Master of Science in Project Management
The Master of Project Management (MPM) program, which leads to an M.S. degree from the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, is designed to prepare technically qualified individuals for responsible management roles in the construction, operation, and management of major civil and environmental engineering projects. Unlike a traditional engineering graduate program, the MPM program offers the practical business perspective needed by project managers. In contrast to traditional MBA programs, the MPM program emphasizes planning and design skills that are specifically required in project-based organizations and encourages students to build on their technical backgrounds and experience. The program's custom-designed mix of courses stresses management concepts and complements students' existing technical expertise. Students who complete the MPM program are prepared to direct major public and private projects in the increasingly complicated managerial environment of today's infrastructure facilities.
The MPM program is based on a multidisciplinary approach to combine the essential components of civil engineering design with the functional concepts of business management and behavioral science to develop a versatile and technically oriented individual capable of directing complex civil engineering projects. Some of the courses comprising the curriculum are selected from the regular offerings of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences, and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, but a number of specialized courses are designed to satisfy the particular objectives of this program.
Four options are available in the program, depending on the interest and experience of the participant; these options include specializations in A/E/C business management, construction management, environmental management, and infrastructure management. However, the program is flexible enough to accommodate individuals with major interest in other areas - such as geotechnical, structural, or transportation engineering - and those seeking to make the transition from other careers.
Courses in the MPM Program are taught by full-time University faculty and practicing professionals who bring a wealth of real-world experience to the classroom. A series of common courses emphasize the acquisition of background information and management techniques that are useful in planning, coordinating, controlling, and evaluating the activities of diverse specialists within the framework of a civil engineering project. These courses are supplemented by specialization courses which form the backbone of the chosen option and electives to strengthen management skills or expand technical proficiency. An appropriate choice of courses will provide the student with considerable opportunity to stress areas of personal interest or need.
The MPM program consists of twelve courses, preparation and presentation of a project report, and participation in a seminar series given by practicing professionals; in addition, the equivalent of at least one year of work experience is required for admission. Special consideration is given to students with advanced or diverse backgrounds, and virtually every specialization can be adjusted to satisfy the needs of the individual student. The program is sufficiently flexible to accommodate both full-time and part-time students; most classes are offered in the late afternoon or evening, and some are taught in the Summer Quarter.
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In addition to the program of study leading to a Master of Science in Project Management degree, the MPM program offers two other study options which some may find beneficial to their careers. These are the Northwestern Engineering Credential and Professional Development Hours. The standards for admission to both of these options are the same as those for admission to the degree program, and tuition is at the prevailing rate for individual courses in the degree program.
Northwestern Engineering Credential
The Northwestern Engineering Credential is awarded upon the successful completion of four courses that form a coherent unit of study and complement an individual’s academic and work experience. The courses that comprise this option must be approved a priori and they must be completed within two years from the start date of the first course. If the individual matriculates into the MPM degree program within two years after completing this Credential, the four courses taken would be accepted toward the requirements for the degree.
Professional Development Hours
Most professional registration agencies and accrediting organizations require the completion of periodic continuing education credits to maintain registration or certification. Courses in the MPM program offer a wide range of diversification and can be used for this purpose. A full course counts for 30 Professional Development Hours (PDH) and a half course counts for 15. If the individual matriculates into the MPM degree program or decides to earn a Northwestern Engineering Credential within two years after completing any acceptable course, the course can be used to satisfy the requirement for either the degree or the Credential.
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