Graduate Programs and Degrees
Graduate programs leading to both the M.S. and PhD degrees in Industrial Engineering are tailored to meet the needs of the individual. Each student's course of study is based on his or her background, career objectives, and sound academic practice. The curriculum is highly flexible; the goal is academic excellence.
MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE
Students from U.S. universities may be admitted from an ABET accredited baccalaureate curricula in any engineering discipline or the mathematical, physical, or computer science disciplines with a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.00 (based on 4.00) and/or an acceptable score on the Graduate Record Examination (minimum score of 650 Q and 4.5 W). Mathematical background should be essentially equivalent to that of a B.S. in engineering.
Applicants from non-U.S. institutions must meet equivalent conditions for consideration for regular admission. Students with lesser qualifications may be considered for conditional admission. Students from business or social science programs with mathematical preparation similar to the engineering student are considered for either regular or conditional admission. The student on conditional status must achieve regular status within two sessions of initial registration by attaining an acceptable grade point average and/or other specified conditions or be dismissed. Available resources may limit admission.
Entering students need strong verbal and written skills in the English language and a background in computer programming, (e.g., C++, C, VB), probability, statistics, and mathematics equivalent to that required in an accredited undergraduate engineering program. Other background requirements are helpful depending upon the emphasis of the individual's program of study. Students with insufficient background are expected to take additional courses beyond those normally required in a plan of study.
M.S. Thesis and Non-Thesis Programs
Two M.S. programs are available: a thesis and a non-thesis option. Students considering eventual admission to a PhD program are strongly advised to select the thesis option. Those students receiving research or teaching assistantship support may be required to take the thesis option.
The M.S. thesis option requires a minimum of 30 semester credits of coursework in 3000 or higher level courses, including a maximum of six semester credit hours of research. The M.S. non-thesis option requires a minimum of 36 semester credits of course work in 3000 or higher level courses, and cannot include any credit hours of research. Both options require at least 21 graduate-level semester credits in Industrial Engineering, including research credits. All graduate students must register for IE:5000 (56:191), Industrial Engineering Graduate Seminar, each semester in which they are enrolled in the university. Seminar credit of IE:5000 (56:191) does not substitute for regular coursework or research semester credit hours.
All Master degree candidates must take at least nine semester credits at the 6000 level from the Industrial Engineering curriculum. Also, both M.S. options require at least one 3000- or 6000-level course from each of three focus areas: Human Factors, Operations Research, and Reliability and Systems Design. The courses in each focus area are shown here. Beyond these specific distribution requirements, the other courses should be selected with consultation with his or her advisor and documented in the student's plan of study. If a student's degree objectives change, a new plan of study must be drafted and agreed upon by the student and advisor. M.S. thesis applicants who wish to pursue a PhD degree at The University of Iowa may wish to select two 6000-level courses in each of the focus areas to complete their PhD breadth requirement before entering the PhD program.
In addition to the Industrial Engineering Graduate Program supported by the standard Industrial Engineering Curriculum, a Graduate Program in Wind Power Management is offered based on the Emerging Area Curriculum.
Procedures for M.S. Students
Advising and Plan of Study
Advising The MIE Department Chair or a faculty advisor designate provides entry advising. The MIE Department Chair or Graduate Program Coordinator will assign an advisor during the first regular semester of the student's residence.
Plan of Study The student and the advisor will prepare a plan of study during the semester of assignment of a regular advisor and will submit that plan to the Director of Graduate Study for approval. The Graduate Plan of Study form is available here. It is the student's responsibility to assure that a plan of study is submitted/updated at the beginning of each academic year. When approved, the plan of study will be filed with the student's record. At the beginning of each academic year, the plan of study and students progress will be reviewed by the IE faculty, and students will be given feedback regarding their progress towards their degree objective.
To be eligible for the M.S. degree, the student is required to maintain a grade point average of 3.00 (based on 4.00) on all graduate course work at The University of Iowa and to pass a final comprehensive examination as specified by the student's Examining Committee.
The Examining Committee shall consist of at least three members of the Graduate College faculty. The examination may be composed of both oral and written parts. The purpose of this examination is to assess the adequacy of the student's defense of thesis and/or course preparation. The final plan of study, approved by the Dean of the Graduate College, is a prerequisite to this examination. It is the responsibility of the student to submit an application for degree to the Graduate College by the College deadline. The student should consult with his or her advisor on the composition of the Examining Committee, and the time and place for the examination.
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY DEGREE
Students from U.S. universities may be admitted from an ABET accredited program in any engineering discipline or curricula from mathematical, physical, or computer sciences with a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.25 (based on 4.00) and/or an acceptable score on the Graduate Record Examination (minimum score of 650 Q and 4.5 W). Those from outside the U.S. must have an equivalent basis as determined by this University.
Reference letters, student research interests, previous graduate study grade point average, and other factors such as faculty availability will be considered in making the admission decision. Students may also be admitted from business or social science programs as determined on an individual basis.
Students with a PhD objective who enter with only a B.S. degree are typically first admitted to the M.S. Thesis Program. Other students with a PhD objective who enter with a higher degree but without evidence of independent research capability (e.g., a thesis) may also be admitted to a M.S. Thesis Program to first complete that requirement. An accepted thesis becomes credited as meeting part of the PhD requirements.
