Leaders for Global Operations

The Leaders for Global Operations (MIT LGO) program is a partnership between the Sloan School of Management and the School of Engineering. The MIT LGO program aims to develop knowledge that intersects engineering and management while educating future leaders who will address high-tech problems and challenging operations in areas such as analytics, manufacturing, energy, high-tech, pharmaceutical, and global supply chain industries. This two-year curriculum results in a dual degree, with an MBA (or a Master of Science in Management, the requirements are the same) and a master of science in one of seven engineering departments.

Students are admitted to a participating department in the School of Engineering or the Operations Research program during the admissions process. Participating departments include Aeronautics and Astronautics, Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Nuclear Science and Engineering, and Operations Research. Admission is based on the student’s academic background, professional interests, and research goals. Approximately 45–55 students are enrolled in each entering class, which convenes on MIT’s campus in the summer for a 12-week intensive session covering both management and engineering. Students then join an MBA core team in their first fall semester and take one semester of core MBA classes with their team and one to two engineering electives. For the MBA, up to three elective courses can be taken in any MIT or Harvard offering outside of Sloan’s management courses. In subsequent semesters (except for the on-site internship), LGO students take a combination of MBA and engineering electives chosen in consultation with the academic advisor, including one focused on design.

In addition to academic coursework, every LGO student conducts a six-month industry-based research project (domestic or international) that focuses on unique research in operations, product development, manufacturing, and other high-tech problems across multiple industries. Internship research is the foundation of the student's dual-degree master’s-level thesis. Multiple internship prep sessions must be completed to confirm the LGO internship timeline, academic expectations, and other preparatory areas. LGO students are considered full-time students while on internship when enrolled for a minimum of 21 units, and are considered full-time with a minimum enrollment of 27 units all other semesters.

After the student is matched with an internship, they meet with departmental academic representatives to identify and discuss faculty advisors. Two advisors are required: one from the Sloan School of Management and one from the student’s engineering department. Upon beginning an internship, the student should set up conversations with their faculty advisors and their company supervisor to begin discussing project content details and finalize the scope of their project. These faculty advisors support the entire internship onsite and set academic expectations to align with the internship content with the student’s thesis. Students and thesis advisors are expected to confer regularly on student progress.

Students will present mid-way internship project findings to the LGO community with a formal presentation, including Q&A, at Midstream Review events. The preparation and stakeholder approval of the presentation act as a progress check on the internship objectives and enable feedback for the final internship work from faculty, program office, peers and the broader LGO industry partners.

Students present final internship and thesis findings at the one-day Knowledge Review late in their final semester of enrollment. While this is not a formal thesis defense, it is the forum where LGO thesis research is shared with the wider community. For the Knowledge Review, LGO students present their learning and provide a Use Case Summary document highlighting key components of the project and thesis impact.

Toward the end of their on-site time, a thesis proposal is submitted for review, and a first full draft of the thesis is submitted to LGO and the host company approximately three months after an internship ends. The LGO thesis (due before graduation in May) fulfills thesis requirements for the master of science in an engineering specialty and the MBA or SM in management. Upon successful completion of the program and acceptance of the thesis, the student is awarded is awarded the MBA or SM in management and the SM in the respective engineering or operations research program.