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Joint Executive Systems Engineering Management (SEM-PD21) Masters Degree Program

Graduate School of Engineering & Applied Sciences (GSEAS)

Program Length: 2 years | Starts: Fall | Curriculum: #721


Program Overview

The SEM-PD21 program is a groundbreaking interdisciplinary leadership program designed for senior engineering and technical professionals. By integrating engineering and management elements, the program strives to develop a new kind of leader with a holistic perspective and knowledge of the total life-cycle acquisition system. Students acquire the fundamental skills and strategic perspective required of effective change agents as well as an enhanced ability to recognize barriers to success early in a system's development cycle when corrective actions are least costly. The SEM-PD21 program is the educational foundation needed by technical leaders to drive systems engineering innovations and help achieve acquisition excellence.

Students in the joint executive SEM-PD21 program will be exposed to the latest state of the art concepts, tools and best practices, both private and public, in systems engineering and management. They will learn from experienced faculty, who have worked in the defense industry and completed defense relevant research and/or consulting. One of the key value propositions of the program is collaboration not only jointly within defense and across the services, but also with defense industry partners. Imagine the possibilities when future leaders participate and collaborate in non-threatening educational environments, studying and analyzing how to improve the way defense does business!

The following distance learning delivery method(s) may be used for this program:


Program Announcements


Joint Executive Systems Engineering Management (SEM-PD21)

The Naval Postgraduate School Department of Systems Engineering is pleased to announce this year’s offering of the Joint Executive Systems Engineering Management (SEM) distance learning (DL) program offered in partnership with MIT’s “Educational Consortium for Leadership in Product Development in the 21st Century” (PD21) commencing 10 September 2018. Deadline for application is 15 June 2018.

Read the full 721-191 Announcement here.



Lt. Cmdr. Victor Glover, an F/A-18 combat pilot currently serving as a Legislative Fellow in the office of Senator John McCain, was selected from more than 6,100 applicants to begin training at Johnson Space Center in August for potential space flight. Glover graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2009 through the Master’s of Systems Engineering Management – Product Development 21st Century (SEM-PD21) program, in addition to receiving a space systems academic certificate in 2005, both via distance learning.

Read the full story here.



NPS and the PD21 consortium believe that this joint engineering & management program offers the best unified curriculum available in systems engineering and end-to-end product development, leadership education. It ideally aligns with defense leadership vision for transformation and acquisition excellence. Students who successfully complete this program will receive:

  • Degree: Master of Science in Systems Engineering Management or Master of Science in Product Development.
  • PD21 Certificate: Certificate of Recognition from MIT.
  • DAU Equivalencies: Defense Acquisition University (DAU) ACQ101, ACQ201, ACQ203, PMT251, PMT257, ENG101, ENG202, ENG301.

Students have great flexibility in designing an elective structure from 5 current elective tracks, which, together with the 10 core courses, will earn the students additional certifications in:

  • Advanced Systems Engineering Track
  • Human Systems Integration Certificate
  • Network Operations & Technology-Operations Certificate
  • Space Systems Certificate
  • System of Systems Track
  • Systems Analysis Certificate

Kickoff in Monterey: 10 - 21 September 2018

(Separate Agenda provided for 2 week kickoff at NPS)

Course introductions, meet faculty & graduating students, Silicon Valley trip, attend thesis briefings and graduation

