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DEGREE Industrial Engineering: Research, MS

Master’s degree in industrial engineering

As a master’s student in industrial engineering, you’ll learn under internationally respected faculty in areas that include decision science and operations research, quality engineering, manufacturing and health systems, and/or human factors. You’ll be able to further specialize within each area, allowing you to tailor a program that meets your personal goals.

At a glance

Industrial and systems engineering department

1
faculty scholarly productivity index
7
undergraduate ranking among public universities
6
graduate ranking among public universities

Learn more about what information you need to apply.

Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.

Fall Deadline December 15
Spring Deadline This program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline December 15
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Required.*
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3
*

GRE scores will not be required for admission through Fall 2023 due to challenges taking the exam during the COVID-19 pandemic

NOTE: These admissions requirements are only relevant for the M.S. research program. You can find the admissions requirements for the Human Factors and Health Systems and the Systems Engineering and Analytics programs on their respective pages.

The UW–Madison graduate program in industrial and systems engineering offers students extraordinary opportunities to pursue a course of study that is customized to the student’s interests and ambitions, under the auspices of the foremost experts in their field, in one of the top-ranked industrial and systems engineering departments.

The flexible graduate curricula enables students to tailor their degree program to suit their particular needs and career objectives. Concentration areas in industrial and systems engineering includes: Decision Sciences and Operations Research, Health Systems Engineering, Human Factors and Ergonomics, Manufacturing, and Product Systems and Quality Engineering. Students also have opportunities to take graduate courses in any other departments at UW–Madison, which has a comprehensive set of top-ranked graduate and professional programs.

Application Deadlines:

Application Requirements

Application deadlines are strictly enforced and ALL application materials including transcripts, GRE and TOEFL scores MUST be included and submitted by the application deadline.

*Please note our office does not provide feedback to applications as to their potential for admission—please review both the I SY E department and Graduate School requirements for admission, and if you feel you
meet the necessary criteria for applying, please do so.

  1. Applicants must first meet all of the requirements of the Graduate School.
  2. Applicants must also meet department specific requirements as outlined below:

Note: Depending on applicant background, applicants may be deficient in up to two prerequisite courses.

Application Steps

  1. Fill out an online application through the Graduate School website.
  2. List three recommenders and their contact information as part of the online application. An email will be sent to the recommender, asking that they submit their letter online using the Graduate School’s recommendation form. Applicants can log back into their online application to re-send the email request if the recommender loses the email. Letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically.
  3.  Submit a Statement of Purpose with your online application.  In this document, applicants should explain why they  want to pursue further education in ISyE and discuss which UW faculty members they would be interested in doing research with during their graduate study.
  4. TOEFL Exam Information: Ask ETS to submit your GRE and/or TOEFL scores to the UW–Madison Graduate School (Institution Number 1846). If you have your scores sent to UW–Madison, they will be available online to all departments to which you have applied. The institution code, therefore, is the only number needed. For more information please visit the Graduate School Requirements page. Please note: Exam information must be valid at start date of the semester that you are applying for (nonexpired).
  5. GRE Exam Information: The IE graduate program requires the GRE exam be taken by prospective students as part of the application. Note there are no specific scoring guidelines for the exam as the GRE is only one part of consideration for admission into the program. Please note: Exam information must be valid at start date of the semester that you are applying for (nonexpired).
  6. Electronically submit one copy of your official transcript with your application.  Official transcripts of all undergraduate and previous graduate work are required. Unofficial copies of transcripts will be accepted for review, but official copies are required for admitted students. Please do not send transcripts or any other application materials to the Graduate School or gradadmission@engr.wisc.edu.
  7. Upload your resume in your application.
  8. Pay the Application Fee: Submission must be accompanied by the one-time application fee. It is non-refundable and can be paid by credit card (Master Card or VISA) or debit/ATM. By state law, this fee can only be waived or deferred through the conditions outlined here by the Graduate School.

Questions?

Check out the Admissions FAQ or contact us at iegradadmission@engr.wisc.edu.

Note: Please do not send materials/documents to the ISyE department or graduate school until you are recommended for admissions. All documents should be uploaded with your application.

Tuition

Tuition and segregated fee rates are always listed per semester (not for Fall and Spring combined).

View tuition rates

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Resources

Financial Assistance

If you choose to attend UW–Madison and plan to pursue funding on your own, the following sites could be very helpful:

To Apply For Ta or grader position

Application Process:

Teaching assistant and grader positions are appointed each semester. New TAs must submit an application each semester in order to be considered. If you currently are a TA in Industrial and Systems Engineering, you do not need to complete an application each semester.

