Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineering (IE) at LSU is a unique academic program in Louisiana. It provides opportunities for students in ergonomics and occupational health, information technology, and production/manufacturing systems, and allows them to develop skills in traditional industrial engineering activities. The program relies on rigorous mathematical and logical approaches to theoretical and practical problem solving, with extensive use of computers and industrial-class software for optimization of integrated processes and systems.

The graduate programs in industrial engineering develop skills to tackle immediate challenges across multiple industries and provide a basis for graduates to advance professionally in academia, research, industry, and government. While building a wide knowledge of industrial engineering, students can focus on several areas, including ergonomics and human factors, healthcare, supply chain systems, and information technology engineering.

General Information

Students wishing to pursue studies leading to a graduate degree must first apply to the LSU Graduate School. The LSU General Catalog provides specific information regarding the requirements and conditions of admission.

The PhD in IE is intended for students with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in industrial engineering or a closely related discipline. The program allows a candidate to thoroughly study both a broad knowledge of industrial engineering and in-depth knowledge of specialty fields in IE through faculty expertise in research areas such as management systems, quality systems engineering, human computer interaction, manufacturing systems, systems integration, ergonomics, supply chain and logistics, and information technology.

All applicants for admission to the IE PhD program are required to present satisfactory scores on the aptitude portion (quantitative + verbal sections) of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) before admission can be granted. The Graduate School can provide further information on the GRE. Generally, only those students who have at least a 3.00 (on a 4.0 scale) GPA overall in their undergraduate courses and in any graduate work already completed, with satisfactory GRE scores, will be admitted. In rare cases, applicants may be granted probationary admission, and they must then satisfy the Graduate School and departmental requirements for satisfactory progress or be dropped from the program. See section on "Probationary Admission” for more details.

In the IE PhD program, students may be able to individually craft their programs of study and select their courses to focus in one or more of the research areas. The IE PhD requires a minimum of 54 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree and a dissertation acceptable to the advisory committee and the Graduate School. Students must complete at least 42 credit hours of required and elective coursework and at least 12 credit hours of dissertation research. All courses are determined in consultation with the faculty advisor and approved by the dissertation research committee. The committee will include the student’s major advisor and at least two additional members of the graduate faculty so that the LSU Graduate School’s requirements for graduate committees are satisfied.

Students with an MS degree in industrial engineering or a related field can transfer up to 12 credit hours of non-research coursework with approval of the director of graduate studies.

PhD students from other departments who choose IE as a minor are expected to take at least 12 hours of IE graduate credits. The specific courses, which can include independent study, will be determined by the student's minor professor.

PhD Program of Study

According to the LSU Graduate School, a student is eligible to work toward a doctoral degree beginning with the semester of formal admission into a doctoral program. During the first six months in which a PhD student is enrolled, the student should meet with the major professor and determine a future program of study for completing the PhD. The importance of this activity establishes a guide for students to follow for completing work needed to obtain the PhD.

The student should first prepare a working draft of the program of study, including course titles and numbers. Then, the student, together with his or her major professor, should select the committee members. The student should provide copies of the drafted program of study to the committee members, who may approve, amend, or not approve the program of studies. If the proposed program is not approved, the major professor will assume responsibility for ensuring that the revised version is distributed among committee members for their approval. A copy of the approved program of study will be filed in the student’s folder in the MIE graduate coordinator’s office. The student’s department-level academic course plan is subject to LSU Graduate School policy and departmental regulations.

General Examination

At or near the completion of a PhD student’s required coursework, the student should schedule the general exam. The nature and extent of these examinations is at the sole discretion of the advisory committee. In addition to possible oral examinations, presentation and successful defense of a plan of research are required. The general exam is conducted by the student’s advisory committee and a graduate dean’s representative appointed by the Graduate School to serve as committee member. This representative will continue to serve on the student’s committee through the final exam. A request for the general exam must be submitted to the LSU Graduate School by the student’s department chair at least three weeks prior to the proposed examination date. Any changes to the committee must be approved in advance by the dean of the LSU Graduate School.

All votes of the committee must be recorded and signed on the exam report cards provided by the LSU Graduate School. These cards should be given to the MIE graduate coordinator, who will forward them to the LSU Graduate School.

The Final Examination

The final exam will be an oral exam primarily concerned with the dissertation, although the committee may opt to extend the subject matter. There is no prescribed format or length of time required for this exam. The major professor and committee members are responsible for establishing the format and content of this exam. Dissertation defenses are open meetings for all members of the MIE department, and all faculty members and fellow students are strongly encouraged to attend.

All votes must be recorded on the exam report cards provided by the LSU Graduate School. Committee members who approve the dissertation should also sign the dissertation approval page. The signed exam report cards and dissertation title pages should be completed and presented to the MIE graduate coordinator, who will forward them to the LSU Graduate School.

IE PhD Curriculum

The IE PhD requires a minimum of 54 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree and a dissertation acceptable to the advisory committee and the Graduate School. Students must complete at least 42 credit hours of required and elective coursework and at least 12 credit hours of dissertation research.  All courses are selected with a faculty advisor and approved by the advisory committee. 

The courses must meet the following provisions: at least half of credit hours must be taken at 7000-level or above in the College of Engineering.

Prerequisites

Students must have background in the following areas.

  • BS or MS degree in industrial engineering or related discipline

Required Courses (6 credit hours)

  • IE 7361-IE Research Methods (3 credit hours)
  • IE 4362-Advanced Statistics or one approved statistic course (3 credits)

IE Elective Courses (12 credit hours)

  • Four IE 7000 level courses

Other Electives Courses (24 credit hours minimum)

These courses may be additional IE courses and/or courses from other university programs to satisfy the needs of research goals or career objectives. Selected courses must be approved by the student's advisory committee.

Dissertation Research Hours (12 credit hours minimum)

  • IE 9000-Dissertation
  • IE 7901-Seminar (all graduate students are expected to attend this course every semester; only one semester hour of credit in this course allowed toward degree.)