Earn a Masters in Engineering Management Degree
Masters in engineering management programs are technically based programs that teach methods to manage business initiatives, projects and team members in an engineering setting. These methods could be applied throughout the field, in areas such as civil, electrical, mechanical, and aerospace engineering.
Classes within these programs are often divided into two types of management to mirror an engineering manager’s dual role as a technologist and a manager. First, you could study techniques in leadership and team management. Simultaneously, technical classes may teach ways to increase the effectiveness of processes, improve quality and support project success.
What Is a Masters in Engineering Management Program?
A masters in engineering management program is often equated to a masters in business for engineering majors. Like the MBA, many are designed to prepare students to take on management or leadership roles. However these programs are often tailored to address the specific challenges of technology focused organizations.
Most programs award a master of science in engineering management degree and are made up of about 30 credit hours’ worth of classes. Students could potentially complete these courses and earn a masters in engineering management degree in 2 years. However program length may vary depending upon enrollment.
Master of Engineering Management Curriculum
Engineering management masters program courses are designed to develop your understanding of how to manage both the technological and human resources sides of engineering. Core course topics could include some of the following.
- Supply Chain Management
- Production System Management
- Decision Analysis
- Cost Management
- Environmental Sustainability
- Organizational Behavior and Leadership
- Information Technology Strategy
- Financial Studies for Engineering
Students may also have the opportunity to select a concentration and take additional classes in a given area. Concentration options may include aviation and aerospace management, systems engineering, project management, financial management and more.
These are only a few examples of potential engineering management courses and concentrations. It’s important to note that offerings may differ from school to school. Reach out to perspective programs for more information.
Cooperative Education Experience (Co-Op)
In addition to traditional class time, you may be asked to dedicate a semester of your engineering management masters program to take part in a co-op program. During this experience, you could be placed with an engineering firm in your desired field. The goal of this semester is to put you in actual engineering scenarios where you can work alongside fellow engineering professionals. You may have a chance to complete projects for a business, develop new initiatives to enhance standard practices and practically apply managerial theory from class.
Online students should be aware that there may be some travel involved with the co-op experience. Schools usually try to place students with businesses close to their location to reduce commutes. But, this might not always be the case. Campus students are typically matched with a company near school. This is done because you might still be taking classes during this time and may need easy access to campus. Contact individual programs to learn more about potential placements and co-op requirements.
As a conclusion to the engineering management masters program, students may be asked to complete a capstone project. Usually, this takes the form of a thesis where students investigate an aspect of engineering management in a particular engineering field. Topics could include ways to enhance team members’ work flow, challenges in current engineering practices, or other issues.
Once finished, students may either present their findings or submit a paper. Then a committee of professors could ask additional questions and evaluate their work. Usually, the chosen professors have extensive knowledge of the specific engineering field. Due to this, they may be able to offer constructive criticism or point out a strong line of thinking.
Capstone projects may vary from program to program. Check in with department staff for more information about their guidelines.
Applying to a Master of Engineering Program
Students applying to masters in engineering management programs are typically required to have earned an undergraduate degree in their chosen engineering field. This is due to the fact that masters in engineering management courses don’t necessarily deal with STEM topics associated with different types of engineering. Instead, they focus on leadership techniques and management methods to potentially improve the output of a project. Applicants may be asked to demonstrate previous knowledge by providing transcripts and proof of a 3.0 undergraduate GPA.
Schools may also require GRE scores to be submitted along with the application. In addition to these requirements, programs may request supplemental materials such as letters of recommendation, personal statements, and letters of intent. Admissions criteria may vary between schools. For a more details about a specific program’s requirements, speak with their admissions team.
Accredited Masters in Engineering Management Programs
During your search for an engineering management masters program, keep your eye out for programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). ABET was designed to evaluate programs in many different fields within engineering and accredits mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, and engineering management programs.
ABET assesses schools’ efforts to enhance their engineering programs and has established strict standards for schools to maintain their standing. Representatives may look into curriculum, program technology, and teaching methods. This could ensure that programs remain at the forefront of engineering knowledge and reflect current industry standards.
Masters in Engineering Management Program Formats
Depending on your lifestyle, current career, and educational goals, a specific engineering managements masters program may be better suited for you. When deciding on which program to pursue, it is important to take stock of your personal aims and obligations. Schools may offer different program formats depending on their capabilities, each with their own potential benefits.
On Campus Masters in Engineering Management Programs
The traditional way to earn a masters in engineering management degree is in a campus based program. Students take part in classes that meet at the same time each week inside the physical classroom. They may also have access to campus facilities to support classroom study. These often include resources like libraries, student services such as tutoring or career counseling, computer labs and more.
The on-campus program may be great for students who may want to take part in hands-on learning. As part of your courses you could have the chance to practice managerial techniques with your classmates. During mock scenarios, you could test out different methods with your peers acting as faux team members. Schools may also have relationships with nearby organizations for co-op or internship opportunities. Contact individual engineering management schools to learn what opportunities may be available to you.
Online Masters in Engineering Management Programs
The online masters in engineering management program may offer the exact same courses you would find in the on-campus program. Where it differs, is that you may not have to attend structured classes. Course materials, recorded lectures and discussion boards may be available on a digital platform or course management system to be accessed at your convenience. Of course, deadlines will still have to be met.
The online program might be a great opportunity for students who are looking to pursue their education while simultaneously working. It may also allow students to attend programs at far away universities without having to relocate. However, some online programs might have an on-campus component. In these cases, students may be asked to attend one class on campus during their winter or summer break. These classes are usually highly condensed so they could be completed in just a few weeks. Since their length is shorter than a typical semester, students may be able to fit them into their existing schedule.
What Could You Do with a Masters in Engineering Management Degree?
Students who earn a masters in engineering management degree could go on to pursue careers as engineering managers. These positions coordinate the activities of engineering teams and may oversee production, general operations, quality assurance, research, and development.
As an engineering manager, you could potentially be tasked with the following responsibilities.
- Plan development timelines
- Hire new staff and oversee training
- Propose budgets for the division
- Offer suggestions to enhance current processesi
These positions generally work within an office setting, but may also take place in laboratories or industrial plants. In 2016, engineering managers earned a median salary of $134,730.ii
Many employers require potential engineering managers to have earned a bachelors degree in engineering. But others may desire their managers to have some business acumen as well. In these cases, they may look specifically for applicants with a masters in engineering management degree.iii
Finding Your Masters in Engineering Management Program
Using this information as a guide, begin your search for a perfect masters in engineering management program. To start, browse the list of programs displayed on this page. Or, you could further refine your options by selecting your preferred degree format from the menu.
Clicking on a program’s link provides you with a brief description about the program. While you’re there, you could also request additional information directly from the program itself. This could include things like admissions deadlines, courses guides, and projected program length.
[i] bls.gov/ooh/management/architectural-and-engineering-managers.htm#tab-2 | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/architectural-and-engineering-managers.htm#tab-1| [iii] bls.gov/ooh/management/architectural-and-engineering-managers.htm#tab-4
California State University, Northridge
University of Waterloo