Developing Tomorrow's Engineering Leaders

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

"GEL has given me the confidence to take on responsibilities that I never would have thought possible for a young engineer." —Katie Shade '18, Product Manager at Facebook

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. 

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.

*Please Note —Primary subject numbers are shown for each course. Many of GEL's courses are also cross-listed in other School of Engineering Departments, as is shown within the MIT course catalog listing for each course.


  • For details about the GEL 1 course requirements, click here. 
  • For details about the GEL 2 course requirements, click here. 

Note: GEL 1 students interested in furthering their leadership development may also wish to consider taking an Advanced Leadership Elective course (a requirement for GEL 2s). A list of these electives is provided here.

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 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.