Top Systems Engineering Graduate Programs: List of Schools

Oct 20, 2021

Find out which top-ranked schools offer master's and doctoral degree programs in systems engineering. Get information about schools and programs to decide if one of them is right for you.

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School Overviews

At the graduate level, students can find master's and doctoral degrees in systems engineering. Some schools provide education in systems engineering through programs in the closely-related fields of industrial engineering and operations management. The systems engineering schools discussed here are highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report for 2017. In a systems engineering program, students learn to design, plan, and troubleshoot the interaction of complex systems and procedures. Top programs in the field should offer courses in a variety of subjects, including manufacturing, economic decision-making, human-machine interfacing, logistics planning, package design, scheduling, and routing.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology was ranked #1 for industrial/manufacturing/systems engineering graduate programs by U.S. News and World Report for 2017. The school was also ranked 34th among all national universities by U.S. News and World Report for 2017.

The H. Milton Steward School of Industrial and Systems Engineering offers several Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs. Master's degree programs include industrial engineering, quantitative and computational finance, computational science and engineering, operations research, statistics, and health systems. Doctoral degree options include industrial engineering, computational science and engineering, bioinformatics, operations research or algorithms, combinatorics, and optimization. Through a partnership with the Logistics Institute Asia-Pacific at the National University of Singapore, students may concurrently earn a M.S. in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and a M.S. in Industrial Engineering.

Cornell University

As one of eight Ivy League schools in the Northeast, Cornell University has been recognized by many organizations, including U.S. News & World Report, which named it #15 on its list of top national universities as of 2017. In the same year, the College of Engineering was ranked tied for #7 in industrial/systems/manufacturing engineering on the U.S. News & World Report list. The school counts 46 Nobel Prize winners among its alumni or faculty.

An interdisciplinary, graduate level systems engineering program is offered by the College of Engineering. The one year Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) program may be tailored to suit a great number of specialized subjects. Course track options include biosystems, environmental systems, communication systems, spacecraft systems, infrastructure systems, and product development. One of the requirements of the program is a student project, where multi-disciplinary teams work an engineering problem, such as the design and launch of an autonomous inspection satellite system.

North Carolina State University

For 2017, North Carolina State University was ranked within the top 100 universities in the country and the top 40 public schools. Its online graduate engineering program was tied for #9 in the nation and its general graduate engineering program was tied for #27. North Carolina State University offers a Master in Industrial Engineering, both on campus and online. Students can also earn an M.S. in Industrial Engineering or a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering. Research areas in these programs include systems analysis and optimization, production systems, human-systems engineering, health systems engineering, logistics, advanced manufacturing, and biomedical manufacturing. Through the school's cooperative education program, students can get paid, full-time work experience in the field while earning their degree.

Top Graduate Programs

These schools also offer strong systems engineering programs at the graduate level:

School Name Distinction Location
Pennsylvania State University M.S. in Systems Engineering program delivered through evening classes on a full-time or part-time basis at the Malvern campus and at Philadelphia Navy Yard University Park, PA
Texas A & M University M.S. in Engineering Systems Management is provided online College Station, TX
University of Arizona Engineering degree options include a Master of Science, Master of Engineering, or a doctoral degree Tucson, AZ
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Offers a joint M.S. in Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering and MBA program Champaign, IL
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Programs include M.S. and Ph.D. in Systems Engineering, plus a dual master's program in system engineering and transportation engineering Minneapolis, MN
University of Pennsylvania Affiliated with seven research centers, including Penn Research in Embedded Computing and Integrated Systems Engineering Philadelphia, PA
University of Southern California Offers an M.S. in Systems Architecting and Engineering with 12 specializations Los Angeles, CA
University of Wisconsin - Madison Home to five research centers, including the Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement and the Center for Health Systems Research and Analysis Madison, WI

Prospective graduate students who want to study systems engineering can find excellent training at top-ranked universities, sometimes within industrial engineering programs.

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