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Emphasis Areas FAQ

What is an emphasis area in IE?

Since 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.

What IE emphasis areas exist?

Read the Emphasis Area documents below if you are interested in extra knowledge/coursework in a particular area of interest (a coherent curriculum plan, as discussed in the General Education Elective and Technical Elective program manuals). These areas are those that students have commonly expressed an interest in knowing more about, and how courses at Purdue translate to those areas.

What if I'd like a different interest area?

New emphasis areas are also being considered, and the documents developed thus far will undergo continual maintenance and refinement based on changing Purdue course offerings and/or real-world information.

Is an emphasis area the same as a minor?

Emphasis areas are not minors or specializations. These things have special meaning at Purdue related to your permanent record. For instance, an emphasis area will not appear on your transcript, and 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 (hopefully) use in your career. 

Is an emphasis area the same as a specialization?

Since an emphasis area is not a minor or specialization you will want to be careful representing yourself to potential employers when seeking employment. It is ok to emphasize that you have gained extra skills  useful in a particular area, but saying you "specialized" in, for example, financial 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 Dr. Brunese.

Which emphasis areas does IE currently offer?