Virginia Tech® home

Master of Engineering Administration (MEA)

Move forward with a master of engineering administration.

student walks through an archway on campus


Our program is designed for highly motivated individuals seeking a competitive edge. Taught by renowned College of Engineering faculty members who provide students with individualized attention, our program benefits from its unparalleled access to top industry and business leaders in both private and public sectors. We take pride in our innovative curriculum, the strength of our alumni network and our excellent career placement.

This degree program is designed for individuals who are interested in leadership positions or career opportunities in the management of research, engineering, or technology development enterprises.

award ribbon

No thesis is required to earn your Master's in Engineering Administration.

laptop icon

The MEA is available anywhere, for part-time or full-time study. Students learning part-time can complete their degree in as little as two years.

shaking hands
Work while you earn your degree! Our program is designed for those who will continue to work full-time while earning their MEA.

Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech is consistently ranked in the top 10 graduate programs nationwide.

The Virginia Tech MEA curriculum offers three main advantages with respect to most programs in Engineering Management:

  1. We provide a systems thinking view of managing the development of the performance capabilities of the enterprise.
  2. We focus on the underlying theories that inform the practice of engineering administration.
  3. We provide a balance of rigor and pragmatism.


The MEA program is a good fit for those:

  • Working-full time
  • Looking for career advancement
  • Looking for job promotion
  • Looking to get hired
  • Interested in life-long learning
  • Interested in cost savings: We are top 10% cost competitive considering the other 24 universities in the Great Business Schools (GBS): 25 Best Master’s in Engineering Management for 2021. (most for your money)
  • Graduates understand and use methods that are founded on an in-depth comprehension of science, technological and innovation processes
  • Graduates understand the virtual reality created by models and reality; The mapping of the models with the real world is an understanding and skill that they use to administer enterprises
  • Graduates quickly adapt their skills to enterprises that span all sectors of the economy
  • Graduates embrace uncertainty and pressure; they are resolute, critical thinkers, systems thinkers, and pragmatic
  • Graduates have the necessary confidence to apply professional and ethical standards, regardless of the pressures to which they are subjected
  • Faculty are collectively international leaders in Management Systems Engineering, Engineering Management and Systems Engineering research, excellent teachers, and actively sought to support major Engineering Management endeavors
  • The program adapts quickly to respond to new realities and the evolution of the Engineering Administration/Engineering Management profession

Speaking the language of engineering in a business context.

How earning an MEA positioned Vickie Lonker, ‘87, ‘92 for an ever-evolving technology sector and profound success in her career.

Victoria Lonker speaks at the Academy of Distinguished Alumni induction ceremony.

The Master of Engineering Administration degree is designed for engineering professionals seeking to advance to leadership positions within an engineering enterprise. Graduates learn how to apply engineering expertise in a business context to manage and lead an engineering enterprise toward innovative opportunities. Courses are offered in the late afternoon or evening to accommodate those working full-time. This program is a non-thesis, coursework-only degree, focused on applying management and executive expertise within an engineering enterprise. This degree is available on all Virginia Tech campuses. 

Required Courses

  • ENGE 5304 Graduate Student Success In Multicultural Environments

In addition to the course listed above, MEA students are required to complete: 1) five required core courses and 2) five elective courses, for a minimum of 30 course credits. 

Core Courses 

  • ISE 5104 Operations Research
  • ISE 5124 Quality Management
  • ISE 5164 Transfer and Application of Emerging Technology 
  • ISE 5174 Engineering Program and Project Management 
  • ISE 5434 Economic Project Evaluation 

Preapproved Electives 

  • ISE 5015 Management of Change, Innovation & Performance in Organizational Systems I 
  • ISE 5016 Management of Change, Innovation & Performance in Organizational Systems II
  • ISE 5134 Enterprise Information Systems 
  • ISE 5144 Management and Measurement of Efficiency & Productivity 
  • ISE 5154 Applied Human Factors Engineering 
  • *ISE 5204 Manufacturing Systems Engineering 
  • ISE 5804 Fundamentals of Systems Engineering 
  • ISE 5814 System Dynamics of Socio-Technical Systems 
  • ISE 5834 Decision Analysis for Engineers 
  • ISE 5844 Health Systems Engineering & Modeling
  • ISE 5874 Digital Engineering 
  • MGT 5314 Dynamics of Organization Behavior 
  • MGT 5804 Strategic Leadership in Technology-based Organizations 
  • PAPA 5315 Government Administration 
  • PAPA/STS 5614 Introduction to Science and Technology Policy

