Performancing Metrics

10 Best Industrial Engineering Master’s Programs

masters industrial engineering

Are you creative? Good at solving problems? Great at mathematics?

If so, you might want to consider enrolling full time in one of the top industrial and systems engineering programs.

What is Industrial and Systems Engineering?

An industrial engineer is someone who finds ways to eliminate waste in production processes.

Many full time industrial engineers enter the workforce with just a bachelor’s degree. However, earning a master’s in industrial engineering is one of the smartest things you can do as you advance your career. These jobs are expected to grow by about 14% by 2030. That is a rate that’s much faster than the national average.

Industrial engineers find ways to make engineering companies more efficient and productive. So why are you wasting time and losing productivity? If you’re still searching full time for the best industrial and systems engineering programs, you’ve come to the right place.

See Also: Aerospace Engineering Master’s Programs 

How to Choose the Best Industrial Engineering Master’s Degree

It can be tough to find accredited full time programs in industrial engineering. That’s even more true if you have specific career goals in mind. Always choose an accredited degree. This will make sure you’ll be eligible for financial aid and transfer credit.

There are lots of variables at play as you search for the ideal program for a quality education. Find a degree that’s taught by world-renowned faculty. The best industrial engineering masters programs feature small class sizes, too.

You may want to choose a master’s degree in industrial and systems engineering that allows you to take electives in your areas of interest. Look for one that lets you participate in resume-boosting, hands-on learning experiences.

Let’s not forget about affordable tuition rates and a high job placement rate either!

Are you feeling overwhelmed in your search for engineering schools? Don’t be! There are lots of boxes you’ll want to check off on your search for the best master’s in industrial engineering. We’re here to help make the graduate degree decision just a little bit easier.

If you’re looking for the top master’s in industrial engineering, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to learn more about master’s in industrial and systems engineering programs!

See Also: 10 Affordable Online Masters in Material Science & Engineering

What Are the Best Master’s Degrees in Industrial and Systems Engineering?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue. You may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:

25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and finish there

20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni

20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who get accepted

10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career.

See Also: 10 Best Affordable Masters in Industrial Engineering

Graduate Industrial and Systems Engineering Programs

#1. Texas A&M University-College Station

MS in Industrial Engineering – Texas A&M

Texas A&M University

Interested in industrial engineering? Texas A&M -College Station is one of the best schools in the country. The school of engineering at Texas A&M University has both full time and part time programs.

Texas A&M – College Station is the only school is the only one in the state of Texas with a school of engineering that holds simultaneous designations as a space, sea, and land grant institution. It has received funding from organizations like:

  • the National Institutes of Health
  • the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • the National Science Foundation

The industrial engineering master here is one of the most hands-on and innovative in the country. The full time master’s degree is guided by Texas A&M University- College Station’s commitment to conducting groundbreaking operations research. This master degree in industrial engineering has an immersive curriculum. It is perfect for the motivated learner.

Texas A&M University- College Station’s college of engineering’s strategic location will give you plenty of access to the hustle and bustle of major cities. These include Houston, Dallas, and Austin. Students interested in systems engineering and full time fun can enjoy all the nightlife, dining, and other recreational activities these cities have to offer. You can also access major employers as you begin your job search. This industrial engineering Texas master’s program has a Texas-size reputation! It is perfect for working professionals and students interested in research in the applied sciences.

This one of the best industrial engineering programs is a 30-credit hour program. It can be completed as a thesis or non-thesis track. This 30 credit hour field focuses on topics like:

  • Data Science
  • Manufacturing
  • Human Factors
  • Operations Research
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Systems Engineering

You’ll have plenty of opportunities for hands-on learning and exploration into other fields, like civil engineering, in this master’s degree. It’s a great pathway to the Ph.D. in industrial engineering at Texas A&M University- College Station. Or it can give you the skills you need to enter right into the workforce.

Texas A&M University- College Station is affordable. Full time tuition here in College Station comes in at less than $10,000 on average. Graduates of this program earn average salaries around $96,000. There is plenty of financial aid available to offset the cost of tuition. This includes grants, scholarships, assistantships, and more. You’ll find that this accredited engineering program offers an excellent return on investment. GRE scores are required but often waived for qualified full time students.

Interested in a management master’s program instead? Check it out here. Or a Systems engineering degree at Texas A&M University- College Station? Check it out here at the College of Engineering.

