The coursework required for the Master of Professional Studies in Engineering Management includes two core courses, Ethics and Capstone, as well as six foundation courses and three elective courses. Below represents a sample of course offerings. Format and content may change.
Students will be required to successfully complete two core courses, Ethics and Capstone. Ethics should be taken early on in the student’s course progression, while Capstone is taken during a student’s final term in order to allow them to synthesize learning from throughout the program and conclude their course of study with an applied project which is designed based on individual career interests. Students must earn a grade of “B” or better in both the Ethics and Capstone courses in order to be eligible to graduate. A course description for each core course is included below.
Applied Ethics for Engineers
This course provides students with a firm foundation in essential concepts, skills, and strategies necessary for effective and ethical leadership in the engineering field. This course will use a mix of theory and case-studies to introduce students to domain-specific ethical dilemmas and will give students the opportunity to apply ethical reasoning to address real-world problems and scenarios. Students will grapple with what is required to successfully navigate the professional world as an ethical leader within the field of engineering management, focusing particularly on the connections between applied ethics and areas such as engineering, business management, and law. Students will work in teams on an applied project.
This course is the culmination of the student’s academic and professional experience in the program. Over the course of the term, students will apply the knowledge gained during the program, integrating the skills necessary for analyzing issues, thinking creatively, working collaboratively, and presenting impactful ideas to create a Capstone Project. The intent of the project is for students to apply concepts, principles, and practices they have learned to: a) a “real” problem within an application domain of interest to them, their sponsor, and their assigned academic advisors; b) an investigative study of some aspect of engineering (e.g., the utility and relevance of an ontology to project success); or, c) the development of an engineering application case study.
Students must complete six required Foundation Courses in order to earn the degree.
Fundamentals of Engineering Management
This course provides an introductory framework for the engineering management discipline. Students gain a solid grounding in fundamental engineering management related methods, processes, and tools from the fields of business, management, operations research, statistics, systems engineering, and traditional engineering. This course helps students bridge the gap between the engineering and management disciplines while maintaining the importance of leadership and development of people as individuals and as teams.
Strategic Management in Engineering Organizations
In establishing the direction of any organization, the formulation of strategy is of vital importance in establishing an engineering organization’s key priorities and goals. Once a strategic plan has been created the next logical step in the process is to implement it. Two things are needed to implement strategy: people and an organization. How managers organize activities and direct the attention of people toward the fulfillment of strategic objectives are fundamental to the successful implementation of strategy. As such, there is a critical nexus between organizational alignment and strategic outcome. However well-designed a company strategy is, such a strategy will fail if the organizational component is not well-aligned with the given strategy. This course will provide students with a set of frameworks that will guide leaders in the appropriate design of an engineering organization that will offer coherence to a given strategy.
Accounting & Finance for Engineers
This course introduces students to the fields of accounting and finance through an engineering project lens. The course will be broadly framed around teaching theories and practical techniques related to acquiring, accounting for, and allocating an organization’s financial resources. It analyzes basic business problems that managers face as they make decisions for their organizations. Some of the topics include return on investment, theories of portfolio management, financial statement and discounted cash flow analysis, interest rate determination, capital budgeting methodologies, concepts of risk and return, asset pricing, and valuation models. Students will apply their knowledge to issues they face within their work environment and to real-world examples through business cases and case studies.
Decision & Risk Analysis
This course draws on students’ prior knowledge of statistics and probability and focuses on statistical methods for decision-making for complex systems and projects. Topics include uncertainty, conflicting objectives, and risk attitudes. Students learn how to structure and solve decision problems associated with engineering tradeoffs, uncertainty of outcomes, and risk aversion using specific decision analysis concepts and tools. Various modeling approaches are presented and then applied to an independent project.
Operations & Supply Chain Management
This course introduces students to theories and methods in the fields of operations management, supply chain management, quality assurance, and process improvement. Students will learn the tools and methods that engineers use to measure and optimize performance in these and related areas. This course will utilize engineering-specific case studies, projects, and simulations.
Design Thinking & Product Development
Design thinking is a flexible, yet systematic process to define and solve problems that incorporate rigorous steps and best-practices that can be applied to any industry to solve problems, develop products, and improve processes to better meet customer needs. This course introduces students to the principles and practices in the development, design, marketing and introduction of new products and services using design thinking. At the end of the course, students will understand the new product process and learn how to integrate the customer and end-consumer into this process.
