Industrial Engineering Master's Thesis Program

The Master's degree with a thesis option allows students to work with world-renowned faculty to dig deeper in an area of interest. The development of a thesis involves utilizing the knowledge gained in a sub-field of study (e.g., human factors) to a novel engineering problem. In addition, students deepent their competence in surveying cutting-edge research, leading a project independently, design (especially in emerging fields), and communication. 

A thesis is a major undertaking, requiring deep interest in the subject matter and a close relationship with the faculty member supervising the research. Prospective students are encouraged to consider the research profiles of IE faculty, including recent publications, to determine program fit. Pursuing a thesis-option Master's degree is often a step toward pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy degree, and may be required for admission to some doctoral programs. However, the skills gained through completing a thesis-option Master's program still are highly sought after in industry. 

Program Highlights

  • Two-year Program: Students take a combination of advanced technical courses, focusing their study on areas of interest, earning a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering.
  • Career Catalyzation: Most graduates enter careers in diverse fields, often on advanced leadership tracks. 

Why Choose a Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering?

  • Increased Employment Opportunities: A professional master’s degree is specifically for students planning to work in industry. The program provides students with the technical skills needed in industry, such as decision making, systems engineering, operations, and oral and written communications.
  • Increased Earning Potential. Our alumni self-report that Purdue Industrial Engineering Master’s graduates earn 15% or more than their peers with a Bachelor’s degree.

Why Choose Purdue?

  • Field Defining Innovation & Research: The School of Industrial Engineering has been defining the field and educating future leaders in industrial engineering for 65 years. The graduate program is ranked in the top 10 and the IE on-line degree program is ranked #1 in the nation. Our researchers perform field-defining research that is regarded worldwide for its impact and quality.
  • Excellence at Scale: As one of the top 10 engineering graduate programs in the nation, Purdue's College of Engineering is one of the largest and strongest programs in the nation with 13 different schools and departments.
  • Affordable Tuition: Tuition for our program is considerably cost effective compared to other programs.
  • Low Cost of Living: The cost of living in the Greater Lafayette-West Lafayette area is one of the lowest in the nation, with housing rent ranging from 23% to 179% less expensive than competing university cities ( 

Curriculum Requirements

Courses selected for the thesis option are intended to provide depth of study in a particular area of interest. The prerequisites to the program assure a minimal amount of knowledge in the general field of industrial engineering. The curriculum is designed such that the student has broad selectivity over their coursework. Students are required to select at least 12 credit hours of coursework from IE courses, and are recommended to take at least 6 credit hours from a related area. Selection of courses should be conducted with the faculty member supervising the research project, to ensure courses taken supplement the research project.

Credit Requirements for a Master's Thesis

Have at least 30 total graduate credit hours, which must include:

  • 21 credit hours of course work; at least 12 credit hours must come from IE-listed courses; and,
  • 9 credit hours of master’s thesis research credits (IE 69800).

Additional Requirements for a Master's Thesis

  • Development of a thesis document meeting all requirements of the faculty and Graduate School; and,
  • Successful defense of the thesis through an oral examination to a committee of faculty members;
  • Note: The student must be registered for at least 3 credit hours of IE 69800 (thesis research) during the session the degree is conferred.

Plan of Study Requirements for Master's Thesis

Final Examination Guidelines for Master's Thesis

Completion Guidelines for Master's Thesis


Application Requirements

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