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For engineers seeking senior-level leadership roles, earning a master’s in engineering management (MEM) degree is an excellent way to attain your goals. These programs are designed to elevate experienced engineers into skilled managers, earning a median salary of $159,920. Demand for these positions is projected to increase by 4% over the next decade. An MEM provides you with the leadership and technical skills necessary to thrive at the intersection of engineering and management, preparing you for a rewarding career in multiple industries.

Typically, completing this degree takes 18 months to two years for full-time students, with an average tuition cost of $19,749 for the 2020-2021 academic year – making it an investment in your future leadership capabilities and career trajectory.

How to Choose a Master’s in Engineering Management Program

Choose your area of study

Choosing an area of study within the broader field of engineering management is often helpful for aligning your educational experience with your future career goals. Options will vary depending on the program but may include project management, supply chain management, technical sales and marketing, and operations management.

Those interested in organizing and leading teams will excel in project management, while analytical thinkers focused on efficiency and logistics will thrive in supply chain management. Strong communicators with a solid foundation in engineering knowledge may be well-suited for technical sales and marketing, and individuals passionate about optimizing processes and technology for peak performance may enjoy operations management.

Regardless of your specialization, you’ll develop a unique skill set, prepare yourself for a specific role, and boost your competitiveness in the job market.

Research schools and programs

After deciding on a specialization, it’s time to research potential schools and programs. Consider asking the following questions to guide your research:

  • What are the program’s core courses and electives?
  • How does the curriculum align with my career goals?
  • What practical experiences — like internships and projects — are integrated into the program?
  • What are the faculty’s backgrounds and areas of expertise?

This information can be found on program websites, at information sessions or open houses, and from admissions counselors.

Prepare for tests and applications

Once you’ve shortlisted your preferred schools, early preparation for tests and applications is crucial. Start gathering transcripts and letters of recommendation at least two to three months in advance to avoid any last-minute rushes. You’ll also want to write a personal statement highlighting your motivations, experiences, and professional goals per the program’s values. If GRE scores are required, enrolling in a test prep program well in advance can improve your chances of success.

Select your program

Upon receiving acceptance letters, you may have a significant decision to make. Fortunately, you can make this a more straightforward choice by evaluating a few key factors. Consider the alignment of the program’s curriculum with your career goals, the quality and expertise of the faculty, and the network opportunities it provides. Importantly, evaluate the overall cost of attendance and the availability of financial aid, scholarships, and grants, as this can increase the affordability of your education.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

For many students, earning their graduate degree can seem like a considerable expense, but you can make it more affordable by strategically utilizing financial aid resources.

Prioritize scholarships and grants first, as these do not require repayment and can significantly reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Assistantships offer tuition waivers or stipends in exchange for research or teaching duties, providing both financial and professional benefits. If you’re currently employed, be sure to ask your employer about tuition reimbursement programs, as these can also offset costs. In cases involving financial gaps, consider federal loans — which offer lower interest rates and more flexible repayment plans compared to private loans.

Best 50 Accredited Master’s in Engineering Management Programs

Best Master's in Engineering Management Degree Programs

Stanford University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Duke University

Colorado School of Mines

Columbia University

University of Michigan - Dearborn

Virginia Tech

Dartmouth College

Texas A&M University

North Carolina State University

University of Florida

University of Texas at Austin

Lehigh University

University of Minnesota

Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering

Washington University in St. Louis

Northwestern University

Cornell University

Northeastern University

University of Maryland

University of Southern California

Discover More Options

How we rank schools

Our research covers master’s programs in engineering that prepare students for high-level positions in the field of engineering. Graduates learn advanced engineering concepts, business principles, and leadership skills. The degree types offered include Master of Engineering Management, Master of Science in engineering management, Master of Science in engineering technology management, and Master of Science in systems and engineering management. The programs on our list offer in-person, on-campus, and hybrid learning formats.

All of the institutions on this list are approved by a DOE-recognized regional accrediting organization, such as the New England Commission of Higher Education or Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Those who attend a school that isn’t regionally accredited may be unable to access financial aid or transfer credits to another institution if needed. Many of the options on this list also have programmatic accreditation from the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology — this organization has particularly high standards for engineering education.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then, we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

What Can You Expect From a Master’s in Engineering Management Program?

A master’s in engineering management (MEM) combines technical expertise with essential management skills – designed for engineers aspiring to lead. Often completed in 18 months to two years, these programs provide professionals with a comprehensive understanding of project management, financial analysis, strategic planning, and leadership within technical environments.

As a student, you’ll engage in project-based coursework, replicating real-world challenges and honing your ability to manage complex engineering projects, lead teams, and make data-driven decisions. This practical approach improves learning and boosts your future employability by providing tangible skills and experiences highly valued in the job market. Upon graduation, you’ll be a highly competent engineering manager, ready to tackle leadership roles in technology-driven industries, with the versatility to adapt and thrive in rapidly evolving work environments.

Potential courses you’ll take in a master’s in engineering management program

  • Project Management for Engineers: A fundamental component in most curriculums, this course provides students with a solid foundation in project management – including planning, scheduling, budgeting, and resource allocation, specifically for engineering projects. The focus is on applying project management tools and techniques to ensure successful outcomes in technical environments.
  • Systems Engineering and Analysis: Students explore the principles and practices of systems engineering, including the design, integration, and management of complex systems. These courses emphasize a holistic view of engineering projects, optimizing performance, reliability, and sustainability.
  • Engineering Economics and Financial Analysis: This course provides an in-depth understanding of financial principles relevant to engineering projects, such as cost-benefit analysis, investment appraisal, and risk analysis. Students learn to make informed financial decisions that maximize project value and efficiency.
  • Leadership in Technical Organizations: This course focuses on the human element of engineering management. It teaches leadership theories and practices, communication skills, and team dynamics. Students learn to lead teams, manage conflict, and foster innovation within technical organizations.

Master’s in Engineering Management Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to a master's in engineering management degree program?

Requirements for a MEM degree program can vary by institution, but many share similar criteria, including the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field
  • A competitive GPA (usually 3.0 or above)
  • GRE scores (optional for some programs)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Relevant work experience (preferred by some programs)

Don’t hesitate to contact an admissions counselor for guidance through the application process. Doing so can provide personalized advice, help clarify program expectations, and increase the chances of submitting a competitive application that aligns with the program’s objectives and values.

How much does a master's in engineering management degree cost?

The cost of these degrees varies by institution, but the average cost for graduate degrees for the 2020-2021 academic year was $19,749. Beyond tuition, you’ll want to budget for textbooks, course materials, commuting costs, and, if necessary, relocation and housing expenses. These additional costs can significantly impact the overall expense of obtaining your degree.

It’s crucial to consult with a financial aid counselor at your school to get a detailed estimate of the total cost of attendance. They can also provide information on financial aid options, scholarships, and grants you may qualify for, helping make your educational goals more affordable.

How long does it take to earn a master's in engineering management degree?

Earning this degree takes 18 months to two years for full-time students and three to four years for part-time students. Full-time enrollment allows quicker completion and immersion in the program, which is ideal for those eager to advance their careers. While extending the time to graduation, part-time study offers flexibility for working professionals balancing their careers with continuing their education.

Regardless of your enrollment type, you’ll also want to pay attention to the program’s total number of required credits, as this can vary by institution. Generally speaking, programs requiring more credits will take longer to complete.