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Solve Complex System Challenges with a Doctor of Engineering Degree
Meghan Brown posted on February 14, 2000彩 |
Colorado State University’s D.Eng. builds the next generation of tech leaders.

Colorado State University Online has sponsored this post.

School: Colorado State University

Program:  Doctor of Engineering in Systems Engineering (D.Eng. in SE)

Description:   CSU’s Doctor of Engineering in Systems Engineering prepares students for career advancements in technical domains, creating the next generation of leaders in the demanding field of systems engineering. This degree involves rigorous expertise and depth of systems engineering knowledge, applied to all technical domains. A D.Eng. degree will prepare individuals to work at the highest levels of the technical profession. The program emphasizes the problem solving, leadership and enterprise-level challenges that arise during technical development, as well as the ability to balance diverse technologies and competing stakeholder priorities within a complex system.

Where is it:  Fort Collins, Colorado

Format: Online, On-Campus, or Mixed

Degree you get: Doctor of Engineering

Size of the Program: 11 students in the first class admitted Fall 2019

Credit hours
: 72 credits total.  A 42-credit path is available to students who have already earned an applicable Master’s degree of at least 30 credits.

Thesis: Mandatory dissertation based on practicum

How long will the program take? Expected completion is 3 – 5 years for the 42-credit path, and 5 – 7 years for the 72-credit path.  Total completion time depends on whether student attends full-time or part-time.

When to apply: Fall semester deadline is March 1st, spring semester deadline is November 1st

Tuition: $1,120 per credit hour

Prerequisites:

  • Four-year bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in engineering, mathematics or a technical discipline, with a GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Minimum 5-8 years of professional experience as “Systems Engineer,” “Engineer,” “Scientist,” or equivalent.
  • Sponsor within practicum organization who will collaborate with CSU during practicum.
  • Calculus I course (please note: some course options within may have higher math prerequisites).

Minimum Admission Requirements:

  • Transcripts: Yes, from all post-secondary institutions attended, including those from which a degree was not earned.
  • TOEFL/IELTS: Yes, unless student’s country2000彩登陆网址 of origin official language is English, or the student has a recent degree from a U.S. institution.
  • Essay/Statement of Purpose: Yes
  • Resume: Yes; minimum 5 years for 42-credit path, or minimum 8 years for 72-credit path.
  • Letters of Reference: 3 letters of reference required; 1 reference must be from practicum sponsor and secured prior to admission.
  • GRE/GMAT: Basic statistics course GRE test scores are only required if applicant does not have a degree from a U.S. institution. No minimum cut-off; scores are incorporated into holistic application review.

Who should take this course?

  • Experienced engineering or technical professionals that are seeking advanced technical training in the systems engineering field to reach a level of expertise and mastery and rise in their careers.

Claim to fame:

  • One of the few Doctor of Engineering programs in Systems Engineering in the U.S., and which can be completed entirely online.

As technology advances with new products, applications and innovations, our already complex high-tech systems—such as aerospace, power generation, transportation or telecommunications—are growing more complex all the time.  Understanding, managing and developing these complex, interconnected systems is the core of the systems engineering discipline.

Building a successful career as a systems engineer requires strategic problem solving, advanced leadership and business skills, and the knowledge to understand and address complex engineering challenges.  A Bachelor’s degree gets an engineer through the door, and a Master’s can help them climb the ladder—but to reach the pinnacle of their field, a doctorate degree can be the key to becoming a true next-generation technology leader.

Earn Your Doctor of Engineering Degree at Colorado State University

Post-graduate studies prepare students to become leaders in their industry and shape the future of technology and the world. prepares students for advanced careers in any industry built around complex systems.

“This degree involves rigorous expertise and depth of systems engineering knowledge, applied to all technical domains,” said Ingrid Bridge, graduate student advisor at . “A D.Eng. will prepare individuals to work at the highest levels of the technical profession. The program emphasizes problem solving, leadership and enterprise-level challenges that arise during technical development, as well as the ability to balance diverse technologies and competing stakeholder priorities with a system.”

Developed specifically with practicing engineers in mind, the D.Eng. in Systems Engineering provides students a deep understanding of the theoretical framework of systems engineering, as well as the technical applications of organizing, managing and implementing complex projects.

The D.Eng. program differs from the Ph.D. in Systems Engineering also offered at CSU, in that the D.Eng. focuses primarily on the practice and application of systems engineering principles in real-world industry settings and the workplace.  The Ph.D. option, in contrast, is geared toward systems engineering theory and scholarship, and is more suited to those who intend to remain in academia and research settings.

“Our primary audience for the D.Eng. is experienced engineering or technical professionals that are seeking advanced technical training in the systems engineering field in order to reach a level of expertise and mastery and rise in their careers. At a minimum, our students must have five to eight years of experience in a technical or SE-related field, but many have closer to twelve to fifteen years. In addition to more formal training in systems engineering topics, our D.Eng. equips graduates to have exceptional mastery in the technical, business and management areas most relevant to their professional interests,” said Bridge.

Furthermore, many of CSU’s faculty have experience working in industry, “and our curriculum has been shaped directly from feedback from industry partners in Colorado,” Bridge added.  “Our industry partners and students, both current and prospective, specifically note that this applied terminal degree is needed to ensure systems engineering professionals are trained at the highest level of the field in industry applications.”

Students must also complete a practicum that leverages their newly-learned SE concepts to solve a critical issue in their company or field.  “This practicum serves as the basis of their dissertation, and provides guided, hands-on application of their education for immediate gain in the student’s industry,” Bridge said.

There are two paths available to earn the D.Eng. degree, depending on whether prospective students already hold an applicable Master’s degree:

  • 42-credit path, for students who already hold an M.S. or M.Eng. degree with at least 30 credits in an applicable field.  (24 course credits, 9 Practicum credits, 9 Dissertation credits)
  • 72-credit path, for students who do not already hold an applicable Master’s degree. (53 course credits, 9 Practicum credits, 9 Dissertation credits)

Students must complete some core required courses in the 72-credit path to gain a solid background in systems engineering fundamentals on which to build the rest of the degree; these courses are also available as depth electives for students in the 42-credit path.

“Historically many of the courses in our department had a focus on aerospace and defense fields, or electrical and computer engineering areas such as power systems. Over the past three years especially, we have added significant variety to our coursework, and now also include areas such as human factors, cybersecurity, advanced analytics, advanced model-based systems engineering and cost optimization,” said Bridge.

“Our program has been and plans to continue developing new courses to touch on more areas of the systems engineering field—some of which have not been taught at any other institution. We have been adding new faculty at an average of 1.6 per year for the past three years, with new areas of specialization and research,” she added. “We are also continuing to explore best-practices not only for online learning, but also online graduate research and collaborations between industry and our academic department.”

Online Education at CSU

“Our D.Eng. program is one of the few D.Eng. programs in systems engineering in the country2000彩登陆网址, and it can be completed one hundred percent online, one hundred percent on-campus, or in a mixed format most suited to the student,” Bridge said. “We take pride in having one of the only applied, terminal degree options in the U.S., but available online for anybody and geared toward experienced systems engineering professionals who want to train to be highly advanced in applied and translational, as opposed to academic, practice.”

The application process, curriculum, faculty and final earned degree are all the same for both the online and on-campus programs.  Online students study the same materials and attend the same lectures as campus students, accessed though the online education portal Canvas.  This gives students a great deal of flexibility when it comes to deciding when and how they want to study.

“Our courses permit online students to participate synchronously while class sessions occur, or asynchronously if that works better for their schedule,” Bridge explained. “The vast majority of our courses are held once per week in the evenings, so working professionals are more likely to be able to attend live, even online. Our synchronous participation rate is usually about half to two-thirds of our online students, and we have received significant feedback that this greatly enhances the online learning experience.”

Students who participate asynchronously can schedule their study and lecture times around their existing schedule of work, or different time zones.  All lecture content is recorded and accessible at any time through the Canvas platform. 

Lectures are held live on campus and online students can attend through Zoom teleconferencing software, which allows distance students to interact, ask questions and comment in real time through their camera and microphone, as well as live text chat.  The recordings of the lectures, as well as all classroom, video and chat interactions, are available online shortly after the end of the lecture.  This lets asynchronous students to not only see the instructor’s lecture, but also all questions asked and discussion engaged in by the class.

 “Most of our students are professionals working full-time in industry, and our program is geared to allow flexibility. The D.Eng. especially expects that a student is continuing to work in industry while advanced their skills in our program,” Bridge said.  Students can take as little as one course at a time, if that is all that their scheduling or funding allows for.

“Our faculty have experience not only teaching students who are working professionals, but many have industry experience themselves and create a curriculum that is applied and immediately relevant,” she added.  “My advice is to start slowly—just one or two courses, depending on what other commitments you have—and to carve out a regular schedule of about three to six hours per week per course just for course-related activities. Also, if at all possible, try attending synchronously! This can really enhance your engagement with the course and your classmates and instructors.”

All CSU faculty hold regular office hours for students, which online students can access by phone, email, or video conferencing.  D.Eng. students will also have a practicum sponsor and a dissertation advisor, with whom students will be expected to schedule regular meetings for updates and collaboration.

Leading Edge Research with Practical Applications

By pursuing a at CSU, students will have the opportunity to engage in exciting research with both faculty and other students, through their practicum, dissertation, and other research projects and academic opportunities.

The practicum, in particular, enables students to engage in leading-edge research with immediate relevancy to their field, such as these current and past practicum focuses:

  • A Systems Engineering Examination of a Cryptologically-Secure Logistics Provisioning Enterprise with a Distributed Ledger Management 2000彩 Enterprise
  • Determining Systems Engineering Value for Competitive Bid
  • 3U Common Core CubeSat Bus
  • Power Optimization of Handheld Electronics in Centrally Managed Systems Architecture
  • P3GSE: A Pragmatic Prescriptive Process for Greyfield Systems Engineering

Sample Curriculum and Course List

Note: ENGR 710 must be completed in your first year. ENGR 501, 502, 530, and 531 are required courses for students without an applicable master’s degree. For students with an applicable master’s degree, ENGR 501, 502, 530, and 531 are Systems Engineering Depth course choices.

  • ENGR 501 – Foundations of Systems Engineering (3 cr.)
  • CIS 600 – Information Technology and Project Management (3 cr.) OR CIS 670 – Advanced IT Project Management (3 cr.) OR ENGR 502 – Engineering Project and Program Management (3 cr.)
  • ENGR 530 – Overview of Systems Engineering Processes (3 cr.)
  • ENGR 531 – Engineering Risk Analysis (3 cr.)
  • ENGR 710 – Leadership/Innovation in Systems Engineering (3 cr.)


Systems Engineering Depth Courses

Students with an applicable master’s degree will select 15 credits.

Students without an applicable master’s degree will select 21 credits.

  • ENGR 501 – Foundations of Systems Engineering (3 cr.)
  • ENGR 525 – Intellectual Property and Invention Systems (3 cr.)
  • ENGR 530 – Overview of Systems Engineering Processes (3 cr.)
  • ENGR 531 – Engineering Risk Analysis (3 cr.)
  • CIS 600 – Information Technology and Project Management (3 cr.) OR CIS 670 – Advanced IT Project Management (3 cr.) OR ENGR 502 – Engineering Project and Program Management (3 cr.)
  • ENGR 510 – Engineering Optimization: Method/Application (3 cr.)
  • ENGR 520 – Engineering Decision Support/Expert Systems (3 cr.)
  • ENGR 532 – Dynamics of Complex Engineering Systems (3 cr.)
  • ENGR/ECE 565 – Electrical Power Engineering (3 cr.)
  • ENGR/ECE 566 – Energy Conversion for Electrical Power Systems (3 cr.)
  • ENGR 567 – Systems Engineering Architecture (3 cr.)
  • ENGR 569 – Cybersecurity Awareness for Systems Engineers (3 cr.)
  • ENGR 570 – Coupled Electromechanical Systems (3 cr.)
  • ENGR 571 – Analytics in Systems Engineering (3 cr.)
  • ENGR 602 – Systems Requirements Engineering (3 cr.)
  • ENGR 603 – Introduction to Systems Test and Evaluation (3 cr.)
  • ENGR 667 – Advanced Model-Based Systems Engineering
  • MECH 513 – Simulation Modeling and Experimentation (3 cr.)

Note: New or experimental courses may be added; check with SE advisor.


Applied Electives

Select 3 credits from the following:

  • BUS 500 – Business Systems and Processes (3 cr.)
  • BUS 601 – Quantitative Business Analysis (3 cr.)
  • CIS 570 – Business Intelligence (3 cr.)
  • CIS 575 – Applied Data Mining and Analytics in Business (3 cr.)


Professional Electives

Select 3 credits from the following:

  • BUS 620 – Leadership and Teams (3 cr.)
  • BUS 630 – Information Management (3 cr.)
  • CIS 676 – Information Technology Management (3 cr.)
  • ENGR 711 – Ethics in Systems Engineering (3 cr.)
  • PSY 647 – Applied Industrial Psychology (3 cr.)
  • PSY 648 – Applied Organizational Psychology (3 cr.)


Technical Electives

For students with an applicable master level degree, no technical electives are permitted.

For students without an applicable master level degree, select 12 credits from a list of suggested electives. The list is not exhaustive. If you find a graduate-level technical course that pertains to your professional goals and/or the systems engineering field, please contact the systems engineering department to check if it may apply as an elective.


Practicum and Dissertation

  • ENGR 786 – Applied Systems Engineering Practicum (9 cr.)

Note: The Preliminary Exam is expected to be completed prior to enrolling in ENGR 786 credits. ENGR 786 credits may be taken concurrently with a last semester of coursework, with committee permission. Practicum credits can be completed throughout multiple semesters. 9 credits are the minimum; students may end up needing to take more depending on their progress and project.


  • ENGR 799B – Dissertation: Professional Doctorate (9 cr.)

Note: All ENGR 786 credits and requirements must be completed prior to enrolling in ENGR 799B credits. Dissertation credits can be completed throughout multiple semesters. 9 credits are the minimum; students may end up needing to take more depending on their progress and project.


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