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Engineering: Sustainable Systems Engineering

Master of Engineering in Engineering

Professor and students looking at engineering model

Turn your passion for healthy environments, economies, and societies into a career that drives positive change with the online Sustainable Systems Engineering master’s program from UW–Madison.


Is this program right for you?

Global changes have created demand for engineers who can lead innovation in sustainable human systems. As an engineer with sustainability interests, you are ready to learn the skills to assist governments, businesses, and communities around the world. The UW–Madison online Master of Engineering in Sustainable Systems Engineering program combines proven distance technology with courses taught by senior faculty who are experienced professionals in environmental science, sustainability, and engineering.

Designed for working professionals to accommodate your career, life, and travel schedules, our online platform is accessible from anywhere in the world. You work directly with faculty to tailor coursework that is specific to your industry and your career goals.

With flexible learning times and courses that immediately apply to real-world problems, you have the structure and support to stay on track for graduation—and to make our world greener and more sustainable.

Is this program right for you?

Global changes have created demand for engineers who can lead innovation in sustainable human systems. As an engineer with sustainability interests, you are ready to learn the skills to assist governments, businesses, and communities around the world. The UW–Madison online Master of Engineering in Sustainable Systems Engineering program combines proven distance technology with courses taught by senior faculty who are experienced professionals in environmental science, sustainability, and engineering.

Designed for working professionals to accommodate your career, life, and travel schedules, our online platform is accessible from anywhere in the world. You work directly with faculty to tailor coursework that is specific to your industry and your career goals.

With flexible learning times and courses that immediately apply to real-world problems, you have the structure and support to stay on track for graduation—and to make our world greener and more sustainable.

Admissions requirements

All applicants must:

  • Have a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from an accredited institution, however a bachelor’s degree in other STEM fields, will be considered.
  • Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on the last 60 credits of degree.
  • Submit evidence of English language proficiency, if applicable. The required proficiency scores are: TOEFL IBT 92, PBT 580; or IELTS 7.0.

To apply:

  • Online application
  • Resume/CV
  • Essay
  • Transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Phone interview

Connect with us

Program Overview: Engineering: Manufacturing Systems Engineering

October 04
noon-12:30 p.m.
Join Program Director Susan Ottmann and Graduate Academic Advisor Justin Kyle Bush for a conversation about the Engineering: Manufacturing Systems Engineering master's program, including curriculum, application process and potential career paths.
Register for Program Overview: Manufacturing Systems Engineering

Program Overview: Engineering: Engineering Data Analytics

October 06
noon-12:30 p.m.
Join Program Director Susan Ottmann and Graduate Academic Advisor Justin Kyle Bush for a conversation about the Engineering: Engineering Data Analytics master's program, including curriculum, application process and potential career paths.
Register for Program Overview: Engineering: Engineering Data Analytics

View all events

Program highlights

  • You learn from the best: UW–Madison’s online engineering graduate programs are consistently top-ranked by U.S. News & World Report.
  • After completing our curriculum, you will not only have an understanding of tomorrow’s clean energy principles, but you will also understand the structure of those in place today.
  • Individuals in the program work directly with faculty to tailor coursework that is directly relevant to their industry and career goals.
  • In this transition to clean energy, you need both the visionary skills and the structural history of our current energy systems. We teach you how to navigate this transition and push forward clean energy principles.
US News and World Reports 2022 Best Online Programs Grad Engineering Badge

How you'll learn

  • Fully online curriculum; you choose when you do most of your work each week.
  • Complete required courses, approved electives (offered flexibly each semester), and a capstone project—as your schedule and your timeline allow.
  • Work directly with faculty to tailor coursework that is directly relevant to your industry and career goals.
  • Attend courses virtually, alongside peers working for top employers around the world.

Sample curriculum

Required Courses

  • Core Competencies of Sustainability
  • Industrial Ecology: Sustainability Tools in Context
  • Sustainable Approaches to System Improvement
  • Sustainable Systems Engineering Capstone
  • Connected Learning Essentials
  • Professional Presentations

Elective Courses

  • Sustainable Facilities
  • Renewable Energy Systems
  • Energy Resources
  • Sustainable Microgrids
  • Sustainable Energy Challenges and Solutions
  • Independent Study

Elective Courses from Foundations of Professional Development

  • Fostering and Leading Innovations
  • Organizational Communication
  • Effective Negotiation Strategies
  • Change Management

Want to sample an online course?

Test drive Canvas, our online learning platform, with modules from an actual UW–Madison master’s program.

Test drive Canvas

Ready to learn more about Engineering: Sustainable Systems Engineering?
View the UW-Madison Guide

Stay in touch

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Connect with our enrollment coaches

Our friendly, knowledgeable enrollment coaches are here to answer your questions. Contact an enrollment coach to:

  • Learn how to make this program work with your life/schedule
  • Verify credit transfers
  • Get help with your application
  • Determine if financial aid is available

Visit with our coaches on campus or at an upcoming student fair in your area. Search student fairs & events.

Connect with a coach

Group photo of Kristine Engel and colleagues

 My knowledge of real-world project sites and my technical project management course have given me confidence and a frame of reference for efficient project planning. The thought of being responsible for a project plan is much less daunting now.  

Kristine Engel, Student in the Sustainable Systems Engineering program
Read more about Kristine