engineering leadership innovation team meeting

Graduate Minor inEngineering Leadership and Innovation Management

Program summary

Explore key areas related to leadership and innovation in the field of engineering. The courses in this 12-credit online minor are offered in partnership with Penn State’s elite College of Engineering.

Credits and costs

12 Credits$1,017–$1,248 per credit

Enhance Your Penn State Degree

Add a minor to get even more value out of your education.

Gain Specialized Knowledge

Earning a minor enables you to complement your major, pursue a personal interest, or explore a different field of study.

Earn a Graduate Minor in Engineering Leadership and Innovation Management

The 12-credit Engineering Leadership and Innovation Management Graduate Minor, offered online by Penn State World Campus in partnership with Penn State's College of Engineering, highlights the changing nature of the field of engineering, which is being impacted by globalization and the growing demand for corporate innovation and the need for skilled engineers.

The primary goal of the Engineering Leadership and Innovation Management minor is to provide professionals with knowledge and skills in the key aspects of engineering business: leading teams, identifying new business opportunities, working across international and cultural boundaries, effectively managing projects, and championing internal innovation. These areas of leadership and innovation set engineers apart and prepare them to be future global leaders.

Upon completion of the minor, students should have developed attributes required by today's successful engineering executives. Specifically, these include improved ability to lead technical teams and expanded professional skills in leadership, intercultural competence, and innovation management within the engineering profession.

The Penn State Difference

This program combines a highly focused curriculum with a flexible, convenient, online format, allowing you to maintain your professional commitments as you acquire a valued credential. You will learn from faculty who have expertise in engineering, project management, innovation, and leadership, as well as extensive experience teaching in online education.

Your Course Work

The focus of the curriculum is to help engineers become well versed beyond their technical engineering skills, expanding into areas such as communication, ethics, entrepreneurial thinking, and professionalism. The courses can help develop the abilities you need to effectively create and lead impactful contributions to your team and organization.

Students pursuing the Master of Engineering Management degree can customize this program to earn a Graduate Minor in Engineering Leadership and Innovation Management (ELIM) without taking on additional credits. 

Who Should Apply?

The minor was designed for working professionals — with a bachelor's degree and some relevant work experience in engineering, science, or a related discipline — who are looking for career development opportunities. As a student, you can enhance your knowledge and skill sets in identifying new business opportunities, gathering support from within your organization, managing projects, and working across multidisciplinary and cultural teams.


The Graduate Minor in Engineering Leadership and Innovation Management comprises four courses totaling 12 credits.

Required Courses (12 credits)

  • 3

    Covers the essential concepts and skills needed to make effective contributions on projects, on time and within budget.

    • Note

      Related courses may be substituted for ENGR 405. For a list of approved courses, contact the Engineering Leadership Development Office at [email protected].

  • 3

    Traditional and contemporary leadership theory is analyzed to determine effective strategies for leading projects and innovation within an engineering context.

  • 3

    Explores cultural differences and impact on business practices and team dynamics working on virtual project teams with global partner universities.

  • 3

    Develop competencies for leading new product/process development or participating in corporate spinouts using entrepreneurial skills within a corporation.

Master of Engineering Management Students

The Master of Engineering Management course list can be customized to allow students in the master's program to earn the Graduate Minor in Engineering Leadership and Innovation Management without taking on additional credits or costs.

  • Instead of MNGMT 511 and BADM 828, take ENGR 501 and ENGR 802 (year 1, semester 2).
  • Instead of SYSEN 530, take ENGR 804 (year 1, semester 3).
  • Master of Engineering Management students will take SYSEN 805 instead of ENGR 405. 

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Costs and Financial Aid

Graduate Tuition

Tuition and fees for graduate minors are based on your major degree costs.

Financial Aid and Military Benefits

Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.

To view the detailed list of cost of attendance elements, select “World Campus” as the location on the tuition site.

How to Apply

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admittance into the graduate minor, applicants must:

  • hold an undergraduate degree in engineering, science, or relevant discipline
  • have a 3.0 minimum undergraduate GPA (or equivalent). Exceptions to the minimum 3.0 grade-point average may be made for students with special backgrounds, abilities, and interests, at the discretion of the program
  • be accepted and/or currently enrolled in a graduate program at Penn State

The minor will be awarded at the time of completion of your primary degree if all the requirements have been satisfied.

What You Need

Please provide the following materials:

Request to Add Graduate Minor Form

Please obtain the required signature from your major program prior to obtaining the required signature from the ELIM minor program. The ELIM program will keep a copy of the form on record.

For students enrolled through World Campus, please have your major program send the signed form via:

  • campus mail to Engineering Leadership and Innovation Management Program, 213 Hammond Building
  • email as a PDF to [email protected].

The ELIM program will then forward the signed form to the Graduate School so that it may be added to your official record. Note that the application form can be submitted before completing all the required coursework. Applicants should list ENGR 501, ENGR 802, ENGR 804, and ENGR 405* on the form.

* May be substituted per program approval. 

Contact Us

To learn more about the Graduate Minor in Engineering Leadership and Innovation Management, offered in partnership with the Penn State College of Engineering, please contact:

World Campus Admissions Counselors
Phone: 814-863-5386
[email protected]

College of Engineering
School of Engineering Design and Innovation
213G Hammond Building
University Park, PA 16802
[email protected]


  • Wesley E. Donahue, PE, PMP

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Workforce Education, Penn State
    • Degree
      MBA, Clarion University
    • Degree
      B.S., Civil Engineering, Penn State

    Dr. Wesley E. Donahue is the coordinator of the online Master of Professional Studies in Organization Development and Change and an instructor of related courses and programs. An experienced researcher, developer, and leadership consultant, he has an extensive manufacturing, engineering, sales, and management background, having started and operated businesses for more than 30 years. Dr. Donahue is a registered professional engineer, six-sigma black belt, and author of a host of education and training materials.

  • Meg Handley

    Ph.D., Workforce Education, Penn State

    Dr. Meg Handley, associate director for Engineering Leadership Outreach at Penn State, teaches in the engineering leadership program. Previously, she served as the director of the Career and Corporate Connection's office at the Penn State Smeal College of Business. Dr. Handley’s dissertation focused on interpersonal behaviors and their impact on engineering leadership potential.

  • Dena Lang

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Kinesiology, Biomechanics, Penn State
    • Degree
      MBA, Johns Hopkins University
    • Degree
      B.S., Mechanical Engineering, West Virginia University

    Dr. Dena Lang is associate director of Engineering Leadership Research. Her professional experiences and research interests range from facilities design to research that applied engineering and molecular biology approaches to study the skeletal response to mechanical loading. Additional research interests have included the investigation of relationships among the indoor environment, occupants, and energy usage. Dr. Lang's current research interests focus on identifying, assessing, and developing key skills, knowledge, and attitudes required for engineers to effectively lead others.

  • Maria Spencer

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Workforce Education and Development, Clarion University
    • Degree
      MBA, Clarion University
    • Degree
      B.S., Psychology, Clarion University

    Dr. Maria Spencer is a business consultant with Penn State's Small Business Development Center, specializing in research and technology commercialization, strategic planning, human resource development, and export trade. She has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs on business start-up, expansion, and new product development initiatives. Dr. Spencer's research focuses on facilitating change in organizations, with a specific focus on business models and the organizational impacts of continuous reconfiguration.