Systems Science and Engineering Degree Requirements

Click Here for Fall 2022 Requirements: Fall Freshman Read This

Fall 2017 to the Present (Not available for Freshman 2022): 

Mathematics: 6 CU

  • MATH 1400
  • MATH 1410
  • MATH 2400
  • ESE 3010
  • ESE 4020, ESE 5420
  • Math 3120, MATH 3130, MATH 3140, MATH 3700

Natural Sciences: 4 CU

  • PHYS 0140, PHYS 0150 or PHYS 0170, MEAM 1100
  • ESE 1120, PHYS 0141, PHYS 0151 or PHYS 0171
  • CHEM 1011, EAS 0091, BIOL 1101 or BIOL 1121
  • 1 Natural Science Lab, 1 cu total: PHYS 0150/0170, ESE 1120 or PHYS 0151/0171, BIO 1101/1121

Engineering: 16 CU (minimum)

  • ENGR 1050 or CIS 1100
  • ESE 1110*
  • CIS 1200
  • ESE 2000
  • ESE 2040
  • ESE 2100
  • ESE 2240
  • ESE 3030
  • Information Systems Elective (ISE).  Any combination of 3 CUs from: CIS 2400, CIS 4500, ESE 2000, ESE 3050, ESE 3250, ESE 4070, ESE 5000, ESE 5050, ESE 5060, ESE 5120, ESE 5140, ESE 5280, ESE 5310, ESE 5450, ESE 5460, ESE 6050, ESE 6060 ESE 6150, ESE 6180, ESE 6190, ESE 6500, ESE 6740, NETS 2120, NETS 3120, NETS 4120
  • Engineering Elective 200 or above for 1 CU
  • System Project Lab: ESE 2900/2910, ESE 3500, (ESE 3600 + .5 CU), ESE 4210, (ESE 5050 + .5 CU), BE 4700, (BE 5700 + .5 CU)
  • ESE 4500
  • ESE 4510
  • 1 CU Engineering

*Note: ESE 1110 can be replaced by another approved engineering course if not taken Freshman year.

Professional Electives: 4 CU

  • 1 of the following: ESE 4000, EAS 5450, EAS 5950, MGMT 2370, or OIDD 2360
  • 3 Societal Problem Application Electives (see dropdown below)

Societal Problem Application Electives (SPA)

The Societal Application Elective requirement is designed to give SSE majors the opportunity to explore the existing or potential use of systems engineering tools and concepts to address pressing societal challenges, needs and opportunities. The following list of approved courses is not intended to be exhaustive but rather illustrative of the broad diversity of offerings in other departments across the University that can be used to fulfill this requirement. You can take three courses from one or more areas in the main list below.  

Students who wish to meet the requirement with courses not presently on the main list should plan to petition the SSE Undergraduate Chair with a proposal that includes the complete triplet of courses planned together with a few sentences of justification along the lines of some of the annotations below. 

Biological Systems

  • PHYS 2280 Physical Models of Biological Systems
  • BE 5400 Principles of Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering
  • BE 5550 Nanoscale Systems Biology
  • BE 5410 Engineering and Biological Principles in Cancer
  • BE 3090 Bioengineering Modeling, Analysis and Design Laboratory I (prereq BE3010, but maybe ESE 2240 adequate)
  • BE 5660 / ESE 5660 Networked Neuroscience
  • BE 5840 Mathematics of Medical Imaging and Measurements
  • BIOL 4536 Introduction to Computational Biology & Biological Modeling

Biology is undergoing a rapid revolution from a descriptive to a quantitative science. Because every aspect of social life is impacted in many different ways by insights and methods from biology, there are many opportunities to apply systems thinking and tools to the emerging new biological disciplines with significant social impact. The present list includes courses for which the quantitative aspects of the science are well enough established that the links to model based systems concepts and tools are immediate.

Human Factors

  •  ESE 5430 Human System Engineering 


  • EAS 3010 Climate Policy and Technology
  • CBE 3750 Intro to Environmental Systems
  • OIDD 2610 Risk Analysis and Environmental Management
  • ENVS 3550 Sustainable Goods
  • BEPP 2610 Risk Analysis and Environmental Management
  • BEPP 3050 Risk Management


  • EAS 4010 Energy and Its Impacts: Technology, Environment, Economics, Sustainability
  • EAS 4020 Renewable Energy and Its Impacts: Technology, Environment, Economics, Sustainability
  • EAS 4030 Energy Systems and Policy
  • ENMG 5020 Intro to Energy Policy
  • MEAM 5030 Direct Energy Conversion: from Macro to Nano 

There is by now a broad and deep agreement within the climatological sciences that anthropogenic disturbances have begun to change the earth’s climate in ways that will have increasingly dramatic social impact. The present list includes courses respecting which the links to quantitative systems concepts and tools are immediate.

Quantitative Modeling

  • OIDD 2200 Introduction to Operations Management 
  • OIDD 2240 Analytics for Service Operations
  • OIDD 3190 Advanced Decision Systems: Evolutionary Computation
  • OIDD 3530 Mathematical Modeling and its Applications in Finance
  • FNCE 2370 Data Science for Finance
  • FNCE 3920 Financial Engineering
  • ECON 4130 Market Design
  • STAT 5200 Applied Econometrics I

Business systems offer myriad engineering opportunities with huge social impact at the interface between “soft” behavioral, descriptive phenomena and “hard,” formally represented quantitative processes. The present list includes courses that focus on expanding and exploiting the role of formal representations and quantitative analysis in business systems applications.

City Planning

  • CPLN 5010 Quantitative Planning Analysis Methods
  • CPLN 5050 Planning by Numbers
  • CPLN 5200 Introduction to Housing, Community and Economic Development
  • CPLN 5500 Introduction to Transportation Planning
  • CPLN 6210 Metropolitan Food System


  • CPLN 5500 Introduction to Transportation Planning
  • CPLN 6500 Transportation Planning Methods (pre-req CPLN5050)
  • CPLN 6540 The Practice of Trans.Plng: Crafting Policies & Bldg. Infrastructure
  • CPLN 7500 / ESE 5500 Advance Transportation Seminar
  • ESE 5500 Advance Transportation Seminar

Within the domain of social studies, the design and management of human transportation systems offers one of the most established venues for formal modeling and analysis. The present list includes courses respecting which the links to model based systems concepts and tools are immediate.

Chemical Processing

  • CBE 5250 Molecular Modeling and Simulations

Although many of the technical engineering electives available to SSE majors already address systems properties of physical devices and technology, our present SSE curriculum does not offer many connections to chemical engineering systems despite their huge social impact and importance. The present list is intended to facilitate making that connection.


  • ESE 4070 (ESE 5070) Introduction to Networks and Protocols
  • ESE 4080 Data Communications

Today’s society benefits from a world-wide infrastructure that permits the exchange of information between physically separate points. Planning, optimization, and implementation of this infrastructure is rich in applications for systems engineering.


  • MEAM 5100 Design of Mechatronic Systems
  • MEAM 5200 Introduction to Robotics
  • MEAM 6200 Advanced Robotics
  • ESE 6500 Learning in Robotics

Our society is increasingly exploiting human-built machines that manipulate objects in the physical world. The design, optimization, and deployment of these machines demands the trans-disciplinary skills embodied in systems engineering and leverages model-based system engineering.

Machine Intelligence

  • CIS 5190 Applied Machine Learning
  • CIS 5200 Machine Learning
  • CIS 5210 Artificial Intelligence
  • CIS 5810 Computer Vision and Computational Photography
  • ESE 5460 Principles of Deep Learning
  • ESE 6500 Learning in Robotics
  • STAT 4760 Applied Probability Models in Marketing

The use of computers to automatically identify patterns in data and give responses that would mimic or exceed the intelligent answer that a human would give is becoming a powerful tool to address many societal-scale problems, including business, health, manufacturing, transportation, and logistics. These courses build upon the quantitative signal and information processing and decision making skills in systems engineering and show how they can be be expanded to engineer knowledge and learning systems.

Social Science and Humanities: 7 CU*

Free Electives: 3 CU

*Two of the courses in the SSH category must satisfy the depth and writing requirements. See the SEAS UG Student Handbook.

If ESE 5050 or BE 5700 is taken, an additional .5 CU engineering credit is required