How long does it take to earn a Master’s in Engineering Management?

A Master's degree in Engineering Management rolls together engineering and business courses to prepare students for management roles in engineering industries. That's a lot of information to cover! On average Online Master's in Engineering Management programs are around two years for full-time students, with many requiring 30-32 semester credit hours. But this is far from a hard and fast rule.

However, there are some online programs, like the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's Online Master's of Science in Engineering Management, where you can complete your program in as little as twelve months. Others, like The George Washington University's Online MS in Engineering Management program, are 36 credit hours. This program works out to be three years, if you take the recommended one course per quarter. Stanford University says that their part-time students take between three to five years to complete their Online Master's of Science in Management Science and Engineering program. But, since that is assuming part-time, you could complete their 45 units more quickly, if you're life allows for it. Though, you do have to complete the program within five years, regardless.

Regardless of the Master's in Engineering Management program you choose, there will be similar courses across the board. You'll take core business classes, including finance, business law, marketing, and management. But you'll also work on building expertise in areas such as supply chain, operations, or innovation management, product development, or communalization, which combines your engineering experience with the knowledge you're gaining on the business and management side.

One of the benefits of an Online Master's in Engineering Management is there is generally more flexibility in your timeline, meaning you could either fast-track your work or slow it down, based on your needs. Many programs assume students put in around six to twelve hours per week on course work. Is that something you're able to commit to? Maybe you have space to take on an extra course for a semester. Or perhaps life circumstances require you to slow your coursework down. As you explore your program options, check to see how much flexibility they offer in terms of fitting your online degree work into your life.

Some options to consider when choosing an Online Master's in Engineering Management program include:

  • Asynchronous mode – Online programs with an asynchronous mode offer more independence in regards to schedule. This means that you have the chance to work on courses much faster (or slower) than students in a synchronous mode, either on-campus or where there is a remote course scheduled at certain times. Many online programs offer asynchronous learning environments to better suit their students.
  • Accelerated degree programs – Accelerated degrees are ideal if you are on a timeline. Your courses will be shorter and classes are generally scheduled back-to-back. But, while you'll be done more quickly, the burden of learning the material and completing all the work in a more concentrated timeline. Do you have the time to dedicate to only coursework for a while? And can you quickly absorb and learn material to be useful later?

A master's program is certainly a significant time commitment, but the amount of time does vary from program to program. And choosing non-traditional learning environments, like asynchronous mode with online coursework or an accelerated degree program, can help you made the program work for your lifestyle and career goals.