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What Systems Thinking Means at SDM

Over the last one hundred years, engineering has evolved dramatically from a singular focus on emerging technology and infrastructures to a broader view of of these elements as dynamic, interconnected systems. System Design & Management asks individuals to anticipate and resolve challenges before they arise. Leaders in the field are required to think holistically, navigating constant uncertainty with a keen sense of flexibility. 

System Design & Management draws upon advanced engineering and management principles, methods, and tools to address the world’s most daunting challenges. Our students build on real-world experience in their field, gaining skills and perspective through rigorous academic courses, research, and hands-on experience across MIT. 

While traditional engineering may focus on identifying solutions, at SDM we’re focused on the interconnectedness of problems and solutions, pushing students to understand the needs of all stakeholders both socially and technically. We are uniquely positioned at MIT to offer our students both academic and industry perspectives, educating them to become adaptable leaders with strong engineering capability and judgement.  

Students learn how to explore and reframe problems, enabling transformative solutions. Our students become senior leaders who recognize and expose deeply-held assumptions and overcome biases, leading organizations to new solutions. 

In our multidisciplinary program this means all students:

  • Gain critical systems thinking foundation skills in an integrated core course 
  • Build further skills and knowledge in depth, foundation, and elective courses (master’s students) or faculty seminars (graduate certificate students) 
  • Put research into action through thesis or capstone work
  • Leverage a vast network of industry connections cultivated through the program’s industry partners and alumni group