Doctor of Philosophy in industrial engineering

About our program

The Ph.D. in Industrial & Systems Engineering provides rigorous coverage of the latest theory, computational tools, and research methods for a career of discovery in academia or industry. You will learn to innovate in a wide range of domains such as artificial intelligence, high-tech, healthcare, energy, finance, consulting, data science, management, robotics, logistics, and human factors.

Our faculty and students conduct research in most areas of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering and bring annually more than $3 million in federal, state, and industrial research grants. The department has a rich history of conducting research with a strong emphasis on addressing real-world problems. This is attributed mostly to our prime location (in Southeast Michigan, the epicenter of the U.S. automotive industry).

Our Ph.D. students have extensive interdisciplinary opportunities available on campus. Taking classes and working with faculty from different engineering departments, the School of Medicine, the Mike Ilitch School of Business, and other schools, or colleges on campus. Students earning a Ph.D. in industrial engineering will focus on critical challenges in key systems, including supply chains, healthcare, manufacturing, information technology, defense, and energy.  After adequate preparation, the successful Ph.D. candidate must complete comprehensive research of a specific area in their chosen field, culminating in a written dissertation describing the unique contributions created by that investigation.

Admissions requirements

Applicants should ensure that they meet the Graduate School requirement and include the following additional departmental requirements:

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume/CV
  • Copies of any publications
  • 3 Recommendation Letters
  • A graduate degree in engineering or a STEM-related discipline (e.g., operations research, MBA, information systems, or mathematics)
  • A G.P.A. of 3.5 or the international equivalent for the graduate coursework
  • GRE test scores are required (there are no minimum score requirements; applicants are evaluated based on their overall credentials). For reporting your GRE scores, the institution code for Wayne State University is 1898.

Students with a track record conducting research, publishing papers (journals, conferences, etc.), and industry experience will be given a priority. Exceptions to these requirements may be made under special circumstances such as having a strong academic background and publication record (journals, conferences).

There are no additional materials or applications required for new students for graduate assistantships. All program applicants will be considered if your application is complete and submitted by the deadline.

Application deadlines

  • Fall (begins in August)- February 1
  • Winter (begins in January) - September 1

Selecting advisor

While it is not it necessary to find a supervisor before starting the application process or mention the name in the application process or in the statement of purpose, you are expected to clearly articulate your strengths, compatibility with the program, and specific research interests.

For more information

For additional information, visit our faculty pages or browse recent Ph.D. dissertation abstracts


Dr. Qingyu Yang, Graduate Program Director and Chair of the Doctoral and Research Program

Mark Garrison, Ph.D. Office Manager