Dec 01, 2022  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Sustainable Systems Engineering Major, B.S.

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Department of Engineering and Engineering Technology  

College of Health and Applied Sciences  

  Available Program Format(s): In-Person  

About the Program

The Sustainable Systems Engineering (SSE) program offers the Bachelor of Science degree. Sustainable Systems Engineering (SSE) is a broad discipline that addresses the engineering of large, complex systems and the integration of the many subsystems that comprise the larger system. The program integrates Engineering and Engineering Technology department programs with other Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) programs from the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Political Science, Business Management, Communication Arts and Sciences, and other departments, to prepare students for future large prospective and complex systems sustainable development challenges.

The SSE Program focuses on the interactions of engineering, society and ecological systems. Specifically, students in the program study the relationship of engineering to economic development, environmental impact, social structure, and the sustainability of natural resources. Students examine how engineering activities influence human well-being as a whole, complex system. The program provides students with knowledge and methods to analyze and solve sustainable development problems. The program description of the Sustainable Systems Engineering (SSE) is: apply a holistic and systemic approach to solving problems and move beyond the tradition of breaking designs down into disconnected parts.

Sustainable development is considered to be one of the fundamental criteria for engineering practices. Engineers are required to play a leading role in planning, designing, building, manufacturing, and ensuring a sustainable future. The SSE program will prepare our graduates in a better position in pursuing graduate studies or engineering licensure after graduating from MSU Denver. In addition, the graduates will be able to join the workforce as sustainable system engineers, who are expected to work on or lead projects requiring a systemic and interdisciplinary approach to prevent the mismatch between a sophistication of individual discipline decisions and complex situations.

The educational approach incorporates fundamental engineering theories, laboratory works, communications and social science to establish essential sustainable systems concepts. The engineering core component will provide solid training on the majority of the subjects required by Fundamental Engineering (FE) exam.

Students are encouraged to enroll in an internship/cooperative education program through the University's Applied Learning Center to gain valuable work experience.

Students majoring in Sustainable Systems Engineering must meet the following curriculum  and are required to complete all general study courses, program pre-requisite courses and core courses with a grade required for graduation. Technical elective courses must be approved by the program coordinator or department chair.

Under the revised rules and regulations of the Colorado State Board for Registration for Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors, students within 30 semester hours of graduation may take the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination.

Student Outcomes

Student outcomes are used to evaluate the students and support the program educational objectives. The students in the Environmental Engineering program are expected to attain the outcomes (1) through (7) as defined by ABET Criterion 3, Student Outcomes. 

  1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
  2. an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
  3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  4. an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
  5. an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
  6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

General Degree Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the four areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements. 

Program Requirements

  • A total of 128 semester hours are required for graduation.
  • Any course identified in the SSE major core must be passed with a grade of "C" or better. Students should note that programs differ in the minimum grade required.
  • SSE majors must comply with all University General Studies requirements. 
  • This is an extended major, therefore a minor is not required to fulfill degree requirements. 
  • The students may refer to program flowchart or consult with an advisor for degree planning.

General Studies Requirements: 33 credits

Students should consult the General Studies Requirements for a list of courses that fulfill the General Studies Requirements for degree completion.  


** Students will fulfill the global diversity requirement by taking an approved course within one of the following categories: arts and humanities; historical; natural and physical sciences; or social and behavioral sciences. 

Multicultural Requirement: 0 or 3 credits

  • Students should consult the Multicultural Graduation Requirements  for a list of courses that fulfill the Multicultural Requirement for degree completion.  
  • Many programs include courses that meet this requirement. Students should consult with their advisor to determine what program courses may fulfill this requirement. 

Required Prerequisite Courses: 17 credits

The department recommends that this requirement be met along with the General Studies requirements.

Elective Courses: 7 credits

Students are required to take at least 7 credit hours from the list below to complete their major.

Senior Experience: 3 credits

Summary of Requirements

General Studies Requirements 33 credits
Multicultural Requirement 0-3 credits
Required Prerequisite Courses 17 credits
Required Courses 80 credits
Major Electives 7 credits
Senior Experience 3 credits
Total for the Sustainable Systems Engineering Major, B.S. Minimum of 128 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and Multicultural requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree.

Up to 12 of the 33 General Studies credits in this program may be fulfilled through requirements for the degree.

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