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Systems Architecture and Engineering

Ethel Percy Andrus
Gerontology Center 240
(213) 740-4893
FAX: (213) 740-1120

Program Director: F. Stan Settles, Ph.D.

Associate Director: George Friedman, Ph.D.


IBM Chair in Engineering Management: F. Stan Settles, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering, Astronautics)

David Packard Chair in Manufacturing Engineering: Stephen C-Y Lu, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering)

TRW Professorship in Software Engineering: Barry Boehm, Ph.D. (Computer Science, Industrial and Systems Engineering)

Andrew and Erna Viterbi Chair in Communications: Solomon W. Golomb, Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering, Mathematics)

Professors: Michael O. Arbib, Ph.D. (Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Neurobiology); Barry Boehm, Ph.D. (Computer Science, Industrial and Systems Engineering); John Choma, Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering, Electrophysics); Maged Dessouky, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering); Roger Ghanem, Ph.D (Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering); Solomon W. Golomb, Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering, Mathematics); Michael Gruntman, Ph.D. (Astronautics and Space Technology); Randolph Hall, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering); Behrokh Khoshnevis, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering); Yan Jin, Ph.D. (Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering); Joseph Kunc (Astronautics and Space Technology, Physics); Stephen C-Y Lu, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering); Sami F. Masri, Ph.D. (Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering); Gerard Medioni, Ph.D. (Computer Science); Jerry M. Mendel, Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering); James E. Moore, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering); Sheldon M. Ross, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering); F. Stan Settles, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering, Astronautics); Firdaus Udwadia, Ph.D. (Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering); Charles L. Weber, Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering); L. Carter Welford, Ph.D. (Civil Engineering); Alan Willner, Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering)

Associate Professors: Najmedin Meshkati, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering); Mansour Rahimi, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering)

Assistant Professor: Maria Yang, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering)

Adjunct Professors: George Friedman, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering); Michael Mann, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering)

Research Professors: Malcolm R. Currie, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering); Peter Will, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering)

Senior Lecturer: Kurt Palmer (Industrial and Systems Engineering)

Emeritus Professors: Elliot Axelband, Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering ); George Bekey, Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Biomedical Engineering); Ralph Keeney, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering); Gerald Nadler, Ph.D., P.E. (Industrial and Systems Engineering); Eberhardt Rechtin, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering)

Degree Requirements

Master of Science in Systems Architecture and Engineering

This program is recommended to graduate engineers and engineering managers responsible for the conception and implementation of complex systems. Emphasis is on the creative processes and methods by which complex systems are conceived, planned, designed, built, tested and certified. The architecture experience can be applied to defense, space, aircraft, communications, navigation, sensors, computer software, computer hardware, and other aerospace and commercial systems and activities.

A minimum grade point average of 3.0 must be earned on all course work applied toward the masterís degree in systems architecture and engineering. This average must also be achieved on all 400-level and above course work attempted at USC beyond the bachelorís degree. Transfer units count as credit (CR) toward the masterís degree and are not computed in the grade point average.

In addition to the general requirements of the Viterbi School of Engineering, the Master of Science in systems architecture and engineering is also subject to the following requirements:

(1) a total of at least 30 units is required, consisting of at least nine units in the technical management area, nine units in the general technical area, and 12 units in the technical specialization area;

(2) every plan of study requires prior written approval by the director of the systems architecture and engineering program recorded on the study plan in the studentís file;

(3) no more than nine units at the 400 level may be counted toward the degree -- the remaining units must be taken at the 500 or 600 level;

(4) at least 24 of the 30 units must be taken in the Viterbi School of Engineering;

(5) units to be transferred (maximum of four with advisor approval) must have been taken prior to taking classes at USC; interruption of residency is not allowed;

(6) no more than 6 units of Special Topics courses (499 or 599) may be counted for this degree;

(7) thesis and directed research registrations may be allowed to individual students only by special permission of the supervising faculty member and the program director;

(8) a bachelorís degree in an engineering field and a minimum of three years systems experience are recommended prior to taking Systems Architecture and Design Experience courses. This program is not recommended for recent bachelorís degree graduates.

