The program leading to the BS in Systems Engineering prepares students for a professional career in systems engineering. The program reflects the systems engineer's unique perspective, which considers all aspects of a system throughout its lifetime. Mason's systems engineering program is interdisciplinary, drawing from engineering, computer science, operations research, psychology, and economics. The core systems engineering courses tie these diverse threads to provide a global understanding of how individual engineering disciplines fit into the development of complex, large-scale systems. Students gain depth in a technical area by selecting a sequence of technical electives that constitute an emphasis. Students choose their own emphasis with the help of their advisor. A year-long senior design project provides hands-on experience in applying various systems engineering methods and tools. In the first two years, students obtain a basic foundation in mathematics, natural sciences, computing, writing, humanities, arts, and social sciences. The systems engineering program builds on this foundation, teaching theoretical knowledge, practical skills, and the ability to apply systems thinking to problems. Teamwork, collaborative learning, analytical skills, practical problem solving, and oral and written communication are strongly stressed.

Mission

The mission of the undergraduate program is to equip students with the ability to participate productively in the many professional activities associated with engineering a trustworthy system that satisfies client needs. The term "system" is interpreted broadly to include information, telecommunication, defense, health delivery, transportation, energy or manufacturing systems, as well as corporate processes.

Objectives

The program educational objectives of the Systems Engineering program are what we expect our students to attain within three to five years of graduation. Graduates earning the Bachelor of Science degree in Systems Engineering at George Mason University will:

  • Use critical thinking, quantitative methods, and systems thinking to contribute to solutions for global societal challenges.
  • Apply systems engineering methods, processes, models and tools to the engineering of complex systems.
  • Advance the objectives of their organizations, profession, and society in a rapidly changing world.

Accreditation

The bachelor's program in Systems Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org. The requirements for the degree may be satisfied through part-time enrollment.

Policies

Change of Major

See Change of Major for more information. 

Grade Requirements

Students in the Systems Engineering, BS program must complete all mathematics, science, and VSE courses with a grade of C or better.

Termination from the Major

No math, science, or Volgenau School of Engineering course that is required for the major may be attempted more than three times. Those students who do not successfully complete such a course within three attempts will be terminated from the major. Undeclared students in the Volgenau School who do not successfully complete a course required for a Volgenau School major within three attempts will also be terminated. 

In addition, students in the Volgenau School with evidence of continued failure to make adequate progress toward declaring or completing a Volgenau School major will also be terminated. Adequate progress is determined by the major program. For more information, see AP.5.2.4 Termination from the Major.

Once a student has attempted one of these courses twice unsuccessfully, the third attempt must be no later than the next semester of enrollment, excluding summers. Failure to take the course at that time will result in termination from the major. A third attempt of a Volgenau School of Engineering course requires support by the student's major department as well as permission by the department offering the course. This permission is not guaranteed. If the student is unable to take the course when required, the student may request an extension to a future semester; extensions require approval of the student's advisor, their department, and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs. The deadline for extension requests is the add deadline for the semester in which the course is required.

Students who have been terminated from a Volgenau School of Engineering major may not register for a Volgenau School course without permission of the department offering the course. This applies to all undergraduate courses offered by the Volgenau School except IT 104 Introduction to Computing (Mason Core) and STAT 250 Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core).

A student may not declare any major in the Volgenau School of Engineering if the student has previously met the termination criteria for that major at any time, regardless of what the student's major was at the time the courses were taken.

Banner Code: VS-BS-SYST

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 123

Mathematics and Statistics

MATH 113Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)4
MATH 114Analytic Geometry and Calculus II4
MATH 203Linear Algebra3
MATH 213Analytic Geometry and Calculus III3
MATH 214Elementary Differential Equations3
STAT 344Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I3
STAT 354Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists II3
Total Credits23

Natural Science 

PHYS 160
PHYS 161
University Physics I (Mason Core)
and University Physics I Laboratory (Mason Core)
4
PHYS 260
PHYS 261
University Physics II (Mason Core)
and University Physics II Laboratory (Mason Core)
4
Select 4 credits from the following: 14
University Physics III (Mason Core)
and University Physics III Laboratory (Mason Core)
Cell Structure and Function (Mason Core)
General Chemistry I (Mason Core)
and General Chemistry Laboratory I (Mason Core)
General Chemistry for Engineers Lecture (Mason Core)
and General Chemistry for Engineers Lab (Mason Core)
Total Credits12

Computing

Select from options below:7
Computing for Scientists (Mason Core)
Introduction to Computer Programming (Mason Core)
and
Object-oriented Modeling and Design
Object-Oriented Programming
Total Credits7

Communication and Economics

COMM 100Public Speaking (Mason Core)3
or COMM 101 Fundamentals of Communication (Mason Core)
ECON 103Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core)3
Total Credits6

Engineering

ENGR 107Introduction to Engineering (Mason Core)2
Total Credits2

Systems Engineering

Students must complete each of these courses with a grade of C or better.

