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College of Engineering and Computing

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System Design

This executive master's degree program will help engineering and computer science professionals become proficient in System Design - a new and emerging field involving the development of new processes that focus on the creation and management of complex projects from the initial design phase throughout the life of the projects.

What is system design?

The planning, design, manufacturing and operation of complex projects and systems require participation from different engineering disciplines. Though traditional design and testing at the level of individual components or sub-systems is well understood, a comprehensive approach where an entire system is considered as a whole is not. For this purpose, new processes are being developed which are interdisciplinary and focus on the design and management of complex projects – from the design phase to the end of the product's life span.

Students can choose to focus on one of two tracks:
 Secure Communications and Power Electronics Systems

The system design program will benefit a wide range of industries.

  • Defense - communications, weapon systems and more
  • Power generation and grid control
  • Manufacturing systems including automotive and aerospace


Program Profile

Delivery Method: Both traditional at the Columbia, SC campus and online

Duration: 24 Months

Tuition: $15,110 in-state; $19,310 out-of-state

Credit Hours: 30 units


Course Work

A total of 30 credit hours are required, with nine hours of core courses, six hours of thesis work, 12 hours of research course work and three hours chosen with the advisor's consent. No more than 12 hours can be at the 500 level.

Thesis: Six (6) credit hours

Core Courses: Nine (9) credit hours; choose any three from the following courses:

  • CSCE 716 -- Design for Reliability
  • CSCE 758 -- Probabilistic System Analysis
  • CSCE 512 -- System Performance Evaluation
  • CSCE 563 -- Systems Simulation

Research Courses: Twelve (12) credit hours are required in a research area that must be directly related to thesis research from the courses listed below. Three (3) credit hours of complementary coursework must be chosen with the advisor's consent.

ELCT 521: Introduction to Microwaves
ELCT 530: Industrial Controls
ELCT 531: Digital Control Systems
ELCT 551: Power Systems Design and Analysis
ELCT 553: Electromechanical Energy Conversion
ELCT 561: Advanced Electromagnetics
ELCT 562: Wireless Communications
ELCT 563: Semiconductor Electronic Devices
ELCT 564: RF Circuit Design for Wireless Communications
ELCT 566: Semiconductor Optoelectronics
ELCT 572: Power Electronics
ELCT 573: High Speed Digital Systems
ELCT 751: Advanced Power Systems Analysis
ELCT 752: Power System Grounding & Transients
ELCT 753: Electrical Drives
ELCT 761: Fundamental Electromagnetics
ELCT 762: Signal Integrity in High Speed Circuits
ELCT 771: Optical Communications: Devices & Systems
ELCT 772: Advanced Power Electronics
ELCT 782: Power Semiconductor Devices
ELCT 837: Modern Control Theory
ELCT 838: Optimal Control & Estimation
ELCT 861: Advances in Electromagnetics
ELCT 862: Antennas & Radiation
ELCT 863: Computational Electromagnetics
ELCT 864: Microwave Devices & Circuits
ELCT 865: Signal Integrity on System Bus Technology
ELCT 883: Power Systems Stability & Control

CSCE 512: System Performance Evaluation
CSCE 513: Computer Architecture
CSCE 516: Computer Networks
CSCE 520: Database System Design
CSCE 522: Information Security Principles
CSCE 561: Numerical Analysis (Cross-listed as MATH 527)
CSCE 563: Systems Simulation
CSCE 711: Advanced Operating Systems
CSCE 713: Advanced Computer Architecture
CSCE 716: Design for Reliability
CSCE 717: Computer System Performance and Reliability Analysis
CSCE 741: Software Process
CSCE 742: Software Architectures
CSCE 758: Probabilistic System Analysis
CSCE 760: Numerical Analysis I
CSCE 761: Numerical Analysis II (Cross-listed as MATH 727)
CSCE 846: Software Reliability and Safety
CSCE 790: Topics in Information Technology


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.