Industrial engineers ensure that their organization's industrial production process runs smoothly and efficiently; their main objective is to increase productivity. A bachelor's degree is the standard academic requirement for this field, though individuals who plan on career advancement may want to continue their studies and enroll in a master's degree program in industrial engineering.
Top Industrial Engineering Schools
A number of institutions offer industrial engineering programs, including those listed here.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition* (2015-2016)|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||Atlanta, GA||4-year, public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral|| $12,204 In-state Undergraduate
$13,452 In-state Graduate
|University of Michigan-Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral|| $13,856 In-state Undergraduate
$20,638 In-state Graduate
|Purdue University - West Lafayette||West Lafayette, IN||4-year, public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral|| $10,002 In-state Undergraduate
$9,208 In-state Graduate
|University of California - Berkeley||Berkeley||4-year, public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral|| $13,431 In-state Undergraduate
$11,220 In-state Graduate
|Northwestern University||Evanston, IL||4-year, private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral|| $49,047 Undergraduate
|Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University||Blacksburg, VA||4-year, public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral|| $12,485 In-state Undergraduate
$12,127 In-state Graduate
|Pennsylvania State University||University Park, PA||4-year, public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral|| $17,514 In-state Undergraduate
$19,328 In-state Graduate
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||Madison, WI||4-year, public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral|| $10,415 In-state Undergraduate
$10,728 In-state Graduate
|Cornell University||Ithaca, NY||4-year, private not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$49,116 Undergraduate|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
School Selection Criteria
When choosing an industrial engineering program there are a number of things to keep in mind.
- Aspiring industrial engineers may want to seek schools that offer access to laboratory facilities and courses that concentrate on current issues in technology and engineering standards.
- Individuals should also seek programs accredited by ABET; this accreditation is needed for engineers who require licensure.
- Students who are currently working may want to look for distance-learning programs so they can study at their own pace.
- Schools with career centers are paramount, because these centers assist students with employment objectives.
Associate's Degree in Industrial Engineering
Associate's degree programs introduce students to quality assurance, manufacturing processes and mathematics. At some schools, students can begin an industrial engineering certificate program and apply earned credits to a 2-year degree.
Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Engineering
Bachelor's degrees in industrial engineering prepare students for careers in fields such as engineering and manufacturing as well as for enrollment in graduate degree programs. Programs cover both engineering and business topics. Some schools require completion of a research project or internship before graduation.
Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering
Master's degrees in industrial engineering are for those seeking professional advancement in the field. Master's programs give students the opportunity to specialize in one area of industrial engineering, such as production planning or industrial economics. A thesis is usually required in order to graduate.
Industrial engineering degrees are offered by many reputable institutions throughout the United States, which means that prospective students have many program options to choose from. Some factors that may influence their decision are location, cost, and program facilities.