Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Engineering

The PhD degree is usually a four year program which requires rigorous study and a high degree of emphasis on original research. Recent graduates have obtained positions in academic institutions, manufacturing, services, and consulting companies.

1. Admission Requirements

Following are the minimum requirements for admission to the Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering program.

  1. Applicants whose native language is not English must submit official, acceptable scores for either the TOEFL, or the Academic Module of the IELTS examination. Please visit the graduate school website ( to check English proficiency requirements
  2. Submission of official GRE scores is required
  3. Cumulative GPA in graduate courses: On a 4.0 scale, must have at least 3.25 in all graduate work.
  1. Evidence of the ability to carry out independent research and present it in written English is highly desirable.
  2. Submission of two letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose indicating applicant’s research interests.
  3. Prerequisites

(a) Completion of the following or equivalent courses:

  • IME 255 Engineering Economy
  • Math 344 Calculus III (students deficient in this are considered for admission only on non-degree status)
  • A Natural Science course equivalent to that of undergraduate engineering requirement

(b) Programming competence in at least one of the fol­lowing lan­guages:

C, C++, or Visual BASIC

(c) Possession (or nearing the completion) of a master degree in engineering, physical science, or other related disciplines.

2. Doctorate Degree Requirements

  1. Course Distribution:

Total credit hours= minimum of 84 hours

Graduate Course Work: at least 60 credit hours; 60% of the PhD courses beyond the master’s degree (including dissertation) must be at 800 or higher level, and 60% of all graduate courses (incl. dissertation) must be at 700 or higher level.

Dissertation: at least 24 credit hours.

Required Courses: PhD in IE program requires IME 724 Statistical Methods for Engineers, three semesters of zero credit IME 777 IME Colloquium and CESP750D Engineering Research Writing classes

Major: at least 21 hours from a list of approved courses

Minor: at least 9 hours from a declared minor (usually one of the concentrations in industrial engineering, or computer science or psychology or other engineering disciplines). The concentrations in the IME graduate program are

  • Operations Research
  • Systems
  • Production and Supply Chain Analytics
  • Quality and Reliability
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Human Systems Engineering

Mathematics/Statistics: at least 6 hours in calculus-based mathematics and/or statistics from a list of approved courses.

Technical Electives: as many hours as necessary to satisfy the total hour requirements.

Note that minor and math/stat hours must add to at least 18 hours.

  1. Advisor, Advisory Committee and Plan of study:

Before completing twelve PhD hours at WSU, a student must select an advisor and an advisory committee. With the help of the advisor, the student must prepare a plan of study that need to be approved by the advisory committee, graduate coordinator and graduate school before the preliminary and comprehensive exam is attempted. For details of the preliminary examination, please refer to IME website.

  1. Preliminary examination:

Before completing 18 PhD hours at WSU, a student must pass the preliminary examination administered by the department in at most two attempts. Students who could not pass the prelim exam in 1.5 years will be dismissed from the PhD program

  1. Comprehensive examination:

Must pass the comprehensive examinations covering the major and minor areas. A student may attempt these exams no more than twice in each area. A student can enroll in dissertation hours only after passing the comprehensive exams.

  1. Dissertation approval examination:

Prepare a dissertation research proposal and pass an oral examination of the proposal. A student cannot attempt the examination more than twice. A student must be continuously enrolled in IME 976 after the dissertation approval examination.

  1. Dissertation defense:

Must pass an oral examination of the dissertation.

  1. Time Limits and Residency Requirement

From the time the student is admitted to the program, no more than six years may elapse until requirements for the degree have been completed.

  1. Transfer of Credit from Another University (check the transfer rules in graduate catalog)

Up to 12 hours may be transferred from another accredited graduate school;

  1. Professional and Scholarly Integrity Training Requirement

Must complete Professional and Scholarly Integrity Training Requirement, preferably during the first semester of the program.