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Think and Lead: Master’s program offers management training for engineers

NC State student working at mobile computer

In today’s ever-shifting job climate, professionals value flexibility and the College’s newly redesigned Master of Engineering Management (MEM) program offers just that. Along with traditional concentrations in entrepreneurship and supply chain management, the program includes what organizers call a “choose-your-own-adventure” track, where students are allowed to pick their own classes to align with their interests and career goals.

The MEM program was developed in response to the growing demand for engineering graduates with the skills necessary to manage and succeed in today’s complex engineering environments. Further, many engineering graduates are interested in MBAs but would prefer to gain their management skills focused on STEM environments, while also deepening their technical skills. This program provides a mechanism for those who want to maintain their engineering focus while learning about managing and communicating inside technical organizations.

“We did an assessment of what industry needs are and our corresponding strengths and then we redesigned it to be what it is today,” said Brandon McConnell, assistant research professor in the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. “We are leveraging NC State strengths to directly target market needs, both in North Carolina and across the country, and we are providing students choices along the way.”

The original program, introduced in 2013, focused on supply chain engineering and management, but the 2020 revamp expanded on and added to those offerings.

The degree is taught over 10 courses, offered both on campus and online. Students complete a five-course core curriculum, along with five courses in their chosen concentration including a master’s project to apply their skills in a practical setting. Students can choose from one of seven concentrations: Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Facilities Engineering, Health & Human Systems, Professional Practice, Supply Chain Engineering & Management and Build Your Own.

MEM students benefit from a highly interdisciplinary curriculum with courses and faculty members from all over NC State. All departments from the College of Engineering participate, and several classes are offered in partnership with other colleges, such as the College of Sciences, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Poole College of Management. The program also provides professional development and career services.

Since the program’s introduction, reception has been promising and has attracted a diverse range of students.

As for the future? As McConnell put it, “We want to be the go-to choice for NC State undergrads interested in continuing education. We also want to aggressively increase U.S. military and veteran enrollment. As a land-grant institution, our program will actively pursue partnerships with North Carolina companies to support their educational and workforce development programs. We should be the number one Engineering Management program in North Carolina, hands down.”

Learn more about the MEM program by visiting

Return to contents or download the Spring / Summer 2021 NC State Engineering magazine (PDF, 52.0 MB).

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