2019 Best Systems Engineering Online Master's Programs

Systems Engineering-Top Online Colleges-2019-Badge

Based on their combined affordability and median salaries reported by alumni, these colleges represent the best schools for obtaining an online master's degree in systems engineering. George Mason University ranks #1, with an annual tuition of $22,740 and alumni reporting a median salary of $145,000. Iowa State University, ranked #6, offers the lowest tuition at $9,405 per year.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about SR Education Group.

Find an Online Degree:
Rank School Annual Tuition Median Salary
#1 #1 $22,740 $145,000
#2 #2 $30,270 $132,700
#3 #3 $34,450 $131,500
#4 #4 $16,110 $128,400
#5 #5 $40,100 $129,100
#6 #6 $9,405 $120,900
#7 #7 $22,695 $121,600
#8 #8 $19,530 $116,800
#9 #9 $27,292 $117,200
#10 #10 $25,065 $115,600
#11 #11 $22,500 $115,200
#12 #12 $15,451 $112,880
#13 #13 $13,860 $112,000
#14 #14 $16,275 $111,200
#15 #15 $30,360 $112,100
#16 #16 $20,250 $109,800
#17 #17 $21,165 $104,800
#18 #18 $13,052 $98,100
#19 #19 $28,890 $95,700
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo.

2019 Online Master's Degree in Systems Engineering Ranking Details

  • Annual Tuition: $22,740
  • Median Salary: $145,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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It makes sense for many of George Mason University's 34,000 enrolled students to take online classes. Mason Online offers distance students the same services as on-campus students, as well as online orientations and options for synchronous or asynchronous classes. Engineering students may opt for the 30-credit, 100% online systems engineering MS offered by the Volgenau School of Engineering. This degree has start dates in the fall and spring. Four different concentrations are offered. While courses vary by semester, online students can expect core courses to include systems engineering principles, system definition and cost modeling, and system design and integration.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $30,270
  • Median Salary: $132,700
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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New York City’s Columbia University has been educating students for over 250 years. In recent years, it has expanded its degree offerings to include online programs. Its online Master of Science in Industrial Engineering - Systems Engineering is fully accredited, with rolling admissions. Three GRE scores are required for admission, as are letters of recommendation. The online degree is indistinguishable from the degree that is conferred to on-campus graduates. Students must complete the 10-class, 30-credit degree program within five years. The program focuses on the management, design, and operation of complex engineering projects. Core courses include applied systems engineering, systems engineering: tools and methods, and optimization models and methods

  • Annual Tuition: $34,450
  • Median Salary: $131,500
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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Johns Hopkins University is an established research university with 140 years of educational instruction to its name. Its Master of Science in Engineering in Systems Engineering program is designed to be completed 100% online by part-time distance students who have full schedules due to work and/or families. This program produces graduates fit for careers within both industry and government. The online Master of Science in Systems Engineering is also designed for part-time graduate students. Applicants must have one year or more of real-world work experience in a relevant industry, as well as a degree in science or engineering. The online Master of Science in Information Systems Engineering program requires pre-requisites for admission and includes classes such as Foundations of Software Engineering, Management of Innovation, and Enterprise Systems Engineering.

  • Annual Tuition: $16,110
  • Median Salary: $128,400
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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Distance graduate learners at George Washington University receive services including tutoring, student mentoring, and academic advising. They also have access to a professional networking association called GW COMPASS that provides STEM graduates with the necessary support to thrive after graduation. GW offers a 100% online Master of Science in Systems Engineering that is designed to further the skills and careers of professionals in technical fields. Online, 3-unit classes are held on weeknights and are recorded for future access. Classes include The Management of Technical Organizations, Knowledge Management, and Requirements Engineering. The program is 36 credit hours in length.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $40,100
  • Median Salary: $129,100
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
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With a total enrollment of 47,000 students, the University of Southern California has a proven track record of academic success. Working adults seeking high value for their graduate degree will be pleased to learn about USC’s Master of Science in Systems Architecting & Engineering and its Master of Science in Industrial & Systems Engineering, both of which are offered through USC Online. The programs have fall and spring start dates and take 1.5 to 3.5 years to finish, depending on whether students choose full- or part-time attendance. The programs are marked by courses such as Engineering Economy, Strategies in High-Tech Business, Foundations of Data Management, and Systems Architecting.

