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Is an Online Industrial Engineering Degree right for me?

Industrial engineers work in every sector, as their work is in demand in every type of company. Students enrolled in industrial engineering programs learn business management subjects. The curriculum focuses on processes to improve production efficiency and reduce costs. Also, industrial engineering programs provide students with the foundations for working with big data.

Students who have yet to take an online course will need to get acquainted with the delivery method and format of distance education. Most online programs offer a combination of web-based videos, assignments, and discussion forums. Some courses may also include synchronous online lectures. Online students generally learn from the same faculty as on-campus students. Students are encouraged to participate in online discussion forums to enhance their understanding and learning.

While an online program offers flexibility to learn at your own pace, students must also maintain some form of accountability to ensure they complete coursework in time and derive maximum benefits from an online program. Those who succeed in this environment are typically self-motivated and self-starting learners.

List of Online Industrial Engineering Degree Programs

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DEGREE :
School City State Website Undergrad Graduate Grads
Clemson University

Clemson

SC www.clemson.edu 407
Texas A & M University-College Station

College Station

TX www.tamu.edu 373
Purdue University-Main Campus

West Lafayette

IN www.purdue.edu 337
The University of Texas at Arlington

Arlington

TX www.uta.edu 216
Auburn University

Auburn

AL www.auburn.edu 186
University of Central Florida

Orlando

FL www.ucf.edu 180
Iowa State University

Ames

IA www.iastate.edu 161
University at Buffalo

Buffalo

NY www.buffalo.edu 155
North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Raleigh

NC www.ncsu.edu 152
Lehigh University

Bethlehem

PA www.lehigh.edu 133
University of Southern California

Los Angeles

CA www.usc.edu 122
Columbia University in the City of New York

New York

NY www.columbia.edu 117
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign

IL www.illinois.edu 116
Oklahoma State University-Main Campus

Stillwater

OK www.okstate.edu 115
Texas Tech University

Lubbock

TX www.ttu.edu 103
New Mexico State University-Main Campus

Las Cruces

NM www.nmsu.edu 95
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Knoxville

TN www.utk.edu 87
Florida International University

Miami

FL www.fiu.edu 84
Kansas State University

Manhattan

KS www.k-state.edu 83
Oregon State University

Corvallis

OR oregonstate.edu 83
Texas A & M University-Kingsville

Kingsville

TX www.tamuk.edu 79
University of Michigan-Dearborn

Dearborn

MI umdearborn.edu 70
New Jersey Institute of Technology

Newark

NJ www.njit.edu 65
New York University

New York

NY www.nyu.edu 61
Mississippi State University

Mississippi State

MS www.msstate.edu 59
Florida State University

Tallahassee

FL www.fsu.edu 53
University of Central Missouri

Warrensburg

MO www.ucmo.edu 45
Lawrence Technological University

Southfield

MI www.ltu.edu 36
Indiana Institute of Technology-College of Professions Studies

Fort Wayne

IN cps.indianatech.edu 31
University of Arizona

Tucson

AZ www.arizona.edu 30
Lamar University

Beaumont

TX www.lamar.edu 18
Fort Hays State University

Hays

KS www.fhsu.edu 9
Arizona State University-Skysong

Scottsdale

AZ www.asu.edu 8
George Washington University

Washington

DC www.gwu.edu 1

Admissions Requirements for Online Industrial Engineering Degree Programs

While admissions materials for online programs vary by university, they generally are similar to their on-campus counterparts. Here’s a short list of typical admissions requirements for online schools in industrial engineering:

  • Online application(s) and fee (some master’s programs require separate applications to the graduate school and the engineering department)
  • Official transcripts from highest degree achieved (e.g., high school diploma, bachelor’s degree)
  • Proof of prerequisite classes (e.g., calculus, geometry, physics, biology, chemistry)
  • Competitive GPA (e.g., >2.5 for bachelor’s level, >3.0 for master’s level)
  • Test scores (SAT/ACT for bachelor’s degree programs; GRE for master’s programs; TOEFL for ESL students)
  • Personal statement (500-600 words)
  • Letters of recommendation from teachers, managers, employers, or others
  • Resume or CV (typically graduate-level programs only)

Some programs have additional requirements, including candidate interviews or proof of publication.

