Industrial Engineering


Degrees Offered


Industrial engineers design, install, and improve the complex systems that provide goods, services, and infrastructure vital to our society and economy. These systems place unique demands for breadth of preparation on industrial engineers. Graduates will demonstrate the ability to apply the principles and techniques of industrial engineering analysis and design supported by a foundation in mathematical, physical and social sciences, and economic, operational, and engineering analyses. Graduates will possess a breadth of knowledge that allows them to practice industrial engineering with an appropriate awareness of information issues in systems improvement. In addition, graduates are able to work and communicate effectively with colleagues at every level in the organization. 

One traditional arena for the implementation of industrial engineering is within manufacturing facilities; however, many practicing industrial engineers are employed in non-manufacturing institutions. The list of such possibilities is quite broad, including hospitals, banks, railroads, airlines, management consulting firms and government agencies. In addition to numerous employment opportunities in professional practice, industrial engineering graduates may further their formal education. The Department of Industrial Engineering offers the follow graduate degree programs: Master of Engineering, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy.


More information can be found in this graduate handbook.


Program of Study

MS: If you are accepted into the program, you may pursue an MS degree by either the non-thesis or thesis option. Both options require that you complete a rigorous set of courses designed to provide a strong foundation across the breadth of industrial engineering, but both also offer sufficient flexibility so that your degree is tailored to your background and career objectives. Non-thesis students can generally complete the program in three semesters, while thesis students typically require at least four.

PhD: The PhD is intended for students interested in a career of research and teaching; hence, work leading to this degree focuses on formal course work, independent study, participation in seminars and preparation of a dissertation based on original research. The basis for granting the PhD includes your grasp of the subject matter as displayed in course work your performance on doctoral exams, and your competency to plan and conduct independent and original research as evidence through the dissertation.


The research facilities in industrial engineering are arranged in six labs and centers.

  • The Advanced Quality Engineering Laboratory: Focuses on research to discover scientific knowledge and technological solutions to quality-engineering problems. Broad research areas include robust design, reliability engineering, tolerance design, human-machine collaborative design optimization and process target and military operations research
  • The Education and Learning Systems Research Laboratory: Provides a setting for the development, application and evaluation of new industrial engineering curricula and delivery systems
  • The Center for Engineering Logistics and Distribution: A National Science Foundation sponsored Industry/University Cooperative Research Center consisting of nine universities and over 30 industry and government members. Research focuses on theoretical and applied logistics problems associated with the entire supply chain from procurement of raw materials to delivery of finished goods to customers. Research activities frequently involve mathematical modeling and computational optimization

In addition to the labs, you will also have access to smart classrooms equipped for integrated networking and audio-visual technologies. A design studio and a design laboratory, consisting of a suite of reconfigurable space, supports graduate design courses and provides project space, video teleconferencing and more.


Production & Service Systems
One active area of research is exploring both theoretical and applied aspects of production and service systems. Faculty and students focus on the design, implementation and maintenance of supply chain and logistics systems, with special emphasis on the application of optimization and engineering analysis tools to modeling, design and analysis of these systems.

Human Factors
Another significant research area in the department centers on human factors systems and safety. Funded research by faculty include a wide variety of issues related to human factors associated with transportation accidents and incidents, aviation inspection systems, human computer interaction and system safety.

Education & Learning Systems
Because the quality of engineering education is more important than ever, researchers at Clemson University are focusing on the development, application and evaluation of alternative approaches to the delivery of engineering subject material that are effective and efficient and increase student success.

Our Students

The Graduate Program in Industrial Engineering typically has at least 25-30 PhD and 30-40 MS students, with women consistently comprising about one third. Students come from all over the world to study industrial engineering at Clemson University, including, most recently, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Honduras, India, Iran, Jordan, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States.

Because of the program’s broad nature, graduates with a Master’s degree choosing a career in Industrial Engineering are sought by a wide variety of industries, including automotive, aviation, chemical, consulting, electronics, financial, health care, and information technology. PhD graduates enter both academia and industry in locations around the world. Recent Clemson PhD graduates who chose academia are now faculty members of universities in the United States, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey.


Application Information

You are encouraged to apply if you have baccalaureate and/or master’s degrees in engineering, mathematics, the sciences or quantitative areas in business. You should begin your degree program in the fall semester, with permission granted by the program coordinator, it may be possible to apply for January admission.

You may apply on the web at Applications and all supporting materials must be received no later than January 1, in order to be considered when awarding assistantships for the following fall semester. Applications will continue to be accepted beyond this date, based on availability of space in the program. Additional information may be available on the Department’s website

Required Documents


The department awards approximately 25 teaching and research assistantships each year. While the exact amounts vary, most students find that the assistantships offset most, if not all, of the expenses associated with obtaining their Graduate Degree.


Program Contact(s)

Program Coordinator(s)