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Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Engineering and Technology Management

Systems Engineering Management

Overview of the Certificate Program

We are global citizens living in an increasingly complex socio-technical system comprised of smart cities, cyber-physical systems, increasingly autonomous transportation, artificially intelligent based systems, and more. Engineers and scientists collaborate to develop and build these complex socio-technical systems to support growing human needs.  Systems engineering provides a rigorous framework for the design and deployment of socio-technical systems across domains such as aerospace, health care, transportation, information systems, entertainment, and food and agriculture.  Development teams are responsible for designing and delivering affordable total system solutions to complex global problems. To this end, all engineers, scientists, and leaders require a deep understanding of system concepts from stakeholder needs, requirements management, trade-off analyses, and systems modeling to unintended consequences, emerging properties, resilience, and sustainability.

Designed with hardware, software, systems engineers, project managers, and leaders in mind, the Washington State University Engineering and Technology Management department offers a three-course systems engineering management graduate certificate covering system concepts, system risk, and system analysis and practice. Each course broadens the students systems thinking ability and enables the student to master the creation of key systems engineering artifact for their system of choice, including a Systems Engineering Management Plan (SEMP) aligned with a Project Management Plan (PMP), a risk management plan, and a set of life cycle and system effectiveness analyses that address performance, risk, cost, and sustainability. The curriculum focuses on leadership across the system life cycle from the initial concept through design, development, deployment, operation, sustainment, and disposal. The main takeaway is the cultivation of a systems mindset that enables the student to effectively manage global challenges and lead efforts that bring complex system solutions to life.


Learning Outcomes and Career Benefits

This certificate provides supervisors and managers with the knowledge and skills needed to be more effective in the workplace or prepares those who wish to pursue those roles and advance their careers. At the completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Define an entire system and be able to explain the system engineering design process.
  • Explain the factors involved in managing for operational feasibility.
  • Understand the system engineering function in a team environment, and manage the synthesis of engineering disciplines in the design environment and program implementation stage.
  • Describe the system engineering functional elements composed in the various organizational structures of project management.
  • Describe and prepare a System Engineering Management Plan (SEMP).


The graduate certificate requires the following courses (9 credits)*:

  1. E M 565 Introduction to Systems Management
  2. E M 566 Systems Engineering Analysis and Practice
  3. One of
    1. E M 568 Risk Assessment and Management
    2. E M 570 Systems Improvement: Integrating TOC, Lean, and Six Sigma

Admission Requirements

Minimum requirements for admission to the certificate program include:

  • a bachelor’s degree
  • 3.0 undergraduate GPA*
  • a personal statement
  • a résumé

Because the certificates consist of regular graduate courses, admission to the graduate school is still necessary.

* Provisional admission may be offered to candidates not meeting the GPA requirement.

Accreditation and Recognition

Washington State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

The Engineering and Technology Management Program is nationally recognized and has been
consistently ranked as one of the top 30 online engineering programs in the United States by US News and World Report.

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