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General Industrial Engineering

The Industrial Engineering (IE) Track is designed to provide flexibility for students to tailor their graduate program to fit their individual educational objectives. This is the newest track in the ISE Department. A short list of required courses is supplemented by wide latitude in the selection of elective courses to complete the IE degree requirements. This allows the student to pursue a broad path, or to pursue a very narrow path in a particular area of study or with a particular faculty member. 

This track is available only at the Blacksburg campus.

There are two master’s degree programs in the general track:  the M.Eng and M.S. The curricula in each case include required courses in ISE and technical elective courses.  The elective courses are of two types: 1) ISE electives and 2) general technical electives. Both the set of ISE electives and the set of general electives will be specifically determined by the student in direct consultation with his or her advisor and committee. A graduate advisory committee may require a student to take more course credits than the minimum specified here.  The student should consult the graduate catalog to determine pre-requisites for any courses specified.  Students without a sufficient mathematics and engineering background will be required to take preparatory coursework in these areas that will not count for graduate credit.

The ISE departmental requirements for submitting the plan of study for approval are described in the Policies and Requirements page and in the ISE Graduate Manual - students should review these requirements carefully. The plan of study is developed in conjunction with the student’s advisor and is approved by the student's committee and the ISE Graduate Program Director.

The master’s degree programs consist of at least 30 credit hours and include core, required courses, ISE electives, and general technical electives.  In addition, some students, particularly those holding a non-engineering B.S. or non-technical B.A. degrees, should be prepared to take preparatory courses, if necessary, that are not counted for graduate credit.

Option #1  - Available only to students enrolled prior to Spring 2018.
(This option will be phased out at the end of fall 2017. Any students enrolled fall 2017 or earlier may choose this option or may choose to follow option # 2 below.) 

Minimum credit hours for the two IE Track degree tracks are distributed as follows:

Minimum credit hours for IE Track degrees

  M.Eng      M.S.
IE Track core courses 9 9
ISE elective courses  15 9
General technical elective courses 6 6
Research (MSE/ISE 5994) - 6
Total 30 30

The M.S. is designed to provide an opportunity for in-depth study and independent research with an ISE faculty member.  The M.S. is a 4 semester program for students entering with adequate academic preparation.  All students pursuing a M.S. should begin, early in their program, to identify a major advisor who will direct the research effort.  The research undertaken will be aligned with the research interest of the major advisor.

The curriculum is design to provide maximum flexibility in selecting general technical electives, within the specified guidelines, to define a program of study to support the planned research and graduate study.  ISE electives are any graduate-level ISE class, with exceptions as noted.  General technical electives are selected by the student’s advisory committee, in consultation with the student in order to fit the interests and goals of the students, and may be from other engineering disciplines, or disciplines outside of engineering.  A student’s graduate advisory committee may require the student to take courses in particular areas to fulfill remedial needs.

Both the M.Eng. and M.S. programs require the same set of three IE Track core courses and are presented in the table below.

Core Courses and Schedule

Fall I Spring I Fall II
ISE 5405  Optimization I
ISE 5044  Production Systems Analysis
Elective(s) or thesis
ISE 5034  Mathematical Probability & Statistics for IE
3 Core courses

Non-thesis: 30 credit hours (of which 9 are IE Track core courses, 15 are ISE electives, and 6 are general technical electives)

Thesis: 30 credit hours (of which 9 are IE Track core courses, 9 are ISE electives, 6 are general technical electives, and 6 are thesis research credit hours).

Elective exceptions listed below. These courses CANNOT be used.

Number Title
ISE 5104 Operations Research
ISE 5114 Case Studies in Industrial Engineering
ISE 5134 Managemetn Information Systems
ISE 5154 Applied Human Factors Engineering
ISE 5164 Technology Transfer
ISE 5174 Engineering Program and Project Management

Option #2 - Only option available after spring 2018

Students are required to take either one of the following two courses.

Number Title
ISE 5104 Operations Research
ISE 5405 Optimization

Note: ISE 5405 is a pre-requisite for several more advanced courses; students interested in such courses should thus not take ISE 5104.

Select at least 4 courses from the following list:

Number Title
ISE 5204 Manufacturing Systems
ISE 5034 Math Probability and Statistics
ISE 5424 Simulation
ISE 5015 Management of Organizational Systems
ISE 4214 Lean Manufacturing
ISE 5474 Statistical Quality Control
ISE 5654 Human Factors System Design
ISE 5814 Systems Dynamics Modeling of Socio-Technical Systems

Complete additional three courses, which can be any combination of additional courses from the list above and/or from pre-approved electives.

Complete up to 10 hours is ISE 5994 Research and Thesis.

Complete at least five additional courses, which can be any combination of additional courses from the list above and/or from pre-approved electives.

Pre-approved electives are listed in the Ph.D. concentrations on the ISE web site. Any of these pre-approved electives can count towards a degree in the General Industrial Engineering M.S. degree.

Ph.D. concentrations: