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On-Campus MSEM Curriculum

The path to transformative leadership.

The On-Campus MS in Engineering Management's Core Curriculum is a cohort-based, integrated experience that provides you with the essential business and leadership skills you need to be a leader in a technology-driven world. The part-time program, offered on Tufts University's campus in Medford, consists of a Core Curriculum (Core Courses and Real-World Projects) and Electives, for a total of 32 credits.


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Core Courses (20 credits)

All students complete 20 credits of short courses over four academic semesters. All of our courses are taught by renowned experts who enrich classroom discussions with insights from their extensive industry experience. Every semester, you’ll gain exposure to topics that you can apply to hands-on projects and put to work immediately in your professional life.

This course 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.

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 course 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.

This course 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.

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.

Students learn how to create and analyze financial statements including the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. Managerial tools for optimizing financial decisions including the economic feasibility of projects and products are explored. In conjunction with the project in the New Product Development course (EM-220A), 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.

Business & Technology 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. This course also provides insight into many factors that drive innovation and the successful commercialization of new technologies in established and new businesses. This includes best practices in new product portfolio management, technology road mapping, and discussion of incremental, radical, and disruptive innovation.

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 course helps students develop a better understanding of their internal environment and to learn (and implement) techniques for improving their personal effectiveness.

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 course 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.

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, 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.

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.

This course further develops tools gained in Building and Leading Teams and applies them to effect change on a broader scale. Topics include systems thinking, team decision making, communication across cultures, shared visions, and organizational change.

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 course draws upon relevant literature and uses student examples and action learning to develop insights and approaches. A central feature of this course is an exercise, in which students perform a real-life negotiation in a session with two classmates and an instructor.

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Milestone Projects (6 credits)

All students will complete an Industry Consulting Project - Team Practicum during the summer between the first and second years of the program.

Student teams are introduced to a client organization – often outside their area of expertise – with a real-world problem or opportunity. Over a 12-week period, students work 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 to provide guidance throughout the 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 3-6 months. To allow time to find the right project, most students begin to investigate project options during the spring semester of Academic Year 1 and officially kick-off their project at the start of Academic Year 2, however, you can complete the CLP during subsequent years.

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Elective Courses (6 Credits)

Customize your MSEM experience to your interests.

Starting in Academic Year 2, round out your program of study by deepening your expertise and exploring new areas of interest to achieve your own personal goals. Choose electives that deepen your expertise in Engineering Management like Tufts Gordon Institute’s courses on Data Analytics, Supply Chain Management, Operations Management, Modern Product Management, and more - or explore your own personal interests by choosing electives from across Tufts University. You can even choose electives offered either on-campus or online to create your own personalized hybrid experience.

Check out the two types of electives:

If you would like to choose electives across Engineering Management, Innovation, or Technology based on your own personal interests, you can select graduate-level courses from topics like Applied Data Science, Project Management, and more.

Click here to view the full directory of elective courses offered through Tufts Gordon Institute.

These electives can be from the School of Engineering if you'd like to increase your technical skills or even from within the School of Arts & Sciences - it's up to you! Electives can be any 100- or 200-level graduate course that aligns with your personal interests. As you decide which electives are right for you, your Tufts academic advisor can act as a personal resource and sounding board.

Click here to browse Tufts University's entire course catalog. 

To view graduate-level on-campus courses offered through the School of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering, choose "AS&E Graduate" from the "Course Career" drop-down menu.

To view graduate-level online courses offered through the School of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering, choose "AS&E Graduate Online" from the "Course Career" drop-down menu.

After selecting your choice from the drop-down menu, click on the alphabet below to browse the available subject codes and courses.

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Program Structure

The On-Campus MSEM program can be completed in as little as 2 years or extended into subsequent years if you prefer. The Core Courses are delivered in a lock-step manner over two academic years, so you complete these as a cohort within a highly interactive experience. Beginning in Academic Year 2, you have the ability to decide when to complete (and pay for) the final 9 credits needed to earn your degree. 

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