,512
  • Median Salary: $112,000
  • Locations: Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The Arizona State University Online Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering (MEng) is a ten-course, 30 credit-hour degree. Some classes are offered in 7.5-week terms, and there are multiple start terms throughout the year. There is no thesis requirement, but there is a culminating event. The degree of expertise and specialization required of engineering professionals makes a graduate education a necessary part of an ambitious career plan. ASU Online courses allow professionals to advance while maintaining current responsibilities. The Systems Engineering curriculum covers systems engineering management, practice-oriented projects, the business of systems engineering, engineering mathematics, and the skills required to identify customer and project needs in the early stages of work so that solutions can be developed and implemented that prevent the waste of time, money, and energy. The renowned faculty includes members of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Inventors, and the National Academy of Sciences. A Nobel Laureate and over 55 young investigator awards have been received in the past ten years. Applicants must meet the requirements of both the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the Graduate College. From career development to academic support, ASU Online offers many resources for distance learners.

#17 Missouri University of Science and Technology

  • Annual Tuition: $18,000
  • Median Salary: $115,200
  • Locations: Rolla (MO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The systems engineering master’s online offered by the Missouri University of Science and Technology is a Master of Science (MS) that was initially developed to provide graduate education to Boeing engineers worldwide. The 10-course program has a thesis and a non-thesis track and eight emphasis areas: Model Based Systems Engineering, Systems Architecting, Modeling and Simulations, Model Based Engineering, Network Centric Systems, Computational Intelligence, Human System Integration, and Infrastructure System. Students who choose to specialize in Computational Intelligence, Model Based Systems Engineering, or Network Centric Systems can earn a Graduate Certificate in those areas. Systems Engineering is an interdisciplinary, top-down, whole-system approach to engineering. MSSE students are given the training they need to not only be problem solvers but to be advanced problem-definers who are involved in engineering systems throughout the life cycle, from development to disposal. Online classes are delivered with two-way web conferencing, and course lectures are stored online so that students can download and review them whenever it is needed. Application requirements include online application, resume, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, GRE/GMAT, and transcripts. A description of the online student resources available can be found on a dedicated distance learning webpage.       

#18 University of California - Los Angeles

  • Annual Tuition: $16,000
  • Median Salary: $112,880
  • Locations: Los Angeles (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

The UCLA Graduate Program in Engineering offers a Master of Science (MS) in Engineering with a Certificate of Specialization in Systems Engineering. This 36-unit degree can be completed with three written exams in the specialization area or a capstone project. There is no thesis option. The degree should be finished in two years plus one quarter, including two summer sessions. Students may take no more than three years to finish. The MS in Engineering is very flexible, allowing for a specialization or a multidisciplinary program. The Systems Engineering specialization is an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on the skills required for evaluating, designing, and developing complex engineered systems. Coursework combines the core systems engineering elements of fundamentals of systems, model-based systems, project management, safety and reliability, systems architecture, and graduate-level disciplinary engineering. The 100% asynchronous online education provided by the Master of Science in Engineering Online Program (MSOL) offers a rigorous MS with great accessibility. Applicants with a BS in Engineering or related field with a 3.0 minimum GPA can register as limited students and take coursework for credit before being formally admitted to the degree program if they choose. Available online student resources include online classroom tutorials and technical assistance.

#19 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

  • Annual Tuition: $24,983
  • Median Salary: $115,600
  • Locations: Ann Arbor (MI)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of Michigan offers an online Master of Engineering (MEng) in Energy Systems Engineering (ESE) with concentrations in Sustainable Chemical Conversion, Transportation Power, and Energy Generation, Distribution, and Usage. This 30-credit degree can be completed in one full-time year, taking classes in every term. There is also a 30-credit MEng in Systems Engineering and Design (MEng/SE+D), which usually takes 2.5 years to finish. The MEng/SE+D program offers concentrations in Risk Management, Lean Systems Engineering, and Human-Centered Engineering. The MEng/ESE curriculum focuses on the challenges of alternative and conventional energy generation, storage, and conversion; and the complex relationships between the environmental and societal impact of developments in technology and the economic benefit of those technologies. The MEng/SE+D prepares graduates for the Associate Systems Engineering Professional certification exam. Both programs provide learner-centered, highly engaged, online classroom experiences with the same rigor as the on-campus engineering courses. MEng applicants must use the College of Engineering Graduate Professional Programs Office’s online application and indicate that they wish to take classes online. Requirements include recommendation letters, GRE scores, transcripts, resume, statement of academic purpose, and personal statement. The “BlueCorps” are available to provide extensive IT support to all students, whether on campus or online.     

