Industrial Engineering PhD

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College : Engineering and Computer Science Degree :PHD
Department : Industrial Engineering and Management Systems Option : Dissertation
Program Websites :


The Industrial Engineering PhD program prepares students for extensive research and careers in academia, industry and government while providing a broad knowledge of industrial engineering.


The Industrial Engineering PhD program requires a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. If a student holds a master's degree, the student must complete at least 27 credit hours of required course work, in addition to 15 credit hours of dissertation.

Of the total course work taken, 27 hours must be formal course work exclusive of independent study and 15 credit hours must consist of dissertation research (EIN 7980). All remaining hours are determined with a faculty adviser and approved by the department. Details about this program are located in the Industrial Engineering PhD Handbook .

Total Credit Hours Required:
72 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree

As a pre-doctoral student at the beginning of the PhD program, a preliminary plan of study must be developed with the graduate program director and meet with departmental approval. At this time transfer credit will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis. The student’s plan of study itemizing the study plan must be approved prior to the end of the first semester of studies by the Graduate Director of the IEMS department.

After completion of the Qualifying Examination and admission as a doctoral student, the official plan of study is developed that must meet with departmental approval. The student’s dissertation committee approves the final plan of study after the Candidacy Examination is passed. These steps are normally completed within the first year of study beyond the master’s degree. The degree must be completed within seven years from the date of admission as a pre-doctoral student and within four years of passing the Candidacy Examination.

The Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems monitors student progress and may dismiss a student if performance standards or academic progress are not maintained. Satisfactory academic performance in a program includes, but is not limited to, maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA in all graduate work taken as part of (or transferred into) the plan of study. Satisfactory performance also involves maintaining the standards of academic progress and professional integrity expected in our discipline. Failure to maintain these standards may result in dismissal from the program.

Required Courses—6 Credit Hours

  • ESI 6891 IEMS Research Methods (3 credit hours)
  • ESI 6247 Experimental Design and Taguchi Methods (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses—51  Credit Hours

  • At least seventeen unrestricted electives
  • A maximum of 30 semester credit hours from an earned master's degree may be applied toward these requirements. Waived credits are evaluated on a course-by-course basis.

Dissertation—15 Credit Hours

  • EIN 7980 Dissertation (15 credits hours minimum) 

List of Electives

Students, with the approval of their advisers and/or the graduate program director, may select from the following groups of courses to satisfy the needs of their research goals or career objectives. To assist students in achieving their goals and objectives, courses are grouped below to suggest focus areas, only as guides for advising and course selection. The listing of these courses does not guarantee that they will be offered by the department in a particular year or semester.

In addition to the courses listed below, students may be allowed to take courses from the following disciplines, with the approval of the graduate program director, as an elective in their graduate plan of study.

  • Other Engineering Programs
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Business Administration/Management
Group A: Human System Engineering/Ergonomics
  • EIN 5248C Ergonomics  
  • EIN 5251 Usability Engineering
  • EIN 6270C Work Physiology
  • EIN 6258 Human-Computer Interaction
  • EIN 6279C Biomechanics
  • EIN 6935 Advanced Ergonomics Topics
  • EIN 6271 Human Reliability
Group B: Quality and Production Systems
  • ESI 6225 Quality Design and Control
  • ESI 6224 Quality Management
  • EIN 5392C Manufacturing Systems Engineering
  • EIN 6336 Production and Inventory Systems
  • EIN 6425 Scheduling and Sequencing
  • EIN 5356 Cost Engineering
  • ESI 5227 Total Quality Improvement
Group C: Management Systems
  • EIN 6182 Engineering Management
  • EIN 5117 Management Information Systems I
  • EIN 6370 Innovation in Engineering Design
  • EIN 6339 Operations Engineering
  • EIN 5108 The Environment of Technical Organizations
Group D: Simulation, Optimization, and Modeling
  • ESI 6336 Queuing Systems
  • ESI 5306 Operations Research
  • ESI 6418 Linear Programming and Extensions
  • ESI 6532 Object-Oriented Simulation
  • ESI 5531 Discrete System Simulation
  • EIN 5255C Interactive Simulation
  • EIN 6528 Simulation Based Life Cycle Engineering
  • EIN 6645 Real-Time Simulation Agents
  • EIN 6936 Seminar in Advanced Industrial Engineering
  • ESI 5419C Engineering Applications of Linear and Nonlinear Optimization
  • ESI 6217 Statistical Aspects of Digital Simulation
Group E: Systems Engineering
  • ESI 6358 Decision Analysis
  • ESI 5359 Risk Assessment and Management
  • EIN 6215 Systems Safety Engineering and Management
  • ESI 5236 Reliability Engineering
  • EIN 5346 Engineering Logistics


At Qualifying Examination (QE) time students should know their intended direction of research but they do not necessarily know their specific topic/problem. The QE’s objective is to determine whether the student’s knowledge allows for a thorough understanding of methods and techniques discussed in the literature in his/her area(s) of interest.

The IEMS PhD Qualifying Examination is a take-home exam designed to test the student’s knowledge of fundamentals within the discipline and to assess the student’s ability to conduct independent research and to think analytically, creatively, and independently. Exam questions address the student’s global research awareness as well as his/her analytical thinking, research potential, and communication skills. The student must be able to understand the field’s literature, as well as to summarize and discuss research findings.

