Answering the call from industry and the military, UCF approved a new online master’s degree program in systems engineering that is scheduled to begin in Fall 2020.

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved the new program this month.

Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on how to design and manage complex systems over their life cycles. The 30-credit hour program builds on a certificate in systems engineering already offered through UCF’s College of Engineering and Computer Science’s Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems. The focus of the new program is to help engineers learn the financial, software, systems integration and people skills necessary to make project teams more productive and improve system and service quality. The online format will allow traditional and working engineers to engage in the new program.

“This program is well received because it directly addresses needs in our community and adds to the many opportunities our college offers to students,” said Michael Georgiopoulos, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “The College of Engineering and Computer Science’s continuous pursuit of excellence involves responding to the needs of industry and our local economy.”

UCF reviewed several programs as it built the program, including those offered at Georgia Tech and Johns Hopkins, which has leading systems engineering programs. UCF also worked with representatives from gaming, medical, defense, space and entertainment companies to get their input on their needs. These fields all hire systems engineers to help deliver services and quality products in their areas and beyond, said Waldemar Karwowski, Chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

UCF’s new program is a response to industry needs, said Elizabeth Klonoff, dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Multiple Central Florida industry and government partners, such as Harris, Northrop Grumman, Siemens, Lockheed Martin, the Army Simulation and Training Technology Center, the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, IBM and Siemens have asked for a program that can help their employees and future employees with these skills, she said.

The program also directly supports the State University System strategic planning goals of increasing the number of graduate degrees in STEM fields and increasing research and commercialization activities. The program also meets several goals of the UCF Collective Impact strategic plan.

About 20 students are expected in the first cohort of students. The program is expected to grow over time and complements the graduate degrees already offered in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Recently, U.S. News & World Report ranked UCF’s College of Engineering and Computer Science in the top 100 at #75 overall among 199 engineering schools ranked nationwide. The industrial engineering program is ranked No. 36.

– UCF –

Story by Zenaida Kotala, UCF Today