Master of Science in Engineering Management and Leadership

Admission Requirements

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The online Master of Science in Engineering Management and Leadership degree program is designed for technical professionals who are looking to further their careers by becoming effective leaders of organizations, teams and projects. Ideal candidates will have a command of technical or engineering skills along with some prior management and leadership experience.

The following elements are the standard admissions expectations for applicants:

If you are interested in applying, but do not meet all of the admissions requirements, please contact an enrollment advisor at (888) 832-0239 or use the chat feature on this page. Our application review process always includes a holistic look at your experience and background, and we understand that a low undergraduate GPA or lack of professional experience is not necessarily indicative of your potential success in our program.

You can find additional information and guidance on preparing your application by visiting our “Starting Your Application” page.

If you have questions regarding any aspect of the application process, please contact an Enrollment Advisor for assistance.


Students are admitted throughout the year for admission into one of three semesters (spring, summer, and fall). Each semester two courses are offered, with students focusing intensively on one course at a time – a total of seven weeks for each course. This degree program can be completed in five semesters (20 months).

Admission application packets are accepted on a rolling basis. A decision will be recommended by the Review Committee within a few weeks from submission.

View the academic calendar below:

At a Glance

Earn your master’s degree in just 20 months. USD-EML is a 30-unit project-based program designed to be completed in five semesters. Students can focus on one 7-week course at a time.

20 Months
30 Units
September 3
August 2

Are you an international applicant?

International applicants must meet additional requirements for admission, including:


Our borders are open to international students of all regions.

Start Your Future Now


USD provides support services from your initial inquiry through graduation and placement. The University of San Diego (USD) is a nationally ranked institution focused on an unwavering expectation: academic excellence. We want to help you become the changemaker you want to be!

Enrollment Advising

When you first inquire about one of our graduate degree programs, you will be assigned a personal Enrollment Advisor. Your Enrollment Advisor is available to answer your questions, help you assess your eligibility for admission and guide you through the application process. Your advisor will help you every step of the way from the moment you indicate your interest in a program through the entire application process. Our team of advisors can even help order your undergraduate transcripts, guide you through the process of writing your admission essay and ensure you are staying on top of deadlines.

Program Advising

A Program Advisor will be your primary point of contact for support once you are admitted and have formally registered for classes. When you first enroll, your Program Advisor will schedule a 15-minute introductory call to review technology/equipment requirements, connect you with resources for financial aid (GI Bill/VA funding, payment plans etc.) and help you sign up for the online orientation. Over the course of your program, you’ll work with your Program Advisor to add/drop classes, coordinate credit transfers and address any technical challenges you might be experiencing. In fact, you can direct most university-related questions to your Program Advisor; if they do not have the answer, they will point you to the available resource that does.

Academic Advising

Each of our graduate degree programs has an Academic Advisor, who is responsible for evaluating applications and admitting new students, monitoring your academic progress and providing guidance as needed. Academic Advisors also serve as instructors for their respective programs.

Additional Support

  • Instructor Support – Instructors facilitate your studies throughout the course and will respond to your questions and coursework through the online course platform.
  • Library Support – You will have access to Copley Library’s online digital databases and other library resources, including the library’s reference services, either by phone or email.
  • Technical Support – If you have any troubles with the online learning environment, you’ll find USD’s help desk technical support to be responsive and effective.

Graduate Placement

Career Services at the University of San Diego acts as a centralized resource for USD students, alumni and employers. Career Services can provide you with online career tools and other resources to help you with your job search.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any restrictions to attend the online program?

Due to regulations from the Department of Education, the University of San Diego is unable to enroll students in its online degree programs who reside in Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Wisconsin. This restriction does not apply to applicants interested in a campus-based program.

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 my 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.

Does the program have to be completed within 20 months?

No. Students have a total of five (5) years to finish the full course of study. 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. Right 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.

For other general questions about admissions and financial aid, see the University of San Diego’s main FAQ page.