Master of Science in Engineering Management and Leadership

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At a Glance

Graduates of the MS in Engineering Management and Leadership degree program will gain a comprehensive understanding of how to manage technology teams and projects to become influential leaders of global technology organizations.

20 Months
30 Units
September 3
August 2


Students are admitted throughout the year into one of three terms (spring, summer and fall). The program is designed to be completed in five semesters, and students can focus on one 7-week course at a time.


A Program for Technical Professionals Who Are Ready to Assume Leadership Positions

For many aspiring engineering leaders, programs in business administration have been the path forward. However, the traditional MBA path has difficulty accounting for today’s fast pace of technological changes and constant market disruptions. Top technology organizations require leaders who have special ability to understand the complex nature and exponential pace of disruptions created by technology in the marketplace.

If you want to advance as a technical professional, then you’ll be expected to develop a skill set that goes beyond simply managing large scale products. You’ll need to be able to set goals and strategies that account for an organization’s performance, culture and constraints. You’ll be able to communicate the value of complex product or service offerings to a diverse audience, from investment groups to global partners. Most importantly, you’ll need to be able to lead by example to generate influence and innovation within your team. 

The University of San Diego’s 100% online Master of Science in Engineering Management and Leadership (MS-EML) program was created to specifically address these needs of tomorrow’s technical professionals. The MS-EML curriculum is designed to instruct and train students on how to be leaders who can: 


The MS-EML program is designed for technical professionals who are ready to take the next step in their career. Ideal candidates will have a command of technical or engineering skills along with prior management and leadership experience. 

Graduates of the MS-EML program will be well-suited for high-level careers in any field where management requires a balance of technical ability and the capacity to be adaptable, strategic, innovative and influential. Possible careers for ME-EML graduates include:

C-level executives Engineering research managersGlobal engineering managers
Engineering directorsEngineering design managersProcess engineering managers
Vice president of engineeringIT project managerQuality manager
Operations managerTechnical consultantDirector of business development
Research and development managerVP of product development Director of product integration 

Leaders in scientific, tech and related consulting fields are among today’s highest paid professionals. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


We aim to provide technical professionals with the knowledge, skills and training to excel in managing technology teams and projects. As a graduate of the MS-EML program, you will be able to:

USD MS-EML is open to all technical professionals who want to advance in their careers as engineering leaders and managers. Get a closer look at the application process with detailed instructions on how to apply for this unique program designed around the management of information technology.


The Master of Science in Engineering Management and Leadership is a 30-unit, project-based program designed to be completed in 20 months over five semesters.

The program is offered 100% online using the Canvas learning management system and requires students to take two seven-week-long courses each semester, including a culminating three-unit capstone course that requires students to work as part of a team to deliver a project for a client company. 

The MS-EML program is designed around the following themes and topics:

  • Technology and Engineering Leadership
  • Emerging Technology Trends
  • Competing Strategically 
  • Building Resilient Technology Businesses
  • Technology and Engineering Management
  • Value Chain of Engineering Organizations
  • Sustainability, Ethics and Compliance
  • Decision Analysis

Capstone Project

The three-unit capstone project requires students to apply the knowledge and skills learned in their courses throughout the program. It is a practical course that requires students to work with a client company to address an agreed-upon issue of value of management. The project will draw on lessons from across all courses in the MS-EML to design, manage and deliver the project to the client company. 


Our MS-EML faculty bring a unique combination of academic and industry experience that spans technology, engineering, manufacturing, marketing, sales and finance in technology companies. 

Not only have they developed and sold products and services in technology markets; they have also run large organizations and Business Units, founded, launched, and grown startups, and served as directors on the boards of small-cap companies. Each faculty member has experience in leadership roles, has been involved in raising equity and debt capital, and some have led mergers, acquisitions and public offerings. 


Accreditation is an important quality indicator for college and university degree programs, generally regarded as a stamp of approval that ensures you will be able to apply for financial aid and transfer your credits if you decide to switch schools. Most state universities and private non-profit universities will have a regional accreditation. The University of San Diego has earned both regional and national accreditations.

Accreditations include:

The WASC Senior College and University Commission – WASC is a regional accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as certifying institutional eligibility for federal funding in a number of programs, including student access to federal financial aid. Learn more about the importance of selecting a regionally accredited program.


Program tuition is competitive with other top institutions. Federal financial aid can help you fund your degree. Scholarships and grants may also be available.

One of the University of San Diego’s highest priorities is to ensure that sufficient tuition and financial aid support is available to all eligible students. The first step is to complete the free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Tuition & Financial Aid

Find helpful information on tuition and financial aid.

Scholarships & grants

Discover possible additional sources of funding to help pay for your degree.

How to Apply

For details on specific requirements needed for admission, please visit our Admissions page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a GRE required for admission?

Candidates who have a GPA above 2.75 are not required to take a GRE; however, a standardized test such as GRE is recommended for applicants with a GPA under 2.75.

Do I need an undergraduate degree in engineering or a related field?

MS-EML applicants don’t need an engineering degree, but they must have a bachelor’s degree (BS or BA) from an accredited institution. It is preferable to have industry experience, with preference given to students who can articulate their philosophy of engineering management and leadership.

How many units is the MS-EML program?

The online MS-EML program is a total of 30 units. Students will enroll in two prescribed courses each semester for a total of five (5) semester units. During the final semester, students will enroll in two (2) courses that cover ethical management and a capstone project experience.

How much is my tuition?

Tuition for the MS-EML program is $925 per unit, which equates to $27,750 for the entire 30 unit program.

Tuition amounts shown on this website, or in other university publications or web pages, represent tuition and fees as currently approved. However, the University of San Diego reserves the right to increase or modify tuition and fees without prior notice and to make such modifications applicable to students enrolled at USD at that time as well as to incoming students. In addition, all tuition amounts and fees are subject to change at any time for correction of errors. Please note that the displayed tuition covers only the cost of courses, and additional expenses such as books and other fees are not included.

Does the program have to be completed within 20 months? MSEML

No. Students have a total of 5 years to finish the full course. The curriculum schedule functions on a rotational system, meaning that if a student skips a course, they will have to wait for the rotation to complete before jumping back in. We encourage individuals who are interested in the program to speak with an enrollment advisor or to work with their program coordinator, who is available to help every step of the way.

Does USD offer career development/advising support?

The University of San Diego is committed to steering you on a path toward educational and professional success. From the start, you’ll receive support and guidance from experienced University of San Diego advisors who are invested in helping you achieve your education goals!

What kind of engineering experience do you need to have for this program?

Applicants should have at least a couple years of experience within the industry as an engineer and should be preparing to assume leadership positions in technology companies. Strong candidates will already have some level of professional management experience and be ready to take the next step in cross-functional reporting structures and strategic relationships.

What is a Master’s in Engineering Management?

A Master’s in Engineering Management (MEM) is a multidisciplinary professional degree that focuses on the integration of engineering, technology and business management. Engineers with an Engineering Management master’s degree have a deeper understanding of the field’s management principles, business processes and emerging technologies and so are better prepared to oversee engineering teams and projects.

USD’s EML program adds in a layer of engineering leadership by offering insights on ethics, sustainability, business strategy and how to be “future-ready” against industry disruptions. The EML program provides students who have already earned an engineering degree with the skills and experience to effectively lead the diverse and dynamic organizations typical of today’s tech industry.