Dwight Look College of Engineering, Texas A&M University
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Degrees Offered

The Master's Degree

The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering offers two Master's degrees: a Master of Science (M.S.) and a Master of Engineering (M.Eng). Both degrees are very flexible allowing the student a wide choice in course selection and emphasis areas.

The M.S. degree is principally chosen by students interested in continuing for a Ph.D. degree and requires courses in the areas of linear programming, nonlinear programming, statistics, and mathematical probability. The thesis option requires at least 32 credit hours including a 4-hour thesis. The non-thesis option requires at least 36 credit hours.

The M.Eng. degree is a non-thesis degree requiring at least 30 credit hours. Of the 30 hours, six or seven courses are from Industrial Engineering and three or four courses are from other departments. (Common choices for courses outside industrial engineering come from the departments of Statistics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Information & Operations Management, Finance, Management, and Accounting.) Flexibility is emphasized so that the student and an advisor can structure a degree plan tailored to the individual needs of the student. There are no core courses required for the general M.Eng. degree.

There is a systems engineering option for both the M.S. and the M.Eng. degree which requires a sets of courses. (The systems engineering courses are included in, and not in addition to, the required hours.)

Ph.D. Degree

The Department of Industrial and System Engineering offers a Ph.D. degree in Industrial Engineering. With the advice and approval of his/her advisory committee, the student can develop a degree plan which matches his/her own professional interests. The degree plan for the student who already has a master's degree must contain at least 64 credit hours, including credit for dissertation research hours. If a student holds only a bachelor's degree, a total of at least 96 hours is required. Doctoral students must maintain a 3.5 official GPR and a 3.5 GPR on degree plan courses. The dissertation is expected to be suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed (scholarly) journal, and the student is required to submit evidence that at least one paper on the dissertation research has been submitted for publication.

Ph.D. students are required to take three major exams: the qualifying exam, the preliminary exam and the final exam (or defense). The qualifying exam is usually taken after the second semester and covers linear programming (ISEN 622), nonlinear programming (ISEN 623), and stochastic processes (ISEN 602). The preliminary exam is taken within 6 hours of completing all course work on the degree plan (research hours excluded). It includes both a written and an oral portion. The purpose of the preliminary exam is to confirm that the student has successfully mastered the course confirm that the student has successfully mastered the course work in the degree plan and is qualified for dissertation research.

A formal proposal presentation also is required of each Ph.D. student. The proposal presentation, which is attended by the student's advisory committee, allows the student and the advisory committee to agree upon the specific research plan for the dissertation and to ensure that the student has the necessary in-depth knowledge of the research area to complete the research successfully.

The final exam is a formal presentation and defense of the dissertation research. The dissertation must be in substantially final form before this exam occurs. The exam is conducted in two phases. The first phase is a formal presentation of the research results to the academic community. Other students and faculty are encouraged to attend, and questions from the audience are welcomed. Immediately following this formal presentation, the general audience is excused and the advisory committee proceeds with the second phase of the exam, during which questions about the research are directed to the student.

Doctor of Engineering Degree

The Doctor of Engineering program is administered by the Look College of Engineering and is available for those students who prefer an industry-oriented, rather than a research-oriented, doctorate. Students interested in the Doctor of Engineering degree must be admitted first into a Ph.D. program and find a faculty member who will direct their committee. The basic requirements are 96 hours beyond a bachelor's degree in engineering with a 16-hour internship. For more information, contact the Engineering Student Services and Academic Program, 204 Zachry Building, (979) 845-7200, or email

Distance Learning Master's Degrees

The department also offers two distance-learning master's degrees. For information, contact: ISE Distance Learning Programs at (979)-845-5536 or by e-mail at