Master of Engineering Management and Leadership program certified by ASEM

Rice master’s degree program is first in Texas and one of nine in the world to earn formal certification.

Master of Engineering Management and Leadership program students standing in a row on Rice campus

The Master of Engineering Management and Leadership (MEML) program at Rice University has been certified by the American Society of Engineering Management (ASEM), becoming the first master’s degree program in Texas and one of nine in the world to earn formal certification.

“The program was designed to prepare engineers to become manager leaders who thrive in Industry 4.0 and meet the rigorous standards set by ASEM,” said Fred Higgs, the John and Ann Doerr Professor of Mechanical Engineering and faculty director of the MEML program.

The certification follows self-study, external review and a site visit in February by ASEM representatives, who evaluated the curriculum and met with online and on-campus students, faculty, alumni and staff. Because the program is administered by the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership, the ASEM team also met with RCEL administrators.

“ASEM certification confirms that the program represents the highest standards in engineering and technology management professional education. We have seven full-time faculty members who have utilized their combined 140+ years of industrial experience to develop the program’s courses,” said John Via, professor in the practice and associate director of the MEML program, who led the certification process.

Kaz Karwowski, executive director of RCEL, added: “Students who graduate from the MEML program will now have a direct path to becoming certified associates in engineering management (CAEM), without having to take the certifying exam, and will also have an accelerated path to the certified professional in engineering management (CPEM) credentials.”

MEML graduates already benefit from RCEL’s registered educational provider status with the Project Management Institute, earning 35 hours of educational credit toward their project management certifications as either certified associates in project management or project management professionals (PMP) based on their work experience. MEML graduates can skip the certification exams and obtain their CAEM, or if they have sufficient work experience, obtain their CPEM credentials.

“ASEM certification means that each MEML graduate may not only obtain their engineering management certification, they can immediately sit for the PMP exam, pass it and get that credential too,” said Higgs, who also serves as faculty director of RCEL. “Diligent MEML graduates can obtain two certifications and a master’s degree before they walk into their new jobs in industry.”

“We have many master’s degrees, all focused on strong technical foundations in a given discipline,” said Luay Nakhleh, the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of Engineering. “The MEML degree gives engineers crucial knowledge that fills the gap between engineering and leadership. From the time it was first proposed, the plan was to build a rigorous professional master’s degree that would become ASEM certified. We are proud to be the first in Texas to achieve this honor.”

The MEML degree at Rice is a professional, non-thesis master’s degree meant for technical professionals with engineering or related technical backgrounds. The 30-credit-hour degree is offered online and on campus, with full-time and part-time options.

MEML consists of 10 courses: Six required core courses in engineering management and leadership; a three-course engineering specialization from traditional graduate engineering courses, and a capstone project course in which students are expected to devise Industry 4.0 solutions to real-world technology problems while exhibiting the skills of engineering leaders.