Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Systems Engineering

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Earn a doctorate degree in Systems Engineering and meet the increasing demand for professionals in the field of system design, management, and integration.

Systems engineering is a growing field that provides many career opportunities to graduates within this discipline. Systems Engineers work within the technology industry, from biotech to mechatronics, computer science to aerospace – any system that needs development, deployment, design, integration, and analysis will be managed by a Systems Engineer. Systems Engineers tackle projects such as life cycle management, data management, cybersecurity implementation, DevOps, control centers, algorithm design, complex hardware and software testing, manufacturing systems, best practices analyses, and others across a wide array of technological global industries. Graduates within this profession are highly sought after, as they are a fundamental asset to any successful business. With Capitol Tech’s unique resources, partnerships, and proximity to the nation’s technology hub of Washington, D.C. and the DMV, prospective students will find many internships and job opportunities available to them. The PhD in Systems Engineering is for those who desire to advance in their careers by gaining leadership and management skills in the industries related directly and indirectly to Systems Engineering.

The Ph.D. in Systems Engineering is for current professionals in the field of engineering design, manufacturing, and service. Graduates will contribute significantly to the Systems Engineering field through the creation of new knowledge and ideas. The Ph.D. in Systems Engineering program is designed as a doctorate by research where students will quickly become able to engage in leadership, research, and publishing on a global systems engineering level. 

As your PhD progresses, you will move through a series of progression points and review stages by your academic supervisor. This ensures that you are engaged in a process of research that will lead to the production of a high-quality Thesis and/or publications and that you are on track to complete this in the time available. Following submission of your PhD Thesis or accepted three academic journal articles, you will have an oral presentation assessed by an external expert in your field. 

Why Capitol?

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Expert guidance in doctoral research

Capitol’s doctoral programs are supervised by faculty with extensive experience in chairing doctoral dissertations and mentoring students as they launch their academic careers. You’ll receive the guidance you need to successfully complete your doctoral research project and build credentials in the field.  


Proven academic excellence

Study at a university that specializes in industry-focused education in technology fields, nationally recognized for our academic excellence in our programs. 

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Program is 100% online

Our Ph.D. programs are offered 100% online. 


Key Faculty

Career Opportunities

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Market demand for systems engineering expertise

Get the necessary credentials to take on a leadership role in this evolving, in-demand field; become a researcher, speaker, author, or trusted expert; or enter higher education as a teaching professional. 

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A degree that provides opportunities

Graduates will contribute significantly to the systems engineering field through the creation of new knowledge and ideas. 

Degree Details

This program may be completed with a minimum of 60 credit hours, but may require additional credit hours, depending on the time required to complete the dissertation/publication research. Students who are not prepared to defend after completion of the 60 credits will be required to enroll in RSC-899, a one-credit, eight-week continuation course. Students are required to be continuously enrolled/registered in the RSC-899 course until they successfully complete their dissertation defense/exegesis.

The student will produce, present, and defend a doctoral dissertation after receiving the required approvals from the student’s Committee and the PhD Review Boards.

Prior Achieved Credits May Be Accepted 

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates are subject to change.

The following rates are in effect for the 2024-2025 academic year, beginning in Fall 2024 and continuing through Summer 2025:

  • The application fee is $100
  • The per-credit charge for doctorate courses is $950. This is the same for in-state and out-of-state students.
  • Retired military receive a $50 per credit hour tuition discount
  • Active duty military receive a $100 per credit hour tuition discount for doctorate level coursework.
  • Information technology fee $40 per credit hour.
  • High School and Community College full-time faculty and full-time staff receive a 20% discount on tuition for doctoral programs.

Find additional information for 2024-2025 doctorate tuition and fees.

I'm an engineer with the U.S. Navy in the Missile Defense domain with an interest in researching the failure analysis of complex systems for safety and vulnerability. I was drawn to Capitol Tech's transfer credit policy and the program's simplicity.

-Christopher Green
PhD in Systems Engineering

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