#2.  Texas Tech University

Texas TechMaster’s Program in Industrial Engineering

You will find another one of the best graduate industrial engineering programs at Texas Tech’s college of engineering. Texas Tech University has full time programs in more than 150 courses of study. These full time programs are spread out among more than a dozen colleges and schools. There are also 60 research centers and institutes you can explore while working full time on your industrial engineering master degree. Industrial engineering students conduct operations research in field focuses like:

  • wind energy
  • epidemiology
  • graphic computing
  • nanophotonics
  • applied sciences
  • inventory control
  • new products exploration
  • human factors
  • systems engineering
  • supply chain management

This department was founded in 1934. This makes it one of the first in the nation and the first-ever in the state of Texas. It often receives funding from organizations like:

  • the National Science Foundation
  • the Department of Energy
  • NASA

You’ll complete 30 credit hours of study for this full time master’s degree in industrial and systems engineering. The Master of Science in Industrial Engineering at Texas Tech provides graduate students with skills and experience in industry, research, and consulting.

You will take a set of core courses in subjects like:

  • Principles of Optimization
  • Manufacturing Facilities Planning and Design
  • Human Factors in Engineering and Design

You’ll be able to participate in the many student organizations sponsored by Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering. Some examples include:

  • Institute of Industrial Engineers
  • Society of Manufacturing Engineers
  • Society of Women Engineers
  • National Society of Black Engineers

All offer a great way to connect with other industrial engineering students. You will also be able to network with those in other master’s program areas, like civil engineering. Plus, you will build your resume at the same time! This full time industrial engineering master is offered by one of the best college of engineering departments in the nation.

Interested in a civil engineering or management master’s degrees instead? Check it out here.

#3.  Georgia Institute of Technology

Master’s in Industrial Engineering

Georgia Tech

You’ll find another one of the best colleges for industrial engineering in Georgia. The Georgia Institute of Technology is part of the University System of Georgia. This large school has satellite campuses in places like:

  • Savannah, GA
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Singapore
  • China

It’s possible for students to earn their full time master’s degree in industrial and systems engineering from just about anywhere in the world! You can study full time or part time in this systems engineering and engineering management degree.

The full time master degree in industrial engineering here is from one of the top industrial engineering schools. Georgia Tech was first a trade school specializing in engineering (mechanical engineering, to be precise). Therefore, it continues to offer a variety of full time degrees in engineering. These are delivered from a more practical, hands-on perspective.

You’ll attend classes on a lush and green 400-acre campus in Atlanta, GA. This is one of the most eco-friendly schools in America. Georgia Tech is recognized for its commitment to sustainability.

The advanced curriculum of this full time program will give you access to disciplines like:

  • economics
  • optimization
  • probability
  • computing
  • statistics
  • psychology

You’ll take 36 credit hours of full time study. Courses include:

  • Deterministic Optimization
  • Probabilistic Models and Their Applications
  • Advanced Engineering Economy
  • Transportation and Organization’s Supply Chain Systems

The advanced degree has both part time and full time thesis- and non-thesis tracks. This will allow you to focus on operations research or hands-on experience.

The Master of Science in Industrial Engineering often ranks as one of the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report. This college of engineering is recognized for its quality and affordability. That is,  along with its low student-to-faculty ratio. This ensures you get plenty of 1:1 time while studying full time with your instructors. Tuition is low, offset by:

  • scholarships
  • fellowships
  • sponsorships
  • other financial aid

Considering a supply chain management certification? Check it out here. Or aerospace engineering? Check it out here.

#4.  Clemson University

Master’s in Industrial Engineering

Clemson University

Clemson University is a public land-grant research university. This top-ranking school in our masters in industrial engineering rankings is located in Clemson, SC. It’s divided into seven separate colleges. These include the College of Engineering, Computing, and Applied Sciences. The college of engineering is one of the school’s top-ranking departments. That’s according to the U.S. News & World Report.

Clemson was first a small agricultural college. It now offers all kinds of diverse learning and research opportunities to students from all over the world. You’ll enjoy a close-knit student-to-faculty ratio of just 16:1 in this graduate program.

Not only one of the best graduate programs in industrial engineering, it is also one of the most affordable. Tuition starts at an average of $15,000. The average salary for graduates is around $109,700. You can study full time or part time.

