Best Online Ph.D. Programs in Engineering Management

Getting a PhD in engineering management online is a great opportunity to achieve your studying goals without changing your location. Many engineering managers prefer to advance their education by getting a PhD However, they are usually employed or busy with their own businesses to factor online studies into their everyday lives.

That’s why online PhDs in engineering management are highly popular among people who want to enhance their skills and knowledge but don’t have the opportunity to move to another city or state.

Getting an online doctorate in engineering management has significant advantages and specific disadvantages. Evaluating all of them can help you make the right decision about your education.

What Is a PhD in Engineering Management?

A PhD in Engineering Management is a prestigious and advanced academic degree that combines the disciplines of engineering and management. It can be highly suitable for professionals who aspire to become leaders in the engineering field.

By getting an online doctor of engineering management, you are acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to tackle complex engineering challenges while effectively managing engineering teams.

A doctorate degree in this field goes beyond traditional engineering degree by exploring such areas as:

  • Leadership
  • Strategic planning
  • Project management
  • Innovation
  • Organizational behavior

This interdisciplinary approach prepares graduates to navigate the intersection of technical expertise and managerial responsibilities.

The program typically involves rigorous coursework, research, and the completion of a doctoral dissertation. Students explore advanced topics in engineering management and develop a deep understanding of the complexities involved in managing engineering projects.

One of the key aspects of an engineering management degree is the emphasis on research. Students are encouraged to conduct original research in their chosen area of specialization. Through their exploration and experiments, they develop critical thinking skills, analytical abilities, and the capacity to solve complex engineering problems in a managerial context.

Moreover, a doctor of engineering management prepares graduates for leadership roles in academia, industry, government, and consulting.

In recent years, the availability of an online doctorate in engineering management has made this advanced degree more accessible to working professionals. Online doctoral programs offer flexibility and convenience. They allow busy students to balance academic pursuits with their personal and professional commitments.

Online PhD in Engineering Management: Careers

Earning an online doctor of philosophy in Engineering Management gives you a wide choice of career opportunities. Graduates of this advanced degree program can take on leadership roles in academia, various industries, and government projects.

Engineering Management Consultant

As an engineering management consultant, a person with a degree in engineering management can provide strategic guidance to organizations seeking to optimize their engineering operations. Their responsibilities may involve insights into:

  • Process improvement
  • Technology integration
  • Project management
  • Organizational development

Consultants work with such clients as engineering firms, manufacturing companies, and government agencies.

Research and Development Director

With their deep knowledge of engineering principles and management strategies, PhD graduates can excel as research and development (R&D) directors. In this role, they oversee the planning, execution, and evaluation of R&D projects to make sure they align with organizational goals.

R&D directors collaborate with cross-functional teams, drive innovation, and streamline the development of new processes and products.

Engineering Project Manager

Engineering project managers work on planning, executing, and delivering complex engineering projects. With a PhD in engineering management, you can leverage technical expertise and leadership skills to manage teams and ensure project success. You can get a job in various industries, such as construction, manufacturing, and energy.

Academic Professor/Researcher

Many graduates of online PhD programs in engineering management choose to pursue careers in academia. With their advanced research abilities and subject matter expertise, they can become professors or researchers in universities. They contribute to the academic community through teaching, conducting research, publishing scholarly articles, and mentoring future engineering professionals.

Technology Manager

Technology managers with a PhD in engineering management are responsible for overseeing the integration of new technologies within organizations. They assess the feasibility of emerging technologies and lead cross-functional teams in implementing innovative solutions. Technology managers are in high demand in industries such as IT, telecommunications, and engineering services.

These are just a few of the career paths available to individuals with a Doctoral degree in engineering management. The combination of technical expertise and managerial skills acquired through these programs equip graduates to tackle complex challenges. That’s why they are always in high demand.

How to Choose the Best Online Engineering Management Degree Programs

Before settling on a program to receive your PhD in engineering management online, you have to evaluate a variety of factors. They include:


Accreditation demonstrates the quality of education in a particular school. Look for programs that are accredited by recognized accrediting bodies. Proper accreditation means that the program meets certain quality standards. Many employers and other educational institutions check the school’s accreditation before accepting a graduate.

Program Reputation and Faculty

Research the reputation of the program and the faculty members who will be teaching the courses. Look for programs with experienced faculty who have expertise in engineering management or related fields. Explore their research interests, publications, and industry experience to make sure they can help you achieve your education goals.

Curriculum and Course Offerings

Review the curriculum and course offerings of each program you are considering. Check that the program covers a broad range of topics relevant to engineering management. They can include leadership, innovation, project management, operations management, and strategic planning. Look for programs that offer courses taking which can help you meet your career goals.