MGT = Management; PAPA = Public Administration and Public Affairs; STS = Science, Technology, and Society (*Courses are typically only offered on the Blacksburg campus) 

Selective Topic Elective (select one course from the following)

  • ISE 5804 Fundamentals of Systems Engineering
  • ISE 5814 System Dynamics Modeling of Socio-Technical Systems 
  • ISE 5984 SS: Engineering Management and Administration: Capstone 
  • PAPA 5315 Government Administration 
  • PAPA 5614 Introduction to Science and Technology Policy
  • MGT 5314 Dynamics of Organization Behavior 
  • MGT 5804 Strategic Leadership in Technology-based Organizations 

Master of Engineering Administration Comprehensive Examination Presently, the program requires a comprehensive exam, the MEA Exam, to earn the degree. This requirement is being phased out, to be replaced by the Engineering Management and Administration: Capstone course. This Capstone course is currently offered as a 5984: Special Study course, and so cannot be classified as a core, required course. Students may, however, elect to take the Capstone course in lieu of the comprehensive exam.

This curriculum provides students with:

  • Basic knowledge of engineering management/administration (breadth).
  • A path of specialization in engineering management/administration through selective electives (depth).
  • An in-depth understanding of the underlying theories and requisite modeling competencies at the enterprise level is necessary for managing the development of the performance capabilities of the enterprise
  • A culminating experience (students review, integrate, and implement key engineering administration competencies in a single course).
  • Behaviors and interpersonal skills necessary to succeed as an engineering manager/administrator.
  • Design quality improvement plans (synthesis skill).
  • Relate quality performance to cost, efficiency, and profitability performance of technology-centric enterprises (analysis skill).
  • Ability to conduct benchmarking (analysis skill)
  • Determine and estimate engineering project costs (comprehension and application skill).
  • Perform an investment analysis for a technological enterprise (synthesis skill).
  • Evaluate the integration of e-business and e-commerce models and applications (analysis skill)
  • Recommend emerging technologies, processes, business models, and services within the technical infrastructure of the enterprise (synthesis skill)
  • Apply assessment-based planning for the ongoing development of enterprise performance capabilities (transformation initiatives) (synthesis sill).
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of scientists, engineers, and other technology professionals in the development and implementation of technological strategies for enterprise engineering and performance assurance (comprehension and application skill).
  • Apply techniques for measuring the performance benefits of technology insertion (synthesis skill).
  • Know how to establish legal protection and benefit from government regulations associated with the successful transfer and application of emerging technology (comprehension and application skill).
  • Understand the structure and function of Project Management Information Systems (comprehension and application skill). Be able to apply selected software packages in support of engineering program/project management.
  • Be able to evaluate and plan for the enhancement of a project management system using generally accepted standards (e.g. C/SCS criteria and PMI certification standards) (synthesis skill).
  • Be able to recognize practices that lead to success and failure in program/project management (analysis sill).

Alumni of this program are prepared for middle- and senior-level leadership and management positions! Titles of our alumni include the following:

  • Engineering Manager
  • R&D Manager/Director
  • Technology Manager
  • Chief Technology Officer
  • Systems Engineering Manager
  • Manager of Product Engineering
  • Program Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Manager of Technology Acquisitions

Being admitted into a graduate program in engineering typically requires an undergraduate degree in engineering. Engineering Administration at Virginia Tech does require a bachelor's degree but it is not a requirement that it be an engineering degree. However, if it is not a bachelor's in engineering, certain prerequisites in math and/or statistics may be required.

GRE scores are not required for an application to the Virginia Tech MEA degree program.

Deadline for applying to the ISE Graduate Program is December 1 for the spring semester, and August 1 for the fall semester.

Burruss Hall
Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia
Falls Church
Virginia Tech campus in Falls Church, Virginia