Industrial Engineering Program Accreditation

Before applying to an online industrial engineering program, aspiring students are encouraged to verify their school’s or program’s accreditation status. In general, accreditation is a proxy for quality since this voluntary process weighs factors such as student outcomes, facilities, faculty, curricular standards, finance administration, and other relevant variables.

Many organizations offer accreditation, but they aren’t all created equal. The predominant approval entities for online industrial engineering programs include the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET); notably, the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers assists schools with upcoming ABET evaluations. Other entities of note include organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education’s Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), such as:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Industrial Engineering Curriculum & Specialization

In undergraduate programs in industrial engineering, typical courses include calculus, chemistry, linear algebra, materials, engineering economics, economic analysis, design production, physics, engineering and communication, operations research, quality assurance, engineering statistics, work analysis, and facilities planning. Undergraduate students may be required to take several other, non-engineering-related electives to fulfill breadth requirements.

Graduate students, by contrast, take more advanced coursework in areas including systems engineering, project risk management, operations management, product development, the legal aspects of engineering management, strategic planning, lean manufacturing systems engineering, professional responsibility and ethics, simulation modeling & analysis, cost estimation, large-scale optimization, and other topics. They also may be required to write a thesis or dissertation.

Finally, students within graduate-level industrial engineering programs may also have the option to pursue a specialty such as human factors, operations research, manufacturing, financial engineering, healthcare engineering, or other areas.

1Arizona State University

Arizona State University offers an online master of science (MS) in an industrial engineering program that prepares students to understand, analyze, and ultimately solve problems within large organizations. The program's faculty includes renowned professionals who consistently receive awards for research and teaching excellence. The U.S. News & World Report ranks this program among the top 50 programs in the nation.

This 30-credit program includes courses such as web-enabled decision support systems; information systems engineering; simulating stochastic systems; production systems; design engineering experiments; regression analysis; reliability engineering; applied deterministic operations research; and applied stochastic operations research models.

Applicants to the program must have a bachelor's or master's degree in software engineering, computer engineering, or a related field from an accredited institution and a minimum grade point average of 3.0. They must submit a completed graduate admission application, official transcripts, a statement of purpose, GRE scores (waivers available), letters of recommendation, and proof of English language proficiency (for applicants with English as a second language).

Graduates of the program have career opportunities in areas such as electronic and computer product manufacturing, engineering services, aerospace product manufacturing, machinery manufacturing, and motor vehicle parts manufacturing.

  • Location: Tempe, AZ
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 7.5 to 15 weeks per class (two years total)
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,021 per credit

2Purdue University

Purdue University offers an online master of industrial engineering (MSIE) program, ranked first by U.S. News & World Report among online industrial engineering master's programs. Students can earn an MS in industrial engineering or an interdisciplinary MS in engineering (MSE/MS) with a concentration in industrial engineering.

For admission to the program, students must hold an undergraduate degree, and submit a completed online application, a statement of purpose, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, an official GRE, a current resume, and TOEFL scores for international students.

The program comprises 30 credits and includes courses such as an introduction to systems engineering; lean manufacturing; design of experiments; economic decisions in engineering; stochastic models in operations research; systems simulation; linear programming; safety engineering; and advanced facilities design.

  • Location: West Lafayette, IN
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 to 18 months
  • Estimated Tuition: Residents ($1,139 per credit); non-residents ($1,459 per credit)

3Oregon State University

At Oregon State University in Corvallis, professionals with a background in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics may pursue a distance-based master’s degree (MEng) in industrial engineering with a focus on engineering management. This master's degree program combines financial, management, and business knowledge with engineering-specific skills necessary to lead organizations effectively. This program is offered completely online and taught by renowned faculty members known for their expertise, innovation, and research.

The program includes 45 credits of instruction in areas such as project management in engineering; operations management; advanced engineering economic analysis; systems engineering; the legal aspects of engineering and engineering management; project risk management; management of information systems; and strategic planning, among others.

Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree in any of the STEM fields, GRE scores (only required if the bachelor's degree is not from an ABET-accredited institution), a statement of your professional objectives, letters of reference, and undergraduate transcripts.

Upon graduation, students in this online program receive the same degree as the on-campus students. Graduates of the program can move into management and leadership roles. They develop management skills focused on engineering, soft skills for successfully leading teams, and the credibility for influencing executive decision-makers.

  • Location: Corvallis, OR
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $619 per credit

4The University Of Arizona

Students can pursue an online master of science (MS) degree in industrial engineering at the University of Arizona of Tucson. This program offers an in-depth exploration of traffic modeling, computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM), and automation. The program helps students develop the skills they need to optimize manufacturing operations and supervise high-tech production processes. This industrial engineering master’s degree program offers various study paths to students, so they can choose an option that best supports their professional goals.

This 30- to 33-credit curriculum involves three required courses: engineering statistics; fundamentals of optimization; and survey of optimization. Students can complete the remaining credits through a project, a thesis, or through the coursework option. Classes include quality engineering; reliability engineering; distributed multi-paradigm simulation systems; transportation systems; large-scale optimization; and nonlinear optimization, among other subjects.

The major admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related discipline from an accredited university, a minimum grade point average of 3.0, a completed online application, three letters of recommendation, unofficial transcripts, a current resume, a statement of intent, and English proficiency requirements for international students.

  • Location: Tucson, AZ
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 18 to 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,149 per credit

5North Carolina State University

At the North Carolina State University in Raleigh, students may pursue an online master’s degree in industrial engineering, which does not require any on-campus residency. This program is ideal for practitioner-oriented professionals seeking graduate-level knowledge in this field. This program also doesn't have any final oral examination or thesis requirements.

To be eligible for the program, students must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related discipline from an accredited university or college, a minimum grade point average of 3.0, GRE, three letters of recommendation, and TOEFL or IELTS scores (for international applicants only).

This 33-credit degree includes instruction in six broad-based areas: economic and decision analysis; human factors and ergonomics; manufacturing; production systems; systems analysis and optimization; and computer science, math, and statistics. The courses include applied engineering economy; human factors in systems design; manufacturing process engineering; automated systems engineering; quality engineering; linear programming; and computer networks.

Graduates of the program are prepared for a wide variety of positions, such as advanced manufacturing engineers, industrial engineers, industrial quality or plant engineers, manufacturing engineers, manufacturing process engineers, packaging designers, process industrial engineers, and many more.

  • Location: Raleigh, NC
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 to 18 months
  • Estimated Tuition: North Carolina residents ($505.28 per credit); non-residents ($1,572.28 per credit)

6University of Southern California

Through the University of Southern California, students can pursue an online master of science degree in industrial and systems (MSISE) engineering. This program enhances the technical capabilities of industrial engineers. This MS program is ideal for students wanting to become technical leaders in the field of industrial and systems engineering.

Applicants to the program are expected to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in any engineering or engineering-related discipline, electronic transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, a current resume, personal statement, three letters of recommendation, TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students whose first language is not English.

Courses in the 30-credit ISE program include advanced production planning and scheduling; engineering project management; inventory systems; enterprise-wide information systems; linear programming and extensions; design of experiments; and performance analysis with simulation.

Graduates of the program have access to a vast array of career opportunities in areas such as aerospace, defense, healthcare, automotive, systems engineering, telecommunications, supply chain, manufacturing, and information technology.

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Full-time enrollment (18 to 24 months); part-time enrollment (30 to 36 months)
  • Estimated Tuition: $2,309 per credit

7Columbia University

Columbia University allows students to pursue an online master of science (MS) degree in industrial engineering or a certificate in the same field. This online master's degree focuses on how complex engineering projects should be managed, designed, and operated.

To get accepted into the program, applicants must have a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field from an accredited academic institution, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, transcripts, a current resume, a personal-professional statement, and TOEFL/ or IELTS scores for students whose native language is not English.

