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Engineering Management and Leadership Concentration

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Earn a Master’s Degree at a distance from Purdue College of Engineering with Concentration in Engineering Management and Leadership

Whom It’s For
This online degree area of concentration is appropriate for practicing engineers aspiring to advance their career along a path of steadily increasing responsibility within an engineering or technology based organization. The program can be customized according to the individual’s level of experience and ultimate objectives.

The online Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) with concentration in Engineering Management and Leadership is for those with an undergraduate degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program or one of equivalent standards. The Master of Science (MS) with concentration in Engineering Management and Leadership is available for those whose undergraduate degree is in an engineering related field such as physics, mathematics, or computer science. Along with the master’s degree from Purdue University, the student may simultaneously earn a Certificate in Global Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Thunderbird is consistently named #1 in international business by U.S. News & World Report.

This is a unique program designed to prepare engineers to work and lead in the 21st century. As a National Academy of Engineering publication The Engineer of 2020 asserts "... with the growing interdependence between technology and the economic and social foundations of modern society, there will be an increasing number of opportunities for engineers to exercise their potential as leaders".

In light of this study by the National Academy and similar studies around the world, the College of Engineering at Purdue envisions a new landscape of the knowledge, abilities, and attributes required of the practicing engineer in the 21st century:

  • Excellence in science, math, and engineering fundamentals as core skills continuously replenished through lifelong learning and professional development
  • Integration of engineering and business perspectives in design and decision making
  • Capacity to lead and innovate within an environment of global change

Additional influences on the design of this program include ideas pertaining to the globalization of technology and of technical work as expressed in such books as The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman, All Connected Now by Walter Anderson, and From Global to Metanational by Yves Doz, Jose Santos, and Peter Williamson.

The curriculum is highly flexible and contains two primary parts: 1) to increase engineering and technical skills, particularly at the systems level, and 2) to build strategic management skills, particularly those associated with leadership in the global marketplace. The engineering courses will be offered by the Purdue College of Engineering and the student will be embedded in classes composed of engineers who are seeking graduate degrees in various engineering disciplines. The business courses will be taught by the Thunderbird School of Global Management and the student will be embedded in classes composed of those seeking the MBA or already have attained an MBA. Video clip for more history about this new option.

Degree Objectives
Graduates will have increased their engineering background in both depth and breadth. They will have expanded their knowledge in management and leadership from both engineering and business perspectives. They will have gained global awareness and increased their ability to work within and lead interdisciplinary teams, projects and organizations involving engineers as well as non-technical professionals - each critical to achieving success.

Delivery Format
Courses taken from Purdue University are available primarily through streaming video over the internet and downloadable MPEG-4 files. Access system requirements on our website.

Courses taken from Thunderbird are available through a web-based learning management system which includes activities such as asynchronous web-videos, discussion boards, synchronous webcasts, and chat rooms. Access Thunderbird's system requirements on their website. The business courses and certain of the engineering courses involve significant interaction and communication between individual students as well as between student teams. All of the interactive exercises are designed to accommodate employed engineers located in any time zone.

Program Curriculum
This degree option in Engineering Management and Leadership requires completion of 33 credit hours. Of these, 21 credits will consist of Purdue courses and 12 credits will be transferred from Thunderbird School of Global Management. Following admission, each student will have responsibility to develop a plan of study requiring approval of their academic advisory committee. A committee chair or primary advisor will work with the student in developing a plan of study appropriate to his or her current career situation and objectives for the future.

Purdue Courses
Each plan of study must include 21 credits of courses offered online by Purdue University. As a guideline, the student should consider taking three or four courses aimed at providing depth within their chosen engineering discipline. In addition the typical student will also take three or four 3-credit engineering courses emphasizing systems design and development. Examples of such courses are listed below. To view a complete list of available courses and descriptions for the courses below, access the Purdue course planning guide on our website.

