From aerospace manufacturing to health services, industrial engineers work to maximize production, eliminate waste, and streamline a variety of business processes. An industrial engineering online master's degree will enable you to work for any company that needs strategies to improve production speed, quality control, and worker safety. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, industrial engineering positions will grow 1% between 2014 and 2024. The competitive salaries, large number of open positions, and ability to live anywhere in the country make industrial engineering an attractive option for many students.
WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MASTER'S IN INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING PROGRAMS?
|1||Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus Atlanta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 3%||
Georgia Tech is a leader in research with numerous government, industry, and community partners and has the largest industrial engineering program in the nation. The 30-credit MS in industrial engineering is offered through the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering. The program is taught online and focuses on operations research, applied industrial engineering, and statistics. Core coursework includes manufacturing, warehousing, and supply chain systems. Methodology courses include optimization, simulation, and probabilistic models. The program does not require a capstone project or a research thesis.
The nine technical electives can be used to specialize in an area of interest, such as mechanical engineering, operations research, or management. The school's faculty research is renowned for innovation, and members have earned numerous scholarly honors and awards. Admission into the industrial engineering online master's requires a bachelor’s degree in engineering, science, math, or computing; a minimum recommended 3.0 GPA; and GRE scores.
|2||Columbia University in the City of New York New York, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 0%||
Columbia is home to one of the nation’s oldest schools of engineering and applied science. The 30-credit MS in industrial engineering is taught through Columbia Engineering’s Columbia Video Network, its graduate distance learning arm. The industrial engineering online master's provides students with specialized training in production inventory control, planning, scheduling, and industrial economics. The program, which can be taken online in a full-time or part-time format, includes courses in operations management, optimizations models and methods, probability and statistics, and stochastics models. Two concentrations are available: regulated industries and system engineering.
Students can take electives in areas such as business, arts and sciences, law, and public affairs. Program resources include advising; a professional development course that provides assistance with resumés, networking, and other career preparation; and employer recruitment to assist with internships or job placement. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in engineering, official transcripts, and GRE scores.
|3||University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 2%||
USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering is internationally recognized for its research that addresses real-world challenges. The 30-credit MS in industrial and systems engineering is available completely online or in a blended format through DEN@Viterbi, the school’s virtual arm. Through an innovative delivery method, the program develops an engineer's technical capabilities with core study of inventory systems, advanced production planning and scheduling, engineering project management, and enterprise information systems.
The industrial engineering online master's includes elective coursework in optimization methods in analytics, design of experiments, and performance modelling with simulation. DEN@Viterbi provides students with academic, technical, and administrative support, as well as access to a network of professional students. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree in engineering with coursework in computing, engineering economy, and probability and statistics. Online and on-campus students pay the same tuition.
|4||North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 37%||
NC State’s Online and Distance Education branch offers graduate programs that are delivered completely online or in a hybrid format, with faculty who are industry experts. The 33-credit master of industrial engineering can be completed full-time or part-time and includes courses in economics and decision analysis, human factors and ergonomics, manufacturing systems, and production systems. The industrial engineering online master's does not require an oral exam or research thesis. Student can earn up to six credits of project work through a co-op experience; this work is optional.
Graduates are qualified for work in a variety of fields, such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, manufacturing, public utilities, and telecommunications. Videos and other media are used to deliver course material; they are accessible through NC State’s WolfWare website. Students use online communication tools and receive comprehensive support services. Admission requirements include a degree in engineering or a similar discipline, a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA, and GRE scores.
|5||Texas A & M University-College Station College Station, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 3%||
Texas A&M's engineering school offers two master’s programs for engineers through distance learning, including the master of engineering in industrial engineering. The 30-credit program is comprised of 10 courses that develop an engineer's knowledge and techniques for success in the field. Core coursework covers quality engineering, logistics and inventory control, human factors, and engineering economy. Other areas of study include data analytics and tools, optimization models, and simulation models and tools.