#5.  Colorado State University

Master of Science in Systems Engineering

Colorado State

Another one of the best universities for industrial engineering in USA is Colorado State. Colorado State University is a public university. It is located in Fort Collins CO.

This master’s degree in industrial and systems engineering has two different full time degree options:

  • Master of Engineering with a Systems Engineering specialization
  • Master of Science in Systems Engineering

You will take around 30 credit hours of full time study. This depends on the option you choose. You’ll be able to study when and where it is most convenient for you. Courses include subjects like:

  • Engineering Risk Analysis
  • Engineering Project and Program Management
  • Foundations of Systems Engineering

There are lots of reasons to consider Colorado State for your full time graduate education in systems and industrial engineering.You’ll pay just around $1,118 per credit hour for this flexible, accessible online program.

95% of online graduates alone have jobs lined up before graduation. They enjoy an average starting salary of $87,000. There is $2.9 million in grant work completed each year at this school. It’s easy to see that industry experience is what gets graduates ahead here!

#6.  Iowa State University

Masters in Industrial Engineering

Iowa State

Iowa State University is also known as Iowa State University of Science and Technology. It is the largest university in the state of Iowa. This is one of the best industrial engineering graduate schools in the nation.

You’ll take 30 credit hours of full time coursework. You’ll cover topics in:

  • Manufacturing and Operations
  • Operations Research
  • Human Factors

You can complete this industrial engineering program 100% online. You can study part or full time. You’ll take classes like Inventory Control and Production Planning and Simulation Modeling and Analysis.

You’ll still participate in the same hands-on learning experiences that you would if you were studying on-campus. The full time final project is a capstone design course. In this, you’ll speak in an industry project. You will learn how your skills can provide economic value to the company you’re working with. In the past, students have worked full time with major architectural and engineering companies like Vermeer and John Deere!

#7.  North Carolina State University

Master’s in Industrial Engineering

NC State University

Next in our full time MS in industrial engineering rankings is North Carolina State University. North Carolina State University is a public research university located in Raleigh, NC. It  forms one of the three corners of the famed Research Triangle.

This university has a part and full time enrollment of more than 35,000 students. North Carolina State University is one of the largest research institutions in the country. It’s best known for its programs in:

  • statistics
  • agriculture
  • textiles
  • life sciences design
  • engineering

The industrial engineering program has multiple start dates per year. It is a full time degree. It is immersive and practical in nature. You’ll be able to work in a variety of fields upon graduation. These include:

  • Bio- and nano-engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • Shipping and logistics
  • Telecommunications

The full time degree is perfect for students who are interested in studying part-time. It requires 33 credit hours of study. It has no full time on-campus residency. There’s no thesis research required.

Industrial engineering students will take core classes in subjects like:

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Systems Analysis and Optimization
  • Economic Analysis and Decision Making

#8.  Oakland University

Master’s in Industrial and Systems Engineering

Oakland University

Oakland University was founded in 1957 by Matilda Dodge Wilson. This college of engineering is located in the Detroit Metropolitan Area. It has more than 132 bachelor’s degrees and 138 professional master’s and doctoral programs of study.

The full time Master Industrial Engineering degree will prepare you to improve and design integrated systems. These are systems of people, materials, energy, information, and technology. You’ll take full time courses in four key areas:

  • professional courses
  • elective courses
  • general elective courses
  • theory courses

You will also take some applied sciences courses in the college of engineering here. Students who want to can hone in on an area of interest in this industrial engineering master. Both students interested in taking classes full time or part time can choose an area of interest. Part time and full time students can choose specialization courses in things like:

  • supply chain
  • data analytics
  • product lifecycle management
  • lean principles and application

You don’t have to have a background in industrial and systems engineering. The program is open to aspiring health and safety engineers with undergraduate degrees in any field. That includes those in mechanical, electrical, computer, and civil engineering.

This is one of the many industrial engineering graduate programs that is available on a full- or part-time basis. This flexible graduate degree program has three separate start dates per year.

#9.  Oregon State University

Master’s in Industrial Engineering

Oregon State University

Oregon State University is a public land-grant research university. It is located in Corvallis, OR. This school is home to more than 200 different programs of study. It is recognized as a sea, sun, and space-grant university.

You’ll be able to choose from a thesis or non-thesis track when you complete this program. It can be completed part or full time.

