Best Master’s in Engineering Management Online Programs

Learn about top-ranked engineering management online programs and see how they can help you move into a leadership role in your engineering career.

Engineering Management

If you’ve always wanted to apply your engineering skills at the highest level by taking a leading role in program design and management, then you should consider a master’s in engineering management online degree. This degree teaches you important management skills and concepts that will make it possible to go from following someone else’s rules to being the person in charge.

But which programs are best? What’s this program like? How much will it cost? This guide answers those questions and many more. Keep reading to start your journey toward a master’s degree in engineering management.

College Spotlights: Best Engineering Management Online Master’s Programs in 2021

If you’re interested in taking on a managerial role in your engineering career, a master’s in engineering management online program may be worthwhile. Luckily, there are plenty of programs to choose from. To help you in your search, we’ve identified three top-notch programs. These programs stand out in terms of curricular offerings, learning flexibility, and academic quality. But these aren’t the only quality programs – we’ll be releasing a full rankings list later in 2021.

Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University

Housed in the School of Engineering, Vanderbilt University’s online master’s in engineering management degree offers the opportunity to gain the necessary expertise to take on a leadership role in the engineering industry. These skills will translate to a variety of sub-fields such as civil, industrial, and mechanical engineering.

The curriculum is comprised of 30 credits with two tracks available: the Accelerated Track, where students can graduate in just one year, and the Standard Track, which takes 20 months to complete. To facilitate a more interactive learning experience, some of the coursework is offered in-person, and the student to faculty ratio is no greater than 15:1. Faculty also host online office hours to provide additional assistance to students.

Recognizing the power of social media networking, all students enrolled in the online master’s in engineering management program gain access to their own LinkedIn Premium Career membership.

Oregon State University

oregon-state-university-logo

Oregon State University’s Master in Industrial Engineering Management is tailored to students with an engineering background looking for leadership and project management training. Some core courses include:

  • Operations Management
  • Project Management in Engineering
  • Systems Engineering
  • Strategic Planning
  • Advanced Engineering Economic Analysis

Two-thirds of the required curriculum consists of electives. This gives students plenty of options to tailor their degree to meet their professional goals. But the flexibility doesn’t stop there: with four start dates each year and only one to two classes per term, students can earn their degree in two years.

To apply, students must possess a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field. If this degree comes from an ABET-accredited program, they do not need to take the GRE. Other admissions requirements include three letters of reference and a statement of professional goals.

Pennsylvania State World Campus

Pennsylvania State World Campus

The Master of Engineering Management online program at Pennsylvania State World Campus prepares graduates to take on a technical leadership role in any engineering setting, whether it’s in private industry or the public sector. Students must complete 33 credits and 11 classes, with most earning their master’s degree in two years. Students will take classes year-round during continuous seven-week terms. This makes it possible for students to continue working full-time while they earn their degree.

All online classes are taught by the same faculty that teach the on-campus engineering management classes. Students will progress through the program as a group, using the cohort learning model. This helps prepare students for the collaborative and team-oriented professional work they are likely to encounter after they graduate. Students can earn a graduate minor in Engineering Leadership and Innovation Management without having to take additional classes.

Advantages of Earning an Online Master’s in Engineering Management

Earning an online master’s in engineering management provides the convenience of online learning and management training that students cannot get from a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field. Let’s look at some of those advantages.

  1. Convenient learning

    Because most online engineering management programs are fully online, students can take classes while continuing to work. Students can choose to attend class full-time or part-time pace and begin classes at various points during the year. Most programs offer their classes in an asynchronous format, allowing students to attend classes anytime and anywhere.

  2. Learn management skills

    One of the most important skills students will learn in an engineering management program is how to take a leadership role during the design and production process. A master’s degree also gives engineering students the big picture perspective needed to understand the design parameters of a project and its production, marketing, and processes.