The master's in industrial engineering is a non-thesis degree, and the final exam may be waived. Online students have access to the university’s facilities, discounted software, and access to the engineering cloud. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s in an engineering field with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA, official transcripts, and GRE scores. Applicants from other fields, such as business and engineering technology, are considered if they meet the program's prerequisite requirements.
|6||New York University New York, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 2%||
NYU has produced engineers and technologists since 1854. Researchers from the Tandon School of Engineering have developed new medical treatments and solved pollution issues. The school’s 30-credit MS in industrial engineering is a multidisciplinary online program that emphasizes practice in system simulation, analytic modeling, project planning, and other areas.
The curriculum, delivered completely online and in a hybrid format, includes courses in quality control and improvement, factory simulation, production science, and facility planning and design. Students also take courses in areas such as lean management, design for manufacturability, and management. Learners are encouraged to concentrate in areas that address their career interests, such as mechanical engineering, manufacturing, and operations management. Admission into the master's in industrial engineering requires a “superior academic record” in a related bachelor’s program, official transcripts, and GRE scores (not required for part-time students).
|7||University of Central Florida Orlando, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 53%||
UCF, one of the largest colleges in the nation, is a research leader in a number of fields, such as modeling and simulation, management, and engineering. It is also a leader in distance learning. The school's virtual college offers 24 graduate programs, including the 30-credit MS in industrial engineering. The program, only open to students with a BS in industrial engineering or a related engineering degree, can be taken completely online. The program uses video streaming to deliver some course material. Courses include systems architecting, quality management, experimental design, and operations research.
Many students learn more about career and personal interests, like management systems and quality and production systems, through electives. The master’s in industrial engineering has a thesis and non-thesis option. Admission requirements include official transcripts and GRE scores.
|8||Clemson University Clemson, SC||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 18%||
Clemson, founded in 1889, has a history of research and teaching in science and engineering. The school's 30-credit master of engineering in industrial engineering is designed to provide working students with an understanding of supply chain management, which is applicable to fields such as manufacturing, banking, and healthcare. Five classes focus on industrial engineering and five focus on the capital projects supply chain concentration.
The curriculum includes study of descriptive and prescriptive analysis; supply chain and logistics management; health, safety and the environment; and a capstone design project. The master's in industrial engineering is delivered asynchronously through Canvas. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering or a related field, a minimum cumulative 3.3 GPA, industry experience, and GRE scores. Students pay the same tuition, regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency.
|9||Oklahoma State University-Main Campus Stillwater, OK||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 27%||
OSU’s Engineering Distance Education branch provides online education opportunities for engineers and managers looking to enhance their skills in the field. The 30-credit master of industrial engineering and management emphasizes professional practice. In their final year, students complete an engineering design experience. The curriculum includes the study of optimization, stochastic processes, discrete systems simulation, advanced production and inventory control, and supply chain strategy. Students can complement their degree with courses in administration, computer science, psychology, and more.
Instruction for the industrial engineering master's incorporates quantitative and qualitative concepts, like analytical methodologies and social issues, that are critical in the field. Students learn how to efficiently use human and economic resources. The program is delivered through video streaming and asynchronous downloads. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree from an ABET-accredited industrial engineering program, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and GRE scores.
|10||The University of Tennessee-Knoxville Knoxville, TN||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 26%||
The University of Tennessee Space Institute is recognized for graduate education and research in mathematics, aviation, physics, and engineering. UTSI offers the online MS in industrial engineering--engineering management, which provides technical knowledge in project management, leadership, and other skills. The curriculum includes four courses: statistical methods in industrial engineering, advanced engineering economic analysis, optimization methods in industrial engineering, and analytical methods for engineering managers.
The nine-credit engineering management concentration includes courses in project management and financial management for engineering managers. A thesis or capstone option is available to complete the master's in industrial engineering. UTSI Distance Education delivers the program asynchronously through Canvas. The program is also offered in a hybrid format. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in engineering with a minimum 2.7 GPA in the final year of the program, official school transcripts, and GRE scores.
|11||Iowa State University Ames, IA||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 13%||
ISU students learn from world-class scholars involved in research. Graduates are prepared to address many challenges facing the world, including the development of alternative fuels. The College of Engineering offers flexible programs through its virtual branch, Engineering-LAS Online Learning (ELO). ELO offers a 30-credit master of engineering in industrial engineering. Focus areas include engineering management, manufacturing processes, human factors, and enterprise computing. Courses include occupational biomechanics, production scheduling, geometric variability in manufacturing, network analysis, and linear programming.
