In our program, the content of each of the six core courses is broken down into a series of integrated modules. Click titles to see course descriptions.
This course provides students with an in-depth exposure to data-driven methods for understanding and improving the performance of systems and processes. The course modules illustrate the application of analytical and improvement tools from Six Sigma, Lean, Total Quality Management and Kaizen approaches. Case studies demonstrate real-world applications from a variety of industries.
210-1 Quantifying Process Capability
210-2 Design of Experiments and Statistical Process Control
210-3 Systems Engineering, Reliability and Failure
Quantifying Process Capability
This module introduces the “quality initiatives” (Six Sigma, TQM, Lean), and the probability and statistics fundamentals for these strategies. Students explore data types (nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio), and their relationship to distribution types (normal (Gaussian), binomial, Poisson). Techniques for estimating population statistics from sampled data, and for performing tests of hypotheses to compare samples and populations are practiced.
Design of Experiments and Statistical Process Control
Students are introduced to the tools for characterizing a process or system as a transfer function of its input variables, and the methods for using the transfer function to obtain optimal, real-world settings for the input variables. Topics include: design of experiments, regression analysis, and analysis of variance. Statistical process control methods for analyzing and maintaining the behavior of systems and processes over time are explored.
Systems Engineering, Reliability and Failure
This module presents statistical approaches to systems thinking and system design engineering. Methods for measuring, analyzing, predicting and improving product reliability are explored. Statistical tolerancing of system components is introduced, together with techniques for aggregating and measuring system-level quality and probability-of-failure. Systems engineering process models and strategies are explored and discussed.
This course provides students with a business and technical framework for new product development in a fashion which integrates the disciplines of R&D, finance, marketing and the supply chain. The course begins by examining the processes and methods for managing all phases of new product development, including: opportunity identification; concept selection and testing; prototyping; and design for manufacturing. With this foundation, students then explore the roles that experience design and sustainability play in creating compelling, customer focused products and services.
220-1 New Product Development & Marketing
220-2 Experience Design Management
220-4 Systematic Innovation
New Product Development & Marketing
Students learn what questions to ask and actions to take at various phases of new product evolution. Emphasis is placed on customer input and cross-functional team roles and responsibilities. Elements of marketing are presented including: market research tools, product positioning, branding and marketing communications. The central focus of this module is the development of a new product concept by cross-functional student teams that integrates learning from other modules. The student teams formally present their concepts at the end of the semester and develop effective techniques to present to senior management and/or prospective investors.Download.
Experience Design Management
This module explores the core principles of experience design and shows how these principles can be applied to the creation of compelling products, services, brands and environments. Topics covered include: the role of brand in experience design; approaches to customer understanding; the development of customer personas and journey maps; envisioning systems; experiential modeling; and designing for products and services. At the final session student teams present class projects and consider the role of experience design in business strategy.
The Sustainability module introduces lifecycle thinking to product design, as well as the business case for sustainability. Students learn about sustainable product development, cradle-to-cradle lifecycle concepts, life-cycle assessments, nature-inspired design and systems thinking. In addition, students have the opportunity to develop sustainability initiatives for their own workplace and learn how to drive sustainable thinking into product development and the corporation. Download.
This module introduces students to the general principals of TRIZ-based systematic innovation. A collection of tools is applied algorithmically to identify the right problem, solve the problem efficiently and ensure the solutions align with the business strategy. Students develop skills that can be applied to improve functionality within existing products, develop new generation products, or reduce cost. Download.
This course enhances students’ ability to manage projects, processes and operations. Topics include: quantitative project management, production planning and scheduling, materials management, and lean manufacturing. Additional focus is provided on the supply chain of both goods and services. The introduction to financial and managerial accounting arms students with the business acumen they need to create, analyze and interpret financial reports to foster better decision making and improve business processes.
230-1 Project Management and Software Methodologies
230-2 Financial & Managerial Accounting
230-3 Supply Chain Management
230-4 Operations Management
Project Management & Software Methodologies
Students learn the fundamentals and modern heuristics for project management, with a focus on product development/engineering projects. The Project Management Body of Knowledge from the Project Management Institute (PMI) is explored in depth. Additional special topics include: quantitative project management; iterative and agile project lifecycles; software development lifecycles; and project defect models.
Financial & Managerial Accounting
Students learn how to create and analyze financial statements including the income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement. We explore managerial tools for optimizing financial decisions including the economic feasibility of projects and products. In conjunction with the project in the new Product Development and Marketing module, student teams are required to develop a complete financial plan including a full set of pro forma financial statements and an analysis of return on investment.
Supply Chain Management
The module focuses on the strategic impact of supply chain excellence, using case studies and simulations from high tech, retail and large scale manufacturing to convey best practices and decision factors in supply chain management. Success in building a world-class supply chain requires functional integration both within the firm and across the network of companies, and practical application of this concept is a recurring theme in course discussion, reading and assignments. Topics explored include: strategic supplier management, global supply chains, outsourcing decisions, inventory management and replenishment methodologies. Download.
Students are introduced to problems and analysis related to the design, planning, control, and improvement of manufacturing and service operations. Topics include: how to map and analyze process flows, determining process capacities and bottlenecks, and designing and coordinating operations in concert with the whole organization. Through cases and an online simulation, students practice diagnosing and solving problems, and recommending and implementing process improvement actions.
In this course students develop an understanding of the concepts of strategic management of technology companies in a global context. Emphasis is placed on leveraging analytical tools, critical thinking and creativity to develop and apply economic and business models that consider the interactions among competition, patterns of technological and market change, and internal firm capabilities.
240-1 Business Strategy
240-2 Technology Strategy and Innovation
240-3 Fundamentals of Economics
240-4 Globalization & Multinational Strategies
Business Strategy provides the background and insights required to develop a differentiating business strategy for an organization. The lectures and readings cover business fundamentals, the strategic planning process, competitive strategies, core competencies, strategic alliances, acquisitions and mergers, and franchising. Working in teams, students develop a complete business strategy for a high tech company.
Technology Strategy and Innovation
This module provides insight into many factors that drive innovation and the successful commercialization on new technologies in established and new businesses. The module includes best practices in new product portfolio management, technology road mapping and discussion of incremental, radical and disruptive innovation. Download.
Fundamentals of Economics
This module offers an overview of both macro and microeconomics. Students learn to (i) analyze current global economic issues that are related to trade balance, government budgets, unemployment, competitiveness of innovation and manufacturing processes, (ii) assess how fiscal and monetary discipline impact economic growth and social & political stability, (iii) examine how different economic philosophies shape individual and collective behaviors, (iv) analyze market behaviors and (v) develop an understanding of the basics of game theory.
Globalization and Multinational Strategies
Students develop a full understanding of the forces behind globalization and the evolution of multinational companies from different regions of world. The module examines the strategic, organizational and operational implications of working and leading in the global environment both in a large multinational organization and in a start-up and discusses how different globalization models work across different industries.
This course offers a humanistic analysis of the nature of leadership and some of the moral issues that arise in a business or organizational context. Through novels, films, plays and short stories, students examine the complexities and subtleties of responsible leadership.
250-1 Personal Leadership: Self-Awareness and Leadership Development
250-2 Ethics of Leadership: Moral Challenges and Moral Reasoning
250-3 Practice of Ethical Leadership: Professional and Organizational Ethics
Personal Leadership: Self-Awareness and Leadership Development
The ability to lead starts with the process of self-discovery. In order to succeed externally, leaders need to develop an ability to understand their own internal environments—their energy, motivation, priorities, core values, etc. They need to develop their self-management skills and cultivate their self-confidence. Learning in this context does not mean simply acquiring new information, but elevating self-awareness, discovering one’s authentic self and taking responsibility for her/his development as a leader. This module helps students develop a better understanding of their internal environment and to learn (and implement) techniques for improving their personal effectiveness.
Ethics of Leadership: Moral Challenges and Moral Reasoning
Students learn what constitutes a situation with moral or ethical stakes, how such situations develop and how leaders think through these challenges. Topics discussed include: different types of moral challenges, moral leadership, moral identity and professionalism, as well as moral reasoning and moral action. This module gives students the intellectual tools and depth of understanding to assess moral issues as they arise in their personal and professional life. Students apply these concepts and insights into their own growth as leaders.
Practice of Ethical Leadership: Professional and Organizational Ethics
Students are encouraged to look outward and expand their understanding of leadership, the world and their place in it as future engineering leaders. Students are challenged to formulate their own leadership message, to translate it into action and demonstrate it in the real world. Topics discussed include: giving voice to values, taking a stand, exercising authority and emergent leadership.
This course facilitates the development of self-awareness and interpersonal skills, which are essential for leaders to master. The course begins with an assessment of each student’s leadership and management ability through a 360 degree evaluation. Based on this feedback, students develop individual goals and receive coaching from Tufts Gordon Institute faculty throughout their first year. The individual work is complemented by the knowledge and skills developed in the Leading Teams and Organizations course modules.
260-1 Building and Leading Effective Teams
260-2 Leading Organizations
260-3 Conflict Resolution
260-4 Business Communication
Students learn the basic concepts of leadership, management and teamwork. The uniqueness of this course is within the teaching methodology, which has been developed to accelerate the advancement of self-awareness and interpersonal competencies. Specific topics covered in Building and Leading Effective Teams include: personality types (Myers-Briggs type indicator assessment), best practices in forming and maintaining team performance, giving and receiving feedback, individual and team creativity, communicating to inspire and influencing without authority. Topics in Leading Organizations include systems thinking, team decision making, communication across cultures, shared visions and organizational change. Download
A practitioner-focused module, students are introduced to frameworks, tools, and skills to effectively manage conflict in the workplace. Building on prior modules and tailored to address the specific challenges students have faced (or anticipate facing in the future), this module draws upon relevant literature and uses student examples and action learning to develop insights and approaches. A central feature of this module is an exercise, in which students perform a real life negotiation in a session with two classmates and an instructor.
Students learn and apply principles of effective written and oral communication for different purposes and different audiences in the workplace. Students reflect on their on communication practices and explore ways to improve their tone, focus, and organization to get better results from both day-to-day and formal communications.
The Team Practicum is a consulting project that is conducted during the summer between the first and second year of the program. Student teams are introduced to an organization – often outside their area of expertise – with a real world problem or opportunity. Over a 12-week period, students work with the sponsoring company to research, develop strategies and make recommendations to address the project requirements. The teams present their final recommendations to the clients in oral and written reports. Tufts Gordon Institute faculty advisors are assigned to each team project to provide guidance throughout the project.Hide content
The Capstone Leadership Project is an opportunity for students to apply classroom learning in the real world by conducting a major project that goes beyond their current job responsibilities for their company. A faculty advisor assists the student in selecting an appropriate project, or will offer projects from other organizations if necessary. The project requires students to demonstrate the leadership skills they have gained through the program.The key objectives of the project include:
Students have the option to take up to three courses offered by Tufts’ School of Engineering, School of Arts and Sciences, or the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at no additional charge. Although not required to earn the MSEM degree, these courses provide students with the opportunity to expand their knowledge in a wide range of disciplines.
School of Arts, Sciences & Engineering Course Bulletin | Fletcher School Catalog & Course Bulletin