Industrial Engineering Degree

Engineering as a Way of Thinking

Detailed curriculum requirements can be found here.

Industrial Engineers design, develop, improve, and manage efficient systems. Industrial Engineering at Illinois encompasses the analysis, development, improvement, and implementation of all integrated processes and their components, including materials, equipment, information, energy, people, money, and time. Industrial Engineers figure out how to do things better.

Industrial Engineering fuses engineering, business, and communications, drawing upon computer science, math, production management, process control, and psychology. Industrial engineers have the technical training and understanding of people to make improvements in efficiency and quality in any setting. The Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering prepares students to work in a limitless variety of industries, including technology, health care, communications, manufacturing, and government—you will be equipped to make an impact in the career path of your choice.

Many are misled by the term “Industrial Engineer.” “Industrial” does not mean just manufacturing—it encompasses telecommunications, computing, service industries, and human relations as well. While it has long been known that industrial engineers have the technical training to make improvements in a manufacturing setting, now it is increasingly recognized that these same skills provide a systematic technique to evaluate and improve efficiency and quality in any setting.

Industrial Engineers eliminate waste of time, money, materials, energy, and other commodities; strain on workers and the environment; and save companies money. More and more organizations are hiring industrial engineers and promoting them into management positions.

The Curriculum

The Industrial Engineering Bachelor of Science degree program is distinguished by its flexibility—it offers students an opportunity to develop expertise in a variety of domains.

The technical portion of the industrial engineering curriculum is designed as a sequence of increasingly specialized coursework.

First-year students master the basics of math, chemistry, and physics.

Second-year students begin fundamental engineering courses such as statics, dynamics, statistics, and strength of materials.

Third-year students take a core of industrial engineering courses and begin their chosen area of specialization in one of five Track Options:

  1. Operations Research
  2. Quality Engineering
  3. Supply Chain, Manufacturing, and Logistics
  4. Economics and Finance
  5. Industrial Engineering Fundamentals.

During their senior year, students broaden and deepen their knowledge with additional technical elective courses. Finally, all students participate in the capstone Senior Engineering Program.

Engineering design, communication, teamwork, and laboratory experiences are integrated throughout all four years of the curriculum.

After Graduation

The need for Industrial Engineers is growing in a variety of settings.

Here are a few examples:

  • As a management engineer in a hospital, an Industrial Engineer may help doctors and nurses make the best use of their time in treating patients.
  • As an ergonomist in a manufacturing plant, an Industrial Engineer may change the tools workers use to reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries.
  • As an operations analyst for an airline, an Industrial Engineer may design a bar coding system for identifying and transporting passenger luggage to ensure that it doesn‘t get lost.
  • As a quality engineer for a utility company, an Industrial Engineer may improve customer satisfaction by designing a process to schedule service calls around the availability of the customer.

Today, more and more businesses hire Industrial Engineers in areas like sales and marketing, finance, information systems, and personnel. Other industries employing IE‘s are hospitals, airlines, banks, railroads, and social services.

The Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering at Illinois is well-connected in industry, and provides excellent career services. Industrial Engineering graduates are well-positioned to find or create jobs in a variety of fields.