Masters in Industrial and Systems Engineering

Industrial and Systems Engineering is an interdisciplinary field which involves the disciplines of engineering and engineering management and focuses on the design and management of complex engineering systems such as robotics, spacecraft design, bridge building, software integration, etc. It deals with work-processes, optimization methods, and risk management tools in such projects. Industrial and systems engineering ensures that all the likely aspects of a project are taken care of and formed into an integrated whole.

Industrial and systems engineering has become indispensable in this era of complex engineering systems. Also, with the increase in size, the amount of data, or the number of fields involved in the design,  a system becomes even more complex. An MS in Industrial and Systems Engineering helps you to deal with such complexities and builds you for a career in leadership in the field. It also helps you understand various engineering approaches naturally and in doing so, identify new methods similar to those occurring in other fields of engineering. This is a field which particularly necessitates a specialized education.

Course Structure

The MS degree is awarded upon the successful completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours of study. The curriculum varies as per different universities, however, there are certain courses which are taught commonly across all universities. Below is a breakdown of the general curriculum.

Core courses

  • Inventory Systems
  • Advanced Production Planning and Scheduling
  • Engineering Project Management
  • Enterprise Wide Information Systems

Elective courses

  • Optimization Methods for Analytics
  • Linear Programming and Extensions
  • Design and Experiments
  • Quality Management for Engineers
  • Markov Models for Performance Analysis
  • Performance Modelling with Simulation

If you want to do your masters with a thesis, then you are expected to write and defend a thesis which should be accepted by a dissertation supervising committee is usually made up of multiple faculties from the university.


Masters in Industrial and Systems Engineering is a STEM degree, and you are expected to have a STEM degree in your undergrads. Other than that, there are no restrictions based on your background. Those of you who do not meet prerequisites will be assigned courses to compensate for the deficiency.

Graduate level entry into international universities requires that you should have completed your bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Your academic performance is measured through your Grade Point Average (GPA) by most of the international universities.

A good GRE or GMAT score is absolutely necessary when it comes to getting admitted into a top university for the Masters in Industrial and Systems Engineering.

Language courses like TOEFL and IELTS are required by most top schools. TOEFL test scores are accepted in the USA, while IELTS is recognized by schools from countries such as Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the UK.

You will also need to prepare a resume, an SOP, and a recommendation letter. You can use this tool of ours to review your SOP. It is automated and hassle-free. Most candidates tend to take their resume and recommendation letter lightly. It is advisable to give proper attention to your resume and recommendation letter because universities consider these too to determine your suitability for the course. You should get your recommendation letter via professional or academic contacts, preferably by someone who knows you well.

The last obstacle to tackle would be the interview. Most of the schools will require you to go through an interview round once your application gets accepted. It is suggested that you get some insight into interview questions and make a note of the answers that are expected from you beforehand.

Operations Research

Operations research is a discipline that deals with the application of advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. It consists of a wide range of problem-solving techniques and methods to improve decision making and efficiency. Specialization in operations research will give you the ability to manage organized systems and take objective decisions. Operations research approaches a problem in phases which can be listed as follows: problem formulation, model construction, deriving solutions from models, testing the solution, and implementing solutions. Model construction is the biggest and most crucial phase, and it heavily depends on mathematics and computing.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of operations research analysts is projected to grow 27 percent from 2016 to 2026 which is much faster than the average for all occupations. As technology advances and companies seek efficiency and cost savings, the demand for operations research analysis should continue to grow.

Industrial Management

Industrial management is a sub discipline of the business administration field, which is mainly concerned with the detailed study of structures and organizations of different companies. The specialization gives the students an insight into production, financial, human resource, and marketing management along with commercial law, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility. Industrial managers have to create detailed reports of recommendations and suggestions to help improve these organizations. They supervise day to day operations of industrial and manufacturing plants which involve coordination, planning, and execution of directives that are responsible for manufacturing a wide range of consumer goods. Quality control is one of the most important tasks which an industrial manager performs to make sure that a minimum quality standard is observed within the organization. Industrial managers are team leaders in their respective organizations and act as a communication channel between managers from multiple departments.  

