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Master of Engineering Administration (M.E.A.)

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The Master’s of Engineering Administration (MEA) degree program is designed for those who wish to prepare for wish to prepare for leadership positions and career opportunities in the operation and management of research, engineering, and technology development enterprises. Graduates of this program are prepared for middle- and senior-level leadership and management positions in technology-centric enterprises, such as Engineering Manager, R&D Manager/Director, Technology Manager, Chief Technology Officer, Systems Engineering Manager, Manager of Product Engineering, Program Manager, Project Manager, and Manager of Technology Acquisitions.

This MEA degree is a non-thesis program that requires completion of a minimum of 10 courses (30 semester credit hours) and includes a comprehensive final exam taken in the last semester of the program. The MEA degree has no residency requirement and is available to students not located on the main campus in Blacksburg or the National Capital Region/Northern Virginia Center campus in Falls Church. It is ideal for individuals who are employed full-time and wish to pursue an advanced degree on a part-time basis; however, full-time employment is not obligatory for admission to the program.  Classes are typically offered during late afternoon and early evening hours with occasional classes on weekends.

Program Course Requirements

Once course is required from each of the following six topics.

  • ISE 5164 Transfer and Application of Emerging Technology
  • ISE 5174 Engineering Program and Project Management
  • ISE 5104 Introduction to Operations Research 
  • ISE 5434 Economic Project Evaluation
  • ISE 5124 Quality Management
  • ISE 5114 Case Studies in Engineering Administration

One course each is required from any three of the following five topical area.

  • Statistical Methods (STAT 5615 Statistics in Research or an appropriate course on statistical methods with approval of faculty advisor)
  • Enterprise Information Systems (ISE 5134 Management Information Systems)
  • Enterprise Performance Measurement and Improvement (ISE 5144 Productivity and Performance Measurement and Evaluation or ISE 5015 Management of Change, Innovation, and Performance in Organizational Systems I or ISE 5016 Management of Change, Innovation, and Performance in Organizational Systems II)
  • Human Systems Integration (ISE 5154 Applied Human Factors Engineering or *ISE/CS 5714 Usability Engineering)
  • Production Management (*ISE 5204 Manufacturing Systems Engineering)

*Note: These courses are typically available only on the main campus in Blacksburg.

One course is required from any one of the three topics listed**.

  • Design and Leadership of Teams (MGT 5314 Dynamics of Organizational Behavior or MGT 5804 Leadership in Technology-Based Organizations or PAPA 5315 Behavioral Skills for Managers)
  • Science and Technology Policy (PAPA 5614 Introduction to Science and Technology Policy)
  • Engineering of Complex Systems (ISE 5804 Fundamentals of Systems Engineering or ISE 5814 System Dynamics Modeling of Socio-Technical Systems or an appropriate course in science, technology, or engineering with approval of faculty advisor)

**Note: An alternative course not related to the above topics may be approved by the student’s faculty advisor.

A Graduate Certificate in Technology Management can be earned by completion of all of the following four courses:

  • ISE 5164 Transfer and Application of Emerging Technology
  • ISE 5174 Engineering Program and Project Management
  • ISE 5154 Applied Human Factors Engineering
  • ISE 5134 Enterprise Information Systems

Transfer Courses

Coursework taken at other universities may substitute for comparable courses on the student’s approved Plan of Study. The Virginia Tech Graduate School permits a maximum of 15 semester credit hours to be transferred from universities participating in the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP). These universities include University of Virginia, George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Old Dominion University. Alternatively, a maximum of 6 semester credit hours can be transferred from universities outside CGEP, with a maximum of 15 semester credit hours taken at universities other than Virginia Tech.

Requests for transfer credit must be submitted to the MEA Program Director (Email) and MEA Program Advisor (Email) and must include: a catalog description of the course to be transferred, identification of the course to be substituted, and the actual course syllabus used for the transfer course (that specifies textbook(s) used and assignments). Courses for which the grade earned is lower than a B are not eligible for transfer credit.

MEA Comprehensive Examination

In addition to the 10 courses (30 semester hours), the student must pass a written comprehensive examination. The MEA Comprehensive Exam is a four-hour, open-book, written exam administered every fall and spring semester, usually in April and November. Students must have completed or be scheduled to complete all course requirements in the semester that the exam is taken. This is a proctored exam that may be taken at any site of the student’s choosing.  Most libraries and educational institutions offer proctoring services free of charge. A proctor must be approved by the MEA Program Director. 

Degree Completion

To receive the MEA degree, all students must complete the following:

  • have an approved MEA Plan of Study;
  • be registered in the semester they wish to have the degree awarded. If not taking courses, submit a “Start of Semester Defense Exception Request” form to the Graduate School;
  • submit the Application for Degree through Hokie Spa;
  • schedule a Final Examination* through the electronic scheduling system on the Graduate School’s website.

The Graduate School uses the student’s Final Examination* results to confirm that a student has completed all degree requirements before awarding the MEA degree. The final exam scheduling process requires that a student select a date, time, and location for the final exam; however, the student is not required to be present at the Final Exam location on the selected date. On the scheduled date of the Final Exam, the student’s advisory committee will conduct a final evaluation of the student’s record to confirm degree completion and then electronically submit a vote of “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.”

*Note: the Final Examination is separate from the MEA Comprehensive Exam.

MEA Program Director

Prof. Ken Harmon

Room 418, Northern Virginia Center
7054 Haycock Road
Falls Church, VA 22043


MEA Program Advisor

Hannah Parks

239 Durham Hall, MC-0118
1145 Perry Street
Blacksburg, VA 24061