Systems Science Master’s and PhD Programs

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the whole world increasingly more aware of the relevance of systems science, its concepts and methodologies. How rapid and counterintuitive is the exponential growth? Why are mathematical models and computer simulations important and helpful for real-world problem solving? How do social networks play a key role in contagion processes? Why can social distancing change the epidemic property of our social system? How critical are supply chain and healthcare systems management for saving lives in emergency situations? All of these are Systems Science questions. The abilities and skills to understand, model, predict and manipulate complex systems are more important than ever. 

We, the Systems Science program at Binghamton University, are committed to disseminating those critically needed systems skills for a wide variety of professional and academic workforces for the betterment of our global society. We offer highly unique, internationally recognized, transdisciplinary learning and research experiences. Join us to make a difference to the world.

Degrees offered

  • Watson College offers its MS and PhD in Systems Science in person and online via the EngiNet distance learning service.

  • PhD in Systems Science (on-campus and online)

  • MS in Systems Science (on-campus and online) 

  • MPA/MS in Systems Science double degree

  • MS in Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention/MS in System Science double degree

  • Advanced Graduate Certificate in Complex Systems and Engineering

  • Combined 4+1 BS ISE-MS Systems Science Program for Binghamton undergraduates 

Join us at an upcoming information session, in person or online, to learn more about our Systems Science PhD, MS and specialized concentrations. 

Research topics

Areas of specialization are multidisciplinary and reflect the talents and interests of Watson College faculty members. Available research topics include: 

  • Agent-Based Modeling
  • Artificial Life
  • Complex Networks
  • Complex Systems
  • Computational Social Science
  • Computer Simulation
  • Data Analytics
  • Decision Making and Management
  • Game Theory
  • Health Systems
  • Information Theory 
  • Intelligent Control
  • Machine Learning
  • Mathematical & Computational Biology
  • Mathematical Modeling of Systems
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Optimization
  • Soft Computing
  • Statistical Modeling
  • Sustainability
  • System Dynamics
  • Transdisciplinary Research 

Master of Science in Systems Science curriculum 

The Master of Science in Systems Science provides the student with concepts, principles and methods for understanding, modeling, analyzing, optimizing and improving various forms of complex systems. Such systems thinking and problem- solving skills will be an invaluable asset when the student blazes a new trail in any scientific, engineering, business or management profession in today’s increasingly complex world. This program is available fully online. 

Required courses

Students must complete four required courses while maintaining at least a B average. Students will choose to complete either SSIE-520 or SSIE-523. 

Degree-completion options 

  • Thesis: Four additional graduate-level elective courses (at least one at 600- level), plus 6 credits of thesis work followed by oral presentation and defense. 
  • Project: Five additional graduate-level elective courses (at least one at 600-level), plus a project of at least 3 credits followed by oral presentation and defense. 
  • Coursework only: Six additional graduate-level elective courses, including at least one 600-level course that contains project-based coursework to serve as capstone for the termination requirement. 

Sample electives

View current course offerings

PhD in Systems Science

The doctoral program in systems science offers a unique, internationally recognized, highly transdisciplinary learning and research experience that is available in person or fully online. 

Degree requirements include:

  • satisfaction of the learning contract, including proficiency in teaching and residence requirements
  • pass a comprehensive exam
  • presentation of a colloquium on proposed research
  • acceptance of a prospectus outlining dissertation research
  • submission of a dissertation, and
  • defense of a dissertation at oral examination

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