Supply Chain Engineering

Supply chain is a system that moves a product from the supplier to the consumer. Supply chain engineering is a discipline which analyzes and coordinates an organization’s supply chain.  Supply chain engineers manage the entire life cycle of a product starting from its acquisition to the final delivery. They use software systems to plan and track the movement of products. The performance of supply chain process is an important factor in a company’s profitability. Supply chain systems have become increasingly complex as they continue in their efforts to gain more efficiency at minimal cost. The course will educate students about the optimization of supply chains, integration of technologies, processes, and people to fulfil supply chain objectives, outsourcing, collaboration, supply chain control, and so on.

Employment is expected to grow as companies need more supply chain engineers to move products more efficiently, solve problems, and identify areas for improvement.

Manufacturing Systems Management

Manufacturing systems management is a collection of technologies and methods used to define how products are to be manufactured. The specialization provides detailed insights into all the stages involved in the commercialization of the product – conceptualization, designing, manufacturing, development, distribution, production, and so on. Students will get to know about finance and manufacturing enterprise, innovation management, different manufacturing systems, manufacturing management, and so on.  Specialization in this field prepares technical professionals for effective leadership in the manufacturing sector.

Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Supply Chain Management can be defined as a methodology to design, plan, execute, control, and monitor supply chain activities in order to make full use of global infrastructure and balance supply with demand. This is the methodology of maximizing resource utilization, minimizing wastage, and providing good customer service. Supply chain managers take care of external things such as planning the end product, procuring raw material, transport, and delivery of end products.

Operations management and Supply Chain management are both linked with each other. In fact, Operations management is a part of SCM. Operation managers in fact take care of internal issues such as sales forecast, increasing productivity, maintaining quality standards, and balancing supply with demand.

The demand for Industrial and Systems graduates in the SCM field is very high, and again there are many managerial roles to choose from once you enter the job market. Overall job opportunities should also be good because of the employment growth rates and the need to replace logisticians who are expected to retire or otherwise leave the occupation. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics puts growth rate for SCM jobs at 7 percent, which is as fast as the national average itself.

Global Rank

College Name Popularity Rank Global Rank Total Tuition Fees Deadline Annual RA+TA Unsecured Loan Offer Secured Loan Offer
The University of Texas at Arlington 1 NA 38072 logged in logged in logged in logged in
Wayne State University 2 461-470 42720 logged in logged in logged in logged in
University at Buffalo, SUNY 3 318 45300 logged in logged in logged in logged in
Purdue University 4 105 58264 logged in logged in logged in logged in
University of Michigan 5 21 99016 logged in logged in logged in logged in
Texas A&M University - Kingsville 6 NA NA logged in logged in logged in logged in
Texas A&M University 7 195 67333 logged in logged in logged in logged in
Northeastern University 8 346 47070 logged in logged in logged in logged in
University of Houston 9 601-650 36612 logged in logged in logged in logged in
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 10 367 53648 logged in logged in logged in logged in
Arizona State University 11 209 60396 logged in logged in logged in logged in
University of Florida 12 178 60260 logged in logged in logged in logged in
The Pennsylvania State University 13 93 76932 logged in logged in logged in logged in
The State University of New York at Binghamton 14 801-1000 NA logged in logged in logged in logged in
Clemson University 15 701-750 45952 logged in logged in logged in logged in
NYU Tandon School of Engineering 16 Not Available 53850 logged in logged in logged in logged in
University of Illinois at Chicago 17 207 56336 logged in logged in logged in logged in
Rochester Institute of Technology 18 Not Available 91040 logged in logged in logged in logged in
Wichita State University 19 Not Available 26712 logged in logged in logged in logged in
North Carolina State University 20 263 50810 logged in logged in logged in logged in
University of California, Berkeley 21 27 29700 logged in logged in logged in logged in
University of Southern California 22 132 61805 logged in logged in logged in logged in
University of Wisconsin-Madison 23 55 48108 logged in logged in logged in logged in
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 24 69 68660 logged in logged in logged in logged in
The Ohio State University 25 86 68128 logged in logged in logged in logged in
University of Pittsburgh 26 142 88948 logged in logged in logged in logged in
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, School of Engineering 27 651-700 NA logged in logged in logged in logged in
New Jersey Institute of Technology 28 801-1000 59920 logged in logged in logged in logged in
Georgia Institute of Technology 29 70 57136 logged in logged in logged in logged in
Iowa State University 30 471-480 51428 logged in logged in logged in logged in
University of Minnesota -Twin Cities 31 163 42000 logged in logged in logged in logged in
Columbia University 32 18 96864 logged in logged in logged in logged in
Northwestern University 33 28 108240 logged in logged in logged in logged in
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 34 364 105100 logged in logged in logged in logged in
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 35 1 103040 logged in logged in logged in logged in
Source: GyanDhan's analysis, partner data & university's website. While deadlines are latest, other figures are as of 2018. Double-check deadlines from the university's website

