Graduate Certificate in Systems

Our Program

Purdue Systems Collaboratory initiated the Graduate Certificate in Systems in Fall 2018, a program designed for Purdue graduate students (on-campus and distance) across all majors as well as continuing education professionals.

The Certificate program is a response to the need for a new generation of leaders with a holistic perspective, who can address the most challenging and complex problems of today’s societies. Purdue graduates have continuously made technological breakthroughs, developed innovative products, created timeless designs, and discovered better ways to feed the world. It is time to pioneer the education of scientists, economists, engineers, designers, and humanitarians who are also systems thinkers; future leaders who can see the hidden interconnections between different elements of a system and turn the spotlight on the role of humans. These systems range from large-scale power grids and political/social systems to small-scale devices, such as motors for unclogging blood vessels and 3-D nanostructures.


Plan of Study

The Certificate in Systems program is administered through the Office of the Provost and is governed by the PSC Educational Committee representing different Purdue colleges. The study plan for the certificate includes three graduate SYS courses (9 credit hours) that introduce fundamental of systems thinking and enable students to gain a systems perspective, teaching tools and methodologies that can be applied in a variety of complex problems, and discuss emerging grand challenges at all levels.

The three SYS courses in the program had been previously offered cross-listed in the different variations between Fall 2014 and Spring 2018. If a student has completed any of these courses, the course can be counted towards fulfillment of the certificate requirements. 

Required Courses

SYS 500 - Introduction to Systems Thinking
SYS 510 - Theories and Methodologies
SYS 530 - Applied Systems Thinking

*None of the three courses required for completion of the Graduate Certificate in Systems can be double counted towards any other certificate or concentration. They can be counted as part of a Master or PhD degree though.

Degree Seeking Students

For Purdue students, upon completion of certificate and Purdue degree requirements, students will receive an official certificate, which is also recorded on their academic transcript.


Course Only Purdue Students

For non-degree seeking participants, the official certificate will be awarded when the certificate is completed.

For more information, please email