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Systems Engineering

Systems Engineering

Program Description

The Department of Systems Engineering and Management has offered a Systems Engineering Certificate (SEC) since 2003. This graduate Certificate consists of the four SE core courses. As most disciplined engineers in acquisition perform many systems engineering activities, this graduate certificate is highly relevant to most developmental engineers. Such course topics include: modern model-based systems engineering (MBSE) methods and tools, agile software development, the use of System Modeling Language (SysML) and architecture frameworks.

The Certificate can be earned as a minor concentration as part of another AFIT degree or accomplished independently entirely via online/distance learning. The target audience is active duty military, Air Force civilians, and contractors with traditional engineering backgrounds, usually working in laboratories, test centers, product centers, logistics centers, or in a requirements/capability planning office. If taking one course per quarter, this program can be completed in 12 months part-time. Completion of this certificate also provides a pathway for engineers to continue into an AFIT SE Master’s program, thesis or non-thesis option, resident or online.

For more information about online/distance learning (DL) SE programs, or about general DL opportunities and application procedures, please visit AFIT Office of Extension Services, www.afit.edu/DL/.

Admissions Requirements

The general requirements for admission to the GSE program are as follows:

Degree: A bachelor’s degree in a STEM-related discipline, including Physical Science or Computer Science, Engineering Technology, Engineering or Mathematics.

Mathematics Courses: One year of college-level calculus.

GPA: Undergraduate GPA ≥ 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) overall; ≥ 3.0 in mathematics (on a 4.0 scale); ≥ 3.0 in major (on a 4.0 scale)

Test: The GRE is not required for certificate-seeking students. However, if the student intends to pursue a master’s degree, the master’s degree admission criteria will apply. The criteria for the Graduate Systems Engineering (GSE) and Applied Systems Engineering (ASE) programs include additional and more restrictive standards than those required for the SE Certificate, including undergraduate engineering math (up to ordinary differential equations) and a course in dynamic systems.

Waivers to the above criteria may be granted (on an individual basis) by the Department of Systems Engineering and Management. Individuals whose academic credentials fall outside any of the above criteria are encouraged to apply.

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Outcomes & Objectives

Program Educational Objectives (PEOs)

The SE Certificate program takes students with traditional engineering backgrounds (mechanical, electrical, computer, aeronautical, etc.) and produces graduates who understand, and can effectively use, the tools and techniques of systems engineering and systems science. Within a few years after graduation, graduates are expected to:

  • Make positive programmatic and/or system engineering impacts, resulting in successful outcomes

  • Employ sound systems engineering processes and tools across the acquisition lifecycle

  • Provide technical leadership to teams; promote and facilitate integration and communication across interdisciplinary teams; sustain and increase an effective professional and technical network

Student Outcomes (SOs)

The following student outcomes are those competencies that students are expected to achieve by program completion. Graduates will:

  • Thoroughly understand select SE processes and tools across the lifecycle

  • Apply SE processes and sound engineering principals in a systematic manner to solve contemporary defense-focused problems

  • Analyze and evaluate Air Force high-interest, systems engineering policy, challenges and solutions

Program Chair

John M. Colombi

Degree Information

Degree Type: Certificate


Delivery Method: In-Residence and Distance Learning


Degree Requirements

Courses (4 courses, 16 credits): 
These courses provide a common breadth of knowledge and the basic building blocks for DoD systems engineers.

Note: The SEC is not available to students already in one of the SE Masters programs.

Note: Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) began sponsoring the Certificate in 2016. Students who apply though AFMC will take SENG 670 as their fourth and final course.

Graduate School Catalog

Faculty Research Areas

  • SYSTEMS ENGINEERING
  • SYSTEM AND ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE
  • SYSTEM OF SYSTEMS (SOS) ENGINEERING
  • SYSTEMS ANALYSIS
  • SYSTEMS ANALYSIS & DESIGN
  • SYSTEMS DYNAMICS MODELING
  • TEST AND EVALUATION
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Air Force Institute of Technology
2950 Hobson Way
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 45433-7765
Commercial: 937-255-6565 | DSN: 785-6565