Admission Requirements & Prerequisites

Apply by July 1st to join Rice's Fall 2024 Online MEML cohort



Online Master of Engineering Management
& Leadership Degree Requirements

If you’re a working engineer or a related STEM professional, the Master of Engineering Management & Leadership (MEML) program at Rice University is a powerful way to grow professionally, develop leadership skills, and expand your understanding of advanced engineering solutions.

Accepting Applications Year-Round

The Master of Engineering Management & Leadership (MEML) program at Rice University offers 3 intakes per year, accepting applications on a rolling basis. You can expect to hear about an admission decision within 2 weeks of the application deadline.

Upcoming Deadlines

  • Fall 2024 Application Deadline: July 1, 2024
  • Fall 2024 Classes Start: August 26, 2024
  • Spring 2025 Application Deadline: November 1, 2024
  • Spring 2025 Classes Start: January 13, 2025



What skills and knowledge will I learn from the MEML program?


Online Master of Engineering Management & Leadership Prerequisites

Learn more about the required prerequisites for the online Master of Engineering Management & Leadership program.

Required for All Applicants

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Bachelor's Degree

The ideal candidate will have a bachelor's degree in engineering or an engineering-related field, computer science, applied math, statistics, or engineering-type technology fields. While all candidates must have a bachelor's degree, it is not a strict requirement that it be in engineering.

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3.0 GPA

The ideal applicant will have at least a 3.0 (B) grade point average in their undergraduate work. Admissions exceptions can be made if a student has sufficient work experience, GRE scores that show a high level of competence, a master's degree, strong letters of recommendation, and/or specific circumstances that led to a low GPA.

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Interest in Technical Leadership

Applicants will feel called to lead diverse teams of engineers to realize the technological promise of Industry 4.0. Rice would like to hear about your technical leadership aspirations in your Statement of Purpose.

Optional Prerequisites

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Test Scores

For applicants with a 3.0+ GPA, taking the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is NOT required for admission to the online MEML program. For students with a <2.9 GPA, GRE test scores, several years of relevant work experience, and/or strong letters of recommendation are highly recommended. Read more about international TOEFL/IELTS scores below.

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Work Experience

Because this program is aimed at engineering professionals who want to expand their careers, we recommend that applicants have some industry work experience, preferably in an engineering or STEM-based field.

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Relevant Coursework, including Programming

In addition to a bachelor’s degree, coursework or relevant experience in programming, engineering or applied math, data analysis, and/or statistics are helpful for this program due to its emphasis on Industry 4.0 technical skills. Explore Rice’s recommended preparation courses.

Application Materials

Required Materials

Resume or CV

A current CV or resume is required for all applications. Please be as thorough as possible in representing your work and academic history.

Official Transcripts

Both official and unofficial transcripts may be submitted with your application, but are not required. Upon acceptance into the program, you will be required to submit official transcripts.

Statement of Purpose (SOP)

A Statement of Purpose is required for all applicants to the Master of Engineering Management & Leadership (MEML) program. This statement should clearly and succinctly summarize your past academic and professional experience and achievements, discuss your motivation for seeking the MEML degree, explain your interest in engineering management and lay out how you plan to apply your training to meet real-world challenges and advance your career. You should also briefly discuss any other factors you would like the admission committee to consider while reviewing your application, such as personal background, work experience and leadership roles.

For resources on how to write a Statement of Purpose, check our resources below:

Two Letters of Recommendation

The letters should be from direct supervisors or people in similar roles, professors, research advisors, or others who are familiar with your relevant educational, professional experiences, and interest in engineering management. Please do not submit letters from friends or family members. You may submit more than 2, but no less than 2 must be submitted with your application.

$85 Application Fee

You're almost ready for admission! Make sure to include your application fee of $85.00 upon submission.

Optional Materials


For applicants with a 3.0+ GPA, taking the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required for admission to the Master of Engineering Management & Leadership program, but is highly recommended for all applicants. The GRE is required for applicants with a <2.9 GPA, unless an exception is granted by the Rice Admissions committee.

If you are submitting a GRE ID, you must have taken the GRE within five years of applying.

If GREs are absent from an application, the Admissions committee will consider relevant work experience instead. Although exceptions can be made, applicants who do not have GRE scores are expected to have some full-time work experience in an engineering or STEM-based field.


