Program Description

This program prepares systems engineers for new industry regulations relating to the acquisition of systems, with a focus on an architecture-based approach for integrating proposed systems with other existing or planned systems. Students learn about formulation of the system integration problem, definition of architecture frameworks, use of structured analysis and object-oriented methodologies for the design of architectures, modeling and simulation for evaluation of architectures, and approaches to integration. Both defense and industrial applications are considered.

What it costs

The cost is $589.00 per credit hour for VA state residents or $1,346.75 per credit hour for out of state students, plus a $35 per credit hour Distance Learning fee. New Student and other mandatory university and course fees may apply.

Application Deadline

This program has an application deadline of March 19 for Fall and October 19 for Spring. The application deadline for non-degree students is August 18 for Fall and January 4 for Spring.

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Program Summary

100 Percent Online

Program: Architecture-Based Systems Integration

Degree: Graduate Certificate

College/School: Volgenau School of Engineering

Credits: 12 total

Who should apply?

Systems engineers who desire to be prepared for the new industry regulations related to the acquisition of systems should consider this program. Whereas other engineering disciplines concentrate on the details of individual aspects of a system (electronics, mechanics, ergonomics, aerodynamics, software, etc.), systems engineering involves the integration of all of these aspects into a coherent and effective system.

Students may pursue the certificate as a part of the fully online MS in Systems Engineering degree program or as a stand-alone graduate certificate.

Why choose George Mason?

  • Mason is located in the heart of the DC area, the region with the highest concentration of systems engineering professions in the US. Thus, faculty and students bring a wealth of practical experience that enhances the educational experience and helps all students prepare for a successful career.
  • Students in this program benefit from a matured corporate partnership program, developed by the Volgenau School of Engineering.
  • U.S. News & World Report ranks Mason’s School of Systems Engineering and Operations Research (SEOR) in the top 30 graduate programs nationally.
  • This program can be completed on a part-time basis to fit your schedule.
  • You can complete all of your classes online, from wherever you need to be.

Program requirements are subject to change; please refer to the Mason Course Catalog for the most up-to-date requirements.

Sufficient courses are offered to complete the entire certificate program online. The courses are delivered asynchronously or synchronously but the offerings and their distance delivery mode may vary by semester.

Requirements: 12 credits total

  • SYST 520 Systems Engineering Design | 3 credits
  • SYST 618 Model-based Systems Engineering | 3 credits
  • SYST 620 Discrete Event Systems | 3 credits
  • SYST 621 Systems Architecture Design | 3 credits

Students much receive an average grade of B or better in all certificate courses. The graduate certificate may only be pursued on a part-time basis. Some courses may require math prerequisite courses.

Tuition (2018-2019)

Virginia Resident$589.00 plus fees
Non-Virginia Resident$1,346.75 plus fees
Distance Learning Fee$35
Graduate New Student Fee$60 (non-refundable, one-time fee)

Please refer to the Students Accounts Office website for more information on tuition and fees.

Financial Aid

For information on loans and scholarships, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid. For information regarding grants, tuition waivers and other merit aid, please inquire with your graduate department.

Career Opportunities

Many of the leading information and technology based companies, as well as defense contractors, engineering consulting firms, aerospace developers, informatics and communication companies, and software developers need systems engineers (SEs). Some specific companies include:

  • The Aerospace Corporation
  • Boeing
  • CACI
  • CSC
  • General Dynamics
  • Lockheed Martin
  • MITRE Corporation
  • Noblis
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Raytheon
  • The SI Organization
  • SRA International
  • TASC
  • Vangent

As a Mason student, you may contact Mason Career Services for more career information and counseling.

Program ContactSystems Engineering and Operations Research (SEOR)
Volgenau School of Engineering (VSE)
Phone: (703) 993-1670
Fax: (703) 993-1521
Program Website
School Website
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All applicants should review Office of Graduate Admissions steps for How to Apply. For international applicants, see guidelines for International Graduate Requirements.


  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in an engineering or scientific discipline from a regionally accredited school
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 in an undergraduate program and an acceptable GPA in any graduate courses
  • Complete coursework in calculus I, II, and III, matrix or linear algebra, elementary differential equations, and calculus-based probability

Application Materials*

  • Graduate application
  • Application fee
  • Two official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • One letter of recommendation

*Students already enrolled in a master’s program at Mason only need to submit a Graduate Secondary Certificate Program Application.

If you have any questions during the application process, please contact the SEOR Department at or 703-993-1670.