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Because you

work differently.

Designed specifically for engineers and scientists.

Tufts’ trailblazing Gordon Institute reinvented the management curriculum for engineers, and scientists and technologists of the world took note. In fact, the Gordon Institute received the National Academy of Engineering Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education for a holistic, meaningful, relevant learning experience.

At the heart of Tufts Gordon Institute’s MSEM experience is its Core curriculum: a four semester, cohort-based experience that creates a powerful, collaborative learning environment and includes an industry consulting project.  In addition to the Core, students will further deepen their knowledge and expertise by completing a  Capstone Leadership Project or STEM elective courses.


MSEM Core: 6 Courses + Industry Consulting Project

Students in both the Two-Year and Three-Year MSEM complete the same core curriculum that consists of six graduate courses and an industry consulting project that is completed over four academic semester and one summer. Each course is broken into a series of modules taught by renowned experts who enrich classroom discussions with insights from their extensive industry experience. And every semester, you’ll take modules from several different courses, gaining exposure to topics from across the curriculum that you can apply to hands-on projects and put to work immediately in your professional life.

In the summer, you’ll apply what you learned in the first year to a 12-week collaborative Industry Consulting Project for a client organization. 

Six Core Courses

Quantitative Methods for Data-Driven Decision Making

Course 1: 
Quantitative Methods for Data-Driven Decision Making

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.

Modules in this Course:
Process Capability and Big Data Overview
Design of Experiments and Predictive Models
Systems Engineering and Optimization

Developing Winning Products

Course 2:
Developing Winning Products

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.

Modules in this Course:
New Product Development & Marketing
Experience Design Management
Sustainability
Systematic Innovation

Project & Operations Management

Course 3:
Project & Operations Management

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.

Modules in this Course:
Project Management and Software Methodologies
Finance & Accounting
Supply Chain Management
Operations Management

Global Strategic Management

Course 4:
Global Strategic Management

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.

Modules in this Course:
Business Strategy
Technology Strategy and Innovation
Fundamentals of Economics
Globalization & Multinational Strategies

Humanistic Perspectives on Leadership

Course 5:
Humanistic Perspectives on Leadership 

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.

Modules in this Course:
Personal Leadership: Self-Awareness and Leadership Development
Ethics of Leadership: Moral Challenges and Moral Reasoning
Practice of Ethical Leadership: Professional and Organizational Ethics

Leading Teams and Organizations

Course 6: 
Leading Teams and Organizations

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.

Modules in this Course:
Building and Leading Effective Teams
Leading Organizations
Conflict Resolution
Business Communication

Industry Consulting Project

EM 270 Industry Consulting Project – Team Practicum (12 week experiential learning project)

The Industry Consulting Project - 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.


Your roadmap for the MSEM Core curriculum

The MSEM Core curriculum is completed over the course of four academic semesters and the summer between year 1 and 2 of your program. Each semester you're taking modules from several different courses, gaining exposure to topics across the curriculum that you can put to work immediately in your professional life. You are taking 5 or 6 modules per a semester - the equivalent of about two graduate level courses.

First Year

Semester 1: Aug - Dec

New Product Development and Marketing

New Product Development & Marketing (220-1)

Core Course 2: Developing Winning Products

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.

Finance & Accounting

Finance & Accounting (230-2)

Core Course 3: Project & Operations Management

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.

Project Management and Software Methodologies

Project Management and Software Methodologies (230-1)

Core Course 3: Project & Operations Management

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.

Building and Leading Effective Teams

Building and Leading Effective Teams (260-1)

Core Course 6: Leading Teams and Organizations

In this module, 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.

Business Communication

Business Communication (260-4)

Core Course 6: Leading Teams and Organizations

Students learn and apply principles of effective written and oral communication for different purposes and different audiences in the workplace. Students reflect on their own communication practices and explore ways to improve their tone, focus, and organization to get better results from both day-to-day and formal communications.

Semester 2: Jan - May

Process Capability and Big Data Overview

Process Capability and Big Data Overview (210-1)

Core Course 1: Quantitative Methods for Data-Driven Decision Making

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. Statistical tools & strategies are mapped to big data topics. Other topics include linear regression, logistic regression, time series analysis modeling, clustering, and neural networks.

Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management (230-3)

Core Course 3: Project & Operations 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.

