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Getting started

The completion of your science or engineering undergraduate degree, can definitely put you at crossroads. Whether to jump into the cooperate world to deliver excellent service with your bucket full of technical engineering skills, go back to University for a master’s degree, or simultaneously do both.

Fortunately, a master's in engineering management online program can allow you to work while pursuing more skills. In this post, we look at why you should consider an online master’s degree, and what you need to know about the program? We will also explore some of the best masters in engineering management online programs you can find across several reputable U.S. universities.


As opposed to your typical MBA program, a master’s degree in engineering management bridges the gap between the various learned engineering skills and business acumen.

As a bachelor’s degree holder in engineering, a management science course would help you to:

  1. Enhance your leadership skills: a management skill set will provide you with a solid foundation in financial handling, human relations, strategic planning, organizational behavior, and project administration. As an example, Drexel University offers a challenging program that can improve your business skills.

  2. Solve business and technical challenges that can ultimately lead to organizational success.

In short, yes. It's beyond doubt that a multitude of engineering projects such as transportation and structural tasks would require robust business skills, as well as systems engineering competence for successful completion.

Therefore, by pursuing an engineering management program, you would obtain the necessary leadership skills while building professional experience. This puts you miles ahead of the competition as far as employment opportunities are concerned.

To determine the kind of online degree to pursue or university to attend, you need to consider several aspects:

  • The kind of skills you need to acquire: Generally, most engineering management degree courses focus on practice rather than theory.

    You want to settle on a master’s degree with a research aspect or require the development of a thesis if you need a program that could lead to a doctoral certification; for instance, the Stanford's coterminal program, which allows you to undertake a B.S. in management science and engineering, M.S in management science or a quantitative major.

  • The type of flexibility you want: This issue matters a lot if you wanted to consider a coursework that would seamlessly fit in with your work schedule.

    In this case, an online master’s course such as those offered at Purdue and Cornell universities will provide you this chance as you can adjust your coursework depending on your needs and time frame.

If you're a working professional, especially in the architectural or engineering sector, you have a higher chance of being enrolled in an engineering management master’s degree program in a prestigious university since most admission committees require some experience.

For instance, the Vanderbilt engineering program requires two years of professional experience in the field you're applying for.

With a master’s degree in engineering, you can virtually work in a variety of organizations such as a scientific research university, or architectural and manufacturing firms.

This stems from the fact that a management skill program equips you with an essential mix of technical and business skills crucial for any organization's prosperity. Combining skills from both fields prepares you for job opportunities in either sector, especially where they intersect.

Upon successful graduation, you will have increased eligibility for many jobs, including:

An analyst

In this position, you'd be tasked with determining how products are developed and completed. You may work in a wide range of organizations such as healthcare, computer science, and food firms. You'd spend most of your time resolving problems and producing reports of technical recommendations and strategic practices. The position has a projected growth rate of about 26%.

A construction manager

In this role, you'd be tasked with planning budgets, overseeing production, and coordinating labor at your workplace.

In this role, you'll need to work alongside customers, construction panels, and engineers. This position has a projected growth rate of around 5%.

Architectural and engineering manager

In this position, you'll be required to oversee projects, liaise between contractors, clients, and designers, and engage in the planning of new engineering projects. The position has a projected growth rate of 2%.

These are just a few of the career positions you can end up within a long list of other options.

Absolutely. Most online master’s degree engineering management students work while studying, thanks to the degree programs' flexible nature. For instance, the Johns Hopkins University online professional engineering management program allows you to enroll for on-demand, weekend, or evening classes.

These would enable you to work full time within your study period.

According to Payscale, a master of engineering management degree would lead to the following career options and the equivalent average pay per annum:

  • Manufacturing engineer: $76,000

  • Process engineer: $78,000

  • Project Engineer: $78,000

  • Mechanical Engineer: $82,000

  • Project Manager: $ 84,000

  • Electrical Engineer: $87,000

  • Project manager, Engineering: $95,000

These would increase steadily over the next coming years due to the increased need for engineering management professionals.

Your salary can also be dictated by other factors such as the existing national average pay for engineering management experts, your type of industry, geographical position, education level, and experience. For instance, there is a variance in the average salaries for engineering managers operating in different U.S. states.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for architectural and engineering managers was $144,830 in 2019 and is set to rise in the coming years.