The number of positions is limited, and the application process is highly competitive. Priority is given to those with current positions who are in good standing and would like to continue teaching. Only after these positions are filled do we look at other applicants. The number of new positions available each semester is generally low, especially in the spring. While this should not deter you from applying, please keep it in mind when planning for the semester.

The department will consider graduate students from other departments only when there are no qualified applicants from the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

Expected timing for appointments:

Appointments for teaching assistants are generally made in August for the fall semester and in early December for the spring semester. Grader appointments are appointed along a similar timeline, but often a few weeks later.

Once hired:

Students hired into a TA position are required to attend the New Educator Orientation (NAO) training in late August. For more details, please see this website.

Speaking requirements for international students:

All international students applying for teaching assistant positions must meet the UW–Madison Graduate School’s requirement for spoken English BEFORE they can be considered as a TA. This requirement can be fulfilled in two ways:

  1. Pass the SPEAK—you can register for the SPEAK test through ISyE Dept. Human Resources
  2. Receive a 26 or higher on the speaking portion of the TOEFL test (or equivalent). Provide a copy of your score to ISyE Dept. Human Resources.

The UW-Madison Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering is a national leader in research funding. At the cutting-edge of industrial engineering and systems research, the department offers state-of-the-art facilities for faculty, staff and students to work in. Our faculty are leaders in their fields, respected nationally and internationally for their research.

View our research

Minimum graduate school requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 15 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) policy (https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1244).
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
This program follows the Graduate School’s GPA Requirement policy
(https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1203).
Other Grade Requirements Grades of C and D received by a candidate in any graduate course will not be counted as credit toward the degree. These grades will be counted in the graduate GPA.
Assessments and Examinations None.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

I SY E courses 118
I SY E 790 Master’s Research and Thesis3-6
or I SY E 890 Pre-Dissertator’s Research
Electives with advisor approval6-9
Total Credits30
1

I SY E 699 Advanced Independent Study may not be used to meet degree credit requirements. Students may count up to 3 credits of I SY E 702 Graduate Cooperative Education Program

2

At most 3 credits of I SY E 702 Graduate Cooperative Education Program, may be applied to meet the credit requirements.

Students may choose to specialize in one of the below research areas. The program recommends working with your faculty advisors to answer any questions and to form a plan of study.

Operations Research, Optimization, and Analytics1

Highly Recommended Courses:

I SY E 516 Introduction to Decision Analysis3
I SY E/​COMP SCI/​E C E  524 Introduction to Optimization3
I SY E/​COMP SCI/​MATH/​STAT  525 Linear Optimization3
I SY E 620 Simulation Modeling and Analysis3
I SY E 624 Stochastic Modeling Techniques3

 Other Suggested Courses:

I SY E 412 Fundamentals of Industrial Data Analytics3
I SY E/​COMP SCI/​MATH  425 Introduction to Combinatorial Optimization3
I SY E/​M E  512 Inspection, Quality Control and Reliability3
I SY E 517 Decision Making in Health Care3
I SY E 575 Introduction to Quality Engineering3
I SY E 603 Special Topics in Engineering Analytics and Operations Research1-3
I SY E 612 Information Sensing and Analysis for Manufacturing Processes3
I SY E 604 Special Topics in Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management1-3
I SY E/​MATH/​OTM/​STAT  632 Introduction to Stochastic Processes3
I SY E 645 Engineering Models for Supply Chains3
1

These pathways are internal to the program and represent different curricular paths a student can follow to earn this degree. Pathway names do not appear in the Graduate School admissions application, and they will not appear on the transcript.

Health Systems Engineering1

Highly Recommended Courses: 

I SY E 417 Health Systems Engineering3
I SY E 517 Decision Making in Health Care3
I SY E/​MED PHYS  559 Patient Safety and Error Reduction in Healthcare2
I SY E 606 Special Topics in Healthcare Systems Engineering1-3
I SY E/​POP HLTH  703 Quality of Health Care: Evaluation and Assurance1-3

Other Suggested Courses:  

