Get a top-rated Mini-MBA Certificate for $199 $49 (till 29th Feb)

Top MS in Engineering Management (MEM, MSEM) programs with low GRE score

Engineering Management degrees are quite popular among those who like both disciplines – engineering as well as management – and don’t want to leave one for another. These degrees are known by different names. Some universities call it the Master of Engineering Management (MEM), while others may call it the Master of Science in Engineering management (MSEM).

Shashank Agarwal describes how he managed to overcome a low GRE score to get into 4 top MEM programs in the world – Purdue MS/MSE, Johns Hopkins (JHU) MSEM with scholarship, New York University (NYU) Management of Technology & the University of Waterloo MBET.

How I got into 4 Top Engineering Management (MEM, MSE) programs with a low GRE score

by Shashank Agarwal

Top Engineering Management (MEM, MSE) programs with low GRE scoreI am a very introverted and a serious person. Have been that way all through my life .I worked as Research Associate in IITB working on time series analysis, trying to solve dengue problem in Mumbai.

There I realized I don’t have a strong predilection for only technical stuff and I would like to work at the confluence of technology and management. Hence I started looking for various programs in the US – MIM, MEM and MIS made the shortlist.

Since my goal after completing the MS degree was to get into management consulting or analytics, I chose the MEM specialisation.

I prepared for GRE and TOEFL for around 3 months scoring 318 (166Q, 152V, AWA 3) in GRE and 110 in TOEFL. I was not satisfied with my GRE performance and believe my AWA score cost me admits of some top schools, but I didn’t have time to reappear as deadlines were closing.

I wanted to put my best foot forward in terms of all US school applications, hence I took the help of consultants. Also I was facing a time crunch. Manish (MG) sir has been a consultant at McKinsey and reading all the reviews of MBA Crystal Ball on the internet were very promising. Hence I decided to go with MCB. I enrolled for the SOP package under MG sir.

I had never written a SOP in my entire life .I was flabbergasted to see the difference between my initial draft that I made and the final that was made after 3 round reviews with MCB it was that good. It helped me put my best foot forward in a very structured and concise manner.

I really like MG sir advice on making things specific rather than general and his timely responses to my draft with edits and suggestions.

My main was to go to a top US school for MS in engineering management with a good program structure or not go at all, since I also had offers from top schools in India.

Hence I shortlisted Duke, Stanford, Dartmouth, Columbia, Purdue, Johns Hopkins, NYU. Apart from that I had also applied for MBET program in University of Waterloo in Canada. In total I applied to these 8 colleges only.

I got in 4 out of 8 colleges I applied i.e Purdue, Hopkins (with scholarship), NYU and the University of Waterloo. I closely screened the curriculum of each college with my career goals.

MG sir helped me with this as well. I also got in touch with alumni from these colleges and asked them some questions to decide which course would be the best for me.

My main criteria for choosing the college was one that had heavy maths and stats technical courses along with strong management courses in an equal ratio.

I really can’t say what differentiated me from a strong and competitive applicant pool. Maybe it was TOEFL score that compensated for low GRE verbal, my GATE score, my unique work experience, my luck, my SOP and LOR or my zeal to constantly learn new stuff, I will never know.

My advice to fellow aspirants would be to plan about career path early on maybe in college 3rd year itself by doing as many varied internships as possible and only listen to your heart, not the heard or the noise of others who try to demotivate you.

Don’t be like me and plan things early on with a definite timeline in mind. Also score 335+ in GRE and don’t ignore the AWA. It is easy if your plan your journey well in time with a definite timeline. 🙂

Read these related articles:
Master of Engineering Management (MEM) vs MBA
How to select the right Masters / MS program and specialization?

Mini-MBA | Start here | Success stories | Reality check | Knowledgebase | Scholarships | Services

Serious about higher ed? Follow us:


Manish Gupta
About Manish Gupta
Chief Consulting Officer at MBA Crystal Ball, ex-McKinsey, IIT & ISB topper. MG can help you get into the top B-schools. Read more about this top MBA admissions consultant. Connect with MG on Email. Or follow on Linkedin, Facebook.

35 thoughts on “Top MS in Engineering Management (MEM, MSEM) programs with low GRE score”

  1. My name is Tulika. I am a B Tech and have total 8 years of experience and planning to do MS in Project Management in US.

    1. I would like to should I do MS in Project Management is or MBA?
    2. If I do MS what are the VISA required and after study what should I do to get a job in US.
    3. I would like to know how should I proceed further and apply. What are the steps that I need to follow or what are the prerequisites for doing MS in US.

    I am following a lot other websites but there is abundant of knowledge and ambiguity. If you can suggest me, that would really be great.

  2. Hi Manish,

    I did my Engg & MBA from tier 3 collage and having 9+ years of experience in IT. Now I am working a MNC as Team Lead. I am willing to go for my 2nd MBA from Top institute in India / Abroad… I am 35 years old. Can you please suggest will doing 2nd MBA a good option?

  3. Hi

    Recently my H1 B application got picked in the lottery (2017). So if everything goes well ,I will be working on a contract job from October. I am planning to pursue masters (MS or MBA) part time /online while on H1b . Can we do that? How long does it take to finish :

    1) MS/MBA – In case of attending weekend classes at a university
    2)MS/MBA – online mode of learning

    I have a total of 4 years experience in IT industry. Lets say if I opt for Online mode of learning -MS or MBA. Will that degree be valued in the US? Is it a good idea to pursue masters in distance mode to balance work and studies. Please guide me through this.

  4. Hello sir I am suresh, I have done my undergrad in computer science in a reputed clg in telangana under these circumstances in usa is it advisable to go to usa without any work experience i got admits from kansas state university and university of buffalo New York

  5. Hi Manish,
    I need advice on whether i should pursue MBA from aborad, so here’s my background :

    I have done Btech(CSE) from average college and my cgpa is 6.2. I was placed in EY through campus placement. After working in EY for a year I joined another Big 4 as a consultant and currently I’m auditing India’s biggest Aluminium manufacturing group.

    I’m planning to pursue MBA from US or Canada(Rotman) after 3 years of experience(in 2018).

    I wanted to know how much should I aim in GMAT to compansate for my low grades in BTech.

    Any help would be highly appreciated

  6. Hi MG,

    Need some of your advice please.

    I am an IT professional with 8 yrs of experience in IB sector. My current CTC is 18 lac and I am good with my current company role/work wise. I also have another job offer in hand of 28 lac.

    I have done MCA and was looking forward to my MBA from ISB. I am going to take GMAT next month.

    I am married and 33 yrs old and my husband is in full support of my pursuing further studies.

    But from ROI perspective is it a good idea to join MBA and will I get any better package than what I am getting now. I mean is it worth the time and effort [32 Lac MBA cost + 1 yr break] Also my current company is ready to give me 1 yr sabbaticals for MBA.

    I am little confused about grabing the new job or jojning mba. Please suggest on this. Thanks.

  7. Hi,

    I am working in an IT company (2 years exp). I have started preparing for GRE. I wanted to pursue MS+PhD in CS, but unfortunately I have done my engineering in electronics. Since I was interested in CS (I realized in my first year of engineering), I took a job in an IT company and I am learning through various sources available on internet. I am also doing an independent project related to it. Is It possible for me to do MS in CS? Would you recommend MS
    +PhD over MS (I am planning to go for PhD after MS anyway) ? Can you help in consulting with various parts of the application procedure?

  8. HI,
    I am planning for masters, but not sure about MEM, MIS or MBA. I am working as an associate analyst (Tools: R, Excel, VBA, Tableau). I dont have any other technical background besides this. And even i am not sure whether i should i appear for gre or IELTS. I want to pursue post grad program from 2019, that gives me a work exp of 1.5 years. My BE aggregate is 7.25 and no extra-curriculars. Please suggest the right course and examination(gre/ielts) for me.

  9. Hi Manish
    Ive done mechanical engineering from mesce kuttipuram, kerala and passed out with a gpa of 6.8.(2013-17) Ive also done a short term course on NDT level 2 and basics of corrosion and welding when i was waiting for my results.

    Id like to do a post graduate course in abroad preferably in UK.

    Im interested in doing a management related course like Masters in engineering management or the likes in one of the top tier colleges.

    If there is anything you could do, please help. Your suggestions and advices would really help. Waiting for a reply.

    Thanking you.

    • Feroz,

      The choice of master’s is contingent on your carrier aspirations. There are a ton of options out there so the best way to proceed is to identify your goals and then assess what program may help boost the prospects well.

  10. Hi,

    I have overall 7+ years of work experience and i would like to pursue Masters in Engineering Management since i am much interested in handling technical difficulties and managing team on the same way. And i have almost 1.6 years of onsite work experience in USA . Still do we need to apply for IELTS?


    • IELTS/TOEFL is usually contingent on your country and medium of instruction for your undergrad/grad. Best to double check on this once directly with your target programs as the requirement also varies by school/program.

  11. Hi,

    I have over 2.5 years of work experience after my undergrad in a Top MNC at India and I’ve got considerable leadership and management experience along with my IT job. I’m now wanting to pursue the MEM/MIS course at top colleges in the United States but I have a pretty low GRE score due to a couple of reasons. This may be blocker in my admission to the Top universities like Duke, Northwestern Univ,etc. Would you recommend still applying for them considering the above?

  12. Hello,

    I had an admit from Purdue University for their MS ECE Program for Fall’ 19. However, I have deferred it to Fall’20. My interest is more towards the Engineering Management Program at Purdue now. Would it be possible to apply for that whilst having a deferred admission in ECE? Are there chances of both admissions getting cancelled?
    I would also appreciate it if you could tell me which Engineering Management programs are best in the US.


  13. Hi sir,My name is Siddhika. I am looking forward to pursue my masters in Engineering Management from US or UK.But my GRE and TOEFL scores are low,295 and 82 respectively. So sir,can you guide me with good universities which I can get through?

    Hoping for an early reply

    Thank you

    • Hi Siddhika,

      Our expertise on MEM is more on applications front. For school selection, given the number of options out there and preferences therein, we recommend the candidate to do their independent research and selection. Once you are done with that, get back to us and we can help you put in strong applications.

  14. Hi Sir,
    I am looking forward to pursue my Masters in Engineering Management from US. Currently I am a B.Tech 3rd year student and I am preparing for my GRE exam. Can you please guide me that what is a great GRE score to get into an excellent college with 0 year of work experience.

  15. Hi sir,
    I’m a 3rd year B.Tech Chemical Engineering student from NIT Trichy. I’m planning on pursuing a MEM immediately after graduation. What sort of interns (core/management/research in chemical engg) do I need to do to build a solid profile for the top MEMPC universities in US?


Leave a Comment