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Systems Engineering


Master's of Science in Systems Engineering with Certificate in Cybersecurity


The Systems Engineering (SE) Program at UMBC is designed to accelerate the development of systems engineers by providing practical experience that can be immediately applied on the job. Students learn from industry experts how to develop operable systems that meet customer requirements, while successfully navigating the complexities of system design.  The M.S. in SE program provides the broad background required for successful systems engineers in the 21st century.

Courses are developed and taught by senior systems engineers and address the entire systems engineering life cycle, including requirements analysis, systems architecture and design, modeling, simulation and analysis, and system implementation and test. Classes are held at convenient late afternoon or early evening times to meet the needs of working professionals.

The Graduate Certificate in Professional Studies: Cybersecurity Strategy & Policy provides students the essential domain knowledge required to serve in decision-making roles throughout the cybersecurity industry. Students will learn how to analyze cybersecurity risks, develop appropriate protection & response options, and assess operational requirements for government, military, critical infrastructure, and commercial missions. Upon completing the certificate, students will possess advanced knowledge of the strategy, policy, and analytic aspects of cybersecurity.
Program Topics Include:

  • Systems Engineering Principles
  • System Architecture and Design
  • Functional Decomposition of a System
  • System Operational Effectiveness and Life Cycle Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Decision and Risk Analysis
  • System Integration and Test
  • Management of Engineering Projects
  • Introduction to Cybersecurity
  • Global Cybersecurity Capabilities and Trends ¬†
  • Cyber Warfare
  • Cybersecurity Law and Policy
  • Computer Security
  • Communications Networks
  • Wireless Sensor Networks
  • Advanced Software Engineering
  • Depth courses in Engineering Management, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, or Mechanical Engineering

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this program, you will be able to:

  • Understand the fundamental principles of SE and the SE life cycle
  • Use SE techniques and tools to identify, formulate and solve SE problems
  • Develop a functional, physical and operational architecture of a system or enterprise to meet desired needs
  • Explain the role of modeling and simulation in the SE process
  • Explain how to use the SE process to develop complex models and simulations
  • Use MATLAB to develop and graph mathematical models of systems and translate these into system simulations
  • Explain the translation of design specifications into product elements
  • Explain the integration of product elements into a system
  • Explain the process for verification that a system performs as intended in its operational environment
  • Function on multidisciplinary teams
  • Communicate effectively
  • Discuss in depth the origins, nature, and current issues in cybersecurity and its related activities using precise terminology
  • Apply a range of cybersecurity concepts to mitigate risks in cybersecurity operations
  • Develop and apply decision frameworks using the guidelines of cybersecurity ethics, law, and strategy
  • Manage the development of cybersecurity standards and capabilities
  • Design strategies for development of an effective cybersecurity workforce
  • Analyze technical and operational requirements for future cybersecurity systems
  • Compare and contrast international cybersecurity policies, strategies, and capabilities
  • Identify the missions, authorities, and responsibilities of key cybersecurity organizations within the international community
  • Apply the theory of cyber deterrence in developing future cybersecurity strategies and policies


The Master’s of Science in Systems Engineering program with a certificate in cybersecurity is a non-thesis program. ¬†Students must earn 30 credit hours, including ENEE 670: Systems Engineering Project. In the project course, students complete an industry-based SE project and write a related technical report.

The curriculum consists of five core SE courses that equip students with the processes, techniques, and tools required to practice systems engineering, four required courses in cybersecurity and one elective course that can be chosen from many technical or management electives.

Five Required Systems Engineering Courses

These five core systems engineering courses can be applied to a Graduate Certificate in SE or the first half of a M.S. in Systems Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, or Engineering Management.

Four Required Cybersecurity Courses

One Elective Depth Elective Course in Systems Engineering and Related Disciplines, such as Cybersecurity, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering or Computer Science

Students are urged to confer with the Systems Engineering Program Director, Tom Moore, for selection of elective courses to ensure that graduation requirements are met.

Examples of appropriate depth courses:

The Graduate Certificate in Professional Studies: Cybersecurity Strategy and Policy

This program is explained in more detail at