University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering
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Requirements for MS


Between 24 and 30 credits of graduate work are required for the MSIE, depending on the area of specialization. Prospective students should contact the department for current curricula in the specialization of their choice. Each specialization requires at least 15 to 24 credits of breadth and depth requirements, and 3 to 9 credits of electives. Click here to see the areas of specialization in industrial engineering.


Requirements for PhD


PhD general requirements are as follows:


  • Pass the written qualifying examination. The examination tests the breadth of knowledge in industrial engineering; students are required to take it to gain admission to the PhD program. The PhD qualifying examination is prepared and administered by a subcommittee in each area of specialization.
  • Present an acceptable plan of study in the minor field of study.
  • Pass a comprehensive preliminary examination to test the breadth of knowledge in industrial engineering, to be taken only after passing the qualifying examination. A designated committee conducts the preliminary examination which generally involves student presentation and defense of thesis proposals. The examination may cover all aspects of a student's study.
  • Present and defend an acceptable dissertation proposal. After completing their research and writing their dissertations, students present and defend their dissertations. Examinations are conducted under the rules of the Graduate School. Final oral exams must be completed by the fifth year after the preliminary examination.


Coursework Requirements


Major field


Courses must be selected from groups having one principal subject of concentration. The goal is to develop in-depth knowledge of an industrial engineering subject area that will become the focus of the dissertation. PhD students must meet Graduate School residence requirements.


Minor field


Students are generally required to earn 10 to 12 credits in courses outside the department. The goal is to select courses relevant to the dissertation.


For specific requirements regarding the PhD program, please see the ISyE Graduate Student Handbook.