IE Graduate Program FAQ

Admissions Criteria

I'm currently pursuing a Master's or PhD at another university. Can I transfer?
Students can transfer up to 12 credits of graduate courses taken at other U.S. universities - if they meet the course transfer conditions. However, they must complete the same application process (see below) for admission. Please contact the IE Graduate Program Office for more information.

I have a non-engineering Bachelor's degree. Can I still apply for the School of Industrial Engineering (IE) graduate program?
Yes, you may apply for the IE graduate program even if you have a non-engineering Bachelor's degree. However, if you have no engineering mathematics background, please contact the IE Graduate Program Office for more information.

Application Materials

Enter correct information for the "Degree Received or Expected" in the Education Background page.
If you are currently in school for a master's or bachelor's degree, enter the prospective degree that will be awarded. "No Degree Obtained" is for students who leave school without a degree or for non-degree students. Also, enter the correct graduation term.

Do I need to upload my diploma and/or mail a hard copy?
Do not mail your diploma. Upload a scanned copy of your official diploma to the Diploma folder. If you do not see Diploma in the navigation bar, attach the scanned copy to your transcript. If you forget to attach it, return to the Application and upload the copy as a miscellaneous document.

Do I need to upload my transcript and/or mail a hard copy?
When you upload the transcript to your online application, it is used for review purposes only. Once you've been admitted, the Graduate School will require official (paper) transcripts and/or academic records. Read Transcript Requirements for more information.

Can I send as eTranscript instead of a hard copy?
Some universities issue eTranscripts. If this is the case, the official eTranscript must be sent directly to Do not send the eTranscript to IE Graduate Office.

Can I use an unofficial transcript?
No, unofficial transcripts are not acceptable, and there are no exceptions.

My Statement of Purpose is longer than 500 words or shorter than 300 words. Is this acceptable?
No, please stay with the range of minimum 300 words to maximum 500 words. Do not exceed 500 words.

I would like to change my recommender.
If your recommender has changed, add a new recommender and notify the IE Graduate Office to "hide" the former recommender. When the application system accepts three letters, it will automatically recognize your recommendation letters category as complete.

My recommender is having trouble receiving Purdue email.
Spam filters may recognize Purdue email as commercial mail and block the email automatically. Please ask your recommender to add the domain to the safe senders list.

Is the diversity essay required?
No, it is optional, and if you did not graduate from a high school in the U.S.A., please do not submit.

Should I submit extra documents to increase the chance of admission?
No, please meet all of our admission requirements above and do not submit extra documents. All of your accomplishments can be listed in your resume or be stated on your Statement of Purpose. Any documents found that are not listed in our requirements page will be discarded. Do not send us any copies of your financial statement or other documents requested by ISS or the Office of the Bursar.

What is the status of my application?
Please login to your application to check the status.

Can I update my online application after it is submitted?
You may submit your application only once. You will not be able to make changes to your application information using the online application system after submission. However, you will be able to upload additional transcripts or documents requested from your graduate program through your application status portal under "Upload Materials as a Miscellaneous Supporting Document".

I'm having a problem processing my application fee.
Read these instructions. If you still have a payment error, please email with your full name and application ID#.

How long will it take before I will hear if I've been accepted for admission?
For Fall Semester admission (priority deadline December 1, final submission deadline January 5), applicants should hear approximately three months after January 5 (usually by the end of March). For Spring Semester admission (submission deadline September 1), applicants should hear approximately two months from September 1 (usually by the first week of November).

What should I do when I receive an admission offer?
See the guidelines for Accepting Admission. Also, see Admitted Checklist.


My GRE/TOEFL/IELTS score hasn’t been uploaded to the online application yet.
Reported scores are delivered to the Purdue central system, not to the individual department, taking up to two weeks. If your score was sent in more than two weeks ago, the most common problem is mismatched names. The name used on your GRE/TOEFL/IELTS must be exactly the same as the name on your online application. Otherwise, the system will not recognize it and will fail to upload your score to the matching application. For score reporting issues, please contact with your application ID (reference ID) and the full name used on both GRE/TOEFL/IELTS and online application. In addition, until the official score is updated in the system, upload a copy of your PDF score report and attach it as a miscellaneous document to your application.

Can my TOEFL requirement be waived?
Please read the English Proficiency Requirements policy.

What code should I use for GRE, TOEFL and IELTS?
Purdue University West Lafayette's code for the application is 1631. If you have taken IELTS, have scores sent to "Purdue University – Office of International Students and Scholars." Note: IELTS scores can also be sent digitally. For more information, see the IELTS instructions.

I reported my GRE, TOEFL or IELTS score to a regional campus other than West Lafayette, IN.
The university code for your score submission is 1631. The score must be submitted only to Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. If you submit your score or application to the regional campuses other than West Lafayette, IN, the score or application is not transferrable. You will need to order a new score or file a new application to 1631 - Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.  

What is the score requirement for TOEFL?
The minimum overall score requirement is 88 with a minimum of 20 on each section: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. If you receive lower than 20 on one of the sections, it does not satisfy minimum requirements. The requirements for botht eh IELTS and TOEFL can be found on the English proficiency requirements page.

Can I still apply if I don't meet the GRE or TOEFL requirements?
If you don't meet the GRE requirements, you may still apply to the Purdue IE graduate program. However, if you don't meet the TOEFL requirements you cannot successfully apply to the program.

Should I retake my GRE and/or TOEFL to increase my scores and chance of admission?
It is your decision, but you must meet our deadline and minimum requirements (above) in order to be considered for admission.

Can I submit my GRE, TOEFL or IELTS score after the deadline?
No, your application must be complete by the deadline, otherwise, it is not considered complete and will not be considered.


Do I need a separate Fellowship application?
No, you do not need a separate application for Fellowships.

How do I apply for an Assistantship? 
Assistantships are assigned at the discretion of professors and you will be automatically considered during the application review process.

What other funding opportunities are available?
For more information, read the Funding Opportunities webpage.


How can I get in to Purdue Industrial Engineering (IE)?
Your GRE scores and GPA are important, but are not the sole criteria for being admitted to the Purdue University School of Industrial Engineering (IE). We are looking for bright, hard-working students who not only do well academically but who fit with our faculty, students and program. Our best advice to you is to find out early what your interests are – look at our faculty websites and our faculty’s research, identify your interests and strengths, and see where you might fit in our program.

What kinds of graduate degrees does Purdue IE offer?
We offer an application track, including a Professional Master's Program for polishing off professional skills for students wanting to enter the work force. We provide 3 credit hours of professional development and six credit hours of an industry-sponsored capstone project. An Online Master's and a Non-Thesis Master’s help those in industry who are returning to school to advance their skill set and career. These options result in an MSIE but do not usually provide research funding. Our program is more applied than many other top IE programs.

We have a research-oriented track, including a Master’s Thesis option and a PhD option. In both of these cases, a student should consider well which advisor might best match her/his interests. Research funding is often more available for these students.

What is our IE graduate program like?
We offer a “full-service” IE program, which includes but is not limited to an emphasis in Operations Research. We are one of the few IE programs in North America who continue to offer a Manufacturing emphasis with fundamental materials and experience in a machine shop. We also offer an emphasis in Production Systems, using logistics beyond factory applications, including environmental, healthcare, and other industries as well. We also have faculty teaching and researching various aspects of Human Factors.

Along with the traditional IE emphases of Operations Research, Manufacturing, Production Systems, and Human Factors, our faculty are branching out into new areas to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Some of these diverse areas include: 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, and Simulation Optimization.

How long will it take me to finish my graduate degree?
It’s possible to finish a Master’s non-thesis degree in three to four semesters (summer not required). Master’s thesis degrees may take longer depends on progress of the research. Graduate internships are allowed. A PhD degree may be finished within four years after completing a Master’s degree, including two semesters of Graduate School requirements. There is no written exam requirement.

How flexible is the IE graduate program?
We realize that the first year of graduate school should allow our students time to explore their field. Master’s application track has more flexibility of choosing courses under curriculum guideline to fulfill their needs to achieve future career successfully. Master’s research track and PhD must consult with a major professor deciding on an applied or research orientation, or considering whether to head for industry or academia.

How will I choose my major advisor?
All thesis students are admitted with a pre-assigned advisor. Students should use their first semester to confirm that they and their advisor are comfortable with the arrangement. If students want to change advisors, it is their responsibility to seek out a new advisor and initiate the change.

What resources will I have to help me?
Various student organizations exist to help you gain knowledge in the field and to network. Getting involved in groups like the IE Graduate Student Organization (IEGSO) or the new IE Graduate Women’s Group (IEGWG) may be a good fit for you to feel more at home at Purdue IE. For more information, please contact the IE Graduate Program.