Classes in this 30-credit distance-based MS program include applied systems engineering; optimization models and methods; probability and statistics; systems engineering: tools and methods; stochastic models, as well as electives in infrastructure and sustainability; mechanical, electrical, and computer systems; biological systems; and management.

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 to 18 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $2,362 per credit

8New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University offers a 100 percent online master of science in an industrial engineering program, providing students with the techniques, tools, and skills to work in various organizational settings. The program is ideal for students inclined to problem-solve, work with multidisciplinary teams, and deal with the many aspects of industrial engineering.

For admission to the program, students must hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering from an accredited college or university, a statement of intent, and other requirements stated by the graduate school.

Consisting of 30 credits, the program includes courses such as stochastic processes modeling; queuing systems; systems synthesis & design; evaluation of engineering data; facilities planning and design; advanced engineering economy; and large-scale systems engineering.

Students develop a strong foundational understanding of industrial engineering methodologies and tools, as well as systems' design, installation, and improvement. They will also develop soft skills such as teamwork, writing, communication, problem-solving, and thinking laterally.

Graduates can take up roles such as quality control systems managers, geothermal production managers, wind energy engineers, nanosystems engineers, and biofuels production managers.

  • Location: Las Cruces, NM
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $444.40 per credit

9University of Michigan

The University of Michigan offers an online master’s degree (MSE) in industrial and systems engineering designed for engineers and related professionals who design, install, improve, and evaluate complex integrated systems. The program offers concentrations such as human factors and ergonomics, operations research and management science, quality systems design, manufacturing & automation, information systems, and program management and product development.

The program comprises 30 credits, out of which nine credit credits are for required courses such as design and analysis of experiments; human factors and ergonomics; and production and operations engineering. Students can then complete 12 credits from their chosen concentration.

Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree in engineering, physical science, computer science, or applied mathematics, a course in probability and statistics, a course in operations research, two official transcripts, and two letters of recommendation. GRE scores are not required for admission.

Students will develop knowledge and skills to help them design, manage, and install large integrated engineering systems.

  • Location: Dearborn, MI
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 to 18 months
  • Estimated Tuition: Michigan resident ($870 per credit); non-resident ($1,546 per credit); Non-resident in the online program ($1,087 per credit)

10Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology’s H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering offers an online master of science in industrial engineering program providing a graduate-level introduction to the broad field of industrial engineering. Students in this program study under faculty members who actively engage in research, teaching students about the latest developments in industrial engineering.

The major admission requirements include an undergraduate bachelor of science degree or the equivalent, GRE scores, official transcripts, a document of lawful presence, personal statements, a professional resume, and three references. International applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

The program comprises 30 credits. The coursework explores topics such as manufacturing systems; regression analysis; transportation & supply chain systems; statistical methods; simulation; warehousing systems, probabilistic models and their applications; linear optimization; and computational statistics.

  • Location: Atlanta, GA
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 to 18 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,100 per credit

11Louisiana State University

Louisiana State University offers an online master of science program in industrial engineering, preparing students to enter the workforce in multiple fields beyond manufacturing, such as IT, energy, healthcare, analytics, transportation, and banking. Students in this program will gain the required knowledge and skills in problem-solving and identification through data collection, data analysis, and experiment design, and gain a broad knowledge base in industrial engineering as a whole.

This program is specifically ideal for professionals who wish to take on leadership roles and help organizations manage innovation and implement cutting-edge change initiatives needed to cut costs and improve operations.

Admission requirements to the program include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with a GPA of 3.0, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a professional resume, and a personal statement. GRE scores are not required for admission.

Consisting of 36 credits, the program includes courses such as project management; advanced engineering statistics; applied occupational ergonomics; safety engineering; systems engineering in healthcare; human integration with computers; queueing models and applications; and supply chain & logistics systems, among others.

Graduates of the program will be ready for positions such as industrial engineers, management analysts, industrial production managers, industrial engineering managers, human factors engineers, supply chain and logistics managers, and logisticians.