Technology Strategy and Innovation

Technology Strategy and Innovation (240-2)

Core Course 4: Global Strategic Management

This module provides insight into many factors that drive innovation and the successful commercialization of 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.

Business Strategy

Business Strategy (240-1)

Core Course 1: Global Strategic Management

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.

Personal Leadership: Self-Awareness and Leadership Development

Personal Leadership: Self-Awareness and Leadership Development (250-1)

Core Course 5: Humanistic Perspectives on Leadership

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.

Leading Organizations

Leading Organizations (260-2)

Core Course 6: Leading Teams and Organizations

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.

Summer: Jun - Aug

Industry Consulting Project: Team Practicum

The Industry Consulting Project - 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.

Second Year

Semester 1: Aug - Dec

Design of Experiments and Predictive Models

Design of Experiments and Predictive Models (210-2)

Core Course 1: Quantitative Methods for Data-Driven Decision Making

Students gain expertise with Design of Experiments, a method for characterizing a process or system as a transfer function of its input variables, using the transfer function to obtain optimal, real-world settings for the input variables. Other approaches to transfer functions are explored, including big data approaches, regression analysis & logistic regression. Statistical process control methods for analyzing and maintaining the behavior of systems and processes over time are explored.

Sustainability

Sustainability (220-3)

Core Course 2: Developing Winning Products

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.

Operations Management

Operations Management (230-4)

Core Course 3: Project & Operations Management

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.

Fundamentals of Economics

Fundamentals of Economics (240-3)

Core Course 4: Global Strategic Management

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.

Ethics of Leadership: Moral Challenges and Moral Reasoning

Ethics of Leadership: Moral Challenges and Moral Reasoning (250-2)

Core Course 5: Humanistic Perspectives on Leadership

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.

Semester 2: Jan - May

Systems Engineering and Optimization

Systems Engineering and Optimization (210-3)

Core Course 1: Quantitative Methods for Data-Driven Decision Making

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. Big data approaches to systems optimization are discussed, including Dependent Variable Analysis and Machine Learning

Experience Design Management

Experience Design Management (220-2)

Core Course 2: Developing Winning Products

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.

Systematic Innovation

Systematic Innovation (220-4)

Core Course 2: Developing Winning Products

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.

Globalization & Multinational Strategies

Globalization & Multinational Strategies (240-4)

Core Course 4: Global Strategic Management

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.

Practice of Ethical Leadership: Professional and Organizational Ethics

Practice of Ethical Leadership: Professional and Organizational Ethics (250-3)

Core Course 5: Humanistic Perspectives on Leadership

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.

Conflict Resolution

Conflict Resolution (260-3)

Core Course 6: Leading Teams and Organizations

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.


Part II: Capstone Leadership Project or STEM electives

All students in the Two-Year MSEM complete a Capstone Leadership Project. Students in the Three-Year MSEM have the option to complete either a Capstone Leadership Project or two STEM electives.

Capstone Leadership Project or STEM Electives

Capstone Leadership Project (6-9 month individual project)

 

In lieu of a Master’s degree thesis, students complete a large-scale project for their current employer or a client organization. The Capstone Leadership Project is an opportunity for students to apply classroom learning in the real world and to demonstrate their newly acquired leadership, strategic management and communication skills.

A faculty advisor assists the student in selecting an appropriate project, or will offer projects from other organizations if necessary. The key objectives of the project include:

  • Leading and managing a project from start to finish in a real world environment.
  • Demonstrating communications skills to coordinate complex technical activities.
  • Packaging and presenting compelling materials – both orally and through a written final report -that explain the concepts, track progress and discuss the outcome of their work.

Project Length

The project duration is between 6-9 months. To allow time to find the right project, most students in the Two-Year MSEM begin to investigate project options during their 2nd semester and officially kick-off their project at the start of the 3rd semester. Students in the Three-Year MSEM can choose to kick off their project in the fall or spring of their 3rd year. 

STEM Electives

If you're in the Three-Year MSEM, you can choose to either complete the Capstone Leadership Project or two graduate level electives in a STEM field within Tufts School of Engineering, Arts & SciencesTake advantage of the breadth of courses offered at Tufts – from bioengineering and computer science to data analytics and environmental policy and planning – and build knowledge in areas that are aligned with your interests and career goals.