I SY E 412 Fundamentals of Industrial Data Analytics3
I SY E 515 Engineering Management of Continuous Process Improvement3
I SY E 516 Introduction to Decision Analysis3
I SY E 575 Introduction to Quality Engineering3
I SY E/​PHARMACY  608 Safety and Quality in the Medication Use System3
I SY E 601 Special Topics in Industrial Engineering1-3
I SY E 602 Special Topics in Human Factors 23
I SY E 603 Special Topics in Engineering Analytics and Operations Research1-3
I SY E 615 Production Systems Control3
I SY E/​B M I  617 Health Information Systems3
I SY E 620 Simulation Modeling and Analysis3
I SY E 624 Stochastic Modeling Techniques3
I SY E/​M E  643 Performance Analysis of Manufacturing Systems3
I SY E/​PSYCH  653 Organization and Job Design3
I SY E/​M H R  729 Behavioral Analysis of Management Decision Making3
I SY E 555 Human Performance and Accident Causation3
I SY E/​POP HLTH  875 Cost Effectiveness Analysis in Health and Healthcare3
B M I/​COMP SCI  576 Introduction to Bioinformatics3
B M I 773 Clinical Research Informatics3
B M I/​COMP SCI  776 Advanced Bioinformatics3
OTM 753 Healthcare Operations Management3
ED PSYCH 711 Current Topics in Educational Psychology1-3
NURSING 761 Health Program Planning, Evaluation, and Quality Improvement3
POP HLTH/​SOC  797 Introduction to Epidemiology3
POP HLTH 876 Measuring Health Outcomes3
PSYCH 610 Design and Analysis of Psychological Experiments I4
PSYCH 710 Design and Analysis of Psychological Experiments II4
STAT/​F&W ECOL/​HORT  571 Statistical Methods for Bioscience I4
STAT/​B M I  641 Statistical Methods for Clinical Trials3
1

These pathways are internal to the program and represent different curricular paths a student can follow to earn this degree. Pathway names do not appear in the Graduate School admissions application, and they will not appear on the transcript.

2

Topics vary for this course. Obtain advance approval from your faculty advisor.

Human Factors and Ergonomics1

Highly Recommended Courses: 

I SY E/​COMP SCI/​DS  518 Wearable Technology3
I SY E/​PSYCH  549 Human Factors Engineering3
I SY E 552 Human Factors Engineering Design and Evaluation3
I SY E 555 Human Performance and Accident Causation3
I SY E 562 Human Factors of Data Science and Machine Learning3
I SY E/​MED PHYS  559 Patient Safety and Error Reduction in Healthcare2
I SY E/​B M E  564 Occupational Ergonomics and Biomechanics3
I SY E 601 Special Topics in Industrial Engineering 21-3
I SY E 602 Special Topics in Human Factors3
I SY E/​PSYCH  653 Organization and Job Design3
I SY E/​B M E  662 Design and Human Disability and Aging3
I SY E 699 Advanced Independent Study1-5
I SY E/​PSYCH  854 Special Topics in Organization Design1-3
I SY E/​PSYCH  859 Special Topics in Human Factors Engineering1-3
I SY E 961 Graduate Seminar in Industrial Engineering1-3
CIV ENGR 679 Special Topics in Transportation and City Planning3

Various courses count as "Tools and Methods." The HFE faculty group updates the list of "Tools and Methods" courses and advisors decide which set of courses are appropriate for each student. The following are categories of "Tools and Methods": Research Methods, Statistics, Qualitative Research, Biomechanics Methods, and Psychology. Students can work with their faculty advisor for non-I SY E course work.

1

These pathways are internal to the program and represent different curricular paths a student can follow to earn this degree. Pathway names do not appear in the Graduate School admissions application, and they will not appear on the transcript.

2

Topics vary for this course. Obtain advance approval from your faculty advisor.

Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial AI1

Highly Recommended Courses: 

I SY E 412 Fundamentals of Industrial Data Analytics3
I SY E 415 Introduction to Manufacturing Systems, Design and Analysis3
I SY E/​M E  510 Facilities Planning3
I SY E/​M E  512 Inspection, Quality Control and Reliability3
I SY E 515 Engineering Management of Continuous Process Improvement3
I SY E 575 Introduction to Quality Engineering3
I SY E 601 Special Topics in Industrial Engineering 21-3
I SY E 603 Special Topics in Engineering Analytics and Operations Research1-3
I SY E 604 Special Topics in Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management1-3
I SY E 605 Computer Integrated Manufacturing3
I SY E 612 Information Sensing and Analysis for Manufacturing Processes3
I SY E 615 Production Systems Control3
I SY E/​M E  641 Design and Analysis of Manufacturing Systems3
I SY E/​M E  643 Performance Analysis of Manufacturing Systems3
I SY E 645 Engineering Models for Supply Chains3
STAT/​M E  424 Statistical Experimental Design3
1

These pathways are internal to the program and represent different curricular paths a student can follow to earn this degree. Pathway names do not appear in the Graduate School admissions application, and they will not appear on the transcript.

2

Topics vary for this course. Obtain advance approval from your faculty advisor.

Graduate Student Services
iegradadmission@engr.wisc.edu
Room 3182 Mechanical Engineering Building, 1513 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706

Jim Luedtke, Professor and Associate Chair of Graduate Affairs
jrluedt1@wisc.edu
608-890-2560
Room 3236 Mechanical Engineering Building
1513 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706

View the Graduate Guide for program-specific information on policies, rules and regulations.

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