Best Online Master’s in Industrial Engineering Programs of 2021

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February 18, 2021

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Industrial engineers work with manufacturing and other production processes to minimize waste and keep operations running smoothly. They maintain and improve efficiency in product production and distribution. They also enhance workflows, maximize cost savings, and identify factors that threaten workplace safety.

Graduates with an online master's in industrial engineering work for organizations that need help maintaining and improving worker safety, production efficiency, and quality control. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that industrial engineers will experience 10% job growth between 2019 and 2029, the highest among all engineering fields.

What Are the Best Online Master's in Industrial Engineering Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:

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#1 Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA
#2 Columbia University New York, NY
#3 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
#4 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
#5 New York University New York, NY
#6 Texas A&M University College Station, TX
#7 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
#8 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
#9 Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
#10 Clemson University Clemson, SC
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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

2021 Best Accredited Online Master's in Industrial Engineering Programs

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Georgia Institute of Technology View School Profile Atlanta, GA

Georgia Tech serves more than 25,000 graduate and undergraduate students. The university primarily focuses on technology-based programs in business, liberal arts, and STEM fields.

U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Georgia Tech's online master's in industrial engineering number one in the United States. The program's 30-credit curriculum includes core coursework in warehousing, supply chain systems, and manufacturing. The curriculum does not include a capstone or thesis requirement.

Georgia Tech prefers applicants with a bachelor's degree in engineering, science, math, or computing, although all students are welcome to apply. Online learners may begin the program in the fall or spring semester.

Columbia University View School Profile New York, NY

Columbia contributes to national research through its School of Engineering and Applied Science. Additionally, launched in 1986, the Columbia Video Network offers more than a dozen online graduate engineering programs to distance learners.

Columbia's 30-credit master's in industrial engineering features an emphasis in systems engineering. This program focuses on the management, design, and operations of professional engineering projects. Core courses explore systems engineering, applied systems, and probability and statistics.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in engineering, math, science, statistics, or a related field with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Prospective students must also submit GRE scores. Columbia charges all learners in the program the same per-credit tuition rate, regardless of residency.

University of Southern California View School Profile Los Angeles, CA

A private research institution, USC operates more than 20 academic schools, including its School of Engineering. USC serves more than 44,000 students, and it offers over 100 online degrees and certificate programs through USC Online.

The university's MS in industrial and systems engineering emphasizes the acute technical skills required of industrial engineers in the field. The 30-credit curriculum includes core courses in inventory systems, engineering project management, and advanced production planning and scheduling. Students in the program must consult an academic advisor before choosing elective courses.

Applicants should hold a bachelor's degree in engineering or an engineering-related discipline. Prospective students must also submit GRE scores, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation. USC admits students in the fall and spring semesters.

North Carolina State University View School Profile Raleigh, NC

NC State's College of Engineering employs more than 16 faculty members who belong to organizations like the National Academies of Science and the National Science Foundation. The university ranks among U.S. News & World Report's best in the nation for its online graduate engineering programs.

NC State's master's in industrial engineering is suitable for students seeking careers in biomanufacturing and nanomanufacturing, shipping and logistics, and telecommunications. The 33-credit program includes core courses and electives in math, statistics, and/or computer science. The program does not require a thesis or final project.

NC State admits students into this online program in the fall, spring, and summer. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in engineering or an engineering-related discipline with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Prospective students must also submit GRE scores and letters of recommendation.

New York University View School Profile New York, NY

NYU's School of Engineering and Polytechnic Institute serves more than 5,000 students and offers five online graduate programs. U.S. News & World Report ranks NYU's online graduate engineering school among the best in the nation.

The university's MS in industrial engineering teaches students to draw comparisons across diverse fields of engineering. The 30-credit curriculum explores quality control and improvement, factory simulation, and production science. Companies like Con Edison and Rubicon Technology hire NYU engineering alumni.

NYU accepts applications on a rolling basis and admits students in the fall, spring, and summer. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, with priority given to individuals who have ABET-accredited and regionally accredited engineering degrees. Prospective students must also submit GRE scores.

Texas A&M University View School Profile College Station, TX

Texas A&M offers five online graduate degrees and certificates in engineering, including programs ranked among the top 10 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Texas A&M's engineering department serves nearly 1,000 students.

Students can earn the university's 30-credit master's degree in industrial engineering online, completing coursework related to essential modeling techniques and tools. The program culminates in a final exam, though this requirement may be waived for some students. The curriculum does not include a thesis. Texas A&M also offers an online master's in engineering management.

