The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering routinely recruits both full-time and part-time students into the Ph.D. program. Full-time students are often recruited for participation in ongoing research and academic projects.  

University requirements

Applicants should ensure that they meet the following minimum university requirements for admission to a doctoral program. These requirements apply to both domestic and international students.

  • Baccalaureate and master's degree from an accredited institution or a degree equivalent to a four-year U.S. baccalaureate from a college or university of recognized standing. 
  • G.P.A. of 3.5 or international equivalent for the upper division of the undergraduate course work.
  • Undergraduate major or specialized work in the proposed doctoral major field.  

International students - English proficiency & transcripts

  • As an international student, you are required to meet the university's English proficiency requirement and must be no more than two years old.
  • TOEFL minimum score: A minimum score of 550 TOEFL (PBTT). If you take the Internet-based TOEFL (IBTT), a minimum score of 79 is required. The Wayne State University code for the TOEFL test is 1898.
  • IELTS minimum score: a 6.5, overall band score, is required. Our Institution Reporting Code is 1898.
  • We are now accepting PTE Academic as an English language proficency testing option for graduate applicants.  The minimum acceptable PTE score is 58.
  • MELAB minimum score: Wayne State also accepts exam scores from the University of Michigan English proficiency exam (MELAB). You must score a minimum MELAB score of 85 and a TWE score of 5.5. For more information about the MELAB, please contact the University of Michigan at 734-764-2416.
  • All international applicants for Winter 2017 semesters and beyond will need to submit an official transcript evaluation from WES. To prevent fraud and inconsistencies in evaluations, any other international transcripts will be considered unofficial and can only be used for an application review/temporary admission status. Admitted students who enroll and attend Wayne State University will get a cost reimbursement. See full instructions here:

Additional departmental requirements

Applicants should also ensure that they meet the following additional requirements from the department. Along with your application, you need to submit a Statement of Purpose, GRE and TOEFL (for international students) Scores, Transcripts, Resume/CV, Copies of publications, and 3 Recommendation Letters. Students with a track record conducting research, publishing papers (Journals, Conferences etc.), and industry experience will be given a priority.

  • Graduate degree in engineering or a related discipline (e.g., operations research, MBA, information systems or mathematics)
  • G.P.A. of 3.5 or international equivalent for the graduate course work.
  • GRE test scores (there are no set limits or minimum scores; applicants are evaluated based on their overall credentials). For reporting your GRE scores, the institution code for Wayne State University is 1898.  

Selecting Advisor 

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

Funded positions

In most cases, Ph.D. applications for funded positions are only considered for Fall term admission. Students seeking financial support must submit completed applications for Fall term admission by February 1. The financial support can be in the form of fellowships, research and teaching assistantships. The decisions regarding financial support will be made by the end of April. This is a highly competitive process.  We typically receive some 100 applications every year and only admit 5 to 6 PhD students with full financial support from the department.  Students with industrial experiences and a record of accomplishment conducting research and publishing papers (Journals, Conferences etc.) will be given a priority.  We normally do not admit many students for Winter and Spring/Summer terms (except for students not seeking financial support) but is possible.

There is no need for submitting any additional forms for requesting financial support. All students will be considered for departmental funding (mostly graduate teaching assistantships (GTA)) by default (unless student explicitly indicates that he/she has other support/scholarship/fellowship or is seeking admission for part-time PhD studies given full-time local employment). Students are also welcome to contact specific faculty directly for graduate research assistantship (GRA) positions funded directly by faculty grants. Please review our Coursework Funding Policy for Doctoral Students.

Unfunded positions

Current university tuition rates are available through the Office of Records and Registration.

  • Domestic applicants, who are not seeking financial support, will be considered for each term.
  • International applicants, who are not seeking financial support, will only be considered for the Fall term.

Scholarship and other funding information

Deadlines for funded and unfunded applications:


Apply before

Classes begin

Fall (domestic and international applications)

February 1

Early September

Winter (domestic only and occasionally international applications)

Sep. 1

Early January

Spring/Summer (domestic only)

Jan. 2

Early May

Applying online

  • Students must apply for graduate admissions online via the Graduate Admissions site.
  • Admission is applicable only for the semester requested. If an admitted student does not register for classes within the requested semester, a Doctoral Renewal Application must be completed.  

Prospective students should contact Dr. Alper Murat, Chair, Doctoral and Research Programs, for further information regarding admission to the industrial engineering Ph.D. program.