Industrial Engineer

Industrial engineers are professionals who deal with complex systems and processes with the aim of optimizing them and minimizing wastage as far as possible. They create innovative industrial systems which combine major industrial components and human resources, in other words, manage workers, machines, information, and energy, to ensure an economically viable and cost-efficient functioning. Nowadays, industrial engineers also use the tools of data science and machine learning while developing different production models and implementing them. Industrial engineers are employed in a wide range of industries. This occupation is versatile both in the nature of the work it involves and in the industries in which its expertise can be put to use.

Quality Engineer

Quality engineer is an engineering professional who is concerned with the principles and practice of product and service quality assurance. Quality engineers create and implement strategies for quality assurance in product development and production as well as software development. If anything goes wrong, it’s the quality engineer’s job to meticulously document the problem and work with other engineers to find a solution.

Employment for industrial and quality engineers is projected to increase by 10 percent by 2026 which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Supplier Quality Engineer

Supplier quality engineers are professionals who hold speciality in the fields of  manufacturing, supply chain, and logistics. Their main responsibility is to assess the quality of supplied products, and by doing so, they ensure that the products received are free from defects. Compliance with regulatory standards is ensured by regular audits  performed by them. A large portion of their working hours is spent travelling to and visiting different supplier facilities in order to perform these audits and analyze their procedures which helps them identify the areas that can be improved. Supplier quality engineers carry out detailed tests of received supplies to weed out potential failures which stem from manufacturing defects common in the industry.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide specific employment outlook data for supplier quality engineers, its findings indicate that that supply chain related roles will grow by 7 percent between 2016 and 2026.

Supply Chain Manager

Supply chain managers are the professionals who make sure that the manufactured goods reach their suppliers and customers. They supervise and closely monitor the products through each and every stage of the production - right from the purchase of raw materials till the delivery of the final product. A good foresight and inventory management skills are indispensable when it comes to mobilizing manufactured goods from warehouses to customers. A supply chain manager is in direct communication with suppliers and should be able to analyze cost effectiveness of current contracts. They work across all areas in the employment sector such as manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and retail.

Quality Engineer (Medical devices)

Quality engineers for medical devices are responsible for all aspects of quality assurance in the design and production of medical devices. In other words, we can say that they are the quality engineers who specialize in the field of medical device manufacturing. They design and implement tests that effectively and efficiently monitor the quality of the medical devices in each stage of the production process. Due to the vital nature of the medical device field, the role of quality engineers becomes very important.

Job prospects

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of industrial engineers is projected to grow at 10 percent  from 2016 to 2026 which is faster than the average for all occupations. Industrial engineers are employed in a wide range of industries such as manufacturing industries, consulting services, R&D firms, and wholesale trade. The current growth in healthcare and changes in the way healthcare is delivered is set to accelerate the demand for industrial engineers. Graduates of masters in industrial and systems engineering are sure to find better prospects for employment in this field.

Global Rank Employability Range Salary Range
1-10 logged in logged in
11-25 logged in logged in
26-50 logged in logged in
50-100 logged in logged in
101-200 logged in logged in
201-500 logged in logged in
500+ logged in logged in
Source: GyanDhan's proprietary analysis
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