Students will complete the remaining nine credits of their degree through three elective courses.
This course examines key ethical methodologies, principles, values, and frameworks with the ultimate goal of helping you to continue to be ethical leaders. It explores the literature in moral psychology and behavioral economics to help you understand under what circumstances you are likely to behave without integrity, and how to take steps now to prevent this. Students are provided with tools and frameworks in order to understand how to construct ethical infrastructure, as well as meaningful values documents.
Collaboration & Communication for Engineers
This course teaches students the essential communication skills utilized by successful managers, including negotiation, persuasion and influencing, and presentation skills. Learning objectives for this course include demonstrating leadership skills and applying proven techniques in leading teams; applying communication best practices in projects; and evaluating communication needs for different motivational approaches by leveraging the Strength Development Inventory for both the “normal behavior” and “conflict mode” of individuals. By the end of the course, students are able to identify and resolve conflicts by practicing different conflict resolution approaches. This course also includes an examination of the individual motivators that aid students in effectively negotiating and influencing discussions with others.
Engineering Project & Program Management
This course will expose students to tools and approaches useful for the effective management of engineering projects and programs. Students will build a foundation in project and program management by mastering areas based on the current version of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and PMI’s Standard for Program Management. Learning objectives for this course include an in-depth examination of the project and program lifecycles and identification of success factors at each step in the process. Students will learn how to describe the relationship between program requirements and overall success criteria, including recognition of the benefits of maintaining continuous alignment of program scope with strategic objectives by realizing the stated program benefits. Through the use of real-world scenarios and case studies, students will examine various project and program management tools and techniques and ensure the quality of deliverables and their impact on program-level management. This includes the ability to distinguish between program risks and project risks and maintain communication with internal and external stakeholders at multiple levels.
Product Managers connect and align stakeholders around the goals of their organizations, and make sure those goals are aligned with the needs of their customers. This course introduces students to the whole range of activities pertaining to product planning and management, including designing product strategies, spotting marketing opportunities, overseeing the roadmap for specific products, conducting research to understand the competitive landscape, and managing the day-to-day workings of product teams. Students gain insights into how to make improved decisions when traveling through the difficult landscape of new product development.
Marketing & Sales for Engineers
This course focuses on understanding new marketing opportunities and customer needs for technology-based products and services developed by engineers. Topics include developing and executing marketing plans, customer segmentation and targeting, determining marketing mix, and forecasting. The course will also focus on customer need identification and differentiating between the different types of audiences that engineers design and sell products to, including business-to-business, business-to-government, and direct to consumer products.
Fundamentals of Systems Engineering
This course introduces students to the principles and processes of systems engineering. The course enables them to more effectively design solutions that meet customer needs. The course centers on a group project that students pursue in small teams. Fundamentals of Systems Engineering provides students with a disciplined approach for identifying a customer or stakeholder need and translating that need into a complete set of requirements or specifications for a system that meets the need. The focus is on developing an outside-in view that treats the system as a black box, without regard to the components from which it will be built. The course emphasizes the distinction between an operational need and a system solution, and stresses the importance of understanding the customer need before jumping to a solution. The intent is not just to describe the systems engineering and architecting process. Rather, the course helps students understand how to think through the choices at each step of the process. What decisions have to be made? What factors should be considered in making them? It is the answers to these questions that make for good systems engineering, not just adherence to a standard process. The primary objective of this course is to achieve a strong foundation in systems engineering principles and processes.
Organizational & Change Management
This course is designed to introduce engineers to the organizational and change management issues related to the integration of new technology initiatives. This course employs a combination of presentation, discussion, and research to understand the pace and risk associated with new technology project failure in the absence of a comprehensive change management strategy. The process is introduced from the systems view of organizational change and includes data collection methods (qualitative and quantitative), diagnosis, and the management of system-wide technology change integration. In addition to the practical component of the course of study, substantive and validated theory is integrated that spans 50+ years of change management literature.
Innovation & Entrepreneurship for Engineers
This course is designed for students who want to better understand entrepreneurship and how to bring a technology- or engineering-based product or service to market. The course focuses on practical skills and knowledge, such as the lifecycle for technical product development, developing a minimum viable product, growing your customer base, seeking outside investment, and team building.