Doctoral (PhD) Program Overview

Photo of 2 new PhDs

Purdue's School of Industrial Engineering continues to offer one of the nation's preeminent PhD programs, providing research areas in human factors, manufacturing, operations research, and production systems. PhD students are encouraged to participate in multidisciplinary studies and multi-cultural educational efforts in one or more of our diverse toptical areas, including:

  • Aviation Human Factors
  • Digital Human Modeling
  • Distributed Control
  • Energy Systems
  • Ergonomics
  • E-work, E-business, E-service Systems 
  • Financial Engineering
  • Global Systems
  • Group Work and Communications
  • Health Care Engineering
  • Human-Robot Interaction
  • Intelligent Systems
  • Information Visualization
  • Machining Processes
  • Materials Processing
  • Nano-Manufacturing
  • Nonlinear Optimization
  • Safety Engineering
  • Service Engineering
  • Simulation Optimization

Program Highlights

  • Typical Completion: Students take a combination of advanced technical courses, focusing their study on areas of interest, earning a Doctorate in 4-6 years. 
  • Career Catalyzation: Most graduates enter careers in diverse fields, often on advanced leadership tracks. 

Why Choose a Doctorate Degree in Industrial Engineering?

  • Increased Employment OpportunitiesAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for industrial engineers will increase about 8% between now and 2028. 
  • Increased Earning Potential.  Our alumni self-report that Purdue Industrial Engineering PhD  graduates earn 15% or more than their peers with a Master'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 PhD 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. 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 the Doctoral (PhD) Degree:

Have at least 90 total graduate credit hours, which must include:

  • A minimum of 24 credit hours of course work;
  • A minimum of  36 credit hours of  research credits (IE 69900).
PhD Program Requirements Summary
  PhD with Previous MS Degree PhD without Previous MS Degree
MS Credits (applied) Up to 30 0
Course Credits (minimum) 24 45*
Research and Other Credits 36 45
Total Credits 90 90
Other Requirements
  • At least one course in each core area
  • Two 60000-level courses
  • At least 6 credits in a related area
  • Preliminary Examination
  • Final Examination
  • At least one course in each core area
  • At least 18 total course credits from the core ar

Additional Requirements for a Doctoral (PhD) Degree 

  • Development of a thesis document meeting all requirements of the faculty and Graduate School; and,
  • Successful  preliminary exam and defense through an oral examination to a committee of faculty members;

Research Areas

Plan of Study and Course Requirements for PhD

Completion Guidelines for PhD


Application Requirements

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