Top Systems Engineering Graduate Programs

Read about important considerations for selecting a good systems engineering graduate school. Explore three schools with top nationally ranked graduate engineering programs, and review the degree options each school offers. Schools offering Engineering & Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look for in a Top School for Systems Engineering?

Systems engineering, often referred to as manufacturing or industrial engineering, is an interdisciplinary field often found as an extension of other engineering fields. It offers many specializations, including mechanical systems, electrical systems, computer systems and telecommunication systems. When looking for systems engineering graduate programs, look for schools that are highly ranked by professional organizations or reputable publications like U.S. News & World Report, particularly in your area of interest.

Faculty should be experienced and nationally recognized for their work, ideally with awards or published works. Some research should tell you whether you'll be learning from professors or teaching assistants. The employment rate and job success of graduates also speak to the quality of a graduate program. Does the school provide job placement assistance? Find out what type of jobs other graduates have been offered. Does the school offer fellowship programs?

What are Three Top Schools for Systems Engineering Graduate Programs?

Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta

The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) -is ranked seventh among the nation's top ten public universities by U.S. News & World Report in 2015 and is one of the top research universities in the United States. Also in 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked Georgia Tech 36th among all national universities and fifth among the best graduate schools for its graduate engineering program. The Georgia Tech College of Engineering offers engineering degrees through their distance-learning program.

Georgia Tech faculty members have won many awards for teaching excellence, and others have publications in scholarly engineering journals. Many have earned recognition and honors, including American Society for Mechanical Engineers Fellows, IEEE Fellows and National Academy of Engineering membership. Student services include scholarships, academic advising, financial planning and graduate fellowships. The job placement rate for Georgia Tech graduates is excellent. Students can choose from the following graduate programs:

  • M.S. in Health Systems
  • M.S. in Computational Science and Engineering
  • M.S. in Industrial Engineering
  • M.S. in International Logistics
  • M.S. in Operations Research
  • Ph.D. in Computational Science and Engineering
  • Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering
  • Ph.D. iin Operations Research
  • Ph.D. in Bioinformatics

Texas Tech University in Lubbock

Texas Tech University (TTU) is a liberal arts institution known for its excellent faculty and cutting-edge research. In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked TTU's Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering 94th among the country's best engineering schools. The Whitacre College of Engineering offers systems engineering graduate programs, including a distance education Master of Science in Manufacturing Systems and Engineering option.

Student services at Texas Tech include help with cover letters and interviews, resume workshops, internship assistance, scholarship and fellowship assistance, career fairs and access to the alumni network. The TTU faculty has won many awards, including Outstanding Research Award, President's Excellence in Teaching Award, President's Academic Achievement Award, and Distinguished Teaching and Research Award. Students can choose from the following systems engineering graduate programs:

  • M.S. in Industrial Engineering
  • M.S. in Systems and Engineering Management
  • Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering
  • Ph.D. in Systems and Engineering Management

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois (UI) is known for offering a wide range of academics and world-renowned faculty and alumni, including Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winners. Systems engineering graduate programs are offered through the UI College of Engineering. In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked UI eleventh among the best public universities and 41st among national universities in the 'America's Best Colleges' category. The UI College of Engineering graduate engineering program was ranked sixth among the best graduate schools by the same publication. In 2015, the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) ranked the engineering department at UI fourth among the world's top 200 universities in engineering/technology and computer sciences (

The faculty members at UI have won awards for excellence in teaching and research and have written many articles for top peer-reviewed journals. Student services include awards, scholarships, fellowship assistance, career counseling, access to alumni network and the Engineer in Residence program. The job placement rate for engineering graduates at UI is excellent. The university also offers engineering degrees through their distance-learning program. The following systems engineering graduate programs are available:

  • M.S. in Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering
  • M.S. in Industrial Engineering
  • Joint M.S. in Industrial Engineering/MBA
  • Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering
  • Ph.D. in Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering

Ten Other Top Systems Engineering Schools

College/University Institution TypeLocation
University of Michigan--Ann Arbor 4-year, Public Ann Arbor, MI
University of California--Berkeley 4-year, Public Berkeley, CA
Northwestern University 4-year, Private Everston, IL
Stanford University 4- year, Private Stanford, CA
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 4-year, Private Cambridge, MA
Virginia Tech 4-year, Public Blacksburg, VA
Cornell University4-year, Private Ithaca, NY
Purdue University 4-year, Public West Lafayette, IN
Pennsylvania State University - University Park 4-year, Public State College, PA
Texas A&M - College Station 4-year, Public College Station, TX

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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