About GEL Year Two

In GEL2, students continue developing as leaders while also working closely in a student-led organization and collaborating with instructional staff to plan and deliver activities to GEL1s. In the summer before GEL2 year, students complete an InternshipPlus while participating in structured reflection on leadership capabilities. During GEL2, students complete two short courses in which they learn about tools for project management as well as the challenges of managing people.

GEL2s take a very different role in their second year in the ELLs; some may lead a team of GEL1s, observing and offering feedback, while others hold positions in the student leadership organization. The reflection experiences that began in the GEL1 year continue, culminating with a final presentation regarding development in the Capabilities of Effective Engineering Leaders. Participating in mentorship is highly recommended, and specially selected mentors help prepare GEL2s to transition into fruitful careers in industry. 

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.

Requirement Description Class Time Units/Credit

InternshipPlus or Impactship

Students secure an internship and work to maximize their experience, perhaps seeking additional responsibilities or taking on a special project. Required during summer before GEL2 Year

6.9130: Engineering Leadership Lab (ELL)


Exposes students to leadership frameworks, models and cases within an engineering context, in an interactive, practice-based environment. Hones leadership, teamwork and communication skills. Students participate in guided reflections on individual and team successes, and discover opportunities for improvement in controlled settings. Activities include design-implement activities, role-plays, simulations, small group discussions, and performance and peer assessments by and of other students. (Both semesters) 2 hours per week

(GEL2s are required to meet, as needed, outside of lab)

12 units (6 per semester)
GEL2s seek out and interview a senior engineering leader from industry, capturing lessons learned in a written report.  Component of 6.913 (Either Fall or Spring semester)
This assignment is designed to increase familiarity with the Capabilities of Effective Engineering Leaders and encourage reflection regarding personal and professional development. Students rate their competency level for each capability. Component of 6.913 (Both Fall and Spring semester)
GEL2s present on their development and progress regarding the Capabilities of Effective Engineering Leaders. Component of 6.913 (Spring semester)

6.9140: Project Engineering 


Provides an introduction to basic principles, methods, and tools for project management in a realistic context. Over remainder of term, progresses to an introduction to project management, with emphasis on finance, evaluation, and organization. (IAP)
4-day off-site class 6 units

Leadership Elective


Explore one of the several approved leadership topics in greater depth:*
6.9270 Negotiation and Influence Skills for Technical Leaders


Multi-Stakeholder Negotiation for Technical Leaders
6.9320 Ethics for Engineers
9.00 Introduction to Psychological Science
11.011 The Art and Science of Negotiation
15.301/15.310 People, Teams, and Organizations (with or without lab)
15.320 Strategic Organization Design
15.388 Venture Creation Tactics
15.665 Power and Negotiation
15.873 or 15.8731

System Dynamics for Business and Policy

24.131 Ethics of Technology

24.134 (6-unit version)

Experiential Ethics 

*If you are completing the HASS concentration in Ethics, you may be elgible for credit toward the GEL 2 Leadership Elective. Please inquire with GEL Staff about this credit.

**Graduate-level course with limited space - enrollment priority given to graduate students.

See course catalog 6-12 units
Mentorship GEL2s have the option to be paired with mentor who is a mid/senior engineering leader in industry.  Recommended/Optional

Goals of the GEL2 year:

  • Continue challenging students to become better engineering leaders by immersing them in the practical application of the Capabilities of Effective Engineering Leaders.
  • Continue encouraging the development of self-efficacy through experiential learning and leadership.
  • Practice project engineering, organizational development, negotiation, conflict resolution, peer leadership, and other critical team-oriented skills.
  • Offer students the opportunity to participate in an organization where they have the potential to influence and enact change.
  • Build skills in evaluating peers candidly, responding constructively to feedback, and utilizing personal reflection for growth.
  • Sharpen students’ advanced communication and presentation skills.