Masters of Engineering Management at the University of Texas at Austin
John Hayes posted on May 15, 2013 |
Program teaches the business of engineering, and it’s available online.

The Details

Dr. Steven Nichols has an interesting background, bridging engineering, business, law and academia. That’s a great CV for the Program Director of an engineering management program that bridges the worlds of business and engineering.

The goal of the program is to educate the next generation of leaders in technology companies. These people will have to be proficient in technology, but they also need training in leadership, finance, marketing and law. In fact, the course list reads a lot like an MBA program.

Dr. Nichols is a strong believer that the quality of the education students receive is highly dependent on the other students in the class.

To extend that collaborative experience online adds a level of complexity that could detract from the education for the other students. However, Dr. Nichols believes they have found an answer.

The solution was to introduce live streaming video for students who are online, making them visible to other students in the class and vice versa. This means that students who study online have to attend classes one Friday and Saturday per month – just like the regular students.

Quick Facts

School: Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin

Where is it: Austin Texas or Online

Degree you get: M.S.E. in Engineering Management

Size of the Program: ~60 current students

Number of credit hours: 30

And that will take how long? 2 years

When does it run: One Friday and Saturday per month


Minimum Admission Requirements:

  • 12 months industry experience
  • Undergraduate degree with 3.0 GPA
  • GRE

Who should take it? Working professionals who want to take a leadership role in a technology company.

Claim to fame: Cockrell was ranked 10th overall in Best Engineering Schools by US News & World Report.


Students who attend online take the same courses, earn the same degree and learn from the same faculty as those attending in person.

Virtually all students in the program are employed while they are attending class. This program leverages that fact by requiring each student to undertake a project for a manager in their company who is at least one level higher than their current manager. This can be stressful, but it’s a useful way to learn how business people think – a critical element for an engineer who wants to move to a leadership role.

These projects are presented at “Project days” where the entire school attends. Dr. Nichols says it’s a great way for students to learn from each other.

Upon graduation, students can expect to move from individual roles such as project engineer to broader corporate leadership roles. In a recent survey, 62.5% of graduates said that they received a raise within 6 months of graduation while 37.5% said they earned a raise while in the program.

So, why wouldn’t you take this program?

  • It doesn’t offer financial assistance.
  • This is not a fit if you can’t travel to Austin or you can’t attend synchronously on the one required Friday and Saturday per month



  • ENM 380.1 Managing People and Organizations - 3 credit hrs
  • ENM 380.2 Art and Science of Negotiations - 3 credit hrs
  • ENM 380.3 Advanced Marketing Management - 3 credit hrs
  • ENM 381.1 Legal Issues for Engineering Managers - 3 credit hrs
  • ENM 383.1 Management of Projects and Processes - 3 credit hrs
  • ENM 383.2 Strategic Decision and Risk Analysis - 3 credit hrs
  • ENM 383.3 Creativity, Innovation, and Product Development - 3 credit hrs
  • ENM 384 Engineering Economics - 3 credit hrs
  • ENM 397P Projects in Engineering Management - 3 credit hrs, taken each summer

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