  3. Learn business skills

    While earning a bachelor’s degree in engineering, students learn the possibilities of innovation and how to execute a design concept from a technical perspective. The engineering management degree teaches students to take other considerations in mind and learn to adapt to diverse ways of thinking.

What You’ll Learn in an Engineering Management Degrees Online Program

Students will learn how to design a product from a technical standpoint, the scientific principles that dictate how the product will work, and how a product is created from the ground up. When producing a product for sale to consumers, many other factors come into play, such as customer needs, production costs, consumer delivery, and product marketing. Therefore, much of the curriculum will focus on management, business, and related concepts, as well as background engineering principles.

Popular Courses

  • Engineering Management I

    This course serves as a bridge between the management and engineering roles within an organization. Concepts covered include strategic planning, promoting creative thinking, and how to get through challenges many projects face during development.

  • Project Management

    This is one of the core classes in many master’s in engineering management online programs. It teaches strong foundational points on the various tools and skills needed to oversee a project from start to finish. Students will learn about project organization, cost controls, and how to use project management information systems.

  • Technology Forecasting

    Engineers are at the forefront of many new technologies. This course will provide tools for predicting technological improvements and advancements. This includes not only positive developments but also negative and unexpected consequences. Topics taught include trend extrapolation and the Delphi method.

  • Finance and Accounting

    This class presents introductory financial and accounting concepts, such as the time value of money, accounting statements, taxes, and financial modeling. The goal is to help engineering managers take a big picture approach when overseeing a project in an organization that aims to maximize shareholder value.

  • Capstone Project

    This is the final course in which students apply what they’ve learned in a comprehensive project. Students will analyze, design, and implement a plan to improve a complex system. In addition to considering the technical requirements, they will also consider business considerations, like profitability.

Specialization Tracks

Online master’s in engineering management programs offer several concentrations to choose from, many of which emphasize the business or financial aspects of engineering management. These concentrations can help students who want to manage in a particular area such as supply chains or product design.

  • Systems Innovation Engineering

    This unique specialization examines various systems across multiple disciplines, such as business, science, and engineering. Students will learn how to examine complex systems by breaking them down into their parts and accounting for external factors like regulations, economic influences, and technology, all of which may influence those systems.

  • Customer Experience and Product Design

    This area of study looks at a particular point of product design. Specifically, students will learn how to improve a product’s design by looking at customers’ needs and desires. The overall goal is to improve customer satisfaction in a product by listening to a product’s end-user.

  • Operations and Supply Chain Management

    This specialization teaches engineers how to apply their engineering knowledge about a product to improve how it’s produced and delivered to the customer. Students will take foundational courses covering project management, supply chain management, logistics, and production operations.

  • Data Analytics and Machine Learning

    Advanced software, artificial intelligence, and making use of big data are the emerging fields of business and engineering. This major teaches students how to apply those concepts to improve a business or increase profitability. Students will learn about machine learning and analytics and theories relating to quantitative analysis and data science.

  • Product Management

    This course teaches students how to oversee a product’s lifecycle. This includes designing, creating, marketing, and selling the product. Classes will cover subjects like design thinking, strategic competition, and managing innovation.

Accreditation for Engineering Management Degree Online Programs

Accreditation is how an independent organization ensures that a particular academic program or institution meets basic quality standards. Accreditation is essential because other academic institutions and financial aid providers may not recognize an academic credential from an unaccredited institution.

Accreditation usually occurs at the institutional and programmatic levels. Institutional accreditation applies to the entire college or university. Institutional accrediting bodies typically exist at the regional level, although some national accrediting organizations do exist.

Programmatic accreditation refers to accrediting a specific academic program. The accrediting organization for engineering programs is the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc., more commonly known as ABET. However, ABET has accredited only one engineering management program at the master’s level.

Given this, a prospective student should confirm that they plan to apply to has institutional accreditation, preferably from a regional accrediting body. Please visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs to learn if a school is accredited.

