Systems Engineering Undergraduate Program
The undergraduate degree in Systems Engineering is designed for students interested in bringing people and technologies together to improve the productivity and effectiveness of organizations and address complex, multidimensional problems in society and industry. Students receive exposure to a wide range of topics, including the economic, political, managerial, environmental, and technical aspects of large-scale systems design and implementation. Students are provided with diverse opportunities for hands-on experience with real-world situations and problems.
The Systems Engineering curriculum is more flexible than many traditional engineering programs. It requires a minimum of 129 credit hours to graduate. In addition to the courses specifically required in the curriculum, students are able to take nine credits of unrestricted electives, nine credits of electives tailored to an application area, and six credits of technical electives.
The curriculum allows students to pursue a specific area of interest within the broad framework of systems engineering. The following areas are available as application sequences: chemical and biomedical systems; electrical and computer engineering systems; software and information systems; data analytics; design integration; control and mechanical systems; economic systems; civil, environmental, and infrastructure systems; human factors; and mathematical systems. Appropriate ROTC courses may be counted as an application sequence in military systems. Students wishing to design their own application sequence must submit their proposal to the Systems Undergraduate Studies Committee (UGSC) by December 15th of their third year, no proposals will be accepted after this time. Students are highly encouraged to consult with their faculty advisors prior to submitting their application to the UGSC.
The program culminates in a capstone design project, spanning both the fall and spring semesters of the fourth year. Students working in small teams under the direction of a faculty mentor are matched with a client from the public or private sector. Each team is assigned an open-ended design problem, and they apply the perspectives, methods, and tools of systems engineering that they learn in the classroom to the resolution of a problem for a client.
Current UVA undergraduate students can apply to a Master of Engineering (M.E.) degree program in the third year of their undergraduate studies through the UVACCELERATE program. The M.E. program is 30 credits of course work as part of an approved plan of study, and with the right planning, a current UVA undergradatue may be able to get a head start on taking graduate-level courses while finishing their bachelor’s degree.