Systems Engineering Among New Academic Offerings at College of Charleston

Staff Report From Charleston CEO

Monday, August 26th, 2019

The College of Charleston is launching several new academic programs for the 2019–20 school year, including a new major in systems engineering.

Housed in the College’s School of Sciences and Mathematics, the Systems Engineering Program aims to provide its majors with strong academic and technical foundations to prepare them for careers in various sectors, including manufacturing, engineering and industrial firms. CofC is the first university in South Carolina to offer a B.S. degree in systems engineering.

Students may enroll in the program for the fall of 2020.

“Systems engineering is a rigorous degree program that appeals to technically minded students who enjoy building and modeling complex projects and systems,” says physics professor Narayanan Kuthirummal, director of the Systems Engineering Program.

A task force of engineers from Boeing, Bosch, Mercedes-Benz Vans and several others helped to design the curriculum, and the Industrial Advisory Board has been established to ensure the curriculum remains relevant to industry needs.

Systems engineers are responsible for the system concept, architecture and design of a project. They analyze and manage complexity and risk. They decide how to measure whether the system actually works as intended. Content areas within the College’s systems engineering curriculum will include physics, mathematics, programming, big data and cybersecurity, electrical and mechanical systems, project management and supply chain, among others.

“Systems engineering considers both the business and the technical needs of all customers with the goal of providing a quality product that meets user needs,” says Kuthirummal. “Modern engineering projects are large and complex, increasing the demand for systems engineers.”

Graduates who major in systems engineering could find work in a variety of sectors, including defense, manufacturing, transportation, health care, energy and high-tech industry.

Other new academic offerings launching in the 2019–20 academic year include:

A minor in project management, offered through the School of Professional Studies

A concentration in literature, film and culture studies offered through the Department of English

A concentration in public history offered (jointly with The Citadel) for students enrolled in the College’s Master of Arts in Historyprogram

An undergraduate certification in sustainability and 21st-century business solutionsoffered through the School of Professional Studies

A graduate certificate in arts and cultural management, which is replacing the College’s previous graduate certificate in arts management