What You Can Do with a Master’s in Engineering Management

One of the biggest reasons to get a master’s in engineering management is to take on leadership or supervisory roles that rely on advanced expertise and experience. As the need for more professionals in the STEM fields continues to rise – including the demand for engineers – there will be a need for those who can manage them while also understanding foundational scientific and engineering concepts. Here are some jobs you may be eligible for once you graduate with your degree in engineering management.

Industrial Production Manager

As the name implies, industrial production managers manage production operations. They may work in plants, factories, and research and development departments. Many industrial production managers will oversee the production of products with high levels of engineering or technical complexity. Therefore, they need a combination of engineering skills and management expertise, something that master’s degree graduates from an online engineering management program possess.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$65,050

$105,480

$176,070

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Construction Manager

Construction managers supervise construction projects. This can include a number of duties, including planning and budgeting the project. Civil, architectural, and related engineers can take on this role, but only after receiving adequate training in management and business topics from a master’s in engineering management online program.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$56,140

$95,260

$164,790

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Engineering Manager

Becoming an engineering manager is a popular career prospect for students thinking about starting an online master’s degree in engineering management. Engineering managers can be found at manufacturing and engineering companies, overseeing engineering projects and operations related to engineering or design. To take on this role, engineering experience is usually insufficient, resulting in special training need to fill the engineering management role.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$92,510

$144,830

$208,000+

Source: PayScale, 2019

Postsecondary Engineering Teacher

Postsecondary engineering teachers provide formal instruction to students who are pursuing higher education. They are commonly found at technical or vocational educational institutions, requiring instructors to possess at least a master’s degree. Some postsecondary engineering teachers may also be involved in the research.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$53,030

$101,010

$185,720

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Information Systems Manager

Information systems managers coordinate the information systems operations and activities of an organization. In addition to this managerial role, they need technical knowledge to help identify the organization’s needs and create a plan to address those needs and oversee the plan’s implementation.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$87,480

$146,360

$208,000+

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Costs and Financial Aid for Online Master’s Degrees in Engineering Management

Earning a master’s in engineering management online is convenient, but it can also be rather pricey. Luckily, there are a number of ways to get financial aid to help pay for your education. Common forms of financial aid include scholarships, grants, fellowships, student loans, and employer tuition assistance. The latter is perfect if you are already working before school and plan on returning to work for the same employer after graduation. To learn more about how to pay for your education, check out our financial aid page.

What Your Online Master’s in Engineering Management Could Cost

School Name No. of Credits Cost/Credit Est. Total Tuition Cost

University of Louisville

30

$737.00

$22,110.00

Duke University

30

$1,888.80 (est)

$56,664.00

Drexel University

45 (quarter credits)

$1,342.00

$60,390.00

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Engineering Management Master’s Degrees

What are the admissions requirements for an online master’s in engineering management?

Each master’s in engineering management online program will have specific policies and qualification standards, but there will be many parallels in most programs’ admissions process. If you’re planning to apply to an online master’s program in engineering management, you will most likely need to provide the following:

  • A completed online application
  • Application fee
  • Official transcripts showing that you’ve graduated from an ABET-accredited bachelor’s degree program majoring in engineering or another STEM field
  • Statement of purpose
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resume or curriculum vitae

When it comes to previous work experience and GRE test scores, they are optional and strongly recommended for others.

How long will it take to finish my master’s in engineering management online?

Many master’s in engineering management online programs consist of 30 to 33 credits and offer students a significant degree of flexibility, not just in when they complete their coursework but also in that coursework’s intensity. For example, those who attend class full-time or in an accelerated track can graduate in 12 months. But for most students, like those attending Duke University, who attend on a part-time or standard track, will graduate in about two years.

Can I earn a master’s in engineering management 100% online, or do I need to visit campus?

The majority of online engineering management programs offered at the master’s level are 100% online, with no campus visits required. However, a few programs require residencies, which usually consist of workshops, roundtables, and other activities that provide an opportunity for students to interact with their classmates and professors, creating stronger, career-building relationships.