MSEM Curriculum - Gordon Institute
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Because you

work differently.

Designed specifically for engineers and scientists.

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

What's at the heart of Tufts Gordon Institute’s MSEM experience? The Core Curriculum: A four semester, module-based experience where students engage in a powerful, collaborative cohort-based learning environment and industry consulting project over the course of 35 credits.

The MSEM degree is offered in two formats: Two-Year and Three-Year programs. Both provide the same enriching cohort experience, practical skills and rigorous academics that are the hallmarks of Tufts MSEM program.

Choose Your Path: Complete the Program in Two or Three Years

Two-Year MSEM
The fastest way to earn your degree.

In just two years, you’ll develop the practical business, strategic management, and leadership skills you need to accelerate your career as a technology leader on the rise. Conduct a real-world Capstone Leadership Project that demonstrates your newly acquired abilities. You also choose which class schedule works for you - evenings or weekends - catered to working professionals.

  • Evening - two evenings per week, 6 - 9 pm
  • Weekend - two weekends per month, Friday and Saturday, 9 am - 4 pm

Discover the Curriculum

Three-Year MSEM 
More time to balance your schedule, finances and career goals.

Extending your MSEM experience into three years spreads out your course load and tuition payments, allowing you to take advantage of additional tuition reimbursement funds from your company. In addition to the same four semesters of cohort-based classes as students in the Two-Year MSEM program, you can complete either a Capstone Leadership Project or two graduate level STEM electives courses within the School of Engineering, Arts & Sciences that best match your interests and career goals.

You also choose which class schedule works for you - evenings or weekends - catered to working professionals.

  • Evening - two evenings per week, 6 - 9 pm
  • Weekend - two weekends per month, Friday and Saturday, 9 am - 4 pm

Discover the Curriculum

What curriculum is involved in both program formats?

MSEM Core: 6 Courses + Industry Consulting Project

Students in both the Two-Year and Three-Year MSEM complete the same six graduate courses and an industry consulting project. Both Two-Year and Three-Year programs complete these over four academic semesters and one summer. The MSEM program is a cohort-based experience, where evening cohorts and weekend cohorts each are made up of students in the Two-Year and Three-Year programs.

Each course is broken into a series of modules taught by renowned experts who enrich classroom discussions with insights from their extensive industry experience. Every semester, you’ll take modules from several different courses, gaining exposure to topics 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. 

Capstone Leadership Project or STEM electives

Students in the Two-Year MSEM will complete a Capstone Leadership Project.

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

Six Core Courses (26 Credits)

Quantitative Methods for Data-Driven Decision Making (4 credits)

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 (5 credits)

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
Systematic Innovation

Project & Operations Management (5 credits)

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 (5 credits)

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 (3 credits)

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 (4 credits)

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 (3 Credits)

Team Practicum (3 credits - 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.

Capstone Leadership Project or STEM Electives (6 credits)

Capstone Leadership Project (6 credits - 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 (6 credits total)

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.