Online Industrial Engineering Degrees by Program Level

Find out about online industrial engineering courses and in which degree programs they're most commonly offered. Get course descriptions, program info, and online requirements to make an informed decision.

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Essential Information

Many schools offer online master's degree programs for industrial engineering. Some programs are totally online, allowing students to view lessons and complete interactive assignments through distance learning. Other programs are hybrids, with some courses being offered online and others requiring students to attend sessions on campus.

These programs are designed for working professionals. To enter, students must hold a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field. An online master's program usually calls for approximately 2 years of full-time study to complete. A thesis may be required.

Courses in an online master's program in industrial engineering may include ergonomics, manufacturing systems, systems analysis, and economic analysis. Students may also study computer science, mathematics, and statistics. At this level, courses may focus on management and decision-making skills.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Industrial Technology
  • Operational Research

Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering

An online master's degree program in industrial engineering emphasizes concepts and principles in quality and reliability engineering, operations research, production systems, management systems for engineering, and information systems. Required coursework helps students improve their ability to analyze, understand, and resolve problems within complex organizations to improve production and profitability. Study topics often include logistics, distribution, warehousing, and transportation. Online learners are typically required to hold a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related degree in the physical, mathematical, or behavior sciences.

Program Information and Requirements

Requirements for an online graduate degree in industrial engineering usually include approximately 33-40 credit hours. Graduate students can expect to complete an industrial engineering master's degree online in 2-2.5 years of continuous study. Coursework is available in fully online and hybrid format, which combines online and on-campus courses. Courses are typically delivered through streaming video and interactive Internet-based learning applications. Students communicate with faculty and fellow students through e-mail and online discussion boards. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available.

Accessing online courses require the use of a computer, meeting hardware and software requirements, and an Internet connection. Real-time conferences and online discussions may require the use of a headset and audio equipment, as well as a webcam.

Common Online Coursework

Online courses required for a master's degree in industrial engineering focus on providing students with the advanced knowledge needed to improve systems, productivity, and processes in order to enhance work environments. In addition to those courses detailed below, common topics include automation and control, production systems, human factors engineering, and computer simulation.

Management Decisions and Control Systems

Lessons focus on the design, development and implementation of computer-based information systems to support management decisions. Resource management for quality control, decision support, cost effectiveness, process improvement, and system evaluation are emphasized.

Manufacturing Systems

This course covers types of operations, aggregate production planning, lead times, lot sizes, and pull production systems. Students learn to analyze bottlenecks, queuing, and flow.

Engineering Economy

Students study advanced engineering economy topics, such as economic worth, utility theory, and economic optimization. Constraints, risk, and uncertainty are also a focus of discussion.

Career Information for Graduates

As companies continue to look for ways to raise productivity while reducing costs, the need for industrial engineers to develop processes that are more efficient in order to reduce delays, waste and costs will continue to increase. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected employment opportunities for industrial engineers to grow by 1% from 2014-2024 ( As of May 2015, the BLS reported that industrial engineers earned an annual median wage of $83,470. According to the BLS, most positions within this field are in the aerospace manufacturing industry.

Continuing Education Information

The Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) offers a variety of voluntary certificate programs in a number of specialties, including engineering management, healthcare management, lean enterprise, risk management, and supply chain management. Certificate programs usually require a series of seminars and may or may not include a final examination. The IIE also offers practicing engineers additional training and continuing education opportunities through regional conferences, webinars, corporate training programs, and an annual convention.

Industrial engineering master's degrees are available in fully and partially online formats, training students in management and quality assurance techniques. The IIE organization certifies engineers in a number of specialties and offers continuing education courses and learning opportunities to help graduates stay up to date in their field.

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