Applicants should have an undergraduate engineering degree and at least some work experience. Students may begin the program in the fall, spring, or summer.

University of Central Florida View School Profile Orlando, FL

UCF serves more than 68,000 students across 11 regional campuses and a comprehensive online division. A distance learning provider for over 20 years, the university now offers more than 90 online programs through UCF Online.

UCF's online master's in industrial engineering requires 30 credits in six primary focus areas, including systems engineering, simulation modeling and analysis, and human systems engineering/ergonomics. Students may choose a thesis or non-thesis option. UCF also offers a graduate certificate in systems engineering online.

Applicants work with a UCF success coach to assess potential transfer credits from their undergraduate coursework. All prospective students must submit transcripts and GMAT or GRE scores.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign View School Profile Champaign, IL

U of I offered its first online course in 1995. The university now offers nearly 90 online degrees and certificate programs across 12 academic colleges.

U of I's online master's in industrial engineering requires 32 or 36 credits, depending on whether a student chooses the thesis or non-thesis option. Non-thesis students can complete a concentration in advanced analytics. Both non-thesis and thesis students complete courses in industrial quality control, human factors, and engineering design analysis. Students can complete the program in 2.5 years.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and have earned a minimum 3.25 GPA over their last two years of undergraduate coursework. Prospective students must also submit GRE scores. The program admits new learners in the fall, spring, and summer.

Purdue University View School Profile West Lafayette, IN

In addition to its main campus in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue operates 10 satellite locations and an online division. The university's distance learners can choose from more than 200 online graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs across 15 schools and colleges.

Purdue offers its online master's in industrial engineering with thesis and non-thesis options. In both cases, students complete 30 credits, taking courses like human factors engineering, operational research, and production systems engineering.

Applicants must hold an ABET-accredited undergraduate degree and submit letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a statement of purpose. Students with a bachelor's degree in a non-engineering field must meet mathematics prerequisites to qualify for admission.

Clemson University View School Profile Clemson, SC

With an enrollment of nearly 26,000 pupils, Clemson operates a sprawling campus in South Carolina and an online division. The university's students can choose from more than 80 undergraduate and 120 graduate programs across seven academic colleges.

Clemson's online master's in industrial engineering includes an emphasis in supply chain logistics. Students must complete 30 credits — 10 courses — split evenly between core industrial engineering courses and supply chain coursework. The program culminates in a capstone design project.

Applicants must hold an accredited bachelor's degree with coursework in engineering or business calculus. Prospective students must also have at least three years of relevant industry work experience. Clemson charges all online graduate students the same per-credit tuition, regardless of residency.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Industrial Engineering Program?

Students pursuing an online master's in industrial engineering typically excel in mathematics and enjoy problem-solving.

Students pursuing an online master's in industrial engineering typically excel in mathematics and enjoy problem-solving. Successful learners also tend to exhibit creativity and excellent communication skills. Industrial engineers often rely on public speaking abilities, since much of their job involves presenting ideas to team members and supervisors.

Most online master's in industrial engineering programs require around 30 credits, and full-time students typically graduate in 18-24 months. Part-time students often take at least three years to graduate.

Depending on the school, students may earn a master of science in industrial engineering (MSIE) or a master of science in engineering (MSE or MS) with an industrial engineering specialization. Many programs offer the following concentrations:

Some programs allow students to work through a self-paced curriculum, while others assign learners to cohorts or small study groups. Prospective students who want to build practical experience might apply to a program that requires a practicum. Graduation requirements might include a thesis or final project. Some schools set residency requirements for thesis or practicum elements.

Individuals who wish to expand their job prospects should consider obtaining certification, such as the professional engineer credential, in addition to a master's in industrial engineering.

Admission Requirements for Online Master's in Industrial Engineering Programs

Most online master's in industrial engineering programs require transcripts from previous schools. Prospective students typically must submit GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose.

Many programs also require a minimum GPA of 3.0, a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering or a related field, and prerequisite math and engineering courses. Some schools prefer candidates with professional experience.

For more information, consult our graduate admissions guide.

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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Industrial Engineering Program?

In a master's in industrial engineering program, students learn about common manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution processes, as well as how to maintain and improve their efficiency. Most programs teach students quantitative and qualitative methods for evaluating and improving systems. The following list delves into five common courses in these programs.