Full Curriculum here:
QTR 1- Fall AY18: 24 Sep - 14 Dec 2018

MN3108 (3-2) - Leadership in Product Development

MN3117 (4-0) - Organizational Processes

SE3810 (0-2) - Systems Engineering Seminar

QTR 2 - Winter AY18: 3 Jan - 29 Mar 2019

SI4021 (3-2) - Systems Engineering for Product Development

MN3145 (4-0) - Marketing Management

SE3810 (0-2) - Systems Engineering Seminar

QTR 3 - Spring AY18: 1 Apr - 14 Jun 2019

SI4022 (4-0) - Systems Architecture

SE4353 (3-2) - Engineering Risk Benefit Analysis

SE3810 (0-2) - Systems Engineering Seminar

One-week Industry visit at end of quarter

QTR 4 - Summer AY18: 8 Jul - 27 Sep 2019

MN3156 (4-0) - Finance & Managerial Accounting

MN3392 (4-0) - Systems and Project Management

SE3810 (0-2) - Systems Engineering Seminar

QTR 5 - Fall AY19: 30 Sep - 13 Dec 2019

OS3211 (4-0) - Systems Optimization

Elective Course - see tracks below

SE3810 (0-2) - Systems Engineering Seminar

QTR 6 - Winter AY19: 6 Jan - 27 Mar 2020

MN4379 (4-0) - Operations Management

Elective Course - see tracks below

SE3810 (0-2) - Systems Engineering Seminar

QTR 7 - Spring AY19: 30 Mar - 12 Jun 2020

SE0811 (0-8) - Thesis Research

Elective Course- see tracks below

SE3810 (0-2) - Systems Engineering Seminar

One-week Industry visit at end of quarter

QTR 8 - Summer AY19: 6 July - 25 Sep 2020

SE0811 (0-8) - Thesis Research

Elective Course - see tracks below

SE3810 (0-2) - Systems Engineering Seminar


Graduation Week at NPS: Graduation is on Friday, 25 September 2020

COURSE ELECTIVES (tracks and course sequences may change)

Advanced Systems Engineering Track

  • SE3302 (3-2) - System Suitability
  • SE3303 (3-2) - System Assessment
  • SE3250 (3-2) - Capability Engineering
  • SE4003 (4-0) - Systems Software Engineering

Human Systems Integration Online Certificate (262)

  • OA3411 - Introduction to Human Systems Integration
  • OA3412 - Human Systems Integration in the Acq Lifecycle
  • OA3413 - Human Systems Integration Tools, Tradeoffs, and Processes
  • OA4414 - Human Systems Integration Case Studies and Applications

Space Systems Online Certificate (273)

  • SS3011 (3-0) - Space Technology and Applications
  • SS3613 (3-1) - Military Satellite Communications
  • PH3502 (3-1) - Physics of Space and Airborne Sensor Systems
  • PH2514 (4-0) - Introduction to Space Environment

System of Systems Track

  • SE4950 (4-0) - System of Systems Engineering
  • SE4980 (4-0) - Enterprise Systems Engineering
  • SE4930 (3-2) - Model-Based Systems Engineering
  • SE4003 (3-2) - Systems Software Engineering

Systems Analysis Online Certificate (281)

  • OS2080 (3-0) - Probability and Statistics I
  • OS3380 (3-1) - Combat Systems Simulation
  • OS3680 (4-0) - Naval Tactical Analysis
  • OS4680 (4-0) - Naval Systems Analysis

Advanced Systems Architecting Track

  • SE4150 (3-2) Systems Architecture and Design
  • SE4151 (3-2) Systems Integration and Development
  • SE4935 (4-0) Formal Methods for Systems Architecting
  • SE4930 (3-2) Model Based Systems Engineering

Eligibility and Admissions Standards

The following are eligible for this program:

  • US Military Officers*
  • Defense contractors with a GS11 equivalency
  • US Government Civilians with a grade GS11 or above
  • International Students**

*Per OPNAVINST 1520.23C, a Navy officer will incur a 3 year service obligation upon completion or withdrawal from the Master of Joint Executive Systems Engineering Management (SEM-PD21) Masters Degree Program.


  • Baccalaureate Degree (BA or BS)
  • GPA of 2.6 or better
  • At least five years experience directly related to systems development, engineering, acquisition, operations or support. (Requirement reduced to three years for applicants who hold a master's degree.)



Tuition for this program is based on the 721-191 Tuition Letter Joint SEM-PD21 Sept 2018-2020 PDF document.

Please refer to the tuition page regarding general information on tuition for DL programs. You may also contact the tuition-collection POC for this program directly: CED3Bursar@nps.edu

Contact Information

For additional information specific to the program, please email the Program Director at PD21DegProg@nps.edu.

For general questions about CED3 supported programs, please e-mail the CED3 Student Coordinator at CED3StudCoord@nps.edu.