University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering
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Students work on an in-class assignment

Students work on an in-class assignment on the fourth floor of Wendt Library. Photo by Jeff Miller


The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at UW-Madison offers opportunities for graduate study leading to the master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees in Industrial Engineering. Five areas of specialization are available, each designed to produce graduates capable of leading new and developing areas within industrial and systems engineering. The five areas, each with its own courses of study and admission procedures, are:


The specialization in Decision Science/Operations Research seeks to train students in the methodology needed for research in decision science and operations research, and to prepare them for careers in research and teaching. Graduate study focuses on one or more these areas: applied probability and statistics in decision making, psychology of judgment and decision making; evaluation and optimization of decisions; and decision support systems.


The Health Systems specialization seeks to train students to look at broad issues in health care, including long term care, prevention, quality improvement, health care financing, and system evaluation. Understanding how people solve problems is a basic requirement for health systems engineers, who must apply scientific methods in a value-laden setting. This concentration is offered in cooperation with the Department of Population Health Sciences.


The Human Factors and Ergonomics specialization is concerned with the quality of work lives, ergonomics, and occupational safety and health for both workers and management. By examining, designing, testing, and evaluating the work place and how people interact within it, human systems engineers can create productive, safe, and satisfying work environments. The demand is great for engineers who can combine a concern for the human component with traditional engineering principles.


The specialization in Manufacturing and Production Systems is intended to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to compete successfully in a manufacturing environment. These skills include knowledge of the theory of manufacturing materials and processes and their control; knowledge of the essentials of manufacturing systems design and analysis; and knowledge and hands-on experience with modern manufacturing technology.


The Quality Engineering specialization is designed to provide the necessary background for professional careers in industry or government. Emphasis is on the foundations of quality improvement, organizational dynamics/change strategies, and business and statistical methods. This specialization is designed to prepare students for careers as quality professionals in industry, consulting, research, and teaching.