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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Systems Engineering (SYSEN)

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JAMES A. NEMES, Professor and Director of Academic Affairs
School of Graduate Professional Studies
Penn State Great Valley
30 E. Swedesford Road
Malvern, PA 19355-1443

COLIN J. NEILL, Associate Professor and Director of Engineering Programs
School of Graduate Professional Studies
Penn State Great Valley, Engineering Division

Degree Conferred:

M.Eng. in Systems Engineering

The Graduate Faculty

  • Joanna Defranco, Ph.D. (New Jersey Institute of Technology) Assistant Professor of Software Engineering
  • Nil H. Ergin, Ph.D. (University of Missouri-Rolla), Assistant Professor of Systems Engineering
  • Kathryn Jablokow, Ph.D. (Ohio State) Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
  • Mohamad Kassab, Ph.D. (Concordia) Assistant Professor of Software Engineering
  • John I. McCool, Ph.D. (Temple) Distinguished Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Allan Moser, Ph.D. (Purdue) Associate Professor of Systems Engineering
  • Colin J. Neill, Ph.D. (Wales) Associate Professor of Software and Systems Engineering; Director of Engineering Programs
  • James A. Nemes, D.Sc. (George Washington University) Professor and Director of Academic Affairs
  • Michael J. Piovoso, Ph.D. (Delaware) Professor of Electrical Engineering
  • David W. Russell, Ph.D. (CNAA, London) Professor of Electrical Engineering
  • Kailasam Satyamurthy, Ph.D. (Clemson) Assistant Professor of Engineering
  • Pamela Vercellone-Smith, Ph.D. (Penn State) Assistant Professor of Software Engineering

This professional master's degree program, available at Penn State Great Valley, deals with the various aspects of systems engineering. The primary goal of the program is to prepare engineers to develop the next generation of engineering products, systems, and services for industry and government.

The curriculum integrates the traditional engineering disciplines in a synergistic manner. Course work includes four 9-credit modules of study with each module designed for in-depth coverage of a specific area of study (e.g., systems and control, robotics). Two of the four modules, the Skill-Based module and the Systems Engineering module, are required and constitute an 18-credit core. To complete the program, students choose an additional 18 credits of electives in two modules of professional interest. As part of the 18-credit core curriculum, students who are nearing the end of their program complete a capstone research experience. Graduate instruction is under the direction of an interdisciplinary faculty committee and the departments participating in the program. The graduate faculty consists of members who have teaching and research interests in the area of systems engineering. Maximum flexibility is maintained by the program in an effort to meet both the professional needs of the individual students and academic quality standards.

Admission Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to general Graduate School requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin.

The M.Eng. in Systems Engineering program is designed for students with backgrounds in science or engineering. Admission will be granted if the applicant has the necessary program prerequisites and a faculty member in the student's interest area agrees to serve as adviser. Normal admission requirements include mathematics through differential equations. Scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) are not an entrance requirement unless the junior/senior grade-point average is below 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale). There is no foreign language requirement.

Students with a 3.00 junior/senior GPA in an appropriate technical degree program will be considered for admission. The best-qualified applicants will be accepted. Exceptions to the minimum 3.00 GPA may be made for students with special backgrounds, abilities, and interests. Entering graduate students for whom English is not their first language are required to have a score of at least 550 (paper) or 213 (computer) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Degree Requirements

All candidates must take two required 9-credit core modules for a total core curriculum of 18 credits and two other 9-credit elective modules. At least 15 credits of selected courses must be at the 500 level.

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the STUDENT AID section of the Graduate Bulletin.


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 599 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.





Faculty updated: 12/10/13


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