Telecommunications Systems Management, MSTSM

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Peter O’Reilly, PhD
Program Director
Dana Hall 5th Floor
617.373.2636
p.o'reilly@northeastern.edu

The Master of Science in Telecommunications Systems Management degree is designed for professionals currently in the telecommunications or networking field who either wish to enhance their technical skills and credentials or who wish to make a transition to the business side of telecommunications or networking. We also welcome applications from prospective students with limited industry experience. This program, which may be pursued on a full- or part-time basis, is one of only a very few master’s programs in telecommunications and networking in the United States that is truly multidisciplinary, giving students the flexibility to tailor the curriculum to their specific interests, backgrounds, and career goals.

General Degree Requirements

A minimum of 32 semester hours must be earned toward completion of the MSTSM degree. A minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.000 is required over all courses applied toward the degree.

To qualify for any degree from the Graduate School of Engineering, a student must attain a GPA of 3.000 or higher with no more than 8 semester hours below the grade of B– in all courses applied toward that degree, exclusive of any prerequisite courses. However, prerequisite courses are calculated into the GPA. The committee on graduate study in engineering allows students to take 8 semester hours of credit beyond stated minimum degree requirements for the purpose of repeating failed required courses or substituting for elective courses in order to attain the required 3.000 GPA for the completion of degree requirements. Within the above limitations for extra or repeated courses, a student must repeat any required course in which he or she earns a grade of C+ or less and earn a grade of B– or better.

Degree Requirements 

The program requires that a mix of core required courses and elective courses be taken. Although there are some dependencies among the core courses, the program may be started in either the fall or spring semester.

Degree Requirements Full-Time Study Part-Time Study
Required core courses 16 SH 16 SH
Approved business and technical elective courses 16 SH 16 SH
Minimum Semester Hours Required 32 SH 32 SH

There are four core courses and a wide range of technical and business electives available. The core courses each carry 4 semester hours of credit.  Students must receive a grade of at least a B– in each core course, otherwise they will need to repeat the course. A maximum of two of the core courses may be waived only if a student has taken similar course material at another university with a satisfactory grade. If a technical core course is waived, it must be replaced with a technical elective.  Similarly, if the business core course is waived, it must be replaced with a business elective.

At least one of the electives must be a business elective and at least one must be a technical elective. The technical electives include courses on network and communications technology and on the development of software systems and applications.  The business electives are focused on engineering management and entrepreneurship.  Electives come from approved lists of courses supplied by the colleges of engineering, business, and computer and information science.  All students must take at least one technical elective and one business elective.  These electives must be courses of at least 3 semester hours.  Students may take elective course work outside these lists only with the prior approval of the program director.

It is expected that students beginning this program will have an adequate background in the following areas: C, C++, or Java programming languages; probability and statistics; and differential and integral calculus.

Students may not register for more than 10 semester hours in the fall and spring terms and 4 semester hours in each of the three summer terms.  Any exceptions must be approved by the program director.

Special topics courses, as well as other courses from outside the program, may be used as electives with prior approval of the program director.  

All transfer credits must be approved by petition before course enrollment.

Independent Study (TELE 5978), usually 1 or 2 semester hours, or Master’s Project (TELE 6945) is sometimes available for students and must be carried out under the supervision of a professor and must have prior approval of the program director. Proposals for Independent Study or a Master's Project need to be submitted at least one month before the start of the semester. 

Directed Study (TELE 5976), also for 1 or 2 semester hours, is sometimes available for students. For directed study projects, a student follows a prescribed curriculum, usually with some form of an exam at the end of the semester. 

Graduate Certificate Options

Students enrolled in a Master of Science in Telecommunications Systems Management have the opportunity to also pursue one of the many engineering graduate certificate options in addition to or in combination with the MS degree. Students should consult their faculty advisor regarding these options.

Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership

Master's Degree in Telecommunications Systems Management with Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership

Students may complete a Master of Science in Telecommunications Systems Management in addition to earning a Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership. Students must apply and be admitted to the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program in order to pursue this option. The program requires fulfillment of the 16-semester-hour curriculum required to earn the Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership, which includes an industry-based challenge project with multiple mentors. The integrated 32-semester-hour degree and certificate require 12 hours of technical core courses from the telecommunications systems management program and 4 hours from the technical course list provided for this program. 

Engineering Leadership

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.

Required Core

A grade of B– or higher is required in all core courses.
TELE 5330
and TELE 5331
Data Networking
and Lab for TELE 5330
4
TELE 5340Telecommunications Public Policy and Business Management4
TELE 5350Telecom and Network Infrastructure4
TELE 5360Internet Protocols and Architecture4

Electives

A grade of C or higher is required in each elective.  At least one course must be taken from the business course list and at least one course from the technical course list.

Complete a minimum of 16 semester hours from the course lists below16

Business Course List

Engineering Project Management
Economic Decision Making
Financial Management for Engineers
Enterprise Growth and Innovation
Business Planning for New Ventures
Business Model Design and Innovation
Financing Ventures from Early Stage to Exit
Managing People and Organizations
Planning and Managing Information Systems Development
Negotiations
Management of Service and Manufacturing Operations
Creating and Sustaining Customer Markets
Emerging and Disruptive Technologies
Entrepreneurial Marketing and Selling
Lean Design and Development
Managing a Technology-Based Business
Perspectives in Telecommunications Policy
Consulting Project in Telecommunications
Special Topics—Telecommunication Policy
Special Topics—Business

Technical Course List 

Mobile Application Development
Wireless Network
Network Security
Concepts of Object-Oriented Design
Network Structures and Cloud Computing
Wireless Communication Systems
Mobile and Wireless Networking
Network Security Practices
and Lab for IA 5150
Data Management and Database Design
Smartphones-Based Web Development
Linux/UNIX Systems Management for Network Engineers
Mobile Wireless Communications and Networking
Advanced Data Networking
IP Telephony
Operation Support Systems in Telecommunications
Software-Defined Networking
Special Topics—Systems
Special Topics—Networking

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

Minimum of 32 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.000 GPA required