#20 Colorado State University-Fort Collins

  • Annual Tuition: $16,275
  • Median Salary: $111,200
  • Locations: Fort Collins (CO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The online engineering graduate program at Colorado State University-Fort Collins offers two systems engineering master’s degrees: a Master of Engineering (ME) with a Systems Engineering Specialization, and a Master of Science in Systems Engineering (MSSE). Both programs are 30 credits, but while the ME only offers an independent study, the MSSE also offers a thesis option. The curriculum for both degrees covers topics from management to systems design to technical processes that involve modeling behavior and describing and modeling systems with a suite of engineering tools. Areas of study include systems analysis, architecture, and optimization, model-based systems engineering, utility theory, life cycle assessment, probabilistic design, multidisciplinary optimization, and verification/validation strategies. Students learn to apply scientific and mathematical principles to complex problems in ways that integrate the information, management, communications, energy, physical, and human requirements of a project. Systems engineering solves complex problems while accounting for the business and technical needs of stakeholders, making it an invaluable skill set for multiple industries. Courses can be viewed live as the lecture is happening on campus or watched later. Prior to starting the application process, prospective students should download the Systems Engineering Application Information Packet. Registered students may access a range of online support services.                      

#21 Southern Methodist University

  • Annual Tuition: $20,250
  • Median Salary: $109,800
  • Locations: Dallas (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Southern Methodist University offers a Master of Science in Systems Engineering (MSSE), an MS in Civil Engineering (MSCE) with a concentration in Transportation Systems Management, an MS in Manufacturing Systems Management (MSMSM), and an MS in Operations Research (MSOR) with a concentration in Systems Engineering. The MSCE does offer a thesis option, but most online students choose the coursework only track. All degrees are 30 credit hours and require a minimum 3.0 GPA to graduate. Online classes are offered in the standard term schedule of fall, spring, and summer. The classes are taught in tandem with on-campus sections of the same degree course so that the on- and off-campus programs are identical. Lectures are streamed in high-quality video and stored on the server within 24 hours. Online students typically watch within 48 hours to stay current with course requirements. Students stay in contact with faculty by email, phone, or web-conferences. Students must meet MS degree admission requirements for the Lyle School of Engineering. They must also have a BS in Engineering, Mathematics, or a Quantitative Science and a minimum of two years of college-level mathematics, including at least one year of calculus. Remote learners have a range of online resources at their disposal.

#22 Drexel University

  • Annual Tuition: $29,969
  • Median Salary: $112,100
  • Locations: Philadelphia (PA)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Drexel University’s online Master of Science in Systems Engineering (MSSE) is a 45-credit program offered in four 10-week quarters per year. With approval from the program director, MSSE students can transfer up to 15 credits from another institution. This fully online MS gives students the skill set they need to manage the analysis, design, planning, integration, development, testing, implementation, and operations of today’s complex systems. Designed for working professional engineers, Drexel’s online MSSE program combines the computational and technical expertise that employers expect with leadership and management courses that can be applied to student’s advancement in a multitude of industries. The online coursework is highly interactive, taught by faculty with extensive experience in the industry and in academia. The curriculum is also very customizable so that students can take electives from multiple engineering disciplines. MSSE students benefit from global industrial partnerships that can be leveraged into collaborative opportunities. Applicants should have an undergraduate degree in Engineering from an ABET-accredited program. Related majors are acceptable, but prerequisite coursework may be required. Excellent online student resources include remote library access, career development, and teletherapy offered by the Office of Counseling and Health Services.

#23 University of Wisconsin - Madison

  • Annual Tuition: $13,000
  • Median Salary: $105,200
  • Locations: Madison (WI)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a Master of Engineering in Environmental Engineering with three different online systems engineering degree options: Engine Systems (MEES), Manufacturing Systems Engineering (MSE), and Sustainable Systems Engineering (SSE). All three are 30-credit degrees that can be completed in two to three years. Earning the UW MEES degree is estimated to be equal to 10 years of engine design experience. Students have access to insights from experts on internal combustion at the Engine Research Center (ERC) and will learn knowledge to apply to professional work. The MSE curriculum will educate students in the rapidly changing field of manufacturing, ensuring they understand the best practices and latest innovations, as well as data analytics, complex systems, accounting, advanced technologies, supply chain, project management, and more. The SSE curriculum focuses on the resource constraints, environmental impact, and increased demand of the developing world. Courses cover global energy systems and the future of sustainable energy, production, and building so that students understand the economics, engineering, science, and policy of clean energy and sustainable sources and systems. Online courses are flexible but allow for weekly interaction that provides more networking and discussion than campus lectures.

#24 University of Florida

  • Annual Tuition: $11,040
  • Median Salary: $104,400
  • Locations: Gainesville (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The Industrial and System Engineering (ISE) Department at the University of Florida offers two systems engineering degrees online: a Master of Engineering (ME) and a Master of Science (MS). The only difference between the two degrees is that ME graduates must also have an undergraduate degree in engineering. Both are 31-credit hour programs with thesis and non-thesis options. Although the online coursework for the MS degree is offered through the UF Research & Engineering Education Facility (REEF), which is for students at the Eglin Air Force Base, most students will take the ISE program courses through Electronic Delivery of Gator Engineering (EDGE), an online program offering both the MS and ME. The purpose behind the ISE curriculum is to train engineers in the advanced skills needed to solve real-world problems within complex systems, helping human effort in education, industry, and science become more efficient and effective. Class topics include deterministic methods in operations research, applied probability methods, systems design and architecture, and digital simulation. Applicants must meet UF admission requirements, and must have taken undergraduate classes in Computer Programming, Calculus, Probability and/or Statistics, and Matrix Methods.

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.

This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the school by this site.