The Department of Systems Engineering at the University of
Virginia administers the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering
Program leading to the degree of Master of Engineering with a
major in Systems Engineering. Systems Engineering is concerned
primarily with improving the processes of problem-solving and
decision-making within the functions of forecasting, planning,
design, development, testing, evaluation, control, operation, and
management. Emphasis in the curriculum is placed on preparing
individuals for careers concerned with the solution of
significant large-scale interdisciplinary problems.
The student is expected to gain an understanding of the
theoretical and methodological foundations for problem-solving
and decision-making systems. This is accomplished through a
judicious selection of coursework that draws from disciplines
such as mathematical systems theory, decision theory, control
theory, economics, operations research, management science,
computer science, artificial intelligence, cognitive science and
human factors. In addition, each student's program is tailored
to the particular needs and interests of the student through the
selection of elective courses and the completion of a supervised
Degree Requirements -
The Master of Engineering degree requires thirty semester-hours
of coursework and a two semester-hour supervised project. A
minimum of fifteen semester-hours of coursework must be taken in
courses taught by University of Virginia faculty of the Systems
Engineering Department. The remaining fifteen hours of
coursework can be taken in courses taught by University of
Virginia faculty or may be transferred from other institutions.
The two semester-hour project research must be under the
supervision of University of Virginia faculty. Each student's
plan of study must be approved by the University of Virginia
extended classroom advisor for Systems Engineering.
Plan of Study -
A faculty advisor is available to provide assistance in the selection of
courses which will constitute an approved plan of study. It is recommended
that a plan of study be submitted as early as possible--preferably after
two courses have been completed. The following is
a general framework for designing a plan of study leading to the Master of
Engineering in Systems Engineering:
Course SYS 695 "Supervised Research Project" is offered every semester.
The project must be performed under the supervision of a faculty member
of the Systems Engineering Department at the University of Virginia. The
project should culminate in a technical report or a research paper, and
may involve an oral defense before a committee of the Systems Engineering
faculty. It is recommended that students enroll in this course during the
final semester of their degree program. Students who can spend a summer
session in residence at the University of Virginia may enroll in course
SYS 702 "Case Studies in Systems Engineering" in lieu of SYS 695.
- one course covering systems engineering methodology, design
and management, such as, SYS 601, "Introduction to Systems Engineering"
- one course in linear and non-linear programming, such as SYS 603,
- one course in modeling and analysis of stochastic systems, such as
SYS 605, "Stochastic Systems"
- one course in systems integration, such as SYS 602, "Systems Integration"
- six elective courses in an area of professional interest to the student.
Students are encouraged to select courses which will afford them the
opportunity to experience the application of systems engineering concepts
to a specific problem area. The pervasiveness of these concepts is such
that this is possible in many departments throughout UVA and the other
cooperating institutions. Some examples are:
- Intelligent Decision Systems (Computer Science, Psychology,
- Manufacturing Systems (Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering,
- Telecommunications Systems (Computer Science, Electrical
Engineering, Systems Engineering)
- Environmental Systems (Civil Engineering, Environmental Sciences,
- Systems Management (Civil Engineering, Business Administration,
- Health Care Delivery Systems (Biomedical Engineering, Systems
- Software Management (Computer Science, Systems Engineering)
- Transportation Systems (Civil Engineering, Systems Engineering)
- a supervised project, SYS 695 (2 credit hours)
Admissions - General requirements for admission into the Commonwealth
Graduate Engineering Program leading to a ME degree in Systems Engineering
from UVA are those of the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
In addition, prospective candidates should meet the following prerequisites:
- Calculus: One year of undergraduate calculus, including real analysis
and ordinary differential equations. Equivalent UVA courses are:
APMA 111, APMA 212 and APMA 213.
- Computer Programming. Working knowledge of at least one high level
programming language such as Fortran, Pascal, or C. Equivalent UVA courses
are CS 210 and CS 360.
- Probability and statistics. At least two undergraduate courses in
calculus-based probability and statistics. Equivalent UVA courses are
APMA 310 and APMA 312.
- Mathematical Programming or Linear Algebra.
At least one undergraduate course in optimization techniques,
including linear programming. An equivalent UVA course is SYS 321
Systems Engineering Course Descriptions
Five-Year Schedule of Courses
Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program.
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Last modified: March 14, 2003