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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

The graduate certificate in Systems Engineering Management prepares technical leaders and managers to apply a rigorous systems engineering management approach to the management of complex systems and projects. The certificate provides hardware, software, and systems engineers, and project managers and technical leaders with the competencies to become proficient managers of projects, operations, organizations, and people, through the application of a systems approach and mindset. The certificate prepares those who wish to pursue management and leadership roles and provides those who are supervisors and managers with the knowledge and skills needed to be more effective and advance their careers.

The certificate is specifically tailored for professionals who want to advance their technical leadership careers while working fulltime.

At the completion of the graduate certificate, students will be able to:

  • Define a rigorous approach for developing an affordable system solution to a correctly identified real-world problem.
  • Manage a system engineering design process for the design of a complex system.
  • Explain and address the factors involved in managing across the system life cycle from concept development to operational feasibility to retirement.
  • Understand the system engineering activities in a project, team, and organizational environment.
  • Manage the synthesis of engineering disciplines in the design environment.
  • Describe and prepare a System Engineering Management Plan (SEMP).



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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