The Center for System Science and Engineering is based in the Johns Hopkins Department of Civil Engineering. Graduate students interested in pursuing the Systems focus area should express this intent in their application and be interested in working with one of the CSSE-affiliated faculty.

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Part-time and online Master’s degrees and certificates in systems are also offered by Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals.


Our students learn to use modeling and simulation to study the performance of complex systems and calculate the effect of changes.


The emphasis in the Ph.D. systems-focused degree is upon a sound foundation in the fundamentals in a given area with considerable flexibility in course selection determined by the interests and background of each graduate student. The Department of Civil Engineering offers opportunities for a broad application of systems thinking and modeling in many areas like Energy, Public Health, Disaster Planning, Medicine, and Infrastructure. Systems is an inherently cross-disciplinary subject and students are encouraged to take courses from outside their home department. These courses are supplemented by systems seminars, generally delivered by visiting experts in the field.

Students with a primary interest in Operations Research, and those who wish to apply systems thinking and modeling to improve the design of public policies and environmental control systems can also enroll in the programs offered by Applied Math & Statistics and the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering. There is considerable overlap and collaboration between these departments. To find out more about the research interests of individual faculty, please see the Team page or contact Dr. Sauleh Siddiqui.

Our doctoral students take the equivalent of about two full academic years of formal course work. Roughly half of this is done in the principal subject area and the rest is chosen from allied fields. Although systems is a subject that crosses traditional departmental boundaries, doctoral students still take the Departmental Qualifying Exam (DQE) for their home department, and are also encouraged to take the appropriate core departmental classes to successfully pass the exam.


Students pursuing a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering at Johns Hopkins are welcome to work with CSSE members and take a wide range of systems-related classes. Students from the JHU departments of Environmental Health and Engineering and Applied Math and Statistics also regularly collaborate with CSSE.