  • Annual Tuition: $9,405
  • Median Salary: $120,900
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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Iowa State University provides online students with a host of dedicated support services. These include assistance with obtaining scholarships and financial aid, technical support, an online proctoring/test center, and access to the Academic Success Center. Students in the online Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering program also have access to a downloadable brochure and student handbook. While a GRE is not required for admission to the program, requirements do include two years of engineering experience or current employment as a full-time engineer. Students can complete the program in as few as two years. The 30-credit curriculum includes courses such as Engineering Management Theory, Engineering Risk Analysis, and E-commerce Systems Engineering.

  • Annual Tuition: $22,695
  • Median Salary: $121,600
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NECHE
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Worcester Polytechnic Institute is unique due to its mandate to teach through project-based learning, in which students solve problems by applying their knowledge to real-world situations. It offers four online systems engineering master's programs which are taught in an asynchronous format using cutting-edge technologies. Courses for its Master of Science in Electrical & Computer Engineering - Power Systems Engineering and its Master of Science in Electrical & Computer Engineering - Systems Engineering degrees include Advanced Computer and Communications Networks, Modern Digital Communications, and Distributed and Renewable Power Generation. WPI makes a Digital Content Library available to all students in its engineering programs. This library contains a digital magazine, a blog, webinars, ebooks, and whitepapers on a variety of topics.

  • Annual Tuition: $19,530
  • Median Salary: $116,800
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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Founded in 1869, Purdue University - Main Campus is renowned for its innovation in research and education, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It offers flexible, web-based degree programs through Purdue Online. Its fully online MS in Interdisciplinary Engineering - Systems Engineering degree program offers courses in a number of different subjects including cyber security, analytics, automotive systems, and decision analysis. It is a 30-credit program. Each student works with an academic advisor to formulate a Plan of Study that maximizes the impact of the degree based upon the student's intent, schedule, and course load.

  • Annual Tuition: $27,292
  • Median Salary: $117,200
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: MSCHE and NYSED
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Cornell University is a private research university with over 20,000 enrolled students. Working engineers wishing to advance their careers should consider its cost-effective online Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering degree, which will allow them to pursue their education around their existing work hours on a part-time basis. This self-paced degree is taught in a cohort program with classes offered in the spring, summer, and winter semesters. It teaches students to design and realize complex systems.

  • Annual Tuition: $25,065
  • Median Salary: $115,600
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor continues its long-standing tradition of academic excellence by offering cutting-edge online master's degree programs in the 21st Century. Engineering graduate students will be pleased to note that it offers an online Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering and Design and a Master of Engineering in Energy Systems Engineering. Both programs require 30 credit hours for completion and usually take one to two years of full-time study to finish. Early on, enrolled students complete an approved plan of study to ensure that they stay on track with their studies and timeline. Classes are diverse and include Integrated Vehicle Systems Design, Energy Generation and Storage Using Modern Materials, and Sustainable Design of Technology Systems.

  • Annual Tuition: $22,500
  • Median Salary: $115,200
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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Founded almost 150 years ago, Missouri University of Science and Technology is a major player in the areas of research and innovation. It offers a wide range of traditional and online science degrees, including 13 different online systems engineering degrees. Its online degrees are generally 10 courses and 30 credit hours in length, though the thesis option requires an additional six credits as well as research. Online programs are taught by the same faculty as on-campus programs and include the same classes which are streamed live and recorded. Missouri S&T offers distance students dedicated support. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in engineering or related subject, and minimum GPA and GRE scores.

  • Annual Tuition: $15,451
  • Median Salary: $112,880
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
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University of California - Los Angeles is a can-do university with a host of accomplishments to its name, including Nobel Prizes, NCAA titles, and Olympic medals. It offers online degrees including a Master of Science in Engineering with a certificate of specialization in Systems Engineering. Students meet the 36-unit requirement by choosing from a selection of core courses and specialized domain courses. They must either take and pass a capstone class, or take and pass three exams for three graduate level classes in their area of concentration. Students are required to complete the program within nine quarters, or three academic years.

