Emphasis Areas FAQ

What is an emphasis area in IE?

IEs can be employed in nearly every industry. There are many potential areas where an IE can specialize. Many students seeking an IE degree have a certain career goal in mind and wish to gain extra skills that would make them more marketable to that industry. On the other hand, a student may be open to any industry, but want to make the best use of their elective courses to engage a potential or particular topic of interest more deeply.

Is an emphasis area the same as a minor or specialization? Will it show up on my transcript?

No, emphasis areas are not minors or specializations have special meaning at Purdue related to your permanent record, however emphasis areas will not be reflected on your transcript.

For instance, you won't have a specific program to follow (e.g., specific number of classes to complete) to "earn" an emphasis area. The emphasis area documents are simply advising documents. You are free to take any subset of courses within an emphasis area as you see fit. The benefit will be that you have extra skills in a particular area that you can use in your career. 

You will want to be careful representing yourself to potential employers. It is ok to emphasize that you have gained extra skills useful in a particular skill set or application, but saying you "specialized" in, for example, manufacturing engineering would not be appropriate. If you have any concerns about how you are representing this on a resume or in a cover letter, you should consult with the Industrial Engineering Undergraduate Advising Office.

What emphasis areas are possible?

If you are interested in extra knowledge/coursework in a particular area of interest, these are the most common, but not exclusive, emphasis areas students pursue and sample of courses to support them.