It is strongly recommended that students take ESI 6891 IEMS Research Methods prior to taking the Qualifying Examination. While thinking about taking the Qualifying Examination, students are strongly encouraged to evaluate their options for research and make informed decisions about their area of research interests.  It is recommended that students seek advice from faculty members whose research interests match their own research areas in order for the students to properly select their electives and develop the appropriate plan of study. 

In addition to the Qualifying Examination, the student must pass a Candidacy Examination and a Dissertation Defense Examination. Details about these examinations and other requirements are located in the Industrial Engineering PhD Handbook.

The Candidacy Examination may be taken any time after successful completion of the Qualifying Examination, but not in the same semester. The objective of the Candidacy Examination is to determine if the student has the breadth and depth of knowledge required to conduct independent research in the proposed area. The Candidacy Examination includes an oral presentation of a detailed dissertation proposalwhich becomes the oral candidacy document, and the written component of the Candidacy Examination is satisfied by the proposal document, which becomes the required candidacy document.

The Dissertation Defense Examination is an oral examination taken in defense of the written dissertation. The College of Engineering and Computer Science requires that all dissertation defense announcements are approved by the student's adviser and posted on the college's website and on the Events Calendar of the College of Graduate Studies website at least two weeks before the defense date.

Dissertation Committee Requirement

The doctoral committee must consist of a minimum of four members: at least three must be graduate faculty members from within the student’s department, and one must be at large, from graduate faculty scholars outside the Industrial Engineering faculty. The committee chair must be a member of the graduate faculty who is approved to direct dissertations. Faculty members with joint appointments in IEMS may serve as department-faculty committee members. Adjunct faculty and off-campus experts who are graduate faculty scholars may serve as the outside-the-department person on the committee, as well as serve as co-chairs of the committee with the approval of the department Chair. The College of Graduate Studies reserves the right to review appointments to advisory committees, place a representative on any advisory committee, or appoint a co-adviser.

Joint faculty members may serve as committee chairs. Off-campus experts and adjunct faculty who are graduate faculty scholars may not serve as committee chairs, but may serve as co-chairs.

All committee members vote on acceptance or rejection of the dissertation proposal and the final dissertation. The dissertation proposal or final dissertation must be approved by the advisory committee with no more than one dissenting vote.

Admission to Candidacy

The following are required to be admitted to candidacy and enroll in dissertation hours. Evidence of successful completion of these requirements must be received by the College of Graduate Studies one day prior to the start of classes for the semester in which a student wishes to enroll in dissertation hours. 

  • Completion or near completion of course work, except for dissertation hours.  
  • Successful completion of the candidacy examination, including successful defense of the written dissertation proposal.  
  • The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.  
  • Submittal of an approved program of study. 

Equipment Fee

Students in the Industrial Engineering PhD program pay a $58 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. For part-time students, the equipment fee is $29 per semester. 

Independent Learning

The Independent Learning requirement is met by successful completion of the student's candidacy and dissertation defense examinations.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

The College of Engineering and Computer Science strongly encourages prospective applicants to request a free pre-screening ( of their qualifications prior to submitting an online application for graduate admission. However, a pre-screening is not required; rather, it is offered as a courtesy to all prospective applicants before they commit to submitting a complete online application and paying an application processing fee.

Admissions decisions are made on the basis of a complete online application only, and not on the basis of any pre-screening. Prospective applicants who are encouraged to apply to their intended graduate program based on the information provided for their pre-screening are not assured of admission or financial assistance when they submit a complete online application. Although it is possible, it is not likely, that prospective applicants who are discouraged from formally applying to a graduate program at the pre-screening stage will be admitted if they elect to submit a complete online application anyway.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended
  • Bachelor's or Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering or a closely related discipline
  • Official, competitive score on the GRE taken within the last five years
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vita
  • Goal Statement
    • The Goal Statement should discuss all relevant professional background and any previous research experience. The statement should explain the motivation behind the pursuit of a doctoral degree in Industrial Engineering at UCF. Future career goals after the completion of the applicant’s doctoral study should be discussed.
    • Most importantly, the applicant must clearly describe the particular area(s) of research interest. The applicant should identify at least one UCF faculty member who shares a similar research focus and is believed to be best suited to serve as a potential dissertation advisor.
    • The goal statement should between 500 and 1,000 words.
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • The letters of recommendation should be from faculty members, university administrators and employers with a supervisory role of the applicant. The letters, which must be current to the application and must not be for another degree program, should address the educational and career goals of applicant. The letter writers should also know the applicant well enough to discuss the applicant’s capacity to perform, excel and succeed in a graduate program. Letters for PhD applicants must discuss the applicant’s ability to perform graduate-level research. At least two of the letters should be furnished by college or university professors who are acquainted with the applicant

Applications are accepted for the fall and spring terms only.

Faculty members may choose to conduct face-to-face or telephone interviews before accepting an applicant into their research program.

Fellowships and assistantships may be awarded based on the student's GPA, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, curriculum vitae/resume, and goals statement.

Students must complete any needed articulation course work and pass a PhD Qualifying Examination in order to be admitted as a regular doctoral student. This exam is normally taken within the first year after all articulation work is completed.

Application Deadlines

Industrial Engineering PhD *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15Jul 15Dec 1


International Applicants Jan 15Jan 15Jul 1


International Transfer Applicants Jan 15Mar 1Sep 1


*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.