Top 20 Affordable Online PhD in Engineering Management Degrees 2024

Online PhD in Engineering Management

In this article, we profile the top 20 online doctorate in engineering management degree programs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Among the top schools in our ranking are East Carolina University and University of Central Missouri for online PhD in Engineering Management programs.
  • The ranking profiles the top 20 online doctorate in engineering management degree programs based on accreditation, rankings, and raw affordability.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of engineering managers is projected to grow two percent through the year 2031. The growth rate is slower than the average growth rate for all other occupations. Still, as industries thrive and companies grow, engineering managers with adequate experience and advanced education will likely be needed. To accommodate anticipated growth, online doctorate in engineering management options from top-ranked colleges and universities are available.

Featured Programs

Top 20 Affordable Online PhD in Engineering Management Methodology

We looked at approximately 60 colleges and universities listed by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator. These are schools that offered at least one online doctorate in engineering management degree, or a closely related program. From our original pool of schools, we narrowed our search by including only schools that were accredited. We applied the following criteria to determine our top 20 programs: Regional or national accreditation, online or hybrid/blended degree completion pathways, and rankings from a major publication like U.S. News and World Report. We then listed the programs and schools according to raw affordability based on graduate tuition/fees. Please note that some PhD programs offer stipends and outside resources to offset the cost of the program.

Below is our list of the top 20 affordable online doctorate in engineering management programs.

#20 – George Washington University

Online Doctor of Engineering – Engineering Management

Washington, District of Columbia

Website

George Washington University - logo

George Washington University offers a type of PhD engineering management known as the D.Eng. The Doctor of Engineering degree has the option of deeper study in the field of engineering management. The program is intended for working adults. Classes are scheduled on Saturdays and taught online via distance learning technologies. Also, the 45 credit hour program is divided into classes and research for the culminating research project. Approximately 15 credit hours make up the research component of the doctoral program. U.S. News and World Report ranks George Washington University #63 in best national universities and #68 in best value schools. The institution is also accredited and recognized among top research schools. Financial aid may be available for eligible students.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $32,850

#19 – Worcester Polytechnic Institute

PhD in Systems Engineering

Worcester, Massachusetts

Website

Worcester Polytechnic Institute - logo

Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers doctoral engineering management online programs. The PhD in systems engineering is a blended program designed to support part-time students. Off-campus professionals with full-time jobs enjoy the hybrid format of the program. Most courses are delivered online, and research seminars may be taken in a virtual classroom. To be admitted to the program, applicants must provide official transcripts and three letters of recommendation. A statement of purpose and statement of relevant and related work experience is also required. GRE scores within the last three years are recommended but not required. U.S. News and World Report ranks Worcester Polytechnic #59 in best national universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $28,980

#18 – Western New England University

PhD Engineering Management

Springfield, Massachusetts

Website

Western New England University - logo

Western New England University offers a PhD engineering management online. This program offers full-time and part-time completion pathways. The program is designed for working professionals who want to develop research skills related to the improvement of design and project management within complex human and technological systems. A mix of online courses and research components are required to fulfill credit hours. Admission is on a rolling basis, and applications are reviewed after the middle of January. Candidates should hold a master’s or bachelor’s in engineering or closely related discipline. Strong GPA and GRE scores are also required. U.S. News and World Report ranks the institution #68 in best regional universities in the North and #44 in best value schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $26,640

#17 – University of Bridgeport

PhD in Technology Management

Bridgeport, Connecticut

Website

University of Bridgeport - logo

One of the top engineering management PhD online programs on our list comes from University of Bridgeport. The affordable online doctorate in technology management offers both full-time and part-time completion pathways. The program is designed specifically for working students or busy professionals. Two concentration areas are also offered so that students may delve deeper into the study of a particular focus. These concentrations include new technology venture creation and emerging technologies. Admission to the PhD program demands a master’s and bachelor’s in engineering, computer science, or related field. Also, three years of real-world industry work experience is required for online students. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school among the top 150 best regional universities in the North.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,096

#16 – Michigan Technological University

PhD in Mechanical Engineering

Houghton, Michigan

Website

Michigan Technological University - logo

One of the top programs on our list is the PhD in mechanical engineering at Michigan Technological University. The program is offered as a distance-learning degree. Thus, online courses and research components will require virtual meetings with mentors and professors. Some of the online courses include:

  • Dynamic Measurement Signal Analysis
  • Linear Systems Theory and Design
  • Micro-Manufacturing Process
  • Project Management

Depending on the length of research a candidate takes, the degree may be completed in as little as three years or up to eight. There is an eight-year limit on completing the PhD. U.S. News and World Report ranks Michigan Technological University #136 in best national universities and #121 in best value schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $22,725

#15 – Northcentral University

Doctor of Engineering Management

San Diego, California

Website

Northcentral University - Top 20 Online PhD Engineering Management

Northcentral University offers affordable online doctoral engineering programs. This includes the PhD offering in engineering management online. This 60 credit hour program is designed to develop advanced knowledge in technology and innovation. Weekly course starts, no scheduled lecture hours, and the ability to schedule management of engineering courses around personal and professional obligations make the program flexible for working students. Students must complete a total of 60 credit hours and 20 courses. The estimated time to complete the PhD in engineering management is 50 months. Northcentral is accredited to offer the doctoral degree program in engineering. Also, U.S. News and World Report recognizes the school among the top unranked national universities. Several of the school’s online graduate programs have received rankings.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,064

#14 – University of Maryland

PhD in Reliability Engineering

College Park, Maryland

Website

University of Maryland - logo

One of the top engineering management programs on our list is the reliability engineering PhD program at University of Maryland. Distance-delivered courses and part-time enrollment options make the PhD program flexible. This means it’s well-suited for working students with real-world experience. Coursework and dissertation must be completed to graduate. Students must defend their doctoral dissertation orally in English. The school is ranked and accredited to offer the doctoral degree program in engineering. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks University of Maryland #63 in best national universities and #108 in best value schools. Several of the institution’s online graduate programs have also received top rankings.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,360

#13 – The University of Tennessee

PhD in Industrial Engineering and Systems Engineering – Engineering Management

Knoxville, Tennessee

Website

The University of Tennessee - logo

The University of Tennessee offers a Doctor of Philosophy in engineering management online. Doctoral degree students earn a PhD in industrial engineering and systems engineering. And they may elect to delve deeper with the engineering management concentration option. The concentration has an extra admission requirement–Students must have two years of relevant, real-world work experience as a practicing engineer or scientist. The concentration is fully supported off-campus using distance teaching methods. Admission to the PhD program requires a strong undergraduate background. All applicants must also submit GRE scores. The institution is ranked and accredited. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks University of Tennessee #115 in best national universities and #100 in best value schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,468

#12 – Missouri University of Science & Technology

Doctor of Philosophy in Systems Management

Rollo, Missouri

Website

Missouri University of Science & Technology - logo

One of the top doctoral engineering programs on our list is the PhD in systems engineering at Missouri University of Science & Technology. The doctoral program consists of 60 credit hours of core courses beyond the MS degree in systems engineering or 90 credit hours after the BS degree. The program requires six core courses in theory and application of quality systems engineering and management. Also, several areas of specialization may be elected to customize degree programs. Engineering management along with several other options are available. To be admitted to the program, students are required to have a bachelor’s in engineering. Also, a strong undergraduate GPA and GRE scores are necessary for admission. U.S. News and World Report ranks the institution #157 in best national universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,452

#11 – Capitol Technology University

Doctor of Philosophy in Technology

Laurel, Maryland

Website

Capitol Technology University -logo

One of the best affordable online doctoral engineering programs on our list comes from Capital Technology University. The PhD in technology prepares students to take on roles as leaders in specific technological fields. Examples include engineering or research. Several pathways allow students to enter the program but do require a master’s degree. Coursework and dissertation research make up the bulk of the program. Students enter the program with a research idea. Students work closely with a research committee to further develop their research proposal. The program is well-suited for individuals wanting to focus more on engineering and technology leadership than mechanical systems. Still, research may be curtailed to fit any interest area. U.S. News and World Report ranks Capitol Technology University’s engineering programs #193-#205.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,340

#10 – Bowling Green State University

PhD in Technology Management

Bowling Green, Ohio

Website

Bowling Green State University - logo

One alternative to affordable online doctoral engineering programs is the PhD in technology management from Bowling Green State University. The program serves students and professionals seeking higher level positions within a technology-based organization. Many students work full-time while attending school to complete their degree programs as well as their dissertation research. Admission requirements include a master’s degree in a relevant field from an accredited college or university and a GPA of 3.5. GRE or GMAT scores. Five letters of recommendation are also required. U.S. News and World Report ranks Bowling Green #215 in best national universities and #121 in top public schools. Also, several online graduate programs have received top 50 and top 100 rankings.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,017

#9 – University of North Dakota

PhD in Engineering

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Website

University of North Dakota - logo

The University of North Dakota offers several PhD engineering management and engineering programs. Depending on which area of engineering individuals desire, the school offers affordable online doctoral programs in:

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Energy Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering

Programs in the field of engineering are not fully online, though many do offer online courses in conjunction with on-campus meetings and seminars. Some of the doctorate in engineering programs do offer a fully online curriculum. Most PhD programs take between three and five years to complete all credit hours. U.S. News and World Report ranks University of North Dakota #205 in best national universities and #112 in top public schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,503

#8 – University of Maine

PhD in Biomedical Engineering

Orono, Maine

Website

University of Maine - logo

University of Maine offers a PhD in biomedical engineering. This program appeals to individuals interested in a PhD in engineering management online. The program is blended, though classes may be taken online. Students must live in Maine to conduct research at one of the five partnering institutions. Program requirements must be fulfilled. These requirements include research methods, publication, presentation of research, and attendance at the GSBSE Annual Meeting. Admission requires an earned master’s degree, strong academic record, and graduate test scores. U.S. News and World Report ranks University of Maine #177 in best national universities and #97 in top public schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,738

#7 – Colorado State University

PhD in Systems Engineering

Fort Collins, Colorado

Website

Colorado State University - logo

Colorado State University is home to a multi-disciplinary program. This is a program that may appeal to those interested in an engineering management PhD online degree. The program is for working professionals with engineering and technology experience. In fact, most of the enrolled students come from senior management and top-level executive positions. The program provides a flexible study format with online classes. Curriculum topics include:

  • Dynamics of Complex Engineering Systems
  • Engineering Risk Analysis
  • Information Technology and Project Management
  • Systems Engineering Processes

U.S. News and World Report ranks CSU #140 in best national universities and #141 in best value schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,834

#6 –Removed by editor.

#5 – Texas Tech University

PhD in Systems and Engineering Management

Lubbock, Texas

Website

Texas Tech University - logo

Texas Tech University’s engineering management online consists of 72 credit hours. The program requires an earned master’s for admission. Other admission requirements include official transcripts, GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation. Prospective students should have also completed three credit hours of college level physics and three levels of calculus. Classes are delivered in a blended format with a mixture of online and on-campus meetings. Courses for the doctorate degree in systems and engineering management include:

  • Advanced Theoretical Studies in Systems Management
  • Decision Theory and Management Science
  • Research Methods in Science and Technology
  • Project Management

U.S. News and World Report ranks Texas Tech University #187 in best national universities. Also, the doctoral engineering programs, including those in the management of engineering and technology, rank #87 in the country.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,956

#4 – North Carolina A & T State University

PhD in Technology Management

Greensboro, North Carolina

Website

North Carolina A & T State University - logo

North Carolina A&T State University offers doctorate in engineering management programs and specializations. One option includes the PhD in technology management. This program has five specializations. These specializations include:

  • Construction Management
  • Digital Communications
  • Human Resource Development and Training
  • Manufacturing Systems
  • Quality Systems

Admission to the program dictates an earned bachelor’s from an accredited institution with a strong undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. Five letters of recommendation and GRE scores of at least 500 are also required. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #230-#301 in best national universities. Also, the engineering programs rank #146 in the country.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $4,745

#3 – Indiana State University

PhD in Technology Management

Terre Haute, Indiana

Website

Indiana State University - logo

Indiana State University offers a variety of affordable online doctoral engineering programs. The PhD in technology management is an online doctoral program for students who would like to prepare for positions of leadership in the public and private sectors. The PhD consists of 66 credit hours that require a study concentration in one of five areas. Popular concentrations include:

  • Construction Management
  • Industrial Training
  • Manufacturing Systems
  • Human Resource Development and Training

Depending on program requirements, students may enroll part-time and complete their degree in just over four years. U.S. News and World Report ranks Indiana State University #230-#301 in best national universities. Also, several online graduate programs have received top rankings.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,776

#2 – East Carolina University

PhD in Technology Management

Greenville, North Carolina

Website

East Carolina University - logo

East Carolina offers a technology management program. This program may appeal to those interested in an PhD engineering management degree. The program is considered an internet-enabled PhD, which allows students to take classes online. Five technical specializations are currently available. These specializations include:

  • Construction Management
  • Digital Communications Systems
  • Human Resource Development and Training
  • Manufacturing Systems
  • Quality Systems

Students are required to identify a home university (one of five individual partners). This is based on their technical specialization and geographic location. ECU is an accredited institution that has also received rankings from major publications. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks ECU #194 in best national universities. The engineering programs rank #82 in the country.

Graduate Tuition: $4,749

#1 – University of Central Missouri

PhD in Technology Management

Warrensburg, Missouri

Website

University of Central Missouri -logo

The most affordable online doctorate degree in engineering management or technology management program on our list is offered by University of Central Missouri. This web-based doctoral program consists of at least 87 credit hours of coursework. Thirty of the required credit hours comes from the earned master’s degree. Several specialization options are available so that students may tailor their degree. These specializations include:

  • Construction Management
  • Digital Communications
  • Human Resource Development
  • Industrial Training, Manufacturing systems, and Quality Systems

The engineering and technology program is fully accredited. Also, U.S. News and World Report ranks the institution #81 in best regional universities in the Midwest and #17 in top public schools.

Graduate Tuition: $7,836

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Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with an PhD engineering management?

Technological challenges are impacting the human race on a global level. Thus, there is a need for organizations, companies, and businesses to integrate tech skills to solve difficult problems. Experts in engineering can help. Earning an PhD engineering management will provide you with the skills necessary to lead and innovate in a constantly changing field.

Doctorate in engineering management degrees prepare students for various careers. These include positions in science, engineering, business, and technology. If you are interested in technology leadership in some capacity, the program offers extensive management and leadership courses applicable to the field. You will take courses that prepare you for diverse positions. These include industrial engineering management, high technology management, R&D management, and technology entrepreneurship in start-up companies.

Depending on the work environment, common job duties of an engineering manager may differ. Some of these tasks include coordinating, directing, and managing activities in engineering firms and companies. They often manage teams of engineers and oversee projects from start to finish.

Most engineering management professionals work in offices within organizations. Still, some may be found in research laboratories and industrial production plants. Depending on the industry, some managers operate on building and construction sites.

Engineering managers work full time, though overtime is often a part of the job. To meet critical deadlines, managers may be called on to work outside of normal work hours.

How much money can I make with a doctorate in engineering management?

The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook Handbook reports the median annual wage for engineering management professionals in May 2021 was $152,350. BLS indicates that the lowest 10 percent of engineering managers earned less than $99,350 while the highest 10 percent earned over $208,000.

The annual wage varied with geographic location and industry. This means a manager working in the scientific research and development services field earned a higher wage than an engineering manager working in government or manufacturing.

Aside from BLS, we examined earnings for engineering managers listed by PayScale–a global compensation research company that collects data on salaries. PayScale reported the average pay for a manager as of October 2022 was $119,225.

PayScale reported the most significant impact on pay was experience. The more experience a manager has, the higher the earnings. Entry-level engineering managers with less than five years of work experience earned a total compensation of approximately $109,000. Compensation included salary, bonuses, and overtime pay. Experienced engineering managers with ten to twenty years of experience earned just under $125,000. Employers often view a doctorate degree in engineering management as representing significant experience. When negotiating salary, having a PhD might be helpful.

What is the career outlook for an individual with a doctorate in engineering management?

Since there are a limited number of management positions, jobs are highly desired and competition may be fierce. Candidates for engineering management positions can expect competition for job openings. Those with experience and education, such as a PhD in engineering management, should see the most opportunity for advancement.

How long does it take to earn an online doctorate in engineering management?

The average time spent in an online doctorate in engineering management program is four years. Program length varies depending on the school and format. Most programs on our list offer an online doctorate in engineering management in 36-48 months.

Completion time varies with enrollment. Students looking to earn a PhD in a compressed amount of time should evaluate the pros and cons of part-time versus full-time enrollment. Part-time programs offer flexibility, but classes are often extended. This lengthens the completion time. Many part-time programs on our list take up to six years to complete and allow even longer. Full-time enrollment allows students to take classes at a rigorous pace. Thus, they complete the program requirements at a quicker rate. Most full-time online doctorate in engineering management offerings take about three to four years to complete.

The amount of research required by the program also impacts the length of time it takes to earn the degree. Thesis versus non-thesis programs vary by length of study. Most thesis programs take longer to finish than non-thesis programs. Some of the online doctorate in engineering management degrees on our list offer a non-thesis pathway, which can cut time. In fact, non-thesis programs take an average of 12-18 months less than thesis programs.

How can I get into an online doctorate in engineering management program?

Admission requirements vary among online doctorate in engineering management schools. While some requirements are the same, top-ranked programs have unique criteria that may not be required by other programs. A master’s degree or bachelor’s degree in engineering from an accredited college or university is required across the board.

Admission boards examine an applicant’s academic and research potential. This is especially true for PhD admissions. To showcase academic promise, applicants must provide a clear picture of their academic experience. Admission boards will ask for official transcripts. In some cases, there are specific undergraduate GPA requirements. Many of the programs on our list demand a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or higher for an earned master’s degree.

GRE or GMAT scores are not required across the board, though many online doctorate in engineering management schools ask for scores no more than five years old. Some programs offer a range of satisfactory test scores, while others do not stipulate a required test score. Other programs will waive test scores if a candidate’s undergraduate GPA is exceptionally high.

Other admission requirements for online doctorate in engineering management students include letters of recommendation, writing samples, and statement of goals or purpose. Work or research experience may also be required.

CVO Staff

Sources

This concludes our list of the top 20 online PhD in engineering management programs.