As an online student, you'll require some preliminary qualifications before you apply for a master’s degree program at any university. For an engineering management course, you'd need to have the following general requirements:

  • An undergraduate bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or college of engineering or science field

  • Specific subjects, core courses, or discipline combinations depending on the college of engineering you wish to enroll in and the graduate degree you are eyeing.

  • GRE scores

  • Resume

  • Academic or professional references

As an online master’s student, you’ve got several options for financing your tuition.

This includes:

  • Working as you learn to finance your tuition fee.

  • Completing a free application for federal student aid (FAFSA), which would determine your eligibility for grants, loans, and scholarships.

    As such, your potential college can offer you a scholarship or helping hand, depending on your qualifications and situation, for instance, the Drexel University online financial aid opportunities.

  • Getting a sponsorship deal from your employer that can see you through your preferred online degree University.

  • Other financing options since two-thirds of the current University students depend on one loan or another to further their education.

  • Financial aid for veterans and those still in active military service.

A master's in engineering management online program can be advantageous in the following ways:

  1. Allows a flexible coursework routine that can be of great convenience, especially if you're a working professional.

  2. Provides an opportunity to study at a college of engineering of your choice despite your geographical position.

  3. Can take a lesser period to complete compared to on-campus learning models.

Are the master's in engineering management online programs offered by various universities different from each other, and what can you expect from them?

On a broad scale, an online master’s degree will equip you with the necessary engineering management skills that can enable you to run the engineering and business aspects of a project effectively.

However, each of the core courses is designed differently to meet the various needs that span the engineering field, depending on the existing concentrations and school faculty. Each online program might feature different undergraduate degree qualifications, engineering project requirements, curricula, application procedures, and completion times.

It is therefore vital to research each course to determine the most suitable learning style and objectives.

The completion time for your online master’s program depends on several factors. Some questions to consider include: 1) Are you studying full time or part-time? 2) What are the existing term lengths? 3) Are there any final engineering projects or Master’s degrees you need to complete? and 4) Are there any transfer credits required? These and other issues would cumulatively determine the time you'd spend on your online program.

However, if taken on a full-time basis, you can spend up to two years (and between 30 to 36 credits) to complete your degree. An example of this would be the Penn State University university program that utilizes the cohort-based approach to learning and instruction. On the other hand, a part-time engagement would dictate its own completion time as it would depend on your pace.

Various factors come into play when determining a program's curriculum and what you can expect to cover in your coursework. For example, it’s important to understand the program’s core courses, and the skills they are designed to strengthen.

Some of the top universities offering engineering management courses have specialized in particular areas or subfields. As such, you need to inquire on an individual basis to determine what you can learn from these courses. Nevertheless, most courses have similar content despite having minor curriculum differences.

Your online master’s degree's value is just like a traditional master’s degree: it significantly depends on the accreditation standards and acceptance rate of the institution.

Some of the available accreditation criteria and standards include:

  • National Accreditation: usually meant for for-profit institutions and religious or vocational organizations. This accreditation is considered inferior to others, making it more challenging to transfer your credits.

  • Regional Accreditation: covers a wider area and spectrum of schools and is more rigorous. It caters to traditional and online non-profit institutions and is customarily provided by one of the six regional groups responsible for determining an institution's eligibility and accreditation standards.

  • Program-Based Accreditation: Takes care of public institutions, online learning, and industrial engineering courses. It is usually administered by the national council of examiners for engineering and surveying, programs within universities or technology accredited independent engineering schools, and the accreditation board for engineering.

Likewise, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), in collaboration with the Department of Education (DOE), oversees accreditation standards and acceptance for private institutions. For instance, they certify their accrediting agencies since CHEA is a union of universities and colleges meant to identify the best accrediting practices.

While DOE is an agency concerned with federal education policy and financial goals, it puts them in the correct position to provide the best accreditation standards.

These are groups responsible for connecting those in the engineering profession; for instance, helping in their continuation of professional education, entrepreneurship journey, as well as industrial development.

Some of them include:

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What Are Some of the Best Universities for an Engineering Management Degree?

Generally speaking, there are many industrial engineering courses spread out across various public institutions and private universities. Similarly, there are several online master’s degree programs that can offer you the requisite skills at a way more affordable price and flexibility.

