Control Systems Engineering Graduate Programs

Students interested in studying control systems engineering can pursue several different graduate programs, some of which are available in flexible formats. Find out more about the program options, common coursework and admission standards.

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Control systems engineering takes technology and engineering principles and examines how they apply to a wide range of fields, such as business, medicine, law and more. These degree programs are most commonly offered as master's degree programs or graduate certificate programs that may be paired with another graduate degree program. Explore a few of the program options and some of their requirements here.

Types of Graduate Programs in Control Systems Engineering

Master of Control Engineering

Although these degree programs are very rare, there is at least one available Master of Control Engineering (MCE) degree program that is intended for students wishing to pursue an industrial career. This degree program requires 30 units and offers a thesis option for students wishing to pursue research-based careers or a non-thesis option for students interested in industry work, where students take independent study in place of thesis research. Students in the non-thesis option may pursue study in full- or part-time formats, while the thesis option is only available to full-time students. Coursework for this degree program may discuss topics such as control systems design, stochastic processes, probability, optimization and linear dynamic systems.

Master of Science in Control Systems Engineering

Master of Science (MS) degree programs in systems and control engineering or in electrical engineering with a focus in control systems are more readily available than the MCE degree program. Some of these degree programs may be available in online formats and may require around 30 credit hours. Students may be able to complete these programs in as little as 16 months and may require a culminating thesis. These degree programs are usually more research-based and students may take core coursework followed by electives and/or research opportunities in various areas of the field, like control, intelligent control systems, energy and dynamics.

Graduate Certificate in Control Systems Engineering

For students wanting to increase their knowledge of control systems, but not pursue an entire degree program, a graduate certificate in control systems engineering may be the right choice. Some of these certificate programs are designed for working engineers and usually require around 4 courses or about 12 credits. Some of these certificate programs may also be tied to specific engineering departments, such as mechanical engineering or aerospace engineering, and therefore, provide coursework that is more focused in these particular fields. Students in these certificate programs may take courses in topics like control systems, linear system theory, digital control systems, nonlinear control systems and fuzzy systems.

Common Entrance Requirements

Students applying to master's or graduate certificate programs in control systems engineering need to hold a bachelor's degree, which some programs may require to be in the field of engineering, mathematics, science or technology. Several of these graduate programs require applicants to have a minimum GPA, usually around a 3.0. Students applying to master's degree programs are also likely to need to submit current GRE test scores and their undergraduate transcripts. Some graduate certificate programs that are primarily intended for working engineers may require applicants to have at least 2 years of professional experience. Depending on the master's degree program, students may also be eligible to fill out a separate application for graduate teaching or research assistantship positions for funding to help pay for school.

Students interested in studying control systems engineering can pursue a Master, MS or graduate certificate in the field. The degree programs often require a culminating experience, while the certificate programs provide students with technical knowledge in the field.

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