Master's in Engineering Management Vs MBA

Learn about some of the similarities and differences between a master's in engineering management and an MBA. Explore the details of each program, common course topics and specific admissions requirements.

Students interested in earning a Master of Engineering Management or a Master of Business Administration should consider their academic and professional background, as well as their future career goals in their decision. Although these degree programs both discuss topics in management and further develop students' leadership and communication skills, they are unique programs designed for different professionals in distinct fields. Compare and contrast these two degree programs here.

Comparing a Master's in Engineering Management to a Master of Business Administration

Master of Engineering Management

Master of Engineering Management degree programs are specialty programs that are typically designed for professional engineers or other science and technology professionals who wish to gain the necessary leadership and management skills to move into management positions. These programs can be found on-campus and online and usually offer full- or part-time formats that can be completed in anywhere between 9 months and 3 years. Students typically complete various projects for hands-on learning and may be able to take elective courses in different concentration areas, such as project and process management, managerial analytics or design and innovation. Common core courses for these degree programs are likely to include topics in organizational behavior, engineering management, financial studies for engineers, decision making in engineering and strategic management for engineers. Most graduates of these programs go on to work as engineering managers in engineering companies or other engineering-related organizations, but may also take on leadership roles in technical businesses and other scientific areas.

Master of Business Administration

Master of Business Administration degree programs are broader programs for business professionals to further develop their leadership and administration skills in their particular area of interest. These programs are also usually offered on-campus and online in full- or part-time formats and typically take 1 to 2 years to complete. Many of these programs require an internship and/or capstone project for hands-on learning experiences and may offer concentrations in a wide range of areas, including human resources, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, accounting, public administration, organizational leadership, real estate and more. Courses vary based on these concentrations, but common core courses include topics in financial management, organizational behavior, marketing, economics, project management, information management and statistics. Graduates of these degree programs can hold leadership and administrative positions in an array of business-related careers, including positions as analysts, managers and executives, in various industries.

Common Entrance Requirements

Master of Engineering Management and Master of Business Administration degree programs, like most graduate degree programs, typically require applicants to fill out the necessary applications and submit official transcripts, the required test scores (GRE or GMAT), letters of recommendation, a personal statement and/or a resume. Master of Engineering Management programs may have additional requirements of a minimum 3.0 GPA, a bachelor's degree in engineering or a STEM discipline and/or work experience. These programs may also require or suggest that students have a solid background in engineering, statistics, calculus, science and physics coursework. Some Master of Business Administration degree programs may have a minimum GPA requirement as low as a 2.0. These degree programs could also require applicants to have work experience.

A Master of Engineering Management is a more technical degree designed for engineers while a Master of Business Administration is a broader program for business professionals. Both degree programs prepare graduates for careers in leadership positions, but vary greatly in their course topics and admissions requirements.

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