Architecture of Complex Systems

Course 1 of 4 in Architecture and Systems Engineering: Models and Methods to Manage Complex Systems

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  • START DATE January 27, 2020 More Dates
  • TIME COMMITMENT 4-6 hours per week
  • DURATION 5 weeks
  • FORMAT Online
  • PRICE $849


Address changes which induce, propagate, and amplify risk in the increasingly complex products and services they are required to develop. View the week by week schedule here.

  • Motivate the need for system architecture by articulating the ideas of minimized rework and by offering examples of complexity in modern systems.
  • Contrast several definitions of system architecture and construct a personal definition from your career examples.
  • Differentiate systems thinking from other kinds of "thinking;" define a system, and articulate examples of things that are and are not systems. Apply system thinking to provide a perspective on a given project.
  • Articulate more solution-neutral and less solution-neutral framings of a problem, and evaluate how solution-neutral to be for a given problem.
  • Construct a design DSM, either by analyzing the design or by converting a graph of the system.
  • Construct a process DSM and identify how it is different from a design DSM.
  • Given a DSM, apply a sequencing algorithm to sort the components into modules or to sort tasks into groups.
  • Define the role of the architect and the stakeholders with whom the architect should work.
  • Define the deliverables of the architect, with references to architectural frameworks and your career examples.


  • Aerospace, automotive, defense, consumer appliances, and manufacturing industry professionals

  • Engineers at original equipment manufacturers (OEM)

  • Any systems engineering professional, director, or senior manager looking to innovate and optimize their operational, manufacturing, and design systems

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    Earn a Professional Certificate and 2.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from MIT.

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    Connect with an international community of professionals while working on projects based on real-world examples.

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    Gain insights from leading MIT faculty and industry experts from Boeing and NASA, US Air Force, GE, GM, Apple, MAN Truck, and Bus AG.

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    Access cutting edge, research-based content developed by MIT professors and industry experts.


More than 6,300 professionals have completed MIT xPRO's Systems Engineering Program


Siddharth Kshirsagar, System Performance Engineer, Cummins Inc

Architecture and Systems Engineering Professional Certificate has motivated me about the need of system engineering in our daily work life. No matter…

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Michael UY, Senior Principal Engineer, Northrup Grumman

It was a great program with many tangible working tools that were immediately applicable to projects I had going on during my time in the certificate…

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Neena Rajan, Engineering Project Manager, Siemens - Healthcare

If I had to borrow one quote to summarize what I gained from this course, it would be the quote by Lou Holtz: "It's not the load that breaks you down…

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Ron Aditya, Spacecraft GNC Engineer, Lockheed Martin

This program has helped me develop the system level perspective necessary to decompose complex system architecture problems and solve them in ways th…

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Martin Ryschka, Production Manager, Allgaier de Puebla, Mexico

During my time studying for the MBSE course, I realized that the architecture of models begins where the engineering part ends.


Jorge Samayoa, Senior Mechanical Engineer, Georg Fischer Signet LLC

I believe [my new knowledge] will increase our ability to assure and deliver quality to our customers, streamline our development process and improve…

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Lori Strange, Program Manager, BAE Systems

I can definitely say that I have learned more about Systems Engineering, decomposing a system, architectural frameworks, and roles of the System Arch…

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Nick Luther, Staff Engineer, Plexus Corp

This course provides a structured way of thinking which I can apply to frame architectural and other critical decisions.


Michael Richey, Chief Learning Scientist, Associate Technical Fellow, The Boeing Company

The certificate [program] blends industry and academic expertise and represents a scalable solution for employers.


Clayton Smith, Aerodynamicist, General Atomics

I had high expectations and they were adequately met! The content was just what I'd hoped.


Barry O'Reilly, Founder, Black Tulip Technology

I loved the course, even if it was intimidating to study with so many “real engineers”. I’m using what I learned to change the way we do architecture…

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Jordan Tuzsuzov, Chief Engineer, Visteon Corporation

How to think holistically for the system, to design, model, compose and decompose it - this is what I have learned with MIT's "Architecture and Syste…

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Edward F. Crawley

Edward F. Crawley

Ford Professor of Engineering, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT

Bruce G. Cameron

Bruce G. Cameron

Director of the System Architecture Lab, MIT

Olivier L. de Weck

Olivier L. de Weck

Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering Systems, MIT, Editor-in-Chief of Systems Engineering, INCOSE Fellow

Dov Dori

Dov Dori

Professor, Technion and MIT

Steven Eppinger

Steven Eppinger

General Motors LGO Professor of Management Science, MIT


To earn a Professional Certificate, you must complete the four courses in the program. For those who do not want to commit to the full program, courses can be taken on an individual basis. Savings apply when enrolling into the full program.

Architecture of Complex Systems Architecture of Complex Systems

Course 1 of 4 in Architecture and Systems Engineering: Models and Methods to Manage Complex Systems

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Models in Engineering Models in Engineering

Course 2 of 4 in Architecture and Systems Engineering: Models and Methods to Manage Complex Systems

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Model-Based Systems Engineering: Documentation and Analysis Model-Based Systems Engineering: Documentation and Analysis

Course 3 of 4 in Architecture and Systems Engineering: Models and Methods to Manage Complex Systems

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Quantitative Methods in Systems Engineering Quantitative Methods in Systems Engineering

Course 4 of 4 in Architecture and Systems Engineering: Models and Methods to Manage Complex Systems

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View Full Program


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