With such, you can log onto your online classes or website portal in real-time, at your own convenience, regardless of where you are in the world. All you need is a stable internet connection and a computer or device to fulfil course requirements.

This kind of arrangement can work pretty well for an international student whose physical access to a master’s degree in engineering class is limited.

Next, we will examine some of the most prominent online master’s in engineering management programs among some of the best-accredited institutions across the world.

Select School

Stanford University

This public institution offers a coterminal program in management science and engineering. The program allows undergraduate students to pursue a quantitative major or a B.S. in management science and engineering, and an M.S. in management science and engineering.

The university charges a standard tuition fee for both in-state and out of state students and is regionally accredited by the university commission and WASC senior college.

Up to 80 % of the students receive financial support.

Course requirements

  • GRE scores

  • Minimum of 45 units at Stanford University

  • Pursue a specialty in either of the following: financial analytics, operations and analytics, technology and engineering management, computational social science, decision and risk analysis, energy and environment, and health systems modeling.

  • Have completed modern applications, multivariable calculus and linear algebra or Cs 106A programming methodology, and an equivalent multivariable differential calculus course. Or a general programming course before the start of the graduate study.

Students can request a course transfer to meet the Master’s degree requirements. However, it isn't possible after the conferment of the first bachelor’s degree.

Duke University

This university offers one of the most tech-savvy master’s of engineering management degrees that can act as an alternative to a typical MBA.

It comprises several required courses and a variety of electives that a student can choose from.

Course requirements

  • A science or engineering bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution or college of engineering

  • Official academic transcripts

  • A grade scale and Estimated GPA

  • Resume

  • Statement of purpose

  • GRE official results

  • A nonrefundable $75 application fee via credit card

  • TOEFL or IELTS official results

  • A video introduction and or interview

If you're an international student, you don't need to file in financial support documents as part of the application process. You only submit after enrollment.

Cornell University

Cornell University offers its distance learners a master’s of engineering in engineering management via online classes, making it ideal for those who don't have the time to go back to school on a full-time basis.

The degree consists of a blended part-time two-year coursework with engineering economics, operations management, and systems engineering units, among others.

The online degree is provided in a five-week segment of online coursework alongside two, one week intensive on-campus lessons.

Course requirements

  • At least 30 credits of approved courses, which include the following:

    • One accounting/finance elective course

    • Five core courses

    • Two specialization electives

    • One behavior elective

Purdue University

The engineering management and leadership program at Purdue University offers an excellent academic experience.

The program constitutes a 33-credit interdisciplinary online master’s course. Moreover, the university collaborates with the Kelley School of Business and Indiana University to provide the best business skills education.

Course requirements

  • An undergraduate degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program or college of engineering

  • A written application letter

  • Official transcripts (if you're an international student, you'd require them in your original language and English translation)

  • TOEFL scores

  • Three letters of recommendation

  • Resume

Non–engineering bachelor’s degree candidates will have to undertake the following required courses:

  • Linear algebra or 1 completed differential equations course

Vanderbilt University

Ranked as one of the top 20 most innovative universities by Reuters' 2019 rankings, Vanderbilt University offers one of the best engineering online programs. The program constitutes 30 credits, which can be completed within a year.

It also features engaging and challenging coursework suitable for experienced technocrats wanting entrepreneurial and business skills to advance in their respective industries.

Course requirements

  • An undergraduate degree in the engineering field

  • A minimum of 2 years of professional experience in a relevant field

  • Academic transcripts

  • Letters of recommendation

  • GRE test scores

  • Statement of purpose

  • Resume

  • Online application

Florida International University

This University offers an online master’s of science in an engineering management program for managers who need to understand both the business and engineering perspectives of technology.

It also offers on-campus courses in Miami but is also one of the country's biggest distance learning providers.

Students enrolling for this online master’s degree can select from several specialties, including engineering entrepreneurship, construction management, logistics engineering, general track, enterprise systems, and systems engineering.

Course requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree in a business discipline or STEM

  • A minimum of 3.0 GPA for the last 60 credits

Clarkson University

This institution provides a specialized executive education program meant for high-caliber employees in the engineering and technology fields to improve the essential management skills required in the rapidly evolving industries and entrepreneurship.