  • Location: Baton Rouge, LA
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $750 per credit

12Pennsylvania State University

In partnership with the Penn State College of Engineering, Penn State World Campus offers a 30-credit online master of engineering program in industrial engineering, preparing students to optimize complex engineering processes and systems to improve quality, safety, and efficiency while reducing cost and waste. Graduates of this program will be provided with an understanding of human factors and ergonomics, operations research, supply chain, service engineering, and manufacturing.

Applicants to the program must hold a bachelor of science degree in a suitable engineering field from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, a minimum 3.0 GPA, official transcripts from each institution attended, three reference letters, a personal statement, and English language proficiency for international students. Official GRE or GMAT test scores will be considered if submitted, but are NOT required.

The curriculum includes courses such as advanced engineering economy; retail services engineering; human-centered product design and innovation; linear programming; experimental design in engineering; applied stochastic processes; additive manufacturing processes; mechanics of the musculoskeletal system; and engineering of cognitive work, among others.

  • Location: University Park, PA
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion:
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,007 per credit

Influential Industrial Engineering Professors

Dr. Daniel Bienstock, PhD Columbia University

Dr. Daniel Bienstock is a professor at Columbia University’s Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, where he has been working since 1989. His research focuses on high-performance computing and optimization. He received the INFORM Fellows Award, the Presidential Young Investigator Award, and the IBM Faculty Partnership Award.

Dr. Bienstock completed his PhD in operations research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his BA in mathematics at Brandeis University. He has published in respected journals such as Operations Research Letters and the Journal of Computational Finance.

Dr. Javier Calvo-Amodio, PhD Oregon State University

Dr. Javier Calvo-Amodio is an associate professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering at Oregon State University, where he has worked since 2012. Previously a graduate instructor at Texas Tech University, he also served at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Morelia, Mexico as an institutional effectiveness director. His research interests focus on developing a fundamental understanding of integrating systems science into industrial and systems engineering research.

Dr. Calvo-Amodio has published in prominent journals such as the Journal of Cleaner Production, and the International Journal of Engineering Education. He completed his PhD at Texas Tech University, his MSc at the University of Hull, and his BS at Tecnológico de Monterrey.

Dr. Abhijit Deshmukh, PhD Purdue University

Dr. Abhijit Deshmukh is the James J. Solberg department head and a professor of industrial engineering at Purdue University. His areas of interest include manufacturing and operations research, mechanism design, cyberinfrastructure for engineering applications, system complexity, and healthcare policy.

Dr. Deshmukh’s work has been published in influential journals such as the Journal of infrastructure systems and the International Journal of Urban Sciences. He earned his PhD from Purdue University, his MS from the State University of New York, and his BTech from the University of Bombay.

Maged M. Dessouky, PhD University of Southern California

Dr. Maged Dessouky is the dean's professor of industrial and systems engineering within USC’s Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. His research has won funding from the National Science Foundation, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Caltrans, FTA, and the Department of Defense. He’s the recipient of several honors and awards, including the 2007 Transportation Science & Logistics Best Paper Prize, the IIE Operations Research Division Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Alpha Pi Mu/Omega Rho Outstanding Teacher of the Year in Industrial Systems Engineering, among others.

Dr. Dessouky’s research interests include supply chain and logistics, transportation systems, simulation, and operations research applications for large complex systems. He teaches operations research, production, inventory systems, and industrial scheduling courses. He holds his PhD from the University of California and his MS and BS from Purdue University.

Larry Head, PhD University of Arizona

At the University of Arizona, Larry Head is a systems and industrial engineering professor. Professor Head has more than 30 years of industry and academic experience in engineering management, systems engineering, connected and automated vehicle systems, and adaptive traffic signal control and signal priority. His teaching interests include transportation systems, simulation, systems engineering, financial modeling for innovation, engineering management, communications theory, and object-oriented modeling and design.

His research interests include cyber-physical systems, connected and autonomous vehicles, intelligent systems, urban traffic operations, intelligent transportation systems, and transportation modeling. He completed his PhD, MS, and BS at the University of Arizona.

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