Plan of Study and Course Requirements for PhD

A Plan of Study (POS) is required by the Graduate School for all graduate students. The POS functions to ensure a student has met all of their course requirements prior to graduation. We recommend you file your POS in your second semester, but it must be submitted and fully approved before you begin the semester you intend to graduate (e.g. if you intend to graduate in May, you should submit it at the beginning of the prior December). A summary of POS information can be found below, but for detailed instructions, please see section 2.2 and appendix B of the handbook.

Verify all admission conditions are satisfied

Review your admission letter for details.

90 Total Credits needed for Graduation

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 areas*
  • At least two courses from two different core areas*
  • Two 60000-level courses
  • At least 6 credits in a related area
  • Preliminary Examination
  • Final Examination

*These stipulations were added for Fall 2022 admits and beyond. For students admitted prior to Fall 2022, only 39 course credits were required without the aditional coursework stipulations. Please inquire with the graduate office if you need further clarity. 

  • A grade of C or better on every course listed in the plan of study, a B or better in all core courses, and an overall GPA of 3.0 or better on all courses listed in the Plan of Study. 
  • One core course from each of the following (students without previous MS must take at least two courses from two core areas, with at least one course in the remaining core areas, with a total of 18 credits in the core areas):
    • Economics/Decisions: IE 545 or IE 546
    • Human Factors: IE 556, IE 558, IE 559, IE 577, or IE 578
    • Manufacturing/Production: IE 566, IE 570, IE 579, IE 588, or IE 590 (Nanomanufacturing)
    • Optimization/Stochastics: IE 535, IE 536, IE 537, IE 538, IE 580, IE 581
  • At least 6 credit hours of 600 level industrial engineering courses taken at Purdue University, excluding unlabeled IE 690 (individual project), IE 697 (seminar), IE 698, and IE 699 (research PhD thesis)
  • At least 6 credit hours of additional graduate level coursework are recommended from either Industrial Engineering or a related area. Pre-approved areas include:

    • other engineering disciplines

    • mathematics, statistics, computer sciences, biology

    • psychology, sociology

    • economics, management

  • All courses must be  500 or 600 level graduate courses with the exception of up to one 400-level course from pre-approved areas.
  • Pre-approval is required for non-IE 1-credit courses and courses from areas not in the pre-approved list.
    • Please obtain a syllabus from the course and send it to the grad office to request approval.

Please note: Research credit hours hours are required to graduate, but these will not appear on your plan of study. 

Courses NOT allowed on the Plan of Study:

  • Professional Master’s (PMP) Industry Capstone Project courses; or

  • P/NP or S grade courses (P/NP and S courses within Industrial Engineering will be allowed only if that is the only grade mode offered for the course, if a graded mode is offered, it must be taken).

  • Audited courses; or

  • Zero credit courses; or

  • Research credit hours (IE 69800); or

  • STAT 50100, 50200, 50300, 51100, 51300 ; or

  • Polytechnic courses ** (AVTH, CNIT, CGT, BCM, ECET, ENGT, MET, TLI, TECH, etc.); or

  • Courses irrelevant to the degree

NOTE: Changes to a Plan of Study can be filed as many as times as necessary to update the information such as courses, concentration, and advisory committee.


** While Polytechnic courses are not traditionally allowed on a plan of study, see appendix B section 11 of the handbook for information on waiving that policy.