The master of science in manufacturing leadership is for experienced engineers, business and technical professionals who aspire to high-level positions in operations, supply chain management, and process improvement. The program integrates business and engineering courses with an emphasis on operational excellence, supply chain management, systems thinking, and leadership of teams and organizations. The program is offered fully online or as a blend of online and on-campus courses.
Manufacturing leadership is a focused program developed jointly by the Kate Gleason College of Engineering and Saunders College of Business. Particular emphasis is placed on supply chain management, global manufacturing and operations, lean systems thinking, leadership, and decision making. A capstone project, oriented to the solution of a manufacturing or service management problem or process improvement initiative, enables students to apply new skills and capabilities to the solution of a pressing real-world problem, with significant financial benefit to sponsors. The program can also be taken on a full-time basis, with several courses available on campus. Students may start any term (fall, spring, summer) and complete courses at their own pace.
The manufacturing leadership program's objective is to educate graduates to lead teams and organizations within a manufacturing or service enterprise for successful competition in a complex global economy, through the integration of business and technical skills. The application-oriented program is designed to help experienced professionals move into mid- and senior-level management positions in operations, manufacturing, supply chain management, and process improvement.
Key capabilities of graduates
Ability to make sound business decisions in a complex global economy: business planning with full understanding of outsourcing and offshoring; financial management and total/life-cycle cost; agile decision-making.
Ability to manage the global supply chain: supply chain strategy development and execution; logistics management (quality and delivery assurance); systems needs for supply chain management; and supply chain optimization.
Ability to manage global, multi-site production and operations: managing distributed teams; process technology transfer to domestic and international locations; service operations; enterprise and manufacturing strategies; lean operations; location strategy and facility design; state-of-the-art tools; regulatory issues and established norms.
Comprehensive understanding of quality and continuous improvement principles, with application to the manufacturing and operations management.
Strong leadership and management skills applied to global high technology manufacturing: systems thinking, planning, and management; applications (“hands-on”) orientation; project management expertise (planning, relationship management, control, risk management and decision-making); creative leadership to drive innovative solutions; enhanced ability to recognize barriers to success early, when corrective actions are least costly.
Graduates of our program have benefitted in many ways. View our student testimonials to see what they've had to say about their experience in the program.
View our list of companies and industry partners who have sponsored their employees in completing an engineering leadership program. We also partner with organizations to deliver degree programs, graduate certificates, and other customized offerings.
Plan of study
Manufacturing leadership is a 30 credit hour program that consists of nine business and engineering courses, including one elective, plus a capstone project.
An elective course offers students the opportunity to better meet personal and organizational needs. Students may select from a long list of courses. Recommended electives include such offerings as Decision and Risk Benefit Analysis, Advanced or International Project Management, Breakthrough Thinking and Creativity, Customer Centricity, and others.
Students complete a project during the final academic year of the program, based on a real problem often identified in the companies where they work. The corporate-oriented capstone project is directed at the solution of a manufacturing or services management problem or process improvement initiative. It enables students to broaden the educational experience and demonstrate the knowledge and skills essential to business leadership. The project provides immediate benefits to sponsoring organizations and is an excellent opportunity for students to gain visibility and recognition. Projects often result in substantial cost savings or improved efficiencies. View our list of capstone projects for examples of projects past students have completed as part of the program.
Most students are sponsored by an employer, who is committed to improving leadership capabilities in operational excellence. Sponsorship includes financial support and a commitment to work with the student to provide clear expectations and a well-articulated career development plan that builds upon the program. Candidates are welcome to sponsor themselves. Students should contact Financial Aid and Scholarship for more information.
Admitted students must possess knowledge and skills at the introductory course level in probability and statistics, engineering economy, or basic accounting. Areas that need strengthening may be addressed by guided reading, independent study, or formal course work.
Students may start the program during any semester and complete the course work at their own pace. Classes are available online but several courses may be taken on campus for local or full-time students. Students may take up to three courses on a nonmatriculated basis. Credits earned while enrolled as a nonmatriculated student may be applied to the degree program following formal admission.
The program's tuition is calculated using the part-time graduate tuition rate (12 credits or less). For information on tuition, scholarships, and financial aid, please visit Financial Aid and Scholarships. Discounts are available for groups.
Manufacturing leadership, MS degree
Sem. Cr. Hrs.
Organizational Behavior and Leadership
This course examines why people behave as they do in organizations and what managers can do to improve organizational performance by influencing people's behavior. Students will learn a number of frameworks for diagnosing and dealing with managerial challenges dynamics at the individual, group and organizational level. Topics include leadership, motivation, team building, conflict, organizational change, cultures, decision making, and ethical leadership.
Engineering of Systems I
This course covers the principles of product, manufacturing process and supply chain development in an integrated fashion. It will examine the methodologies and tools to systematically define, develop and produce world-class products. Students will work on a project to put these methodologies and tools into practice. Major topics include: product planning and definition, characterization of user value, lean product development, product requirements and benchmarking, concept generation, design for "X" (manufacturing/ assembly/ service/ environment, etc.), sustainable design, design for lean six sigma.
