Return to: School of Engineering and Applied Science: Degree Programs
The undergraduate program in Systems Engineering is designed for students interested in bringing people and technologies together to improve the productivity and effectiveness of organizations and address complex, multidimensional problems in society and industry. Students receive exposure to a wide range of topics, including the economic, political, managerial, environmental, and technical aspects of large-scale systems design and implementation. Students are provided with diverse opportunities for hands-on experience with real-world situations and problems.
The primary objectives of the Systems Engineering program are to graduate students who will:
- Engage in development, implementation, and optimization of systems that include humans, data and information, hardware, software, and natural and technology resources.
- Embark on sustainable, productive careers in systems engineering, applied science, and technology management.
- Excel in the practices of analytical modeling and integrative systems engineering.
- Seek and succeed in lifelong professional education that includes advanced schooling and mentoring.
- Contribute to the profession of systems engineering and to human welfare through professional societies, public service, and civic activities.
The Systems Engineering curriculum is more flexible than many traditional engineering programs. In addition to the courses specifically required in the curriculum, students are able to take nine credits of unrestricted electives, nine credits of electives tailored to an application area, and six credits of technical electives.
The curriculum allows students to pursue a specific area of interest within the broad framework of systems engineering. The following areas are available as application sequences: chemical and biomedical systems; electrical and computer engineering systems; software and information systems; data analytics; design integration; control and mechanical systems; economic systems; civil, environmental, and infrastructure systems; human factors; and mathematical systems. Appropriate ROTC courses may be counted as an application sequence in military systems.
Student-Designed Application Sequence. Students wishing to design their own application sequence must submit their proposal to the Systems Undergraduate Studies Committee (UGSC) by December 15th of their third year. Students are highly encouraged to consult with their faculty advisors prior to submitting their application to the UGSC.
The program culminates in a capstone design project, spanning both the fall and spring semesters of the fourth year. Students working in small teams under the direction of a faculty mentor are matched with a client from the public or private sector. Each team is assigned an open-ended design problem, and they apply the perspectives, methods, and tools of systems engineering that they learn in the classroom to the resolution of a problem for a client.
A degree in Systems Engineering from UVA confers employability in a wide range of industries, governmental agencies, and non-profits. It offers students a variety of career choices in engineering and management, and also provides excellent pre-med, pre-business, and pre-law preparation. The award-winning program is one of the largest systems engineering programs in the United States, and the graduates of the program consistently receive higher salary offers than the national average for other systems programs and other engineering disciplines. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and received the first award of the Board for Curricular Innovation. The program also received the Outstanding Educator Award from the Boeing Company, which recognized UVA’s Systems Engineering Program for its potential to “develop leaders prepared to shape the future.” An award from the U.S. Department of State enables a select group of fourth year Systems Engineering students to study in Brazil with their capstone team for a semester.
Application forms and further information are available on the Systems & Information Engineering Department website: https://engineering.virginia.edu/departments/systems-and-information-engineering.
“D” Policy: Students minoring and majoring in Systems Engineering must receive a grade of “C-” or better in all required SYS courses, all required 3000 or higher level APMA courses, and CS 2110 in order to earn the major/minor in Systems Engineering. Furthermore, students must earn a grade of C- or better in all courses required as prerequisites for all SYS courses.
4th Year Standing Policy: Students must have 4th year standing in order to enroll in SYS 4053 and 4054. 4th year standing is defined as follows: Regular policy: must have successfully completed 6 or more courses in the standard SYS curriculum (2001, 2202, and 4 of the following: 3021, 3023, 3034, 3060, and 3062). Policy for students in the U.S. - Brazil program: must have successfully completed 4 or more courses in the standard SYS curriculum (including 2001, 2202, 3021, and 3023). Successful completion of a course means that the student received a grade of C- or above for the course (See ‘“D” Policy’).
Transferring From A Major Within The School Of Engineering And Applied Science To Systems Engineering: UVA Engineering students in other majors can apply to change majors to Systems Engineering by completing the UVA Engineering Change in Major Form and emailing it along with a copy of their current, unofficial transcript to the Systems Engineering Undergraduate Program Director, Professor Robert Riggs.