University News

University launches STEM leadership master’s program

Program for young professionals to focus on leadership, strategy, global values, innovation

Senior Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The School of Professional Studies now offers an Executive Master’s degree in Science and Technology Leadership. The 16-month program offers a unique curriculum that is geared toward young professionals with extensive experience and allows students to keep their full-time jobs.

The School of Professional Studies launched the Executive Master in Science and Technology Leadership program this summer, a 16-month program designed to prepare professionals to take on leadership roles in engineering, science and technology. The master’s will focus on four themes: leadership, strategy, global values and innovation, and will first enroll students this coming March.

The program is “designed for those students who are already working in the industry and would like to get into a leadership position,” said Anubhav Tripathi, the program’s executive academic director and professor of engineering. The students will likely have between five and 15 years of experience, he added.

The program is unique in that it allows students to keep a full-time job, Tripathi said. Students only need to spend three weeks in Providence and one week in South Korea, while the rest of the coursework can be completed online. This “blended learning” approach combines in-person and online engagement through lectures, workshops and assignments, said Program Director Sandra Smith.

“What sets this version of leadership study and training apart from others is sort of a Brown imprimatur on it, and part of that is to bring Brown faculty in … especially humanists, to historicize and contextualize leadership,” said Joseph Pucci, professor of classics and comparative literature as well as one of two professors set to teach the course “Developing Effective Leadership.”

Due to its unique curriculum, the EMSTL has difficulty attracting applications. Not only does it compete with MBA programs and master’s programs in engineering management, but it also costs $78,500, Smith said.

“The challenge is two-fold. It’s not like an MBA, (and) it requires more explanation,” Smith said, adding that there may not be enough demand for the program. Despite these challenges, the EMSTL has received 14 complete applications and has had a few hundred inquiries. The University hopes to enroll 30 students in the program, according to Smith.

Once the EMSTL is launched, it also has the potential to benefit the larger Brown community. Though the University has traditionally emphasized liberal arts, the new program encourages STEM-related companies to send in their young professionals for training in leadership roles, Tripathi said. In turn, “these employees are now connected to Brown and in time will hire our students, undergraduate or graduate, into their company,” he added.