For instance, partners with highly reputable firms such as urban engineers, integrated technologies, society of professional engineers, and IBM are more suited to this course.


  • Transcripts from former college of engineering institutions

  • Online application letter

  • Statement of purpose

  • Two letters of reference

  • Resume

Penn State University

Penn State University offers its students an online master of engineering management degree that prepares them for technical team management, and engineering project management for business-savvy engineering.

The program allows students with a physics, mathematics, science, or engineering undergraduate degree to gain management skills.

It utilizes a cohort-based approach to instruction and learning and a 33-credit curriculum comprising 11 courses administered within consecutive seven-week terms over a two-year timeframe.

Course requirements

  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. A college, or a tertiary degree equivalent to a four-year bachelor’s degree from an officially recognized institution.

  • Nonrefundable application fee

  • Official transcripts from previous institutions

  • GPA and Test Scores

  • English proficiency

  • Resume

  • Statement of purpose

Drexel University

Drexel University promotes an experiential and innovative learning environment that empowers its students into senior management and engineering positions.

Its 45 credit curriculum online masters in engineering management program equip the learners with systems engineering, engineering economics, and engineering law skills.

Course requirements

  • A 4-year undergraduate bachelor’s degree in sciences, or engineering from an ABET-accredited institution

  • Relevant working professional experience

  • A minimum GPA of 3.0

  • Application letter

  • Two letters of recommendation

  • Official transcripts

  • Resume

  • A 500 to 750-word essay explaining why you want to join the program

Colorado State University

Founded more than fifty years ago, Colorado State University offers an online master’s in engineering management degree that prepares students for leadership positions as it blends business elements with engineering processes.

The 30-credit online program has the following course requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree in engineering or similar field

  • At least a GPA of 3.0

  • Satisfy the prerequisites in physics, ordinary differential equations, and calculus.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University offers you a choice between a fully online professional engineering management program and an on-campus model that prepares its students for high-level leadership positions.

As a result, students will become well rounded for managerial positions and responsible for increased technical duties.

Course requirements

  • An undergraduate degree in an engineering or science field

  • At least two years full time working experience

  • In the case of an international student, additional admission requirements might be needed

Stevens Institute of Technology

At Stevens, the online master of engineering in engineering management program introduces students to various skill sets such as modeling uncertainty in systems, systems engineering, developing a quantitative approach, data analytics, and data visualization.

This makes it vital for those aiming for leadership positions in sensitive and high precision industries, such as weather and artificial intelligence, among others.

Course Requirements

  • A $60 nonrefundable fee

  • Two letters of recommendation

  • Online application

  • Official transcripts from attended institutions

  • GRE or GMAT test score

Arizona State University

The 30-credit online master of engineering in engineering management at ASU provides students with practical and technical skills regarding operations, diverse teams, and project management in the engineering field.

Students explore team development, task management, and core leadership skills essential in promoting engineering project success.

Course requirements

  • Undergraduate bachelor's or Master’s degrees in software engineering, computer engineering, or a similar field from a regionally accredited institution

  • A 3.00 GPA in the last 60 credit hours of the first bachelor’s degree course. Or a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA in their last twelve units of their post-baccalaureate transcript

  • Official transcripts

  • Application letter and fee

  • Proof of English proficiency

University of Southern California

USC offers an online master in engineering management program, as well as an on-campus option for students with undergraduate degrees in science-related disciplines, or engineering fields, to prepare them for management roles.

As such, they would learn how to oversee technology projects and manage engineering functions, teams, and companies.

Moreover, students will develop knowledge of engineering economics among other business skills.

Course requirements

  • An undergraduate bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in a science or engineering disciplines, such as computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, and computer engineering background.

  • Official transcripts

  • GRE General Test

  • Resume

  • Personal statement

  • Three letters of recommendation

  • TOEFL or IELTS tests for international students

women at her laptop computer on video conferencing call

Closing Thoughts

If you have an engineering background, undertaking a master's in an engineering management online program might be the perfect degree for you. A master’s in an engineering management will train you in business practices, like leadership, accounting, marketing, and other skills through an engineering lens. It will equip you with skills you require to lead and manage teams, projects, and organizations. An online program offers you the flexibility to pursue your degree at your convenience.