Course Number Course Name
AAE 55000 Multidisciplinary Design Optimization
AAE 55200 Nondestructive Evaluation of Structures and Materials
AAE 56000 System of Systems Modeling and Analysis
AAE 56400 Systems Analysis and Synthesis
ECE 58000 Optimization Methods for Systems and Control
ECE 63300 Modeling & Simulation of Power System Components
ECE 67000 Modeling & Optimization of High Performance Interconnects
ECE 69500 Power Electronic Converters and Systems
ENE 55400 Globalization and Engineering
IE 53000 Quality Control
IE 53200 Reliability
IE 53300 Industrial Applications of Statistics
IE 54500 Engineering Economic Analysis
IE 54600 Economic Decisions in Engineering
IE 55800 Safety Engineering
IE 57000 Manufacturing Process Engineering
IE 57700 Human Factors in Engineering
IE 58000 Systems Simulation
IE 58200 Advanced Facilities Design
IE 59000 Applied Ergonomics
IE 59000 Introduction to Systems Engineering
IE 59000 Manufacturing Economics
IE 67400 Computer & Communications Methods for Production Control
ME 55300 Product and Process Design
ME 55700 Design for Manufacturability (requires 3 on-campus, Saturday labs)
ME 57100 Reliability-Based Design
MSE 59700 Lean Manufacturing

Thunderbird School of Global Management Courses
Each plan of study must include 12 transfer credits selected from the list below. View Thunderbird course descriptions and schedule.

Course Number Course Name Credits Prerequisite(s)
GM4000* Global Political Economy 3.0 N/A
GM4800* Cross-Cultural Communications 1.5


GM4801* Global Negotiations 1.5 GM4800
GM4464 Competing Through People 1.5 N/A
GM4468 Competitive Strategy 1.5 N/A
BC4001 Business and Managerial Communications 1.5 N/A
GM4100 Fundamentals of Accounting 1.5 N/A
GM4505 Global Marketing 3.0 N/A
GM5486 Global Leadership 1.5 GM4464,GM4468
GM5470 Global Strategy 1.5 GM4464,GM4468
GM4102 Managerial Decision Making 1.5 GM4100
GM4319 Global Operations Management 1.5 Purdue STAT 511

*Required course for the Certificate in Global Management.

Optional Courses
Although not eligible for inclusion in the 33 required credits, students may be interested in the following courses as optional electives:

  • Capstone Project Course (3 credits) - Under the direction of a Purdue faculty member, the student will define and complete a project aimed at practical application of what was learned within the degree program. The project may be work related and/or proprietary.
  • Regional Business Environment (3 credits) - This Thunderbird course deals with the political and social context in which business activities take place within a selected region of the world. It includes an onsite component delivered at the selected site in Asia, Europe, or Latin America. Thunderbird tuition and additional fees to cover the on-site costs are associated with this course.

Program Eligibility
1. Students must meet the eligibility requirements for the MSE (Masters of Science in Engineering) or MS (Masters of Science) degree programs.
In addition:
2. Applicants whose native language is not English, and who did not receive a qualifying undergraduate degree in a country where English is the native language, are required to take the TOEFL exam. The TOEFL requirements for this degree option are slightly higher than those for other engineering programs offered at Purdue. For this program, minimum TOEFL scores are 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer based), or 100 (Internet-based).
3. Students in this program must complete 3 courses (9 credit hours) on their plan of study from Purdue University and maintain a 3.0 GPA before registering for business courses.

Tuition and Fees
Purdue course tuition. The tuition for Thunderbird courses is $1,205 per credit hour for Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Summer 2014. Tuition is subject to change every fall. In addition to tuition, course materials such as textbooks, electronic coursepacks, and cases/journals are required for each course. The average cost for course materials per course is $130.00. The tuition and fees listed on this page only apply to students enrolled in the Engineering Management and Leadership Concentration.
Click here to learn more about our Engineering Management and Leadership Master’s Degree Option or call 877-598-4233.

Dale Harris Photo
Dale Harris
Professor of
Engineering Education
describes this unique
area of specialization
in a 2 minute video

View the video

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