The Master of Engineering Administration (MEA) degree provides practicing engineers, scientists and technical professionals with a graduate level academic experience in technology management that further prepares them for career advancement in the role of managing and providing administrative support for the technology-based operations of a progressive enterprise. This experience includes the analysis and solution of operational and management problems using scientific and mathematical methods. A variety of practical graduate level courses in engineering administration, industrial and systems engineering, business and operations management is available to qualified degree candidates from diverse backgrounds. Graduates of this program typically move into advanced positions as project manager, program administrator, lab director, engineering manager, technology executive, etc.

The MEA program is a practice oriented master’s degree that stresses the application of theory, principles and techniques related to engineering administration and performance management. All students take a primary core of required courses addressing program and project management, capital resource management, operational planning and control, technology management and assessment-based planning for the enhancement of enterprise operations and competitive performance. Students are also provided with an understanding of how to profitably employ the services of technical professionals such as the systems integration engineer, human factors engineer, manufacturing systems engineer, operations research specialist, management systems engineer, information systems specialist, etc. Administrative and technical electives provide an opportunity to include courses in the business administration and applied engineering science in a personal plan of study.

The MEA degree has no residency requirement and is offered throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is ideal for persons 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 MEA program. Classes are typically offered during the late afternoon and early evening hours with occasional classes scheduled on weekend days.

The MEA program consists of 10 courses (3 semester credit hours each). There are 5 primary core courses, 2 secondary core courses, and 3 elective courses (2 administrative and 1 technical elective courses). A MEA advisory committee is required and the committee will grant final approval of the course work by signing the MEA plan of study form. The plan of study must be completed and submitted to the ISE Graduate Program office prior to the completion of 24 hours of course work.

Course Requirements

The curriculum for the MEA degree consists of 10 courses (30 semester hours) of course work and a comprehensive written final examination.

Number Title Credits
STAT 5615 Statistics in Research 3
ISE 5104 Operations Research 3
ISE 5434 Economics Evaluation and Industrial Projects 3
ISE 5124 Management of Quality and Reliability 3
ISE 5114 Case Studies in Industrial Engineering
(taken after primary and secondary core courses)

Any two of the following courses:

Number Title Credits
ISE 5144 Performance and Productivity Measurement and Evaluation 3
ISE 5134 Management Information Systems 3
ISE 5154 Applied Human Factors 3
ISE 5204 Manufacturing Systems Engineering 3

Two courses to be selected from the following fields:

Industrial Psychology
Industrial Sociology
Management Information Systems
Management/Management Science
Public Administration

One  technical elective to be selected from engineering, computer science, mathematics, or statistics.

Note: ISE 5174 Engineering Program and Project Management, ISE 5164 Technology Transfer and other ISE courses can be taken as a secondary core or an elective course with permission of the student’s advisor.

One of the recognized strengths of the MEA program is that students may concentrate their elective studies in a variety of interesting areas that will enhance career development and employment opportunities. For example, students concentrating in applied information technology typically choose their secondary core and elective courses from the following:

Number Title Credits
ISE 5134 Management Information Systems 3
ISE 5124 Quality Control and Reliability 3
MSCI 5474 Computer-Based Decision Support Systems 3
CS 5604 Information Storage and Retrieval 3
CS 5614 Data Base Management Systems 3
CS 4004 Data and Information Structures 3

Other concentration areas may also be pursued with approval of the student’s faculty advisor and program director.

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 hours to be transferred from universities participating in the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP). These universities include the University of Virginia, George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Old Dominion University.  Alternatively, 6 semester hours maximum can be transferred from universities outside this consortium with a maximum of 15 semester hours taken at universities other than Virginia Tech. Requests for course transfer should be submitted in to the MEA program director and should include: a catalog description of each course, textbooks used, grade reports, and a course syllabus. Grades lower than B are not approved for transfer credit.

In addition to the ten courses (30 semester hours) the student must pass a written comprehensive examination that is administered twice each year, usually in April and November. The M.E.A. comprehensive examination is a four-hour; open book, written examination covering the nonelective courses including the primary and secondary core areas. It is offered simultaneously at Northern Virginia, Richmond, Hampton Roads, Lynchburg, and Blacksburg. The dates and registration forms for the M.E.A comprehensive exam will be distributed to all current M.E.A. students each semester by the ISE Graduate Program Office.

To complete the M.E.A. degree all students must have an approved M.E.A. plan of study, be registered in the semester they wish to confer the degree and submit the ISE non-thesis degree verification form. Once the non-thesis degree verification form is complete and signed by the advisory committee it should be turned in to the Graduate Program Office. The Graduate Program Office will verify that all the degree requirements have been met, including the M.E.A. comprehensive exam, sign for ISE department approval and forward the form to the Graduate School. Once the final grades for the semester have been posted the M.E.A. degree will be awarded.

For admissions information and academic advising, please contact Paula Van Curen.