Developing Tomorrow's Engineering Leaders

The Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program (GEL) complements the world-class technical education you get at MIT by developing the leadership skills you need to shape the future.

As a Gordon Engineering Leader, you'll:

  • Develop lasting, meaningful connections with industry leaders
  • Network with GEL alumni in industry and outstanding MIT peers
  • Get candid feedback on your skills and leadership abilities
  • Learn how to deliver on time, on budget, to spec
  • Get access to awesome internships at leading companies
  • Pick up skills to be the technical entrepreneur in a start-up

"The Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program has helped me immensely and might have been the most useful set of classes in my professional career." — Justin Breucop, GEL '12

Program Overview

The Bernard M. Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program develops next-generation technical leaders with the values, attitudes, and skills to understand and address engineering problems.

In GEL Year One (GEL1), students are exposed to the fundamentals of engineering leadership theory and they engage in carefully crafted group activities to develop, practice, and hone their leadership skills in an engineering context. During GEL1, students have the opportunity to practice both team membership and team leadership as they undertake exercises and simulations related to engineering industry contexts.

In GEL Year Two (GEL2), students further develop the leadership skills they were exposed to and practiced in GEL1. Importantly, GEL2 students are key stakeholders in the overall program; they assist in advancing GEL, as well as with the planning and delivery of exercises for the Engineering Leadership Labs. The GEL2 cohort makes up a unique student-led organization within GEL.

Required Courses

GEL Core Courses:  Approved Alternate Courses:

6.911/16.650 - Engineering Leadership Lab (For GEL1s)


6.913/16.667 - Engineering Leadership Lab (For GEL2s)


6.912/16.651 - Engineering Leadership


2.723/6.902/16.662 - Engineering Innovation and Design

Either 2.722J or 2.729J

6.14/16.669-Project Engineering

Advanced Engineering Leadership Elective*

Explore one of the following approved leadership topics in greater depth: 

10.01 (1.082, 2.900, 6.904, and 22.014) Ethics for Engineers
10.806 (2.96, 6.930, and 16.653) Management in Engineering
11.011 The Art and Science of Negotiation
15.301 Managerial Psychology Lab
15.310 Managerial Psychology
15.320 Strategic Organization Design
15.665 Power and Negotiation 
15.668 People and Organizations
21G.019 Communicating Across Cultures
WGS.150 Gender, Power, Leadership, and the Workplace

*Students can take any one of the listed and approved advanced leadership electives to satisfy the GEL2 Program requirements. 

Optional Leadership Courses for GEL 1 Students

GEL 1 students who are interested in further enhancing their understanding of leadership are encouraged to consider taking one of the advanced electives listed above, regardless of their plans to apply and advance to the GEL Year-Two Program.


Capabilities of Effective Engineering Leaders

GEL's foundational white paper, the Capabilities of Effective Engineering Leaders, is the guiding document upon which the GEL curriculum is built. The Capabilities document builds upon the Four Capabilities leadership model, developed at the MIT Sloan School of Management, with input from leaders in engineering industry, academia, and government.   

The Capabilities include the following headings: attitudes of leadership: core values and character, the skills of leadership, relating, making sense of context, visioning, and realizing the vision; and the knowledge of engineering, science and technology.