M.S. Thesis Track

Note: Students need not select an option to earn the M.S. in this track.

A minimum of 32 credits consisting of 24 credits of coursework, 6 credits of thesis research, and 2 credits of IE Colloquium are required to complete a M.S. in Industrial Engineering in the thesis track. Note that IE 600: Thesis Research credits cannot be applied towards the 24 credits of coursework. There are no special language requirements. All requirements of the Graduate School, as set forth in the Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin, must be satisfied.

Course work requirements

Note: All course descriptions can be found in LionPATH.

  • 2 or more credits of IE 590: IE Colloquium - pass/fail grading, one I E 590 credit can be substituted by 1 credit of OR 590: Operations Research Colloquium
  • 6 or more credits of IE 600: Thesis Research - "R" grading
  • 24 or more credits off coursework: 15 or more credits of IE course credits (excluding IE 596), 9 or more credits of IE course credits at the 500-level, 9 or less credits of non-IE course credits, a total of 12 or more IE and non-IE 500-level course credits
  • IE 505: Linear Programming
  • IE 511: Experimental Design in Engineering

Please note: There are prerequisites to these courses that are identified in the Graduate Bulletin. If you have any additional concerns about whether you have the appropriate background to succeed in these courses, please contact the Graduate Program Office

Students must receive prior approval from the department's graduate program coordinator before taking any 400-level courses. Not all 400-level elective courses can be taken for graduate credit. Also, please note that I E 400-level required courses (required for the undergraduate degree in industrial engineering) cannot be taken for industrial engineering graduate credit. 

Thesis requirements

The content of the master's thesis must be of quality sufficient for publication in refereed journals. The thesis should follow the format specified by the Graduate School. The adviser must be a member of the graduate faculty from the deparment and the reader could be a graduate faculty member from either within the department or outside the department. The signature of the department head or the graduate program coordinator is also required on the M.S. Thesis Approval page from the Graduate School.

The electronic copy of the approved thesis must be sent to the graduate program coordinator at least two weeks prior to the last day of classes in the semester in which the student intends to graduate. The electronic copy of the approved thesis must be submitted to the Graduate School along with the hard copy of the Graduate School signatory page with all the required signatures, on or before the published deadline for the semester.

Typical time sequence

The time required by a student to complete a M.S. in the thesis track depends on whether or not the student is funded on an assistantship and how the student spends his/her summers. Below we present the time sequences for two types of students: funded and unfunded. These sequences assumes that no courses are taken during summer, although thesis activity may occur. Ordinarily a M.S. student will begin the program in the fall semester. Students on assistantship normally take 9 credits of regular coursework per semester so that the required course work (24 credits) for the degree can be completed in three semesters or two semesters and one summer. Students should plan their course schedules carefully if they plan to take courses during summer. There is no consistent policy for summer graduate offerings across departments and the summer timetable may not appear sufficiently in advance for students to make necessary decisions.

Funded M.S. Students

  • Semester 1: 9 credits of coursework, 1 credit of IE 590, and 2 credits of IE 600
  • Semester 2: 9 credits of coursework, 1 credit of IE 590 or 1 credit of OR 590, and 2 credits of IE 600
  • Semester 3: 6 credits of coursework and 2 credits of IE 600

Total credits: 24 credits of coursework, 2 credits of IE 590 (or 1 credit of IE 590 and 1 credit of OR 590), and 6 credits of IE 600

Unfunded M.S. Students

  • Semester 1: 12 credits of coursework and 1 credit of IE 590
  • Semester 2: 12 credits of coursework, 1 credit of IE 590 or 1 credit of OR 590
  • Semester 3: 6 credits of IE 600

Total credits: 24 credits of coursework, 2 credits of IE 590 (or 1 credit of IE 590 and 1 credit of OR 590), and 6 credits of IE 600

A student should seek an adviser for research and thesis before the middle of his/her second semester. The details of when the required six credits for the thesis (IE 600) should be taken can then be worked out to suit both the student and adviser. In general, the earlier the student can start work on his/her research, the better.

A student must register for at least 1 credit per semester until graduation to remain in the program.

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Home of the first established industrial engineering program in the world, the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME) at Penn State has made a name for itself in the engineering industry through its storied tradition of unparalleled excellence and innovation in research, education, and outreach.

We are Innovators. We are Makers. We are Excellence in Engineering. We are Penn State IME.

The Harold and Inge Marcus Department of
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

310 Leonhard Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-7601

FAX: 814-863-4745