What Is the Curriculum of an Engineering Management PHD Program?

The curriculum of an engineering management Ph.D. degree program may include classroom work in systems science and management as well as an independent or collaborative research project. The results of the research project must be defended in a thesis or dissertation before a doctoral committee in order to earn the Ph.D degree. Learn more about the curricular requirements of terminal programs in engineering management here. Schools offering Computer Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

About Ph.D. Programs

At the Ph.D. level, engineering management program coursework requirements are broad. They mandate only a certain number of credit hours in a particular subject area rather than a rigid program of courses as is common in undergraduate degree programs. Engineering courses may include applied mathematics and systems engineering. As most doctoral programs in engineering management require technical backgrounds in engineering or undergraduate degrees in technical fields, there is less classroom concentration on the technical aspects of engineering. The management component of the curriculum may focus on topics such as organizational project management, cost estimation, marketing and new product development.

Important Facts About Engineering Managers

Degree Levels Doctorate degree
Possible Careers Construction Managers, Mechanical Engineers, Industrial Production Managers
Prerequisites Master's degree
Common Courses Technology marketing, technology forecasting, project management
Median Salary (2018)$140,760 (Architectural and Engineering Managers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)6% (Architectural and Engineering Managers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)


The core of any Ph.D. program is original research. The curricula of terminal-degree engineering management programs are divided between classroom study and research. Learners are expected to produce new, original findings as a condition of receiving their degrees. Typically, between a third and half of the credit hours in a Ph.D. program are devoted to research- and dissertation-preparation workshops. The remaining classroom coursework is divided between coursework on engineering management theory, business studies and research methodologies.

Classroom Study

The classroom work of a Ph.D. program is usually in a seminar format wherein students and professors interact, rather than in lecture format with the professor dominating the information flow. The exact set of classes depends on the areas that the doctoral candidate wishes to pursue. For example, a Ph.D. program in engineering management may offer specializations in risk analysis, environmental policy, finance, production and operations.

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