Required coursesUnits
ISE 460Engineering Economy, or
ISE 561Economic Analysis of Engineering Projects, or
ISE 563Financial Engineering3
ISE 541Systems Engineering Theory and Practice3
SAE 549Systems Architecting3
One design-related course approved by the director3

Advisor-approved electives in technical management area3
Advisor-approved electives in general technical area3
Advisor-approved electives in technical specialization area12

Technical Management Area: Take one course (3 units) from the following:

AME 589xManagement for Engineers3
CE 556abProject Cost Estimating, Control, Planning and Scheduling3-3
IOM 525*Quality Improvement Methods3
IOM 527*Managerial Decision Analysis3
IOM 537*Information Systems Management for Global Operations3
IOM 580*Project Management3
ISE 515Engineering Product Management3
ISE 517Modern Enterprise Systems3
ISE 544Management of Engineering Teams3
ISE 550Engineering Management of Government-Funded Programs3
ISE 562Value and Decision Theory3
ISE 585Strategic Management of Technology3
MOR 561*Strategies in High-Tech Businesses3

*USC Marshall School of Business course.

General Technical Area: Take one course (3 units) from the following:

CSCI 510Software Management and Economics3
CSCI 577abSoftware Engineering4-4
IOM 535*Database Management3
ISE 542Advanced Topics in Systems Engineering 3
ISE 543Case Studies in Systems Engineering3
ISE 550Engineering Management of Government-Funded Programs3
ISE 580Advanced Concepts in Computer Simulation3
SAE 551Lean Operations3

*USC Marshall School of Business course.

Technical Specialization Area: Twelve units are required, usually in the studentís present or intended technical specialty. Courses are intended to complement the studentís prior education and experience toward becoming a well-rounded systems architect-engineer or architect-manager. With a few exceptions, the courses should come from the recommended list, and usually all from a single specialization.

The student may choose from a large variety of technical specializations spanning all departments in the Viterbi School of Engineering. Flexibility is emphasized in this choice; the program director is expected to work closely with the student in choosing the best set of courses to meet the studentís need.

Several sample specializations are listed below but are not intended to be complete.

Recommended Courses
Aerospace and Mechanical Systems: AME 503, AME 504, AME 521, AME 532a, AME 544, AME 548, AME 560, AME 588

Artificial Intelligence/Neural Networks: CSCI 460, CSCI 545, CSCI 561, CSCI 564, CSCI 566, CSCI 567, CSCI 574; EE 547

Automation and Control Systems: EE 543a, EE 547, EE 585, EE 587, EE 588, EE 593

Communication and Signal Processing Systems: EE 551, EE 562a, EE 563, EE 564, EE 567, EE 580, EE 582, EE 583

Computer and Information Systems: CSCI 485, CSCI 551, CSCI 585, EE 552, EE 554, EE 561, EE 562a, EE 574, EE 658

Construction: CE 501, CE 519, CE 525ab, CE 533, CE 536, CE 556ab, CE 583

Engineering Management Systems: ISE 515, ISE 530, ISE 535, ISE 541, ISE 544, ISE 550, ISE 562, ISE 580, ISE 585

Integrated Media Systems: EE 450, EE 469, EE 522, EE 555, EE 569, EE 596; CSCI 480, CSCI 551, CSCI 574, CSCI 576, CSCI 585, CSCI 588

Manufacturing Systems: ISE 511, ISE 514, ISE 516, ISE 517, ISE 544, ISE 570; AME 588; EE 561ab

Network-centric: CSCI 402, CSCI 530, CSCI 551, CSCI 555, CSCI 558L, CSCI 577ab, EE 550, SAE 574

