Best Colleges in USA for MS in Engineering Management

posted at Aug. 8, 2019, 2:07 p.m.

Rankings do not matter much for Engineering Management programs. There are close to 50 Engineering Management programs in the USA. But only 10 are worth going to. I’ll mention the options that most students end up considering. I won’t talk about MIT because it needs a ton of work experience.

Stanford: Hands down the best MEM program there is (it’s called Management Science and Engineering). Unfortunately its the most selective as well. The curriculum is more quant oriented which may not be a bad thing because it helps during the job search. Along with Dartmouth, it is the most rigorous program there is. There’s no downsides to this program. If you get in you must go!

Dartmouth: The little Ivy League school in the woods! The program with the best curriculum bar none without a doubt. Because of the quarter system and the sheer number of courses you have to take, the Dartmouth MEM will be hard work. It has the best mix of quant courses and traditional management courses such as marketing, business strategy and managerial accounting. The small class size, brilliant networking opportunities facilitated by the university and the career services team ensure that every Dartmouth MEM ends up with a job with the average salary at 85,000 dollars. The disadvantage of this program is that it is hard to get into (obviously because it has a class size of 50), its expensive and that it’s located literally in the middle of nowhere. It doesn’t offer any location advantages apart from being close to New York and Boston.

Duke: Perhaps the first name that springs to mind when MEM programs come up. The university has a great reputation and the degree will hold value globally. Its location in proximity a whole bunch of industries in North Carolina also provides a great advantage. The curriculum is not very deep however and that’s a downer when you pay close to 60k in tuition. Also it has one of the largest classes with close to 200 people. That can hurt your job search.

USC: Great location, great school. However it's a two-year program and hence is expensive for what it offers. It tends to be more selective than Johns Hopkins and is an older program than Cornell and Purdue. Because of it being an older program, the industry connect that the program has is great. If you get in you should be ok as long as you can afford the fee.

Johns Hopkins: A great program that I recommend because of the class size, location, curriculum and reputation of the university. One issue with the program is that it has a strong engineering component to it which a lot of applicants don’t like in an Engineering Management program. Computer Science grads should look this course up though! It is a little newer compared to the other programs however and is constantly increasing its class size.

Cornell: Ivy league, good curriculum, and good job opportunities Cornell is a great program which should feature among the top 3–4 in the years to come as the program gains in years. Don’t be fooled by the New York tag though. Ithaca, NY to New York City is a 5.5+ hour drive. You can get to NYC faster from Boston! Also, Ivy=Expensive. I personally believe the only reason that this program hasn’t trumped Duke is that it is relatively newer. The age of an MEM program determines the industry connections and reputation it has and Cornell needs a few more years under its belt. But it will be a mighty fine program. 
 Columbia: The Management Science and Engineering program at Columbia is your go-to course if you love quantitative modelling and finance. Offered by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, Columbia grads love crunching numbers. Its location in New York also increases the likelihood of securing a job. I hear a lot of people who go to Columbia tell me however that the program is not what they expected. This is because of the quant-heavy nature. If you want an education in broader management subjects like marketing and strategy you aren’t getting it here. Also be prepared to shell out close to a crore on tuition and living expenses. An Ivy in NYC is a financial nightmare!

Northeastern: A school that’s quite a bit lower down in the pecking order when compared to the rest. But one I hold in high regard. NEU is in Boston. The curriculum is good. The job opportunities are good. And its acceptance rate is higher when compared to the rest. You should certainly have this one in your list of safe schools. There a bunch of other schools that I haven’t written about yet. I will add them in later edits when I have the patience and as I gain more insights. Do comment on any other universities you want me to write about, I’ll be happy to oblige.

Do log onto Gradvine to speak to current MEM students and grads to learn more about these programs and to understand what to expect from them.

Gradvine | Been There Done That

Author: Sreekar Reddy