645.631.81 - Introduction to Model Based Systems Engineering

Systems Engineering
Spring 2024


The Introduction to Model Based Systems Engineering course provides an overview of what Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) is and how MBSE techniques can be applied to the Systems Engineering process to manage complexity, reduce risk, and potentially streamline the engineering design and development effort. Students will utilize an industry-leading system modeling tool and develop artifacts applied to real-world case studies that reinforce the MBSE concepts of methodology, language, and tools.


Profile photo of Jennifer Rainey.

Jennifer Rainey


Course Structure

The course materials are divided into modules which can be accessed by clicking Modules on the course menu. A module will have several sections including the overview, content, readings, discussions, and assignments. You are encouraged to preview all sections of the module before starting. Most modules run for a period of seven (7) days, exceptions are noted in the Course Outline. You should regularly check the Calendar and Announcements for assignment due dates.

Course Topics

Course Goals

The goal of the Introduction to Model Based Systems Engineering course is to provide an overview of what Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) is and how MBSE techniques can be applied to the Systems Engineering process to manage complexity, reduce risk, and potentially streamline the engineering design and development effort.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)


Note: Earlier editions of the required textbooks will not be sufficient. Coursework requires material not covered in earlier editions. Both textbooks will also be used for the follow-on course - Applied Analytics.

Friedenthal, S., Moore, A., & Steiner, R. (2015). A practical guide to SysML: the Systems Modeling Language (3rded.). Waltham, MA: Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann.
ISBN-13: 978-0128002025

Delligatti, L. (2014). SysML distilled: a brief guide to the Systems Modeling Language (1st ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison-Wesley/Pearson Education, Inc.
ISBN-10: 0-321-92786-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-321-92786-6

Other Materials & Online Resources

INCOSE (2017). INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook (Version 4). [Digital copy will be available.]

Kossiakoff, A., Sweet, W. N., Seymour, S. J., & Beimer, S. M. (2011). Systems Engineering: Principles and Practices (2011). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Required Software

Catia Magic Systems of Systems Architect 2022x (Vendor: Dassault)

You will need access to the required version of the software listed above. The software license will be provided at no cost to you. Instructions for download are provided in Canvas under Module 1. If you use a tool by the same vendor, such as Cameo Enterprise Architect or Cameo System Modeler, check with your instructor to see if that tool may be used for the course.

Student Coursework Requirements

It is expected that each module will take approximately 8–12 hours per week to complete. Here is an approximate breakdown: reading the assigned sections of the texts (2-4 hours per week) as well as some outside reading, watching the assigned lectures (2–3 hours per week), and discussion/homework/project assignments/quizzes (minimum of 4-5 hours per week).

This course will consist of the following basic student requirements:

Preparation and Participation (15% of Final Grade Calculation)

You are responsible for carefully reading all assigned material and being prepared for discussion. The majority of readings are from the course text. Additional reading may be assigned to supplement text readings. Discussion forums questions will be assigned for most, but not all, modules. Since each discussion question is tied to that week's lecture material, please ensure that you have viewed the recorded lecture material before posting. For grading purposes, there are two required ways of responding to the Discussion question. The first way is to respond with an original reply to the question. The second is to reply to another student’s original response. Just posting your response to a discussion question is not sufficient; we want you to interact with your classmates. Be detailed in your postings and in your responses to your classmates' postings. Feel free to agree or disagree with your classmates. Please ensure that your postings are civil and constructive. Discussion participation for each forum is worth 3 points allocated as follows:

Homework Assignments (15% of Final Grade Calculation)

Homework will be assigned for Modules 1 through 7. The majority of these assignments are focused on learning the SysML language and the use of the Magic Systems of Systems Architect tool.

Quiz 1 (15% of Final Grade Calculation)

A multiple-choice quiz will be assigned in Module 2. You may use the course text and lecture slides to complete the quiz.

Quiz 2 (15% of Final Grade Calculation)

A multiple-choice quiz will be assigned in Module 7. You may use the course text and lecture slides to complete the quiz.

Course Project (40% of Final Grade Calculation)

A course project will be assigned in Module 8 of the course. During Modules 8 through 13, students will submit a portion of the Project. The completed Project will be submitted in Module 14. The grades for Modules 8-13 will count as 50% of this grade, and the grade for Module 14 will count as 50%. The final submission is assessed against the required views and if students updated their model in response to instructor feedback provided in Modules 8 - 13.