  • Annual Tuition: $13,860
  • Median Salary: $112,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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Arizona State University is a whirlwind of innovation in many areas, including sports and academics. It is both military- and distance-friendly, with a reputation for treating its veteran and online students well. ASU Online offers students six start dates per year, and its classes are taught by its campus-based faculty. Its Master of Engineering - Systems Engineering program features 15-week courses, 10 of which are required to attain the 30 credit hours necessary for graduation. This program prepares graduates for careers in a variety of industries, including information technology, transportation, and aerospace. There is no out-of-state tuition and resident graduate students receive a tuition cap of 11 units. Over 80% of ASU students receive financial aid.

  • Annual Tuition: $16,275
  • Median Salary: $111,200
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: HLC
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Colorado State University-Fort Collins is a research university that is actively engaged in stretching the limits of online education. In addition to offering free, non-credit Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), CSU offers numerous 100% online degree programs, including two master's degrees in systems engineering. The curriculums for both of these cross-disciplinary online degree programs include core courses, depth courses, and electives. Both programs require 30 credit hours for completion, 24 of which must be earned at CSU. Online programs are taught by university faculty and are identical to the on-campus programs.

  • Annual Tuition: $30,360
  • Median Salary: $112,100
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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Drexel University's unique cooperative education program allows students to gain professional industry experience while obtaining their degree. Distance learners will need a bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline from an ABET-accredited college in order to be admitted to their online Master of Science in Systems Engineering program. They may transfer in up to 15 credits from an accredited institution. This 45-credit program consists of four, 10-week quarters per academic year. Courses include Statistical Data Analysis, Integrated Risk Management, and a capstone project. A thesis option is offered.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $20,250
  • Median Salary: $109,800
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Southern Methodist University's nearly 12,000 students hail from all 50 states and 90 countries worldwide. Its Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering offers distance learners an online Master of Science in Systems Engineering. This interdisciplinary degree teaches students to develop and manage systems in a way that addresses customer requirements, and fills a specific niche between core engineering and a business program. Courses include Systems Engineering Process, Integrated Risk Management, and Systems Reliability and Availability Analysis.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $21,165
  • Median Salary: $104,800
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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North Carolina State University partners with over 70 businesses, agencies and institutions to pioneer cutting edge research that places it at the forefront of technology. It offers distance students 90+ online degree programs, including a Master of Integrated Manufacturing Systems Engineering. This program requires 33 credit hours of coursework, including a research project, for completion. Students have six years in which to finish their degree requirements. Course choices include Computer Simulation Techniques, Financial Management of Corporations, and Mechatronics Design. NC State assists online students by providing them with dedicated advisors and an online support center.    

  • Annual Tuition: $13,052
  • Median Salary: $98,100
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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The University of Kentucky is rare in that it hosts liberal arts, engineering, professional, agricultural and medical colleges and disciplines all on one contiguous campus. It adds to this a complement of online programs, which are designed to allow distance students to obtain degrees around their busy work and family schedules. UK Online offers engineers a means to further their careers via its online Master of Science in Manufacturing Systems Engineering. This degree program does not require GREs for admission. It has thesis and non-thesis options, as well as two start dates per year. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher to remain in the program.

  • Annual Tuition: $28,890
  • Median Salary: $95,700
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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With roots dating back to 1856, Auburn University now has nearly 30,000 students in attendance. In addition to offering students traditional on-campus programs, AU also offers hybrid and online programs, including a dual 100% online master's degree in industrial and systems engineering. Its Master of Industrial and Systems Engineering/MBA program requires 55 credit hours for completion, including 28 hours of INSY courses and 27 hours of BUSI courses. Students work with the graduate program officer to create individual Plans of Study. The program application is available online.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

Online Master's in Systems Engineering Overview

In order to be admitted to an online systems engineering master's degree, an applicant must have a bachelor's degree in either engineering or another field that provides them with a solid background in math and science. Other common requirements include letters of recommendation, a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, a personal statement or essay, a resume, and GRE test scores.

Graduates of one these programs will be competitive in the job market, and may able to find work as systems engineers in plenty of different fields from aerospace to healthcare to government, where they will spend their days using their engineering knowledge to solve complicated problems at all levels of production. Tuition for a master's degree in systems engineering will vary depending on the school, and can fall anywhere from $13,500 to close to $30,000 a year.

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