PhD Program Requirements
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree is given upon demonstration by the student of comprehensive knowledge and scholarly work at the highest level. A series of written and oral examinations is required, as well as written dissertation based upon the results of the original investigation. The PhD degree recognizes a broad academic background with considerable depth in at least one area of specialization and that clearly demonstrates the capability of the student to do high level research. Students without an Industrial Engineering (or closely allied area) M.S. degree will be expected to satisfy the requirements for the M.S. degree in Industrial Engineering prior to being admitted to the PhD program.
The main requirements for the PhD degree in Industrial Engineering are as follows (these requirements are in addition to those of the Graduate College):
- General Course Work. The graduate work towards a PhD must include at least two semesters of residence and include a minimum of 72 hours of total graduate study including research for the dissertation. Graduate studies towards a M.S. degree are included in the minimum requirements, with a maximum of 36 hours transferred in from a M.S. program in Industrial Engineering (or closely allied area) at a recognized institution. A minimum grade point average of 3.25 (based on 4.00) is required on all graduate work taken at The University of Iowa.
- IE Breadth Requirement. Each PhD student must pass at least two 6000 level IE formal courses in each of three focus areas: Human Factors, Operations Research, and Reliability and Systems Design. Continuing M.S. students may already satisfy this requirement in full or in part.
- Qualifying Exam. Each student has to satisfy the Qualifying Exam in two of the three focus areas. The requirement can be satisfied for a focus area by:
- Passing a written Qualifying Exam in that focus area. The Qualifying Exam will be held in the first week of the Fall semester each year, or by
- Achieving a grade of A- or better in each of two 6000 level IE formal courses in that focus area.
- Focus Area Study. The student will then take at least two further 6000 level formal IE courses in one or two focus areas.
- Comprehensive Examination. The student will then have to demonstrate their capability for creative individual research achievement by completing and defending his or her dissertation research proposal in a Comprehensive Examination conducted by an Examining Committee consisting of at least 5 members of the Graduate College faculty, with at least three faculty who are predominately IE faculty, one from outside of the Department and with a chair or co-chair of the Examining Committee who is a predominately IE faculty. This examination will only be scheduled after the Qualifying Examination requirement has been satisfied. The Examining Committee shall determine if the student is ready to commence the dissertation research at the current state of preparation. Having satisfactorily completed this examination, the student is accepted as a candidate for the PhD degree.
- Final Examination. The student then has to complete and defend his or her dissertation in a final examination conducted by the Examining Committee, with a composition as described in the section on the Comprehensive Examination.
Procedures for Ph.D. Students
Advising and Plan of Study
Advising The MIE Department Chair or a faculty advisor designate provides entry advising. The MIE Department Chair or Graduate Program Coordinator will assign an advisor during the first regular semester of the student's residence. Students are expected to identify an IE faculty member willing to serve as their advisor by the end of the first regular semester of their enrollment.
Plans of Study The student and the advisor will prepare a plan of study during the semester of assignment of a regular advisor and will submit that plan to the Director of Graduate Study for approval. The Graduate Plan of Study form is available here. It is the student's responsibility to assure that a plan of study is submitted/updated at the beginning of each academic year. When approved, the plan of study will be filed with the student's record. At the beginning of each academic year, the plan of study and students progress will be reviewed by the IE faculty, and students will be given feedback regarding their progress towards their degree objective.
Requirements for Admission to PhD Degree Candidacy
There are three principal requirements for admission to PhD degree candidacy in addition to those of the Graduate College. The first is a minimum grade point average of 3.25 (based on 4.00) on all graduate work taken at The University of Iowa. A second requirement is an adequate demonstration of the capability for creative individual research achievement (typically a dissertation research proposal). The third requirement is successful completion of a comprehensive examination given by the Examining Committee. This examination will be scheduled with the approval of his or her advisor and the Chair of the IE Program or the Graduate Coordinator when the plan of study is essentially completed. The Examining Committee shall determine the composition of this examination, including both written and oral parts, and shall determine if the student is ready to commence the dissertation research at the current state of preparation.
Publication Expectations for PhD Dissertation Research
An integral part of the PhD process is publication in peer reviewed journals. To support this aim, each candidate should work with his or her advisor to prepare a publication plan after the first semester and update this plan regularly. The publication plan should contain the title of each paper, a brief summary of each paper, a description of how each paper relates to the PhD dissertation, the expected completion date, and the journals to which the papers will be submitted.
A candidate is expected to work with his or her advisor to submit at least one paper to reputable peer-reviewed Engineering journals before the dissertation research proposal defense. These papers should form an integral part of the dissertation research proposal. A candidate should submit the papers and evidence of submission to members of the Examining Committee prior to the dissertation research proposal defense. A candidate is also encouraged to provide copies of all reviews received and communications from the editors of the journals.
At the time of the Final Examination of the PhD program, the candidate should have submitted at least 3 papers to reputable peer-reviewed journals, with the goal that at least one of these papers should be accepted for publication. These papers should form an integral part of the dissertation research. The candidate should submit the papers and evidence of submission to members of the committee prior to the Final Examination. The candidate is encouraged to provide copies of reviews received and communications from the editors of the journals.
The quality of the papers is paramount in demonstrating satisfactory publication progress and the number of papers submitted and/or accepted is a secondary consideration. The number and timing of publications are expectations and the Committee may take other factors, such as unusual time delays in journal review processes, paper quality, and journal quality into account. However, it is the responsibility of each candidate to demonstrate overall compliance with these expectations.
To ensure that the student complies with these expectations, the Industrial Engineering faculty will review progress of each candidate at the beginning of each semester.