Graduate students will also take six core courses. These are in subjects like:

  • Design of Industrial Experiments
  • Information Systems Engineering
  • Industrial Organization
  • Management Systems Engineering

You can take additional electives, portfolio coursework, and minor coursework as you see fit, too.

You’ll be able to access a wide variety of student resources, including many research and instructional laboratories.

You’ll work full time with faculty and other students in laboratories like:

  • the Machining & Product Realization Lab
  • the Energy Efficiency Center
  • ATAMI (once known as the Microproducts Breakthrough Institute)

There’s no better way to get full time hands-on experience than by working in these facilities!

#10.  Louisiana Tech University

Master of Science in Engineering, Industrial Engineering Concentration

Louisiana Tech University

Last but not least is Louisiana Tech University. This school is located in Ruston, LA. It is often recognized for its contribution to research and development in a variety of fields.

It is the only university in the state of Louisiana to be designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and Research.

You’ll be able to choose from a thesis or practicum curriculum in this full time program. You can customize your degree to suit your career goals. The full time thesis track is ideal for students with career interests in research or Ph.D. study. The practicum is perfect for individuals who wish to enter right into the workforce.

Regardless of the track, you’ll take similar core courses. Core classes include:

  • Statistical Analysis for Six Sigma Project Management
  • Logistics Planning

You’ll take around one to two years to complete your studies. You may even be able to build some business management skills along the way, too!

See Also: Top 10 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Software Engineering


How do I apply to a master’s in industrial engineering degree?

It can be challenging to be admitted to a master’s in industrial engineering and management. These full time programs tend to be competitive. When choosing schools, consider your career goals. If you want to have a research-focused career, pick a program with a thesis option. If you’d rather go right into working in the industry, one without a thesis track should suffice.

Consider how many years to complete the master’s program too. The best industrial engineering schools have flexible completion plans that allow you to take classes part time or full time. Students who want to take more years to complete their master’s program (like working professionals) can do so.

Admission Requirements for a Full Time Master’s Degree

You’ll need to have an undergraduate degree in a relevant area. It doesn’t always have to be industrial engineering. Students from other engineering backgrounds (such as mechanical, civil, or environmental engineering) are often accepted into these master’s programs.

You’ll need a high GPA of at least 3.0. You’ll also need transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal essay. You may also need to have work experience and a resume to show your qualifications.

Some schools require scores from the GRE, or Graduate Records Examination. Not all do. The test will quiz you in key areas like:

  • analytical writing
  • verbal reasoning
  • quantitative reasoning

Check with your school to see if this test is a requirement. In some cases, you may be able to apply for a waiver. This can eliminate the need to submit test scores.

Do industrial engineers need a masters?

Are you interested in engineering? Do you already have a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering field or a related field? If so, you might be wondering why you should bother getting a master’s.

You can often enter the workforce full time without one. That’s true! However, a master’s in engineering will earn you a much higher salary. Earning a master’s can give you a salary increase of more than $19,000 per year. You’ll have increased job prospects. It will be much easier to advance in your career. That’s true whether that’s in your current company or a new one.

Is it worth doing an industrial engineering master’s degree program?

Obtaining a master’s in industrial engineering offers many benefits. It’s 100% worth your time. Earning such a degree help you grow as a professional. It will also open the door for greater career opportunities. Don’t forget about the potential for a higher salary. No matter which college of engineering you choose, you’ll find that this kind of degree is incredibly valuable.

What is the average industrial engineer salary?

Industrial engineers could earn a salary in excess of $88,950 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The highest 10% of earners brought in more than $136,930. Individuals employed by professional and technical services earn the highest salaries on average. 

If you choose to work as an architectural and engineering manager, you could bring in even more. The average salary for these professionals is around $149,530 per year. Plus, you may receive additional benefits. Examples include bonuses and expense accounts.

Other areas you could work in include supply chain management, healthcare systems, and much more. An industrial engineering master program offers the flexibility and versatility working professionals need to be successful no matter what. And no matter which college of engineering you choose for your master’s program!

See Also: Best Master’s in Materials Science and Engineering 

Other Notable Programs For Industrial and Systems Engineering Programs

Look for a program that is recognized by the Institute of Industrial Engineers.

  • Purdue University
  • Auburn University (Auburn University has many other related programs, including those in supply chain management, too)
  • Northwestern University
  • Florida State University
  • Virginia Tech
  • Southern California
  • University Park
  • University of Michigan Ann
  • West Lafayette

Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor