Both the MSSE and MEngSE programs require 30 credits of work, of which 15 credits are a required common core curriculum. The MSSE and MEngSE programs differ in how electives are approved and whether a thesis is required. Learn about the differences between the MSSE and MEngSE degrees.

Core curriculum

ENSE 621 Systems Engineering Concepts and Processes: A Model-Based Approach (3)
ENSE 622 System Trade-off Analysis, Modeling, and Simulation (3)
ENSE 623 System Development, Verification, and Validation (3)
ENSE 624 Human Factors in Systems Engineering (3)
ENSE 626 System Life Cycle Analysis and Risk Management (3)

Note: ENSE 621, ENSE 622, and ENSE 623 may not be taken out of sequence.

Core course descriptions

Prerequisite: permission of department.
An INCOSE-oriented introduction to model-based systems engineering. Provides an overview of systems engineering concepts, processes and methods, with a particular focus on: the development of stakeholder and system requirements; characteristics of well-written requirements; the use of SysML software tools to develop of system- and element-level architectures; and the relationship between requirements and architecture. Architecture-related topics include specification and visualization of system attributes, behavior, and interfaces. Other topics include acquisition and development life cycle models; operational concepts and use cases; requirements and design traceability; analysis, modeling and simulation; systems engineering management; risk management; configuration management; systems-of-systems; and system complexity. The course includes a class project in which teams of 3-5 students use SysML to develop stakeholder requirements, system requirements, and a logical system architecture for an engineered system of interest to them and then perform a design trade-off analysis for some aspect of the system.

Prerequisite: ENSE 621 and permission of department.
This course continues the model-based approach to systems engineering by introducing students to a variety of mathematical modeling and simulation techniques used to perform system performance, optimization, and trade-off analyses. Topics include: linear and integer programming; state machine models of finite state machines; development of simple intelligent agents; modeling Markov processes; queueing theory; multi-objective trade-off analyses; decision trees; stochastic (Monte Carlo) simulation, linear regression, some predictive analytic techniques; and an introduction to control theory. Mathematical models and simulations are developed and executed using MATLAB. The course includes a class project in which students solve a problem of interest to them using one or more of techniques addressed in class.

Prerequisite: ENSE 622 and permission of department.
This course completes the ENSE621, ENSE622 sequence. It covers system simulation development and a variety of verification and validation topics. It addresses development testing and operational testing; test methodologies; the planning of test programs and Test and Evaluation Master Plans (TEMPs); the planning and execution of tests; and the writing of test plans and test reports. Topics include verification methods; specification-based testing; test verification matrices; model-based verification; model checking and other formal approaches to verification; design of experiments; performance testing; reliability testing; usability/human factors testing; and other types of testing. The course includes a class project in which teams of 3-5 students: develop requirements for a simulation that supports a system analysis of interest (the user need); develop the simulation (in MATLAB); verify that it meets its requirements; and validate that it may be used to support the analysis of interest.

Prerequisite: permission of department.
This course covers the general principles of human factors, or ergonomics as it is sometimes called. Human Factors (HF) is an interdisciplinary approach toward dealing with issues related to people in systems. It focuses on consideration of the characteristics of human beings in the design of systems and devices of all kinds. It concerns itself with the assignment of appropriate functions for humans and machines – whether the people serve as operators, maintainers, or users of the system or device. The goal of HFs is to achieve compatibility in the design of interactive systems of people, machines, and environments to ensure their effectiveness, safety and ease of use.

Prerequisite: permission of department.
This course covers topics related to estimating the costs and risks incurred through the lifetimes of projects, products and systems. In addition, treatment is given to methods that determine the drivers of costs and risks and then propose the most effective alternatives to reducing them. The course covers relevant analytic tools from probability and statistics and also important managerial and organizational concepts. Extensive use will be made of case studies and examples from industry and government.