Grading Policy

EP uses a +/- grading system (see “Grading System”, Graduate Programs catalog, p. 10).

Score RangeLetter Grade
100-97= A+
96-93= A
92-90= A−
89-87= B+
86-83= B
82-80= B−
79-77= C+
76-73= C
72-70= C−
69-67= D+
66-63= D
<63= F

Assignments are due according to the dates posted in Canvas (note the time is the Eastern Time Zone). You may check these due dates in the Course Calendar or the Assignments in the corresponding modules. We will post grades within one week of the assignment due dates.

Late submissions on Homework and Course Project assignments will be reduced by ten points when submitted prior to the start of office hours. Late submissions submitted once office hours starts, will be reduced by 30 points. No assignments will be accepted after one week past the due date (no exceptions without prior coordination with the instructor for your section). All quizzes submitted late will receive a 10-point penalty and quizzes will not be accepted after one week past the due date (no exceptions without prior coordination with the instructor for your section).

We allow resubmission on most Homework and Course Project Assignments. However, the following rules apply:

Academic Policies

Deadlines for Adding, Dropping and Withdrawing from Courses

Students may add a course up to one week after the start of the term for that particular course. Students may drop courses according to the drop deadlines outlined in the EP academic calendar (https://ep.jhu.edu/student-services/academic-calendar/). Between the 6th week of the class and prior to the final withdrawal deadline, a student may withdraw from a course with a W on their academic record. A record of the course will remain on the academic record with a W appearing in the grade column to indicate that the student registered and withdrew from the course.

Academic Misconduct Policy

All students are required to read, know, and comply with the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS) / Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) Procedures for Handling Allegations of Misconduct by Full-Time and Part-Time Graduate Students.

This policy prohibits academic misconduct, including but not limited to the following: cheating or facilitating cheating; plagiarism; reuse of assignments; unauthorized collaboration; alteration of graded assignments; and unfair competition. Course materials (old assignments, texts, or examinations, etc.) should not be shared unless authorized by the course instructor. Any questions related to this policy should be directed to EP’s academic integrity officer at ep-academic-integrity@jhu.edu.

Students with Disabilities - Accommodations and Accessibility

Johns Hopkins University values diversity and inclusion. We are committed to providing welcoming, equitable, and accessible educational experiences for all students. Students with disabilities (including those with psychological conditions, medical conditions and temporary disabilities) can request accommodations for this course by providing an Accommodation Letter issued by Student Disability Services (SDS). Please request accommodations for this course as early as possible to provide time for effective communication and arrangements.

For further information or to start the process of requesting accommodations, please contact Student Disability Services at Engineering for Professionals, ep-disability-svcs@jhu.edu.

Student Conduct Code

The fundamental purpose of the JHU regulation of student conduct is to promote and to protect the health, safety, welfare, property, and rights of all members of the University community as well as to promote the orderly operation of the University and to safeguard its property and facilities. As members of the University community, students accept certain responsibilities which support the educational mission and create an environment in which all students are afforded the same opportunity to succeed academically. 

For a full description of the code please visit the following website: https://studentaffairs.jhu.edu/policies-guidelines/student-code/

Classroom Climate

JHU is committed to creating a classroom environment that values the diversity of experiences and perspectives that all students bring. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Fostering an inclusive climate is important. Research and experience show that students who interact with peers who are different from themselves learn new things and experience tangible educational outcomes. At no time in this learning process should someone be singled out or treated unequally on the basis of any seen or unseen part of their identity. 
If you have concerns in this course about harassment, discrimination, or any unequal treatment, or if you seek accommodations or resources, please reach out to the course instructor directly. Reporting will never impact your course grade. You may also share concerns with your program chair, the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, or the Office of Institutional Equity. In handling reports, people will protect your privacy as much as possible, but faculty and staff are required to officially report information for some cases (e.g. sexual harassment).

Course Auditing

When a student enrolls in an EP course with “audit” status, the student must reach an understanding with the instructor as to what is required to earn the “audit.” If the student does not meet those expectations, the instructor must notify the EP Registration Team [EP-Registration@exchange.johnshopkins.edu] in order for the student to be retroactively dropped or withdrawn from the course (depending on when the "audit" was requested and in accordance with EP registration deadlines). All lecture content will remain accessible to auditing students, but access to all other course material is left to the discretion of the instructor.