Information Systems Engineering

The information systems field focuses on how to plan, develop, and implement information processing systems and use them to support structured decision-making and business operations. This course typically covers data design principles, software engineering, programming, and relevant mathematical concepts.

Production Systems

This course prepares students for industrial engineering jobs in the manufacturing sector. Learners explore the processes of transforming raw materials into complete products. Students also learn best practices for making production processes more efficient and less wasteful. Additional topics include facility design, inventory control, production scheduling, quantitative forecasting methods, and aggregate planning.

Regression Analysis

Regression analysis is the study of formulating statistical models to understand and project how predictor and outcome variables interact. Students learn how to anticipate the impact of engineering designs and changes in organizational operations and production.

Facility Planning and Design

In this course, students learn basic facility design and management principles. They also explore how facility design affects an organization's production processes, operations, and outcomes. Additional topics include traditional and contemporary issues in factory configuration, storage planning, facility maintenance, warehousing, and site selection.

Transportation and Supply Chain Systems

In this course, students learn how to evaluate and modify systems to increase efficiency. Covered topics include distribution planning, demand management, logistics, and vehicle routing.

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What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Industrial Engineering Degree?

Most industrial engineering jobs offer full-time employment and opportunities to advance. Graduates can pursue jobs in various industries, including aerospace manufacturing, health services, computers and electronics, and marketing.

The BLS projects 10% job growth for industrial engineers between 2019 and 2029, compared to 4% growth in other engineering jobs during the same period. Industrial engineering offers competitive salaries and an expanding workforce.

See where an online master's in industrial engineering can take you. Learn more about careers in industrial engineering here.

true Architectural and Engineering Manager

These managers typically work in engineering and agricultural companies. They oversee company-wide functions like hiring, product design, research and development, and budgets. These professionals also handle purchasing, facilities management, and long-term strategic planning. Along with a master's degree in industrial engineering, some managers have professional experience in business administration.

Health and Safety Engineer

These industrial engineers manage programs and policies that enhance employee safety and prevent workplace injury and illness. For example, health and safety engineers ensure that system and facility upgrades comply with safety regulations. These professionals also make certain that workers follow necessary safety procedures and use chemicals, machinery, and equipment safely.

Industrial Production Manager

These professionals make sure a factory's production schedules stay on time and within budget. They oversee quality control and analyze data to improve efficiency, worker proficiency, and workplace safety. Industrial production managers also determine how best to maximize personnel, equipment, and processes to meet production and safety goals.

Logistician

Logisticians maximize the efficiency of each product's life cycle and the company's overall supply chain. They also ensure that their facility acquires and allocates the appropriate raw materials, personnel, and inventory to meet production goals. These professionals also cut production and transportation costs and dispose of waste.

Occupational Safety and Health Specialist

Occupational safety and health specialists investigate various workplaces to ensure that they comply with state and federal safety regulations. These specialists also recommend procedural changes and improvements to working conditions to protect worker safety and health. They also collect environmental data and measure workplace hazards to determine factors that could harm employee health.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Industrial Engineering Programs

Is a master's in industrial engineering worth it?

Yes. Graduates with a master's in industrial engineering gain access to many career opportunities because they possess the mathematics and logistics skills needed to solve intricate manufacturing and production issues. Pursuing a master's program also leads to networking opportunities, which can lead to employment and advancement.

What can I do with a master's in industrial engineering?

An online master's in industrial engineering prepares graduates to work for manufacturers of various products, including aerospace parts, computer and electronic products, machinery, and metals. Industrial engineers can also work in scientific or technical services. Professionals with a business background or previous work experience can earn managerial positions.

Is industrial engineering a good career?

Yes. Between 2019 and 2029, the BLS projects 10% job growth for industrial engineers, who earn a median annual salary of $88,020. Also, most industrial engineers work full time and gain access to promotion opportunities over time.

How much money can I make with a master's in industrial engineering?

According to the BLS, industrial engineers earn a median annual salary of $88,020, compared to the median of $39,810 for all occupations. Professionals working in computers and electronics, transportation, and professional and scientific fields tend to earn even higher salaries. Salary potential varies based on work experience, education, and geographic area.

What are the highest paying jobs with a master's in industrial engineering?

Architectural and engineering managers are among the highest paid professionals in industrial engineering. According to the BLS, they make a median annual salary of $144,830. The BLS also reports that industrial engineers who work in aerospace product and parts manufacturing earn an average yearly wage of $102,350.

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