The master's in industrial engineering is delivered asynchronously and is a coursework-only option. Online students have access to support services, including professional development opportunities. Exams are proctored and arranged through ELO. Admission into the online industrial engineering master's requires a BS in industrial engineering or equivalent and GRE scores. Online students pay in-state tuition regardless of residency.
|12||The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 27%||
UT Arlington offers 14 engineering master’s degrees, including the MS in industrial engineering. The program is offered in three different formats: a 30-credit thesis, a 33-credit thesis-substitute, and a 36-credit non-thesis option. Students may specialize in general industrial engineering, enterprise systems, operations research and applied statistics, and ergonomics. Coursework in the industrial engineering online master's includes quality systems, advanced engineering economy, production systems design, safety engineering, and automation and advanced manufacturing.
Notable courses include human engineering, in which students evaluate the physiological, structural, and cognitive limitations in the workplace. Two engineering management courses immerse students in engineering in the high-technology industry and focus on human resources and staffing, leadership, and controlling. The College of Engineering administers the program asynchronously through Blackboard. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering with a “satisfactory GPA” and GRE scores.
|13||Arizona State University-Tempe Tempe, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 47%||
ASU Online is an innovator in online education and offers customized programs. The 30-credit MS in industrial education is comprised of nine classes, each lasting 15 weeks. The program develops engineers who can analyze and resolve challenges within organizations by using qualitative and quantitative abilities. There are required core courses in information systems engineering, simulating stochastic systems, design engineering experiments, and applied deterministic operations research.
The master's in industrial engineering offers two tracks. The thesis track includes a 24-credit coursework requirement, a six-credit thesis, and an oral exam; the non-thesis track includes a 30-credit coursework requirement and a comprehensive exam. Faculty in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering have earned distinctions, including Nobel laureate and membership in the National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in computer or software engineering or a related field, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and GRE scores.
|14||Auburn University Auburn University, AL||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 13%||
Auburn's College of Engineering offers traditional classroom and streaming video delivery options to accommodate working students. The 31-credit master of industrial and systems engineering is delivered completely online in an asynchronous format. Students will study manufacturing/production economics, advanced engineering statistics, and linear programming and network flows. Students take a minimum of four electives and a one-credit graduate seminar.
On average, online students who work full-time complete the program in three or more years. Admission into the industrial engineering online master's requires a degree in industrial and systems engineering, an engineering discipline, mathematics, or sciences. Applicants without a degree in industrial and systems engineering are required to meet established requirements in math; all students must be proficient in probability and statistics, engineering economy, and operations research. The GRE is not required. Online students pay the same tuition regardless of residency.
|15||Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 36%||
TTU Worldwide eLearning is the online arm of the college, offering synchronous and asynchronous educational programming. Among its programs is the 30-credit MS in industrial engineering, which prepares engineers for business and industry, consulting, research, and teaching positions in technical management. The program offers two plans of study: a 30-credit thesis option that includes a six-credit thesis and a 30-credit non-thesis option.
Courses for the industrial engineering online master's are offered in five speciality areas: engineering management, ergonomics and human factors engineering, manufacturing and quality assurance, operations research, and statistics and quality assurance. Students learn about systems theory, occupational biomechanics, manufacturing engineering and design, simulation modelling, statistical data analysis, and other subjects. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering or a related area, school transcripts, and GRE scores.
|16||New Mexico State University-Main Campus Las Cruces, NM||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 37%||
NMSU offers a catalog of programs that can be accessed online. The 30-credit MS in industrial engineering is offered completely online and includes courses in engineering and managerial economics, quality control, project management, logistics, and operations research. The program offers a 30-credit project option and a 30-credit course-only option.
