Best Online Master’s in Engineering Management Programs

Compare the best online master's in engineering management programs. Learn about program details and possible career opportunities after graduation.

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by Doug Wintemute

Published June 1, 2022

Reviewed by Sierra Gawlowski, PE

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Engineers design and build many of society's systems and structures, and engineering managers plan and oversee that work. In a two-year master's in engineering management program, engineers learn to direct and organize large technical projects. The program can prepare graduates for senior-level engineering roles and management positions in engineering and business.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 4% growth for architectural and engineering managers from 2020-2030, which is slower than the projected growth rate for all occupations. The median annual salary for these professionals was over $150,000 in May 2021, more than $100,000 higher than the median annual wages for all occupations.

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To help guide prospective engineering management students in making a decision about graduate school, we put together program, admissions, and career outlook information in this guide. We also list the best online master's in engineering management programs offered by top online schools.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Engineering Management Program?

Prospective students can expect to complete between 30-45 credits for a master's in engineering management. The degree usually takes about two years to earn. The training can differ from school to school, but most programs cover production planning, operations and project management, and quality control.

Candidates preparing for graduate schoolshould compare all possible degree types, as degree types can impact the training and career paths available to them. Most schools award a master of science (MS) or a master in engineering management (MEM).

The theory-based MS programs tend to provide more continuing education and lead to interdisciplinary career opportunities, while the course-based MEM programs provide more practical training. MS and MEM programs are considered alternatives to an MBA for engineers.

The degree types can also impact the program structure, with MS curriculums including more thesis requirements and MEM programs often featuring practicums. While both programs provide extensive business training, MS programs may take a more analytical approach. MEM programs focus on career-specific applications.

Depending on the school, prospective students may also get a choice of concentration. Some potential options may include data analytics, operations management, product management, and process management. Specializations allow learners to take control of the direction of their training and their eventual career paths.

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Popular Online Master's in Engineering Management Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Engineering Management Program?

Engineering Productions and Operations

This course teaches students the processes and techniques used for organizing and managing engineering production and operations. Learners look at methods and tools for inventory analysis, supply chain management, production scheduling, costing, and process balancing.

Product and Process Design

Students in this course learn how to develop product and process design strategies using engineering principles and management frameworks. They look at methods for identifying design solutions for problems, finding product opportunities, and concept selection.

Quality Management

In this course, learners look at the leading management methods for monitoring and improving product and process quality. The training topics may include using control charts and simulation models, statistical process controls, experiment designs, and capability analysis.

Occupational Health and Safety

This course teaches students the health and safety standards for engineering occupations and workplaces. The training explores initiatives and practices for meeting appropriate noise levels as well as industrial safety requirements, handling radiation, and managing waste.

Engineering Project Management

Students in this course learn how to manage engineering projects, including design, development, and implementation. They examine methods for planning, budgeting, and scoping a project. They also develop leadership skills for managing multidisciplinary teams, hone their communication abilities, and learn to evaluate team performance and progress.

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What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Master's in Engineering Management Program?

The graduate admission requirements vary for every school, but applicants for a master's in engineering management usually need a bachelor's degree in engineering at a minimum. Some schools may accept prospective students with a combination of a degree from another discipline and relevant experience.

Depending on the competitiveness and difficulty of the program, applicants may also need a minimum GPA and mathematics prerequisites for entry. Online learners usually need to meet minimum technological requirements for the program as well.

Application

At the graduate level, prospective students typically apply directly to their desired school and program rather than using a college application system. Graduate schools usually have their own online systems that allow applicants to upload and track the various application components.

Test Scores

Graduate school applicants may need to submit standardized test scores, such as their GRE or GMAT results. Prospective students with strong scores may even submit their results for consideration to schools that do not require them. To boost their scores and admission chances, candidates may want to explore GRE prep courses prior to taking a test.

Letters of Recommendation

Most graduate program applications require prospective students to submit 2-3 letters of recommendation. These letters usually come from a candidate's former teachers and employers and provide insight into the applicant's relevant skills and achievements. References can also address the applicant's preparedness for the program.

Resume and Work Experience

Many college applications include a resume requirement, but applicants do not always need prior professional experience. Many schools use the college application resume to learn more about the applicant's professional journey and skills. In some cases, however, relevant experience can help prospective students' chances of receiving an offer of admission.

Essays

Grad school essays have different functions depending on the school and program. They might give space for applicants to discuss their professional experiences or allow candidates to highlight their academic and research interests. Schools may also provide candidates with a question to answer in their writing.

Official Transcripts

Prospective students almost always need to submit official transcripts, which provide schools with information about their previous studies at the high school and undergraduate levels. Transcripts help schools identify how prepared applicants are for the program and if they have the appropriate prerequisites. Transcripts are also required in order to apply transfer credits.

What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Engineering Management Degree?

Career Outlook

Equipped with specialized engineering and leadership skills, engineering management graduates can pursue careers in both engineering and management. This includes senior-level positions in the various engineering branches, plus engineering management jobs and general management careers.

The BLS projects the addition of nearly 150,000 new architectural and engineering positions and over 900,000 new management positions between 2020 and 2030, including over 8,000 architectural and engineering managers. Architectural and engineering managers earned a median annual wage of $152,350 in May 2021, over three times the median annual wage for all occupations.

Discover the career possibilities for graduates with a master's in engineering management.

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Career Paths

Engineering Manager

Engineering managers oversee engineering teams and activities for organizations. They plan and manage large projects, handling the budgets, scope, materials, logistics, and staffing. They also evaluate the project progress and performance, troubleshoot and problem solve, and report to stakeholders.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $152,350

Management Analyst

Management analysts use data to help organizations improve their operations and efficiencies. They review and evaluate current operations, design or suggest new practices, and help implement or upgrade systems. These analysts may specialize in certain industries or management processes.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $93,000

Industrial Production Manager

Industrial production managers oversee manufacturing and industrial plant operations. They manage production targets, budgets, and staffing, while also reviewing performances, systems, and health and safety processes. If they identify an issue or inefficiency, these managers may design or implement an upgrade or revision to the system.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $103,150

Health and Safety Engineer

Health and safety engineers design, develop, and implement safety processes, devices, and systems to keep people safer. They may review current practices and systems within an organization or test and evaluate product quality looking for potential hazards. They can specialize by industry, processes, or products and equipment.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $99,040

Top Executives

Top executives take on many different roles in organizations, overseeing departments, setting overarching goals and policies, and managing the daily operations. They may take charge of communicating with stakeholders, collaborating with other managers, or establishing sales and supply contracts.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $179,520

Engineering Management Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

A master's in engineering management provides a solid foundation for further study at the doctoral level. Graduates can pursue a doctorate in engineering management or a doctorate in an individual engineering branch.

They can also tackle a doctoral degree in a management discipline, such as a doctorate in organizational leadership. Doctorates can lead to teaching careers at postsecondary institutions, research and development positions, and desirable leadership roles in the engineering field.

How Do I Choose an Online Master's in Engineering Management Program?

Cost

When reviewing the price of schools and programs, prospective students should compare online and on-campus costs. They can also look at the cost differences between in-state, out-of-state, private, and public schools. By calculating the true program cost, working professionals can figure out what impact their studies will have on their income.

Program Format

Students will have a better educational experience if they find a program format that fits their individual needs. Before choosing a program, prospective students should figure out if they prefer synchronous and asynchronous learning and full-time or part-time studies. These different program formats allow learners to balance work, school, and personal obligations.

Location

While program location may impact in-person learners more, both online and on-campus learners need to think about where they will study. Online students may not need to travel to class every day, but they might need to visit campus for in-person requirements. Attending school nearby also offers students access to campus resources.

Accreditation

All prospective students should make it a priority to look for institutional and programmatic accreditation at prospective schools and programs. Institutional accreditation guarantees that students qualify for federal financial aid. Programmatic accreditation for engineering programs comes from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). However, it is much less common for master's degree programs to be ABET-accredited than bachelor's degree programs.

Student Support

Schools can enhance the quality of education and college experience for their students with the services they provide. Student services like career services, academic support, and mentorship programs can help degree-seekers enormously. Online learners should look at the specific online student services available and in-program extras, such as internships and practicums.

Best Accredited Online Master's in Engineering Management Programs

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Best Online Master's in Engineering Management Programs

  1. Stanford University
    Location

    Stanford, CA

    Tuition

    $17271

    Stanford University enrolls over 16,000 students. Based in California, about 80% of its students receive financial aid.

    The school offers a 45-credit master's in management science and engineering that takes part-time students 3-5 years to complete. The program offers seven concentrations, including financial analytics, operations and analytics, technology and engineering management.

    This master's in engineering management can be completed mostly online and requires prerequisites in programming methodology, linear algebra, and differential calculus. Students must complete an internship and a master's project.

    Applicants need a bachelor's in engineering or a related degree and must submit GRE scores. The university charges the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state students. Stanford is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

  2. University of South Florida
    Location

    Tampa, FL

    Tuition

    $10460

    Based in Tampa, the University of South Florida enrolls more than 50,000 students across three campus locations.

    Students who earn USF's online master's degree in engineering management take classes like operations research for engineering managers, statistical design models, work design and productivity engineering, and management of technology change. USF uses Canvas as its online learning platform.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree in engineering from a regionally accredited institution, and they should have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 over their final two years of undergraduate study. The program requires minimum GRE scores of 156 and 146 in the quantitative and verbal sections, respectively, along with two years of work experience in engineering or management.

    USF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  3. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $13016

    Located in Orlando, the University of Central Florida enrolls over 69,000 students. Nearly 50% of its first-time students graduate without any debt.

    UCF's 30-credit master's in engineering management can be earned online in two years. Graduates can pursue careers as engineering department managers, quality assurance specialists, safety service directors, and production managers.

    Core coursework includes engineering statistics, project engineering, advanced engineering economic analysis, and systems engineering. Students must also complete a capstone project.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field. Florida residents receive a discounted tuition rate. UCF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  4. George Washington University
    Location

    Washington, DC

    Tuition

    $39600

    Based in Washington D.C., George Washington University hosts more than 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The school's online master's degree in engineering management comprises 36 credits, including classes like the management of technical organizations, survey of finance and engineering economics, decision-making with uncertainty, and systems engineering.

    The program offers five areas of focus, including engineering and technology management, knowledge and information management, and environmental and energy management. The program also prepares learners to sit for certification exams offered by the Project Management Institute.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field from a regionally accredited institution and a minimum GPA of 2.7. The program recommends that students submit GRE or GMAT scores, but does not require them. GW is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  5. University of Southern California
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $36161

    Located in Los Angeles, the University of Southern California enrolls nearly 50,000 students. Full-time students can earn the university's 30-credit master's in engineering management in 1-2 years. Coursework, which can be completed online, includes statistics for engineering managers and economic analysis of engineering projects.

    Students must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA to graduate. Graduates can find careers related to scientific research, architectural management, and electronic component manufacturing and management.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field from a regionally accredited postsecondary institution. The university charges the same tuition rate for in-state and out-of-state students. USC is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

  6. University of California, Los Angeles
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $15002

    The University of California, Los Angeles offers almost 150 different graduate programs, including an online master's degree in engineering management. Students take 36 credits of courses, including program management principles for engineers and professionals, statistics for management decisions, intellectual property and strategy, and operations and supply chain management.

    Participants must take a comprehensive exam, but they do not need to write a thesis. UCLA expects students to graduate in just over two academic years, and participants must complete their degrees within three years.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Some students may also need to submit GRE scores. UCLA is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

  7. University of Houston-Clear Lake
    Location

    Houston, TX

    Tuition

    $10664

    Located in Texas, the University of Houston-Clear Lake boasts over 71,000 alumni, including more than 400 CEOs. Its online master's in engineering management program features 36 credits of classes, covering topics like new business development, engineering management planning, and technology planning and management. Students must complete a capstone project or a thesis.

    Prior to enrollment, learners must take calculus, statistics, and probability and statistics for scientists and engineers courses. Applicants need a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students with a lower GPA must also submit GRE or GMAT scores.

    Texas residents receive a discounted tuition rate. UHCL is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  8. Illinois Institute of Technology
    Location

    Chicago, IL

    Tuition

    $25814

    Based in Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology enrolls over 2,000 master's degree candidates each year. Some of these learners pursue the school's online master's degree in engineering management. This 30-credit program features two concentrations: project management and product design and development.

    Core classes include economic decision analysis, strategic engineering management, systems analysis in civil engineering, and project management. Students must also complete a senior capstone project. IIT notes that some classes listed as online options, such as engineering labs, may require in-person attendance.

    Applicants should submit GRE or GMAT scores. Students may transfer in up to nine credits earned with a minimum "B" grade. This institution charges the same tuition rate for in-state and out-of-state students. IIT is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  9. The University of Texas at Austin
    Location

    Austin, TX

    Tuition

    $14156

    The University of Texas at Austin enrolls nearly 52,000 students and offers about 140 graduate programs. Its online master's in engineering management comprises 30 credits, including two project-based courses. Students also take classes in business management, decision analysis, and innovative product design.

    The program uses a synchronous class schedule. Distance learners attend class virtually at the same time as on-campus students. These courses only meet on one Friday and Saturday per month.

    Applicants need a bachelor's in engineering or a related degree and at least 18 months of professional experience. Students must also submit standardized test scores. In-state and out-of-state engineering management students pay the same rate. UT Austin is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  10. University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Location

    Madison, WI

    Tuition

    $14169

    Founded in 1848, the University of Wisconsin-Madison enrolls over 45,000 students and boasts almost half a million living alumni. Students can complete the school's online master's degree in engineering management in 2-3 years. Learners take synchronous and asynchronous classes, completing a total of 30 credits.

    Core courses include foundations of engineering leadership, engineering economics and management, international engineering strategies and operations, and quality engineering and quality management.

    Applicants need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and a minimum 3.0 GPA, although they need not submit GRE scores. The program charges the same tuition rate for in-state and out-of-state distance learners. UW is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Engineering Manaegment Programs

Is a master's in engineering management worth it?

Yes. A master's in engineering management carries great value for professionals who want to pursue leadership careers in engineering or a related field. According to the BLS, management professionals earned a median annual wage of $102,450 in May 2021. The BLS also projects 9% growth in the management field between 2020 and 2030.

Online learners can benefit from the value of an online degree as well. Online learning features a flexible schedule and program format, which is often more suitable for working professionals. Online programs can also be more accessible, giving learners more study options.

What can I do with a master's in engineering management?

A master's in engineering management prepares graduates to lead engineering teams and apply engineering principles to general management and analyst careers. Depending on their previous training and experience, graduates can access engineering positions as well. Their master's degree training should qualify them for the most desirable of these careers.

Master's graduates can also continue their training with a doctorate in engineering, engineering management, or other related disciplines. Doctoral degrees qualify graduates for postsecondary teaching and research and development roles.

How much money can I make with a master's in engineering management?

According to the BLS, architectural and engineering managers made a median annual wage of $152,350 in May 2021. Depending on the industry, median annual wages in the field varied. For example, scientific research and development paid $187,240, company management paid $164,060, manufacturing paid $151,890, and government positions paid $135,150.

Management occupations paid a median annual salary of $102,450 in May 2021, as per the BLS. Wages in this occupational group include financial managers at $131,710, human resources managers at $126,230, and training and development managers at $120,130.

What are the highest paying jobs with a master's in engineering management?

The highest-paying job for graduates with a master's in engineering management is in the computer and information management field. According to the BLS, professionals in this field made a median salary of $159,010 per year in May 2021, while the top 10% of earners made more than $208,000.

The top 10% of earners in the architectural and engineering management field also made considerably high wages, earning more than $208,000 annually as of May 2021. In fact, the managers who worked in scientific research and development services made median annual wages of $187,240 in May 2021, which is one of the highest salaries available.

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