SYST 101Understanding Systems Engineering3
SYST 210Systems Design3
SYST 220Dynamical Systems I3
SYST 221Systems Modeling Laboratory1
SYST 320Dynamical Systems II3
SYST 330Systems Methods3
SYST 335Discrete Systems Modeling and Simulation3
SYST 371Systems Engineering Management3
SYST 395Applied Systems Engineering3
SYST 470Human Factors Engineering3
SYST 473Decision and Risk Analysis3
SYST 489Senior Seminar3
SYST 490Senior Design Project I3
SYST 495Senior Design Project II (Mason Core)3
OR 441Deterministic Operations Research3
OR 442Stochastic Operations Research3
Select 3 approved technical electives selected from one of the Technical Emphasis Areas below9
Total Credits55

Additional Mason Core

Students must complete all Mason Core requirements not fulfilled by major requirements.

English (6 credits)6
Composition for Multilingual Writers (Mason Core)
Composition (Mason Core)
Advanced Composition (Mason Core) 1
Literature3
Arts3
Western Civilization/World History3
Global Understanding3
Total Credits18

Technical Emphasis Areas

The systems engineering program requires 9 credits of technical electives. Students must select one of the following technical emphases, each containing three courses. Students must complete each of these courses with a grade of C oir better.

Aviation Systems

SYST 420Network Analysis3
SYST 460Introduction to Air Traffic Control3
SYST 461Air Transportation System Engineering3
Total Credits9

Bioengineering

BENG 313Physiology for Engineers3
Select two from the following:6
Modeling and Control of Physiological Systems
Introduction to Biomechanics
Biomedical Data Analytics
Total Credits9

Control Systems

ECE 201Introduction to Signals and Systems3
ECE 220Continuous-Time Signals and Systems3
SYST 421Classical Systems and Control Theory3
Total Credits9

Computer Network Systems

SYST 420Network Analysis3
ECE 465Computer Networking Protocols3
TCOM 500Modern Telecommunications3
Total Credits9

Data Analytics

SYST 468Applied Predictive Analytics3
IT 214Database Fundamentals3
STAT 463Introduction to Exploratory Data Analysis3
or SYST 438 Analytics for Financial Engineering and Econometrics
Total Credits9

Environmental Engineering

CEIE 240Hydraulics3
CEIE 355Environmental Engineering and Science3
CEIE 450Environmental Engineering Systems3
or CEIE 453 Water and Wastewater Treatment Processes
Total Credits9

Financial Engineering

SYST 438Analytics for Financial Engineering and Econometrics3
SYST 488Financial Systems Engineering3
And choose one of the following:3
Introduction to Exploratory Data Analysis
Experimental Design
Applied Predictive Analytics
Entrepreneurship: Starting and Managing a New Enterprise
Total Credits9

Mechanical Engineering

Select one of the following options:9
Option 1: Mechanical Design
Statics
Statics
Solid Mechanics
Mechanics of Materials
Design of Mechanical Elements
Dynamics
Option 2: Thermal Fluids
Thermodynamics
Fluid Mechanics
Heat Transfer
Design of Thermal Systems
Some of the courses listed above have additional prerequisites. Students should pay careful attention to prerequisites when selecting courses.
Total Credits9

Operations Research

OR 481Numerical Methods in Engineering3
SYST 420Network Analysis3
SYST 468Applied Predictive Analytics3
Total Credits9

Software-Intensive Systems

CS 310Data Structures3
CS 321Software Engineering3
CS 332Object-Oriented Software Design and Implementation3
Total Credits9

Synthesis Requirement

Mason's synthesis requirement for systems engineering majors is satisfied by successful completion of SYST 495 Senior Design Project II (Mason Core). Students who do not pass SYST 495 Senior Design Project II (Mason Core) with a C or better must retake both SYST 490 Senior Design Project I and SYST 495 Senior Design Project II (Mason Core).

Writing-Intensive Requirement

Mason’s writing-intensive requirement for systems engineering majors is satisfied by successful completion of SYST 489 Senior Seminar.

Advising and Plan of Study

All systems engineering students are assigned a faculty advisor. With the advisor’s help and approval, each student is required to complete a plan of study. This plan of study, which is available from the SEOR office, constitutes a learning plan for the degree program and must be signed by the student's advisor and the Department Chair.  The plan of study must be updated and signed by the advisor at least once per year.

BS (selected)/Statistical Science, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified students in BS programs have the option of applying to the accelerated Statistical Science, MS program.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

No specific undergraduate BS degree is required.  Students enrolled in any BS degree may apply to the accelerated Statistical Science, MS program if such an accelerated Statistical Science, MS pathway is allowable from the student's BS program, which will be determined by the academic advisors of both the BS and MS programs; and if they have earned 90 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of 3.00. Students must have successfully completed the following Mason courses each with a grade of C or better prior to admission to the accelerated program:

MATH 213Analytic Geometry and Calculus III3
MATH 203Linear Algebra3
or MATH 321 Abstract Algebra
STAT 250Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core)3
or STAT 344 Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I
STAT 346Probability for Engineers3
or MATH 351 Probability
STAT 362Introduction to Computer Statistical Packages3

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students must complete all credits satisfying degree requirements for the BS and MS programs, with 6 credits overlap chosen from the following courses: STAT 515 Applied Statistics and Visualization for Analytics, STAT 544 Applied ProbabilitySTAT 554 Applied Statistics I, STAT 560 Biostatistical Methods, and STAT 574 Survey Sampling I.  (Credit may not be received for both STAT 474 and STAT 574; nor for both STAT 460 and STAT 560.) The graduate courses selected for overlap must be approved by the academic advisors of both the BS and MS programs.  All graduate course prerequisties must be completed prior to enrollment.  Each graduate course must be completed with a grade of B or better to apply toward the MS degree.

While still in undergraduate status, a maximum of 6 additional graduate credits may be taken as reserve graduate credit and applied to the master's program.  Reserve graduate credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply the semester before they expect to complete the BS requirements to have the BS degree conferred. In addition, at the beginning of the student's final undergraduate semester, students must complete a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form that is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar and Graduate Recruitment and Enrollment Services. At the completion of MS requirements, a master's degree is conferred.

Systems Engineering, BS/Data Analytics Engineering, Accelerated MS

Overview

Qualified undergraduate students in the Systems Engineering, BS have the option of obtaining an accelerated Data Analytics Engineering, MS

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Mason undergraduate students majoring in systems engineering may apply to this option if they have earned 90 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of at least 3.30.

For the predictive analytics concentration, students must submit evidence of:

  • Satisfactory completion of courses in calculus, applied probability and statistics, and a scientific programming language.
  • Familiarity with analytical modeling software, such as spreadsheets or math packages.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students must complete all credits that satisfy requirements for the BS and MS programs, with six credits overlap chosen from the courses in the following table. For BS candidates, these graduate courses replace the corresponding undergraduate courses listed. The undergraduate version of these courses may not be applied toward the MS degree.

Undergraduate Graduate  
SYST 473 SYST 573 Credit may not be received for both courses.
OR 441 OR 541 Credit may not be received for both courses.
SYST 438 SYST 538 This course applies to only certain concentrations; Credit may not be received for both courses
SYST 468 SYST 568 This course applies to only certain concentrations; Credit may not be received for both courses
SYST 488 SYST 588 This course applies to only certain concentrations; Credit may not be received for both courses

For the predictive analytics and financial engineering concentration, any other 500-level course may be applied to both the undergraduate and graduate degrees with approval of the advisor and SEOR department chair.

OR 541 Operations Research: Deterministic Models will substitute for the OR 531 Analytics and Decision Analysis core requirement in the MS DAE program. Students are not permitted to take OR 531 Analytics and Decision Analysis.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply the semester before they expect to complete the BS requirements to have the BS degree conferred. In addition, at the beginning of the student's final undergraduate semester, students must complete a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form that is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar and the VSE Graduate Admissions Office. At the completion of MS requirements, a master's degree is conferred.

Systems Engineering BS/Operations Research, Accelerated MS

Overview

Qualified undergraduate students may apply for a five-year accelerated BS/MS program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering and an MS degree in Operations Research.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Mason undergraduate students majoring in systems engineering may apply to this option if they have earned 90 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of at least 3.30 and completed all MATH and PHYS requirements. Criteria for admission are identical to criteria for admission to the Operations Research, MS program.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Up to two courses (six credit hours) of master's level courses may be applied to both the undergraduate and the graduate degrees. These two courses may be chosen from the list of graduate courses in the following table. For Systems Engineering, BS students, these graduate courses replace the corresponding undergraduate courses listed in the table. The undergraduate version of these courses may not be applied toward the Operations Research, MS.

Undergraduate Graduate  
SYST 420 SYST 521/OR 643 Credit may not be received for both courses.
SYST 473 SYST 573 Credit may not be received for both courses.
OR 441 OR 541 Credit may not be received for both courses.
OR 442 OR 542 Credit may not be received for both courses.
SYST 438 SYST 538 These courses apply only to certain concentrations in the graduate program; credit may not be received for both courses.
SYST 468 SYST 568 These courses apply only to certain concentrations in the graduate program; credit may not be received for both courses.
SYST 488 SYST 588 These courses apply only to certain concentrations in the graduate program; credit may not be received for both courses.

Any other 500-level course may be applied to both the undergraduate and graduate degrees with approval of the advisor and SEOR department chair.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply the semester before they expect to complete the BS requirements to have the BS degree conferred. In addition, at the beginning of the student's final undergraduate semester, students must complete a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form that is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar and Graduate Recruitment and Enrollment Services. At the completion of MS requirements, a master's degree is conferred.

Systems Engineering BS/Systems Engineering, Accelerated MS

Overview

Qualified undergraduate students may apply for a five-year accelerated BS/MS program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering and an MS degree in Systems Engineering

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Mason undergraduate students majoring in systems engineering may apply to this option if they have earned 90 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of at least 3.30 and completed all MATH and PHYS requirements. Criteria for admission are identical to criteria for admission to the Systems Engineering, MS program.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Up to two courses (six credit hours) of master's level courses may be applied to both the undergraduate and the graduate degrees. These two courses may be chosen from the list of graduate courses in the following table. For Systems Engineering, BS students, these graduate courses replace the corresponding undergraduate courses listed in the table. The undergraduate version of these courses may not be applied toward the Systems Engineering, MS.

Undergraduate Graduate  
SYST 420 SYST 521/OR 643 Credit may not be received for both courses.
SYST 473 SYST 573 Credit may not be received for both courses.
OR 441 OR 541 Credit may not be received for both courses.
OR 442 OR 542 Credit may not be received for both courses.
SYST 438 SYST 538 These courses apply only to certain concentrations in the graduate program; credit may not be received for both courses.
SYST 468 SYST 568 These courses apply only to certain concentrations in the graduate program; credit may not be received for both courses.
SYST 488 SYST 588 These courses apply only to certain concentrations in the graduate program; credit may not be received for both courses.

Any other 500-level course may be applied to both the undergraduate and graduate degrees with approval of the advisor and SEOR department chair.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply the semester before they expect to complete the BS requirements to have the BS degree conferred. In addition, at the beginning of the student's final undergraduate semester, students must complete a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form that is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar and Graduate Recruitment and Enrollment Services. At the completion of MS requirements, a master's degree is conferred.

Systems Engineering, BS/Telecommunications, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified students in the Systems Engineering, BS have the option of obtaining an accelerated Telecommunications, MS.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Students in the Systems Engineering, BS program who preferably have chosen to take the systems engineering of telecommunications elective sequence may apply to this option if they have earned 90 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of at least 3.30 and completed all MATH and PHYS requirements. Other students will be considered on their individual merit. Criteria for admission are identical to criteria for admission to the Telecommunications, MS program.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students must complete all credits that satisfy requirements for the BS and MS programs, with 6 credits overlap selected from the following courses:

TCOM 500Modern Telecommunications3
TCOM 530Data Communications Fundamentals3
OR 541Operations Research: Deterministic Models3
SYST 530Systems Engineering Management I3
SYST 573Decision and Risk Analysis (if taken, replaces TCOM 521 in the telecommunications core requirements)3

Degree Conferral

Students must apply the semester before they expect to complete the BS requirements to have the BS degree conferred. In addition, at the beginning of the student's final undergraduate semester, students must complete a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form that is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar and the VSE Graduate Admissions Office. At the completion of MS requirements, a master's degree is conferred.