Apr 19, 2024  
General Catalog 2014/2015 
General Catalog 2014/2015 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Industrial Engineering, PhD

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The PhD in industrial engineering is designed for students and professionals who wish to pursue academic careers or to achieve advanced standing in the field. The general requirement is a minimum of forty-five semester hours of work beyond the baccalaureate degree, excluding any credits earned for a master’s degree thesis, or a minimum of thirty-three semester hours beyond the master’s degree.

Typically, twelve of the forty-five semester hours will have been satisfied by a student who has earned a master’s degree in industrial engineering, or a closely related field. Of the remaining required hours, nine must be letter-graded course work combined with a minimum of twenty-four additional hours of dissertation research. The course work beyond the master’s consists of: 1) eighteen semester hours of breadth-requirement core courses, and 2) up to six or more semester hours of depth-requirement courses, as determined by the student’s doctoral supervisory committee. Residency and time-for-completion requirements are determined by the student’s university of enrollment. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.4 at all times while enrolled in the program. Doctoral candidates must meet the department publication requirements before the viva voce of their dissertation.


Note: The following standards also pertain to students who wish to pursue a PhD but have not yet obtained their master’s degree. Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Have a baccalaureate or Master’s degree in industrial engineering (or related field) from an accredited college or university, with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and at least 3.4 GPA on master’s degree work;
  2. Have a minimum score of 700 (155 in the new scale) on the Quantitative portion and 450 (150 in the new scale) on the Verbal portion of the GRE;
    Note: Effective August 2011, the GRE Revised General Test replaced the GRE General Test. To learn more about this new test, go to http://www.ets.org/gre.
  3. Have a minimum score of 80 (580 paper based) on the TOEFL iBT(international students only);
  4. Three letters of recommendation, addressed to the Director of Graduate Studies, assessing the applicant’s potential to do graduate work;
  5. A statement of professional goals.

Core Courses for PhD Students

All PhD students are required to take the following courses as soon as possible after their admission to the PhD program. These courses provide students with a common, solid background in mathematics, statistics, and industrial engineering.

During the first calendar year of the PhD program, students must select a single course from each of the Mathematics and Computational course groups, and must earn a grade of “B” or higher. Students who do not satisfy this requirement may be dismissed from the program.

Mathematics Course Group

Computational Course Group


Core courses cannot be taken on a pass/fail (S/U) basis.

Preliminary Examination

Following completion of a major portion of the coursework as defined in the degree plan, and upon certification of the doctoral supervisory committee that the student has 1) maintained a minimum 3.4 GPA and 2) progressed sufficiently in the study of industrial engineering and its research tools to begin independent research in the area of the proposed dissertation, the student is ready to take the preliminary examination.

The purpose of the preliminary examination is to test the adequacy of a student’s background related to the student’s area of concentration, and to determine if the student is adequately prepared to formulate and undertake acceptable dissertation research. The procedures are available from the department.


After completion of the preliminary examination, the student is admitted to formal candidacy for the PhD. After a period of preliminary research as determined by the doctoral committee, a research proposal must be successfully presented to the committee by the doctoral candidate. A doctoral dissertation then must be completed on a topic approved by the candidate’s doctoral supervisory committee. To be acceptable, it must be an achievement in original research constituting a significant contribution to knowledge and represent a substantial scholarly effort on the part of the student. The doctoral supervisory committee, department chairperson, and such other members of the faculty as appointed by the academic dean or specified by university regulations will conduct the examination. Publication of the dissertation shall conform to the regulations of the university in which the student is registered.

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