About the MEML Program

The Master of Engineering Management and Leadership (MEML) program at Rice University is a professional, non-thesis master’s degree meant for technical professionals with engineering or related technical backgrounds; recent college graduates from engineering and the computational science fields should also apply.

The MEML program is offered online or on-campus, with full-time and part-time options. Students who have a BA or a BS degree in any field of engineering or related study may apply.

Why Rice MEML?

Rice MEML graduates will be technology leaders who can: 

  • Connect the internal workings of a technological product to economic outcomes;
  • Communicate the technology product’s value with the decision-making currency that both technical managers and corporate executives can understand;
  • Lead engineering teams to build data-generating products that provide customer feedback even after being deployed into the marketplace;
  • Think of technology solutions at a fundamental level while considering the impact of the engineering design process on the product in-market;
  • Leverage their MEML education to strategically discern the real MVPs: 
    • The Most Valuable Process(es) in deploying a product or service
    • The Most Valuable Proprietary information that needs protecting
    •  The Most Valuable People in a technical team and organization

Maximum Flexibility

With evening and weekend courses, Rice’s MEML program offers students flexible scheduling options with online or on-campus programs, as well as full-time and part-time opportunities. Students must apply to either the online or on-campus program and be explicitly admitted to one program. However, up to 3 courses (9 credits) can be taken in the other mode. For example, an on-campus student can take 7 courses on-premise and 3 online, and vice versa. This is ideal for students in rotational programs or those who change/start employment while in the program.


Rice MEML students will benefit from being located in Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city. Houston has twenty-three Fortune 500 companies, is the most diverse city in the U.S., has the second most engineers in the U.S., and has the world’s largest medical complex (the Texas Medical Center). Rice is also 5 minutes from The Ion, Houston's new innovation hub, which brings the city’s world-class entrepreneurial, corporate and academic communities together.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

The First Industrial Revolution used steam power to mechanize production. The second one led to mass production. The Third one, automated production. However, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (also called Industry 4.0) is now catapulting production by blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological. 

Industry 4.0

Companies thriving in the fourth industrial revolution are a part of Industry 4.0 (I4). Industry 4.0 technologies consist of artificial intelligence (machine learning), big data interactions, autonomous robotics and vehicles,  additive manufacturing, digital twins, blockchain, advanced materials, quantum computing, augmented reality, cloud computing, cyber-security, simulation-based engineering, and the internet of things. I4 companies develop data-enabled technologies and processes that lead to radically smarter and connected products and services. Companies will need an engineering leader manager to not only help their engineering units become I4 ready, but to put an I4 ‘lens’ atop of existing engineering leadership practices and know-how to update them. They will need them to be trained as digital or data natives and leaders — I4 engineering manager leaders — whether in hard hats or designing software. The MEML degree program will produce such an engineering leader.

I4 Engineering Manager Leaders.

Graduates from the Master of Engineering Management and Leadership program will form a new generation of engineering managers across all engineering fields. As industries become more data-driven, engineers are being asked to interpret the technical data to help make business decisions and to understand engineering management fundamentals to better lead engineers to design and produce more successful products. This non-thesis degree combines engineering leadership, engineering project management, Industry 4.0 product management, engineering ethics and other advanced engineering topics to move graduates a step further in their managerial careers.

These new leaders, no matter their field of engineering, must become digital natives who combine data, decision making, and subject matter expertise to ensure that engineering teams and organizations produce superior products and services. Industry 4.0 engineering manager leaders understand that products and services might serve billions but must be tailored to individuals.