Boston University: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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Department of Manufacturing Engineering
Boston, Massachusetts

Distance Learning Program

The Manufacturing Engineering Distance Learning Program (DLP) at Boston University brings outstanding faculty members, relevant courses, and innovative research to working engineers via live videoconference and delayed video streaming. The DLP is designed for high-potential engineers with creativity, motivation, and a strong desire to achieve technical excellence. The program's unique content and synchronous delivery format enable students to immediately apply classroom learning to work-related challenges. Courses are continually redesigned to create competence in technical product leadership and to provide students with the total educational experience on which to build successful industrial and increasingly international careers.

Delivery Media

The program employs a VCON IP bridge and management software package so that students can participate in class from anywhere a high-speed Internet connection is available. Such connections can be made with VCON vPoint teleconferencing software on a fast PC with USB camera or with a slower PC and relatively inexpensive VCON ViGo hardware. This configuration permits class sessions to be recorded in Real Video as they are conducted and then moved to the University's Real Video server immediately after class.

Programs of Study

Students in the program focus their course work in one of three concentration areas: product innovation and management, manufacturing operations management, or sensors and instruments. Each concentration consists of 36 credit hours, of which at least 28 credits must be earned at Boston University and at least 20 credits are from technically oriented engineering courses. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 is required for all courses.

A dual-degree program leading to an M.S. degree in manufacturing engineering and an M.B.A. prepares recent graduates or practicing professionals who are committed to careers in industry for positions of technical leadership. The program requires completion of 80 credits, including 40 credits in the M.B.A. program (M.B.A. only available on campus), 36 credits in the M.S. program, and 4 from either program. Other programs lead to an M.S. in photonics or sensors and instruments concentration.

Boston University, the fourth-largest independent university in the United States, extends more than 70 acres from the historic Back Bay section of Boston, westward along the south bank of the Charles River. It traces its roots to a school founded by Methodist lay leaders in Vermont in 1839; it moved to Boston in 1867 to become the first American university to be modeled on the European system. Today, the University is home to more than 2,500 faculty members and over 28,000 students in seventeen schools and colleges who are enrolled in more than 250 degree programs.

The University has always been strongly committed to equality in opportunity. It was the first institution of higher education in Massachusetts to grant degrees to women, and it graduated the first African-American woman with an M.D. degree and the first woman with a Ph.D. degree. In addition, it takes a progressive approach to education, having introduced the first program in the country organized around a team method of instruction and numerous interdisciplinary programs that combine career goals and personal interests.

In recent years, the College of Engineering has succeeded in securing highly competitive grants from federal agencies and industrial sources, including a $14-million Whitaker Foundation Leadership Award in 2001, only the third such award made to a university. Total externally funded research and graduate student enrollment are at record-breaking highs, and more than 30 new faculty members have been appointed over the past five years in fields as diverse as photonics, nanotechnology, acoustics, and genomics.

Boston University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.

Student Services

The Office of Information Technology assists students in setting up their ACS accounts and obtaining their passwords for access to the online program. The Martin Luther King Jr. Center addresses the personal, educational, and career development needs of students, including the Office of Career Services, which helps students obtain career and internship information and develop and implement career plans. The Educational Resource Center provides comprehensive support services and resources students need to ensure academic success, including peer tutoring.

Credit Options

Credits from graduate-level courses from other accredited engineering programs may be transferred with the recommendation of an academic adviser, department graduate associate chair, and the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs. A grade of B or higher must have been earned from the course. No more than 8 credits may be transferred.


There are 28 full-time faculty members in the department. Young professors, recently trained in new technologies and methods, focus on analysis, modeling, and theory. Senior faculty members, experienced in teaching, industry, and scholarly research, apply these concepts to the manufacturing process. In addition to teaching, many faculty members also participate in research projects at the University's research centers and labs.


While most students hold a bachelor's degree in an engineering related discipline, some hold mathematics or science degrees. In some instances, the student already has an advanced degree but is returning to school to further his or her career or achieve personal goals. Students' backgrounds are looked at on an individual basis during the admissions process. Students are permitted to take three courses before being required to apply to the M.S. program.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for part-time students is $985 per credit. Other expenses include a registration fee of $40 per semester and additional fees for textbooks and class materials.

Financial Aid

The is no financial aid available for part-time distance learning students.


Heather Johnson, Distance Learning Administrator
Department of Manufacturing Engineering
College of Engineering
Boston University
15 Saint Mary's Street
Brookline, Massachusetts 02446
Phone: 617-353-2943
Fax: 617-353-5548
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:


Prospective students must submit the following to be considered for admission: a completed application, a $65 application fee, official records of all college work previously taken, two letters of recommendation, official GMAT or GRE scores sent directly from the testing center, a statement-of-purpose essay, and a current resume. There is a rolling admissions process.

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Boston University: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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