ISE Graduate Programs and Degrees

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.

Admission Requirements may be found here.

MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE

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 and Systems Engineering, including research credits. All graduate students must register for IE:5000, Industrial and Systems Engineering Graduate Seminar, each semester in which they are enrolled in the university. Seminar credit of IE:5000 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 and Systems 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 and Systems Engineering Graduate Program supported by the standard Industrial and Systems Engineering Curriculum, a Graduate Program in Wind Power Management is offered based on the Emerging Area Curriculum.

Combined B.S./M.S. Degree Program: Thesis and Non-Thesis Program
Procedures for M.S. Students
  • Advising and Plan of Study

Advising The ISE Department Chair or a faculty advisor designate provides entry advising. The ISE 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 ISE 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

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 and Systems Engineering prior to being admitted to the PhD program.
The main requirements for the PhD degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering are as follows (these requirements are in addition to those of the Graduate College):

  1. 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 and Systems 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.
  2. IE Breadth Requirement. Each PhD student must pass at least eight 6000 level courses including six in the ISE program. The two remaining 6000 level courses may be taken in engineering, computer science, statistics, informatics, or business.   
     
  3. Qualifying Exam.  The requirement can be satisfied by:
    1. Passing a written Qualifying Exam. The Qualifying Exam will be held in the first week of the Fall semester each year, or by
    2. Achieving a grade of A- or better in four 6000 level ISE courses.
       
  4. Focus Area Study. The student will then take at least one 6000 level ISE course in Human Factors and minimum three courses in Operations Research, Analytics, and Systems Design. Continuing M.S. students may already satisfy this requirement in full or in part.

  5. 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 ISE faculty, one from outside of the Department and with a chair or co-chair of the Examining Committee who is a predominately ISE 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.
     
  6. 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 ISE Department Chair or a faculty advisor designate provides entry advising. The ISE 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 ISE 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 ISE 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 ISE 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 and Systems Engineering faculty will review progress of each candidate at the beginning of each semester.