Lean Six Sigma Fundamentals
This course presents the philosophy and methods that enable participants to develop quality strategies and drive process improvements. The fundamental elements of Lean Six Sigma are covered along with many problem solving and statistical tools that are valuable in driving process improvements in a broad range of business environments and industries. Successful completion of this course is accompanied by “yellow belt” certification and provides a solid foundation for those who also wish to pursue a “green belt.” (Green belt certification requires completion of an approved project and exam, both of which are beyond the scope of this course).
Choose one of the following:
Systems and Project Management
Systems and Project Management ensures progress toward objectives, proper deployment and conservation of human and financial resources, and achievement of cost and schedule targets. The focus of the course is on the utilization of a diverse set of project management methods and tools. Topics include strategic project management, project and organization learning, cost, schedule planning and control, structuring of performance measures and metrics, technical teams and project management, information technology support of teams, risk management, and process control. Course delivery consists of lectures, speakers, case studies, and experience sharing, and reinforces collaborative project-based learning and continuous improvement.
This course addresses project management from a multidisciplinary perspective, covering the fundamental nature of and techniques for managing a broad range of projects. Topics cover the Project Management Life Cycle from Planning to Termination. It also addresses the behavioral and quantitative facets of project management, as well as the use of methods, tools and techniques for the initiation, planning, and execution of projects. Introduces the standard framework, processes and knowledge areas of the Project Management Institute. *Note: Bachelors degree or minimum of 5 years of work experience in a project related business environment. Recommended education or work experience in organizational behavior, mathematics and basic accounting. *Note: BUSI-510 may not be substituted for BUSI-710 in a graduate concentration or the advanced certificate in project management. Additionally, a student may not register for and receive credit for both BUSI-510 and BUSI-710, whether taken as an undergraduate or graduate student.
Choose one of the following:
Accounting for Decision Makers
A graduate-level introduction to the use of accounting information by decision makers. The focus of the course is on two subject areas: (1) financial reporting concepts/issues and the use of general-purpose financial statements by internal and external decision makers and (2) the development and use of special-purpose financial information intended to assist managers in planning and controlling an organization's activities. Generally accepted accounting principles and issues related to International Financial Reporting Standards are considered while studying the first subject area and ethical issues impacting accounting are considered throughout.
Cost Management in Technical Organizations
A first course in accounting for students in technical disciplines. Topics include the distinction between external and internal accounting, cost behavior, product costing, profitability analysis, performance evaluation, capital budgeting, and transfer pricing. Emphasis is on issues encountered in technology intensive manufacturing organizations. *Note: This course is not intended for Saunders College of Business students.
This course will provide an introduction to concepts and techniques in the design and analysis of production systems. A blend of traditional and modern approaches is brought into the classroom. At the end of the quarter, the student will be able to assess and analyze the performance of a given manufacturing system as well as to provide a framework for system redesign and improvement. Modern aspects such as lean manufacturing and setup time reduction are included in the context of the course.
Supply Chain Management
Supply chain management is unique in that it is one of the oldest business activities and yet has been recently discovered as a potentially powerful source of competitive advantage. Supply chain system activities planning production levels, forecasting demand, managing inventory, warehousing, transportation, and locating facilities have been performed since the start of commercial activity. It is difficult to visualize any product that could reach a customer without a consciously designed supply chain. Yet it is only recently that many firms have started focusing on supply chain management. There is a realization that no company can do any better than its supply chain and logistics systems. This becomes even more important given that product life cycles are shrinking and competition is intense. Logistics and supply chain management today represents a great challenge as well as a tremendous opportunity for most firms.
Global Facilities Planning
Facilities planning determines how an activity's tangible fixed assets best support achieving the activity's objective. This course will provide knowledge of the principles and practices of facility layout, material handling, storage and warehousing, and facility location for manufacturing and support facilities. Tools for sizing the resources needed, planning, design, evaluation, selection, and implementation will be covered. The focus of the course will cover both management and design aspects, with the focus being more heavily on the management aspects.
Choose one of the following:
For the MS in Manufacturing Leadership program. The purpose of the project is for students to demonstrate integrative application of knowledge and skills that they have acquired during the program. A capstone project will be oriented to the solution of manufacturing, operations, or supply chain management problem or to technically related processes. Each project will define an actual problem and solve it, or select and develop a needed process. Each project must be approved in advance by the Capstone Coordinator. A suitable project will be multi-disciplinary or multi-functional in nature and will have significant impact on one or more competitive capabilities of the organization, e.g., quality, lead time, cost, flexibility, or service. Team-based projects are strongly recommended.
For the Master of Engineering programs in Industrial and Systems Engineering, Engineering Management, and Sustainable Engineering. Students must investigate a discipline-related topic in a field related to industrial and systems engineering, engineering management, or sustainable engineering. The general intent of the engineering capstone is to demonstrate the students' knowledge of the integrative aspects of a particular area. The capstone should draw upon skills and knowledge acquired in the program.
Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college.
Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent).
Have at least two years of experience in a manufacturing-related organization or business environment.
Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
Submit one letter of recommendation.
International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 79 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required. The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.
Exceptions to admission requirements may be considered on a case-by-case basis. No graduate entrance exam is required, although candidates are welcome to support their application with results from the GMAT or GRE.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and students may begin the program in any semester.