Systems & Information Engineering Department Brochure

The Department of Systems Engineering at the University of Virginia administers the Virginia Engineering Online (also known as 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 project.

The GRE is not required when applying to the online ME degree in Systems Engineering.


Degree Requirements – The Master of Engineering degree requires thirty semester-hours of coursework and at least two semester-hours of a 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. At least a three-credit project must be performed under the supervision of University of Virginia faculty. Each student’s plan of study must be approved by the Virginia Engineering Online 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:

  • one course covering systems engineering methodology, design and management, such as, SYS 6001, “Introduction to Systems Engineering”
  • one course in linear and non-linear programming, such as SYS 6003, “Mathematical Programming”
  • one course in modeling and analysis of stochastic systems, such as SYS 6005, “Stochastic Systems”
  • 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 U.Va. and the other cooperating institutions. Some examples are:
    • Intelligent Decision Systems (Computer Science, Psychology, Systems Engineering)
    • Manufacturing Systems (Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Systems Engineering)
    • Telecommunications Systems (Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Systems Engineering)
    • Environmental Systems (Civil Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Systems Engineering)
    • Systems Management (Civil Engineering, Business Administration, Systems Engineering)
    • Health Care Delivery Systems (Biomedical Engineering, Systems Engineering)
    • Software Management (Computer Science, Systems Engineering)
    • Transportation Systems (Civil Engineering, Systems Engineering)
  • a supervised project, SYS 8995 (at least 3 credit hours)

Course SYS 8995 “Supervised Project Research” 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 objective of the project should be to apply systems engineering methodology or technique to a real-world problem. 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.


Assessment Forms – Three assessment forms are required for all Master of Engineering students. The following three forms should be completed by one’s Supervised Project Advisor and submitted to the Departmental Graduate Coordinator:

Engineering Plan of Study Assessment
Engineering Analysis Assessment
Engineering Technical Writing Assessment


Admissions – General requirements for admission into the Virginia Engineering Online (VEO) 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:

  1. Calculus: At least two undergraduate courses in calculus, including real analysis and ordinary differential equations. Equivalent UVA courses are: APMA 1110, APMA 2120 and APMA 2130.
  2. Mathematical Programming or Linear Algebra. At least one undergraduate course in optimization techniques, including linear programming. An equivalent U.Va. course is SYS 3021.
  3. Probability and statistics. At least two undergraduate courses in calculus-based probability and statistics. Equivalent UVA courses are APMA 3100 and APMA 3120.
  4. Computer Programming. Working knowledge of at least one high level programming language such as C++, Visual Basic, or Java. An equivalent UVA course is CS 2110.



Previously offered online courses 

  • Spring 2018 – SYS 6016: Machine Learning
  • Fall 2017 – SYS 6001: Introduction to Systems Analysis & Design
  • Spring 2017 – SYS 6041: Ethics in Engineering Research & Practice
  • Fall 2016 – SYS 6003: Optimization Models and Methods I
  • Spring 2016 – SYS 6023: Cognitive Systems Engineering
  • Fall 2015 – SYS 6005:Stochastic Modeling I
  • Spring 2015 – SYS 6014: Decision Analysis
  • Fall 2014 – SYS 6001: Introduction to Systems Analysis & Design
  • Spring 2014 – SYS 6050: Risk Analysis
  • Fall 2013 – SYS 6003: Optimization Models and Methods I
  • Spring 2013 – SYS 6018: Data Mining
  • Fall 2012 – SYS 6034: Discrete-Event Stochastic Simulation
  • Spring 2012 – SYS 6026: Quantitative Models of Human Perceptual Information Processing
  • Fall 2011 – SYS 6005: Stochastic Modeling I
  • Spring 2011 – SYS 6014: Decision Analysis
  • Fall 2010 – SYS 6003: Optimization Models and Methods I
  • Spring 2010 – SYS 6018: Data Mining
  • Fall 2009 – SYS 601: Introduction to Systems Analysis & Design



The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only.  The Graduate Record represents the official repository for academic graduate program requirements. This publication may be found at