The master's in industrial engineering is delivered using the Canvas learning management system. Students are required to visit campus for the master’s oral exam. Learners can transfer credits from a similar master’s program with the department's approval, but at least 50% of the required coursework must be completed through NMSU. Student services include an online bookstore, tutoring, and tech support. Admission into the industrial engineering master's requires an engineering degree from an ABET-accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA and coursework in calculus-based probability and statistics.
|17||Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 13%||
Mississippi State's Bagley College of Engineering offers an online MS in industrial engineering. The program contains a thesis and a non-thesis option and offers five areas of specialization: human factors and ergonomics, industrial systems, management systems engineering, manufacturing systems, and operations research industrial. Courses include engineering economy, production control systems, and engineering statistics.
The program is delivered through the Blackboard learning management system. Students can transfer up to nine applicable credits into the industrial engineering online master's. The engineering school's research labs include human systems engineering, optimization and data informatics, and management systems engineering. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in engineering, physical sciences, math, or a related major with a minimum 3.0 GPA; official school transcripts; and GRE scores.
|18||Lawrence Technological University Southfield, MI||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 11%||
Lawrence Technological University's online offerings include a 30-credit MS in industrial engineering. The program is designed for working engineers looking to advance their careers. The curriculum core focuses on engineering systems simulation; advanced optimization techniques; applied stochastic processes; quality control; production, planning, and control; and Six Sigma processes. The program also offers electives in areas such as automotive manufacturing, enterprise productivity, and manufacturing systems simulation.
The master's degree in industrial engineering online can be completed in 18 months. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in engineering, math, science, computer science, or physical science with a minimum 3.0 GPA and official transcripts. Applicants without an engineering degree may be admitted once prerequisite course requirements are met. Distance learners pay the same per-credit tuition regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency.
|19||University of Arizona Tucson, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 28%||
The University of Arizona's MS in industrial engineering requires students to earn 30-33 credits and is delivered through the Desire2Learn learning management system. The program prepares engineers to supervise high-tech production processes and optimize manufacturing operations. Students can use electives to follow career and personal interests. Core topics include advanced quality engineering, advanced reliability engineering, optimization, and transport systems.
The online master's in industrial engineering provides three degree paths: students can complete a hands-on project, develop a thesis, or complete additional coursework. Student resources include online library services, 24/7 tech support, and career services. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related discipline such as math or physics with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA. The GRE is not required.
|20||Oregon State University Corvallis, OR||Cost: $$$$$||Enrolled Online: 32%||
Oregon State's 45-credit master of engineering in industrial engineering is designed for professionals with backgrounds in the science, technology, engineering, or math fields. Students learn the financial, business, and management skills needed to advance their careers in technical management, organizational leadership, or project leadership.
There are four required courses for the industrial engineering master's: management for engineers and scientists, project management in engineering, operations management, and advanced engineering economic analysis. Electives include systems engineering, product development, lean management, and strategic planning. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field and GRE scores. The GRE is not required from applicants that graduated from an ABET-accredited program. Distance learners pay the same per-credit tuition regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency.
What Else Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Industrial Engineering Program?
While the details and requirements of each program vary, industrial engineering online master's programs generally expect applicants to have completed a bachelor's in industrial engineering or a related field. Some universities require applicants to have earned a particular GPA to apply. Most coursework requires a high aptitude in mathematics and engineering-specific software.
Curriculum For an Online Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering
The list below is a small sampling of the courses common to industrial engineering online master's programs. Bear in mind that the university you select may offer different courses.
- Information Systems Engineering: Covering topics such as programming, data structures, and data mathematics, this course prepares students to work in computer-related fields. Software engineering is a large component of this course.
- Regression Analysis: Regression analysis applies to all industrial engineering careers. In these courses, students learn how dependent and independent variables interact. On the job, industrial engineers use regression analysis to research how proposed changes might affect their company's future.
- Production Systems: For future industrial engineers who plan to go into manufacturing, a course in production systems teaches you how to turn raw materials into finished products. For example, an industrial engineer working at an automobile plant might study the most efficient methods for workers to turn parts into completed automobiles.
How Long Does it Take to get an Online Master's in Industrial Engineering?
