Industrial Engineering Doctoral Degree Program

Industrial Department

Objective and Description

The graduate program in industrial engineering is designed to provide the student with fundamental knowledge in the various areas of industrial engineering and with the opportunity to emphasize in a particular area. A student pursuing a doctoral degree may specialize in any area of industrial engineering such as General Industrial Engineering, Operations Research and Applied Statistics, Manufacturing Systems, Logistics, Enterprise Systems, Enterprise Management, and Ergonomics.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Industrial Engineering is the highest degree offered by the IMSE Department. To be awarded the Ph.D., the student must demonstrate both superior scholarship and the capacity to perform original research. The two basic requirements are that a student:

  • Attains a mastery of both general industrial engineering and a specialized subfield as determined by the IMSE Committee on Graduate Studies and demonstrated through examination
  • Completes a significant program of original research and prepare a dissertation


The Ph.D. degree should normally require approximately four years or less of full-time study after completion of the B.S. degree. A student's program will consist of coursework, independent study, and a dissertation in fields pertinent to the student's areas of interest. The program for each student will be planned by the student and a committee of faculty members. There is no foreign language requirement for the Ph.D. degree. Students with undergraduate degrees in fields other than engineering will be required to take the necessary courses to establish a background in science, mathematics, and engineering. Ph.D. requirements are listed in the catalog section entitled "Advanced Degrees and Requirements."

Admissions Requirements


Typically, 72 semester hours of approved organized course work beyond the baccalaureate degree are required. These courses are concentrated in a major field chosen by the student. Some are normally taken in one or more complementary minor fields. A minimum 9 hours of IE 6197 – 6997 (Research in Industrial Engineering) are required to prepare the dissertation proposal. Finally, at least 9 hours of IE 6399, 6699, or 6999 (Dissertation) are required to complete the research and write the dissertation. The courses IE 6197 – 6997 and IE 6399, 6699, and 6999 do not count toward the 72 hours of organized coursework. There is no foreign language requirement.


After the completion of 18 hours of course work above the master’s degree, the student must demonstrate the potential to complete the Ph.D. program. This potential is assessed by a written examination and by the successful completion of the master’s core requirements. Upon meeting these requirements, a student may receive approval to continue in the doctoral program. The student must be working with a Ph.D. advisor by this time.


After the successful completion of the diagnostic evaluation, a student must start working on the dissertation and complete course work requirements. The student and the graduate advisor will select a doctoral supervisory committee. The committee will consist of at least four members, three of whom must be from IMSE. The fourth may be a non-IMSE UTA graduate faculty member. The committee, and in particular, the chair, is responsible for the design and direction of the student's program and for conducting the comprehensive examination. After the student has passed the comprehensive examination, the doctoral supervising committee may be altered or expanded to accommodate the dissertation research needs of the student, but it must continue to include at least four members of the graduate faculty. Members external to UTA must be in addition to these four graduate faculty members and must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies.


Students are eligible to take the comprehensive examination after having completed most coursework requirements and having identified a viable dissertation research topic. The comprehensive examination may be written, oral, or both written and oral. It includes the preparation of a formal research proposal on the student’s dissertation work. The scope, content, and form of the comprehensive examination are determined by the student's supervisory committee. Upon passing the comprehensive exam, a student may receive approval to continue the dissertation work.


After passing the comprehensive examination, the student prepares the Degree Plan Worksheet, which is subsequently signed by the committee. This worksheet lists the courses taken as part of the Ph.D. program. This worksheet goes into the student’s academic file. This is an internal document and does not go to the graduate school.


The dissertation represents the culmination of the student's academic efforts. The dissertation demonstrates original, independent research and makes significant contribution to knowledge. The dissertation committee monitors the progress of the student’s dissertation until it is ready for the oral defense before the committee.

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All applications for admission will also be considered for assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships. Some of the offers for financial aid are made well before the final deadline for application. Applicants are strongly urged to complete their applications early to take advantage of all the opportunities for financial aid available in the College of Engineering and the University.