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Graduate Certificate in Systems Engineering



What is Systems Engineering?

Engineered products, services, and processes have become incredibly complex with interactions between humans, software, electrical components, mechanical devices, nature, and a host of other elements. Improperly considering these interactions has caused catastrophic losses of life, property, and money. Systems Engineering is an interdisciplinary approach that enables the realization of successful systems through the identification of needs, requirements, testing, troubleshooting, integration, verification, and validation.

The University of Utah is pleased to offer a Graduate Systems Engineering Certificate and a Masters of Science in Systems Engineering (MSSE), both offered entirely online. If you are eager to delve into the captivating world of systems engineering and broaden your horizons, don't miss out on this remarkable chance to become a true expert in the field - apply now!

For more information on the program, visit  

Note: Students may also count courses taken for the Graduate Systems Engineering Certificate towards this Master's degree, but keep in mind that only 15 credits of non-matriculated credit can be applied to this degree.

It should be noted that the U recently created a SIME prefix for Systems, Industrial and Management Engineering.  During a transition period, courses are listed with both the ME EN and SIME prefixes.  The courses are identical in content, learning, grading and ability to satisfy the MSSE and GCSE degree requirements.

The concept of Systems Engineering, which emphasizes early effort to avoid massive failures, was developed by Bell Labs in the 1930s and 1940s. This concept became crucial for high-stake projects, leading to the creation of Systems Engineering classes and degrees in academia. By 1964, nine universities offered Systems Engineering programs. In response to project failures, the U.S. Government mandated the involvement of systems engineers to manage its interests in projects. The government established a branch focused on System Engineering requirements and issued manuals and policies for major projects. Contractors seeking government funding had to follow a Systems Engineering approach. This requirement increased the demand for high-performing systems engineers. Utah-based companies like Northrop Grumman, L3 Harris, Boeing, Aerospace, and Lockheed Martin recognized the shortage of qualified systems engineering professionals and lobbied the Utah Legislature. As a result, funding was provided to the Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) at The University of Utah (U) and Weber State to train more systems engineers locally. In 2021, two faculty members, Todd Easton, Professor (Lecturer) and Pedro Huebner, Assistant Professor (Lecturer), were hired, and the ME department began emphasizing on a Graduate Certificate in Systems Engineering. The efforts have shown success, with 20 students earning the certificate in 2021-2022 and 22 in 2022-2023.

At the University of Utah, our courses combine the flexibility of online teaching with the advantages and direct engagement of traditional teaching. Enjoy the benefit of studying online at your own pace while still engaging with classmates and instructors. This flexible way of teaching improves your overall experience and your ability to retain what you learn.

Interactive learning comes in a variety of ways:

  • Group assignments, where you collaborate via email or a discussion forum to answer a problem set.
  • Contributions to a discussion forum, where you directly respond to previous posts.
  • Peer reviews, where you review and comment on assignments from other students.

Our classes also offer multiple routes to stay connected and get help:

  • Communicate directly with the instructor via email.
  • Participate in and guide online discussions.
  • Attend online office hours in discussion threads or on the phone.
  • Instructors are available in “real” office hours for students on or near campus; for some courses we offer Q&A sessions in a classroom.

Graduate Certificate in Systems Engineering

To obtain the certificate, students must complete 15 credit hours of approved course work with a 3.0 GPA or higher, a minimum of a B grade in Core and Selected Systems Engineering Electives, and a minimum of a B- grade in the Selected Elective courses.  See the program curriculum page for more details.

More UOnline course are being developed and will be available starting Fall 2024.

Typical UOnline Schedule (Assuming a 2-2-1 course load) 

There are no prerequisite chains, so you can start any semester.


SIME 6400 (ME EN 6160) - Fundamentals of Systems Engineering                        

SIME 6060 (ME EN 6183) - Discrete Event Systems Simulation                              


SIME 6410 (ME EN 6170) - Systems Engineering and Integration                          

SIME 6430 (ME EN 6165) - Requirements Engineering and Management          


SIME 6560 (ME EN 6186) - Engineering Economic Analysis  

In this program, you will not only learn academic theory, but also the practical real-world aspects of systems engineers.  Furthermore, you will learn state-of-the-art software tools, such as simulation and model-based systems engineering. These skills will help you produce successful products or services and avoid the substantial losses that frequently accompany non-systems-engineered products.

Find out more about the software knowledge you'll gain through this program.

The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics does not have data on systems engineers.  Industrial and systems engineering have a substantial amount of overlap.  According to BLS, industrial engineers median pay is $95,300 per year, and the job outlook is an increase of 10% per year, which is “Faster than average”.

The single largest driver of systems engineers in Utah is in the aerospace and defense industries.  Vacant jobs appear to be plentiful in these industries. However, a search of systems engineering on (April 19, 2023) results in numerous listings from a variety of nondefense related companies including Rio Tinto, NRG Energy, LiveView Technologies, MW Partners, ConsultNet, Ubiquiti Inc and Maverik. The above list of employers was only a subset of job postings and shows the potential for a systems engineering based career in healthcare, mining, energy, supply chain and consulting.  One of the best aspects of being a systems engineer is its portability between fields of employment.

Step 1: Apply for Non-Degree Seeking Admission

Applicants who are not current, matriculated University of Utah students will need to submit a non-matriculated (non-degree seeking) application for admission. (Note: the non-matriculated application is the same as the undergraduate application. Once the application is started, applicants can elect to apply for non-matriculated status).


To be eligible for non-matriculated admission, applicants must:

  • Have graduated from high school at least 3 years ago.
    • For GED-holders, a minimum 550 composite score with no individual score below 500 is required.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
    • International students requiring an F-1 visa are not eligible for non-matriculated admission.
    • Note that permanent residents and other international applicants must meet English-proficiency requirements.
  • Be in good standing with the last college or university attended and have a minimum 2.6 GPA. (Please note that while the university requires a 2.6 GPA, the certificate requires a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.)
  • Find more information about non-matriculated admission.

Graduate non-degree seeking students do not need to re-apply every term as long as they are continuously enrolled and attending at least one class every semester, not including summer. If they do not enroll and attend a term, excluding summer, students are discontinued and will need to submit another application and fee.

Step 2: Apply for the Graduate Certificate

Once you’re admitted as a non-matriculated student, please fill out the program declaration form 

Non-matriculated students are required to apply for non-matriculation admission prior to applying to the certificate program. For students not currently enrolled in a graduate degree program, admission into the Systems Engineering Graduate Certificate is contingent upon admission to the University as a non-matriculated student.

Students will not be able to register for online classes until they have been admitted and filled out the program declaration form.


The cost of tuition for is $872 per credit*.   

The cost of tuition for an online class is identical for every ME EN course.  There are no discounts for additional classes in a semester.

This program qualifies for the U of U employee reduced tuition benefit.

*Subject to change without notice

Last Updated: 7/1/24