TOEFL/IELTS scores are required for any student whose native language is not English. The code to send the electronic scores is: 6609. For the TOEFL score, the minimum is 90 on the iBT and 600 on the paper-based TOEFL.

For students who choose to take the IELTS in lieu of the TOEFL, the minimum score is 7. Students with a degree from a university where English is the official language are exempt from submitting TOEFL/IELTS scores.


Get Additional Support

Rice University provides resources to help our prospective online students navigate the grad school process, including coaches, preparatory courses and pathways.

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1:1 Enrollment Coaching

We know graduate school is a significant life milestone and one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Rice Enrollment Coaches are free, optional advisors available to discuss your personal and professional goals and help guide you through your Rice Online MEML consideration process.

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CS/DS Bridge Course

This 6-week mini-course covers essential foundational materials in calculus, linear algebra, discrete mathematics, programming basics, including algorithms and data structures with practice in Python.

MEML Important Dates

All applications can be saved and continued later.

FALL 2024 July 1, 2024 August 26, 2024
SPRING 2025 November 1, 2024 January 13, 2025
SUMMER 2025 March 1, 2025 May 5, 2025

Strengthen Your Application
and Feel Prepared

Rice has curated several online courses–including free options to help you feel prepared for the MEML program. Covering math, programming basics, engineering, and business skills, brush up on areas you want more confidence in.


How to Satisfy Most Prerequisites

Rice University’s Computer Science & Data Science Bridge Course: Rice offers a 6-week CS/DS Bridge Course designed for those with a strong technical background who need a refresher in the following subject areas:

  • Essential foundational materials in calculus and linear algebra.
  • Discrete mathematics including first-order logic and inductive proofs as well as other important foundational material
  • Programming basics including algorithms and data structures with practice in Python language.

Rice University’s Fundamentals of Computing Specialization: This online specialization covers the bulk of the prerequisites, except for logic. Free to audit.


Looking for Tuition and Other Info?

Can I do a master’s in engineering management without work experience?

Yes, applicants may be accepted into the Rice MEML Online graduate degree program without work experience. However, because this program is aimed at engineering professionals who want to expand their careers, we recommend that applicants have at least 1-2 years of hands-on work experience.

What should I major in to become an engineering manager?

Majoring in any engineering discipline–civil, chemical, electrical, petroleum, industrial, environmental, bioengineering, and more–can set a working professional on the path to become an engineering manager. Other technical majors like computer science and data science will be well positioned to lead teams of engineers through digital transformation. Even science majors (for example, materials science) may be qualified to lead and manage teams of engineers.

How can engineers get into management?

Technological advances have ushered in a new era known as Industry 4.0. In Industry 4.0, individual engineers will be called on more than ever to lead digital-first, data-driven organizations and companies to realize the benefits of automation, simulation, AI and robotics, and more.

Engineers can get into management and leadership positions by building upon their existing technical expertise with expanded engineering management, computer and data science, and human leadership skills. Rice MEML is designed from the ground up specifically for this purpose: to create the Next Gen Industry 4.0 Engineering Manager and Leader.

How much does the program cost?

The current cost of the MEML program is $1,667 per credit hour, which comes to $50,000 for the 30-credit hour program. Limited merit scholarships are available to admitted students to Rice MEML Online's Fall 2024 cohort. Start your application today. 

Veterans and active military service members are eligible for G.I. Bill and the Yellow Ribbon Program benefits. Contact an enrollment coach to learn more.

How long does the program take?

Most students earning their master’s in engineering management online on a part-time basis should be able to complete their coursework in 20 months (based on 2 courses per semester). The program is designed for those who will continue to work while earning their degree.

Can I apply as an international student?

Yes, international students are welcome to apply! We would recommend connecting with an enrollment coach to ensure time zone differences won’t hinder your ability to participate in optional or required live sessions.

Please note that Rice University’s Online MEML does not sponsor foreign visas at this time.

Want More Information?

Get support from a dedicated Rice Enrollment coach to answer your questions and provide support through the application process.


Learn More About MEML@Rice

If you’re ready to take the next step to advance your career, fill out the form to connect with a Rice Enrollment Coach.