There are two options for completing the requirements for the Master of Science in Industrial Engineering degree: thesis and non-thesis. Students are free to choose the option which best meets their educational and career goals. Students whose ultimate wish is to receive a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) are encouraged to choose the thesis option. Part time students may prefer to choose the non-thesis option. Students must select a degree option by the time they have completed nine (9) semester hours of graduate course work which might be directed toward the degree requirements. This decision should be made after consultation with the Industrial Engineering Graduate Advisor and other members of the Industrial Engineering graduate faculty. The degree option and list of courses are designated on a student's Preliminary Degree Plan.
A student selecting the thesis option must complete a thirty (31)-semester hour graduate program, which includes twenty-four (24) semester hours of coursework, six (6) semester hours of Thesis (IE 5398 and IE 5399), and one (1) semester hour of Graduate Seminar (IE 5195). If the student opts for the thesis option, he / she must select a Thesis Supervising Committee chairperson (Thesis Advisor).The Thesis Advisor will meet with the student to evaluate if any extra course work is required and to discuss the possible thesis topics.
As part of IE 5398 a student will submit a thesis proposal to his/her Supervising Committee. To complete IE 5399 a student must write and defend a thesis, which is then accepted by that student's Supervising Committee. Thesis research is expected to make an original contribution to the student's chosen field of specialization. The Graduate School defines format requirements for the thesis. The chair of the Supervising Committee may have additional requirements before the thesis can be accepted.
The additional twenty-four (24) hours of coursework, as presented on the Preliminary Degree Plan, must show a cohesive structure, which supports the research goals of the student. The Industrial Engineering graduate advisor will enforce this requirement. The twenty-four (24) hours of coursework required for the thesis option must be distributed as shown on the degree plans section.
Students in the thesis option must defend the thesis by taking an oral examination in their final semester. The student must be enrolled for IE 5399 at this time. The thesis must be completed at the time the final exam is scheduled. (Students will be strongly encouraged, with the help of their Supervising Committee chair, to prepare and submit papers based on their thesis to refereed journals). Approximately two weeks prior to the oral examination, a complete thesis draft should go to the committee members for review, and the graduate school for inspecting the format of the thesis. Before the thesis (in whole or in part) can be released to the committee, however, it must be read and approved by the committee chairman. It is good practice to keep committee members aware of research progress and, if feedback and advice are desired, to provide portions of the thesis far in advance of the exam. It is suggested that the thesis clerk in the Graduate School be contacted, who can provide significant guidance on format, early in the process of writing your thesis.
A student selecting the non-thesis option must complete a thirty-six (36) semester hours program, which includes all thirty-six (36) semester hours of coursework. By the time the students have completed nine (9) semester hours of graduate course work, the student must submit a Preliminary Degree Plan for the 36 hours of coursework. At this time, the student will declare the desired program option. It is the student's responsibility to submit the Preliminary Degree Plan. Students enrolled in the non-thesis option are exempted of the requirement of enrolling in the graduate seminar and taking the oral final examination as requirements for degree.
Regarding course requirements, all students enrolled in the Industrial Engineering program must take at least 15 semester-hours of course work within their major (IE) if they are following the thesis option or 18 if they are following the non-thesis option.
There is a 6-year time limit for crediting courses towards the Master of Science Degree.