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M.S. in Engineering Management


We do not educate enough of our [engineering] students with the broad perspective and long-term aspirations to be decision makers, strategic thinkers, opinion shapers, and planners of our corporations - to be leaders of industry. . . This situation leaves much of the future leadership of industry. . . in hands of people trained mainly in business, management, finance, law and similar fields. Due to their lack of technical backgrounds, very few of these professionals are equipped to make long-term forecasts about technological trends. They also lack the knowledge to make decisions on technology investment strategies and other complex technologically related issues. In fact, many people think that the lack of technical expertise at the executive and strategic levels of our corporations is a primary reason for our ineptitude in the international marketplace vis-à-vis our competitors, whose leaders tend to have strong engineering backgrounds.

- Marshall M. Lih, National Science Foundation

Engineering Management at CSUN

Engineering Management as a discipline is relatively new. The first program was established in 1915, but by the mid-1970s, only 22 universities, including Cal State Northridge, were offering programs. As the value of these programs became apparent, their number began to increase rapidly.

The discipline is well-represented by its own professional society, the American Society for Engineering Management, and, within past 15 years, most traditional professional societies have established management divisions.

More than two-thirds of all engineers and other technical professionals will transition into management positions during the course of their professional careers, positions for which their technical background has not prepared them.

The Engineering Management program at Cal State Northridge offers engineers and other technical professionals the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills pertinent to the entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial management of existing and emerging technologies.

The flexible interdisciplinary curriculum stresses the development of technological decision-making capabilities, while enabling continued intellectual growth in selected discipline areas. In so doing, it meets the growing needs for competent technologists with relevant management expertise.

The evening classes are enriched by the diverse industry experience and disciplinary backgrounds of the students. Computer scientists, scientists, industrial designers, engineers in all discipline areas, and others involved in science and technology, bring with them to the classroom their experiences in biomedical, aerospace, entertainment, utilities, manufacturing, construction and other industries. The popularity of the program with international students yields first-hand expertise in global issues pertaining to technology management.

The Engineering Management program is offered by dedicated faculty who hold outstanding teaching and faculty awards, and have many years of actual engineering and management experience in industry.

Cal State Northridge Engineering Management program graduates have been assuming leadership roles in industry for almost decades.

M.S. Program Curriculum

The goals of the Engineering Management program are to provide opportunities for:

  • the development of technical management decision-making abilities
  • the acquisition of knowledge about the management of existing and emerging technologies
  • the development of technical professional employee management skills
  • the acquisition of knowledge of engineering cost, financial, and economic analysis
  • continued intellectual growth in a discipline-related area

Standard Core (18 units):

MSE 601 Engineering Statistics (3)

MSE 602 Advanced Engineering Management (3)

MSE 604 Economic Analyses of Engineering (3)

MSE 606 Engineering Operations Research (3)

MSE 608B Mgmt of Technical Personnel (3)

MSE 608C Financial and Cost Analysis (3)

Approved Electives (12 units)

Elective courses are selected in consultation with a faculty advisor. These courses are selected to meet individual student needs for depth and breadth. Elective courses have included numerous engineering disciplines (e.g., Civil, Automation, Manufacturing, Materials, Mechanical, Quality, and Electrical), as well as computer science or additional engineering management courses and some non-technical courses.

Elective courses for Engineering Management program majors are subject to the following restrictions:

  1. No more than 9 of the 12 units may be at the 400-level.
  2. At least 9 of the 12 units must be in engineering

Culminating Experience

MSE 697 Directed Comprehension Studies (3)

Directed Comprehensive Studies should not be undertaken until the last semester of program enrollment. This culminating experience is individually designed between each student and his/her faculty advisor.

Team Venture Project Proposal Topics

As part of the Advanced Engineering Management course, students work in teams to develop technology-based venture proposals having international components.

Among the many project proposals developed by Engineering Management program students since early 1990s are:

  • Inspiring Technologies, introducing the Compufone, integrating voice, fax, data, whiteboard, and video teleconferencing technologies into a homogenous desktop environment

  • EduSat, an instructional television network
  • Yellow Bytes, a global internet advertising system
  • Voicetec Voice-It, a voice command infrared wireless remote control device
  • RB HUD, blade-style sunglasses with a built-in Heads Up Display
  • Altair Competition Composites, designing and producing advanced composite materials products for the performance automotive and motorcycle industry
  • NavTrak, a personal tracking system
  • SnapTech, the design, manufacture and marketing of snap-locking composite materials piping systems
  • Rapid Prototyping Service Bureau, an international service for the creation of solid models from CAD software
  • RotoBoard, a 360-degree rotating skateboard
  • TelePort 2000, for wireless communication between a PDA and a PC
  • Fasttrack, an e-commerce career development undergraduate internship service
  • Baby Watch 2000, wireless remote audio/video system to assist with child care
  • MEMS-based portable patient monitoring system for local and remote real-time sensing of heart rate, body temperature, and absence/presence of liquid/solid human waste
  • STOPEMCOLD, a vehicle security system using cellular technology to remotely disable vehicles in motion
  • Smart Space, Inc., a complete service for wire/wireless sensing technology to control environment, energy consumption, security and safety in industrial work space settings
  • Specialty international call center based in India