Online Learning Experience

Consider the flexibility and convenience offered by the online program. Look for programs that allow you to balance your academic pursuits with your personal commitments. Assess the online learning platform and resources provided to make sure they can help your studies instead of making your life harder. Check for the availability of interactive tools, virtual collaboration, and support services.

Research Opportunities

If you plan to focus on research, consider the relevant opportunities available within the program. Look for online schools that help you conduct original research, publish scholarly articles, and collaborate with faculty. High-quality research opportunities can enhance your learning experience and contribute to your professional growth.

Support and Resources

Look for programs that provide academic advising, technical support, library access, and career services. Consider the availability of networking opportunities, connections with industry professionals, and access to research facilities.

Alumni Network and Success Stories

Research the program’s alumni and their experience. Explore where previous graduates have gone on to work and the positions they hold. This information can provide insights into the program’s effectiveness. You can use Facebook and other social media resources to find your potential school’sl alumni groups and ask relevant questions there.

Cost and Financial Aid

Consider the cost of the program and any available financial aid opportunities. Evaluate the overall value of the program in relation to the tuition fees. Contrary to the common misconception, tuition for online programs isn’t lower than for offline studies. However, you can save money on housing and transportation.

Time to Completion and Graduation Requirements

Review the program’s time to completion and graduation requirements. Some programs may have specific residency requirements, comprehensive exams, or a dissertation component. Check that the program’s requirements align with your ability to make a commitment. Some programs may dismiss students if they don’t finish their PhD within a specific amount of time (usually about seven years).

Top Online PhD Programs in Engineering Management

These affordable online PhD programs in engineering management can become a great choice for your doctorate degree plans.

1.     George Washington University

Located in Washington, DC, George Washington University offers a wide range of online degree programs, including a PhD in Engineering Management. The program is specifically designed for working adults with classes scheduled on weekends. The school uses advanced digital learning technologies to arrange online classes.

Admissions requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in engineering or related fields from an accredited educational institution
  • A GPA of at least 3.2
  • At least two college-level calculus courses (if you don’t have these, you would need to take an additional course during the program)
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE results for applicants whose native language isn’t English

The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

2.     Western New England University

Located in Springfield, MA, Western New England University offers a 100%  online Doctor of Engineering in Engineering Management program. This program is designed to provide a wide variety of skills and knowledge for students who are looking to work in research and academia or prepare themselves for high-paying management positions in the technical field.

Admissions requirements include:

  • Bahelor’s or master’s degree in engineering or closely related fields
  • GPA of at least 3.5
  • A GRE score from the past five years with a score of at least 300 (this requirement may be waived if you demonstrate relevant industry experience or progressive academic performance)
  • Completion of probability and statistic courses with at least a “B” grade
  • Competence in at least one structured programming language

The school is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (formerly the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.).

3.     National University

Located in San Diego, California, National University offers a strong PhD program in engineering management online. This program offers impressive flexibility with weekly course starts, recorded lectures, and support from top mentors in the field. You can benefit from a personalized approach to mentoring with one-on-one online sessions.  The school accepts applications all year round.

The program requires:

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited school
  • GPA of at least 2.5 (if your GPA is lower, satisfactory GMAT or GRE scores can help you get admitted)
  • Transcripts
  • Application for admission

You can schedule a call with the admissions team of your chosen program to find out if they may require other documents.

The school is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

4.     Colorado State University

Located in Fort Collins, CO, Colorado State University offers an online PhD in systems engineering program. Since the program is strong, the competition is high as well. The program prepares online students for high-paying careers in engineering management. Each student has to complete an evaluation with their advisor every year to proceed with the program.

Admissions requirements include:

  • A bachelor’s degree in engineering, mathematics, or a related field from an accredited regional school
  • GPA of at least 3.0
  • Calculus I course (or a statement describing relevant experience)
  • Basic statistics course (or a statement describing relevant experience)

Professional experience related to the degree is an advantage but not a requirement.

The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

5.     University of Tennessee

Located in Knoxville, TN, The University of Tennessee offers an online doctorate program in engineering management. The program allows professional practicing engineers and engineering managers to dive deeper into project and financial management, technology transfer, organizational behavior, and more.

Admissions requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree with a school that is accredited by a regional agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
  • GPA of at least 2.7
  • GRE scores (may be waived)
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE results for applicants whose native language isn’t English

The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Starting Your Ph.D. Journey

If you choose to get your Ph.D. in engineering management online, you have many options. Schools that offer such a possibility range from smaller institutions with fairly simple admissions requirements to renowned universities with high competition.

If you are set on continuing your education in a flexible environment, you are likely to find a suitable school without a problem. Make sure to take the time to study everything you can about the institution of your choice before applying. Pay special attention to the time allowed to complete the studies.