Every industrial engineering online master's degree program is unique. The same goes for individual students. These two factors influence the length of time required to earn a master's degree. The vast majority of programs require students to earn at least 30 credits. Studying full-time, you can expect to earn your degree in two years. Studying part-time, it may take three or more years to finish your degree.
In certain master's in industrial engineering programs, students learn as a cohort. A cohort is a group of students that goes through the program at the same pace. Students working at an individual pace can choose when to view and complete course content. Whether you choose cohort or individually paced learning is another factor that influences the amount of time it takes to earn a degree.
Accreditation for Online Master's in Industrial Engineering Degrees
Before you choose where to earn an industrial engineering master's degree, it's important to verify that the program is properly accredited. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) oversee a number accrediting bodies throughout the United States. These accreditation agencies evaluate schools for their academic quality, which takes much of the uncertainty out of your college search. Both regional and national accreditation agencies monitor U.S. colleges. Regional accreditation has stricter standards and is considered more desirable compared to national accreditation.
There are also accreditation bodies that are specific to certain disciplines. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is a CHEA-recognized agency that evaluates engineering programs throughout the United States, including industrial engineering programs. Be sure to check that your program is certified by ABET before you begin the application process. You can also check the CHEA website to verify a school's accreditation status. Accreditation not only ensures your program will be recognized by potential employers and other universities, but also guarantees your eligibility for federal financial aid.
Employment Outlook for Master's in Industrial Engineering Graduates
A master's in industrial engineering prepares you for careers in many industries. The vast majority of industrial engineering jobs are full-time positions that offer employees many paths for advancement. When starting a new job, an industrial engineer can expect to work under a more senior engineer until they prove their competency.
- Architectural and Engineering Manager
These managers oversee company functions such as product design, staff hiring, and budgeting. They also lead research and development processes in order to design new systems or release new products. On top of an engineering degree, many professionals in this category possess master's degrees in engineering management or business administration.
- Health and Safety Engineer
These engineers implement programs that increase employee safety. For example, a health and safety engineer might review proposed factory upgrades to ensure those upgrades meet all safety codes. When applying for a job in this category, a master's degree can qualify you for a higher-paying position.
- Industrial Production Manager
When a factory must stay on its production schedule, it turns to an industrial production manager. These managers analyze data to improve their plant's production speed, worker training, and overall safety. They may also carry out quality control processes.
In a production facility, an organized and efficient supply chain is crucial to success. Logisticians ensure that their facility has the materials it needs to finish production on time. They also design systems to minimize the cost of transporting goods that are used in industrial manufacturing processes.
- Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
These specialists inspect different workspaces in their region and across the nation. They create routine procedures that improve workplace safety. They are also responsible for ensuring that workplace environments and equipment are in compliance with government regulations.
Master's in Industrial Engineering Salary
Over the course of their careers, industrial engineers' salaries can grow around 20%. Mid-level salaries exceed the $64,510 national median salary for master's degree holders. Toward the later stages of their careers, process engineers can exceed the salaries of others jobs in the category of industrial engineering.
Median Salary by Experience Level
|Occupation||Entry Level||Mid-Level||Late Career|
Financing Your Online Master's in Industrial Engineering Program
When researching how to finance your online master's in industrial engineering program, your first task is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA determines your eligibility for government scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study awards. Some companies will pay for you to earn an advanced degree if you agree to work at the company for a set number of years after graduation. Many organizations also sponsor scholarships for students entering the engineering field. For example, the ASCO Scholarship Program provides students $5,000 a year.
Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.
Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.
Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.
Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.
- Best Online Master's in Engineering Management of 2017
Rank School Location 1 Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA 2 Columbia University in the City of New York New York, NY 3 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4 North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC 5 Texas A & M University-College Station College Station, TX 6 New York University New York, NY 7 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL 8 Clemson University Clemson, SC 9 Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK 10 The University of Tennessee-Knoxville Knoxville, TN 11 Iowa State University Ames, IA 12 The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, TX 13 Arizona State University-Tempe Tempe, AZ 14 Auburn University Auburn University, AL 15 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX 16 New Mexico State University Las Cruces, NM 17 Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS 18 Lawrence Technological University Southfield, MI 19 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 20 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR