Systems Engineering, BS

Contact Info

Systems Engineering and Operations Research Department

Nguyen Engineering Building, 2100
4400 University Drive, MS 4A6
Fairfax, VA 22030

Phone: 703-993-1670


The program leading to the bachelor of science in systems engineering (BS/SE) prepares students for a professional career in systems engineering. Our educational program reflects the systems engineer's unique perspective that considers all aspects of a system throughout its entire lifecycle. The systems engineering program at George Mason University is interdisciplinary, drawing from engineering, computer science, operations research, psychology and economics. The core systems engineering courses tie together these diverse threads to provide a global understanding of how individual engineering disciplines fit into the development of complex, large scale systems.

Find degree requirements in the university catalog.

Program Requirements

Systems Engineering, BS

Please see the University Catalog for complete program requirements and policies, and discuss all program plans with an academic advisor.  Certain courses may fulfill multiple requirements across the Mason Core general education program, the college or school, and/or the specific program.

The objectives of the Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering Program at George Mason University are to produce graduates who are able to:

  • Apply critical thinking, quantitative methods, systems thinking, and principles of engineering to the engineering of contemporary and future systems.
  • Apply systems engineering methods, processes, models and tools to the engineering of contemporary and future systems.
  • Work successfully, professionally, and ethically as members and leaders of multi-disciplinary teams.

Degree Requirements (123 credits total)

Mason Core General education program required for all undergraduate students.

College Requirement(s) n/a

Major Requirements (105 credits)

Mathematics and Statistics (23 credits)

Natural Sciences (12 credits)

The BS in Systems Engineering requires 12 credits of natural science.  The courses should be intended for science and engineering students and some include a two course sequence with laboratories.  Students must complete 8 credits of physics as follows:

The remaining 4 credits must be chosen from the following list of courses.  Students who select the Bioengineering technical emphasis area are strongly encouraged to take BIOL 213.

Computer Science (7 credits) 

Communication and Economics (6 credits)

Engineering (2 credits)

Systems Engineering (55 credits)

Students must complete each of these courses with a grade of C or better.

Additional Mason Core (18 credits)

 Students must complete all Mason Core requirements not fulfilled by major requirements.

Advising and Plan of Study

All systems engineering students are assigned a faculty advisor. With the advisor’s help and approval, each student is required to complete a plan of study. This plan of study, contained in the detailed pamphlet available from the SEOR office, constitutes a learning plan for the degree program. The plan of study must be signed by the student's advisor and the Department Chair.  The plan of study must be updated and signed by the advisor at least once a year.

Technical Emphasis Areas

The systems engineering program requires 9 credits of technical electives. Students must select one of the following technical emphases, each containing three courses.

Aviation Systems


Control Systems

Computer Network Systems

Data Analytics

Engineering Systems

Financial Engineering

Operations Research

Software-Intensive Systems

Total: 123 credits


Students who graduate with the degree in Systems Engineering will find enormous job opportunities locally, nationally, and internationally. They will be equipped to work in almost any engineering field they choose. Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Noblis, Mitre, SENTARA Health Care, and many more employ Volgenau alumni and are eager to hire our graduates.

As seniors Volgenau systems engineering students explore real-world problems and use their strong computational and systems knowledge to devise innovative engineering solutions to challenges as diverse as underwater mine detection, space debris remediation, trans-oceanic cable protection, and others. Local industry partners often sponsor the projects providing mentorship and guidance to the students. The projects go on to win awards at national competitions.

One of the biggest advantages of a bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering is that the program provides a set of skills for graduates to apply on any systems problem. These capabilities enable them to move with their systems engineering knowledge between different industries – defense, finance, healthcare, or economics.

This information is being provided here for your planning purposes only. For official catalog information, please refer instead to the official George Mason University Catalog Website at