This paper develops a systems engineering-based framework to assist in the design of an online engineering course. Specifically, the purpose of the framework is to provide a structured methodology for the design, development and delivery of a fully online course, either brand new or modified from an existing face-to-face course. The main strength Systems Engineering provides to online course design and delivery is the holistic worldview and the life-cycle approach. Adopting the life-cycle approach ensures a smooth transition for faculty members who are in the process of modifying their curriculum to meet student and industry demands. The effectiveness and function of the framework is discussed with respect to results from a brand new fully online course that was designed and developed for the Engineering Management Program at University of Houston Clear Lake, including a survey of students on Blackboard efficiency. The paper concludes with a discussion of implications of the framework for online education and future research.