Software Process Architecture: CSCI 510, CSCI 577b, CSCI 665; ISE 544, ISE 562, ISE 564, EE 554, EE 557

Systems: ISE 515, ISE 520, ISE 525, ISE 527, ISE 528, ISE 532, ISE 535, ISE 536, ISE 538, ISE 541, ISE 542, ISE 544, ISE 562, ISE 580, ISE 585; EE 598

Graduate Certificate in Systems Architecture and Engineering

The graduate certificate in systems architecture and engineering is designed for practicing engineers engaged in the creation and design of complex innovative systems, in aerospace and commercial fields. Entering students are expected to have a bachelorís degree in engineering or a related field from an accredited institution. Three years of industry experience are recommended. Students are required to earn a cumulative B average or higher in courses taken for the certificate. The courses taken for the certificate may be applied later to the Master of Science in Systems Architecture and Engineering.

required courses--choose four units
ISE 460 Engineering Economy, or
ISE 561Economic Analysis of Engineering Projects3
ISE 515Engineering Project Management3
ISE 541Systems Engineering Theory and Practice3
ISE 542Advanced Topics in Systems Engineering3
ISE 544Management of Engineering Teams3
SAE 549Systems Architecting3

In addition, one 3- or 4-unit elective course shall be taken from the list of those approved for the Master of Science in Systems Architecture and Engineering.

All programs of study will be approved by the director of the Systems Architecture and Engineering program.

Courses of Instruction

Systems Architecture and Engineering (SAE)

The terms indicated are expected but are not guaranteed. For the courses offered during any given term, consult the Schedule of Classes.

499 Special Topics (2-4, max 8) Course content to be selected each semester from recent developments in systems architecture and engineering and related fields.

The prefix for ISE 541, ISE 542 and ISE 550 will change from ISE to SAE in fall 2007.

541 Systems Engineering Theory and Practice (3, FaSpSm) Integration of engineering problem solving methodologies based on systems concepts. Application to complex, large scale technical systems and problems faced by engineering managers. Case studies. (Duplicates credit in former ISE 541).

542 Advanced Topics in Systems Engineering (3, FaSp) Advanced topics in integration software management and systems engineering, probabilistic foundations of decision-based theory, quantitative risk management, decision-based design, and safety aspects of systems engineering. (Duplicated credit in former ISE 541). Prerequisite: ISE 541.

543 Case Studies in Systems Engineering (3, FaSp) Real-world case studies in DoD, NASA, and commercial arenas, employing new methodologies to cover the fundamental positive and negative development learning principles of systems engineering. Prerequisite: ISE 541, SAE 549.

549 Systems Architecting (3, FaSp) Introduction to systems architecture in aerospace, electrical, computer, and manufacturing systems emphasizing the conceptual and acceptance phases and using heuristics. Prerequisite: B.S. degree in a related field of engineering.

550 Engineering Management of Government-Funded Programs (3, Sp) Analysis of risks inherent in managing high-tech/high-cost government-funded engineering programs; tools and techniques for coping with the impacts of politically-driven budgets on the engineering design process. (Duplicates credit in former ISE 550). Recommended preparation: two years of work experience.

551 Lean Operations (3, Sp) Study of lean principles and practices as applied to automotive, aerospace and other industries.

574 Net-Centric Systems Architecting and Engineering (3, FaSp) In-depth examination of the technical design approaches, tools, and processes to enable the benefits of net-centric operations in a networked systems-of-systems.

590 Directed Research (1-12, FaSpSm) Research leading to the masterís degree. Maximum units which may be applied to the degree to be determined by the department. Graded CR/NC.

594abz Masterís Thesis (2-2-0, FaSpSm) Credit on acceptance of thesis. Graded IP/CR/NC.

599 Special Topics (2-4, max 9, FaSpSm) Course content will be selected each semester to reflect current trends and developments in the field of systems architecture and engineering.