MS Industrial Engineering

General Characteristics

The Master of Science program in Industrial Engineering has the following objectives:

  • To help California industries in meeting their needs with respect to processes of design, optimization, and re-engineering and in competing globally, by educating and training engineers with advanced practical knowledge in the field of Industrial Engineering.
  • To attract undergraduate engineers of all majors and provide education in the planning, engineering, optimization, and management  of processes using the appropriate tools of Industrial Engineering.
  • To further the mission and goals of the College of Engineering at Cal Poly with respect to graduate engineering education by maintaining a balance between undergraduate and graduate educational opportunities in engineering that optimally supports the health of California industry.


  1. Applicants should have completed a four-year college course of study and hold a bachelor's degree in any engineering or related discipline, the mathematical, physical, or computer science disciplines from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association.
  2. Students must have a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 (based on 4.00 scale). Exceptions will be considered if the applicant is in the top 25% of his/her graduating class.
  3. The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) or GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is required.
  4. The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required for all applicants whose native language is not English. If the applicant received a degree in the United States, this test is waived. TOEFL test scores are valid for two years from the date the test was taken. Please refer to Cal Poly admission website for English language proficiency requirements at

Application Procedure

Please refer to the Cal Poly graduate application process at

Two key steps are:

  1. Students interested in pursuing graduate studies in the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering department must file a complete graduate application online at The procedure for graduate applicants can be found on the Admissions website at Contact the Cal Poly Admissions Office if you have questions about the application process.
  2. The following materials must be submitted through the Interfolio links ( for MS IE program and for MS ITM program):
  • Cover letter. If you are interested in being considered for a Teaching Associate or Graduate Assistant position, please indicate in the cover letter as well. Other financial support including non-resident tuition waiver is available as well. Details please refers to Cal Poly Graduate Education website at
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume: list in reverse chronological order education, employment, extracurricular/community activities, publications if any, and membership.
  • Statement of purpose: provide a summary of your career objectives and work experience with reference to the chosen field of graduate study in one page.

Course Requirements

Thesis Requirements

The MS-IE includes a thesis which is a creative work that adds to the knowledge in the field of Industrial Engineering. This project is rigorous and requires diligent independent work by the student. The student should choose a subject and advisor as soon as possible in your graduate studies. The thesis typically takes at least nine months to complete. Below is a list of steps for initiation and completion of the Master's Thesis.

  1. Define a topic of interest during your first quarter at Cal Poly
  2. Find a faculty member who can serve as an advisor for your thesis. This is generally a faculty member with interest and expertise in your area of interest.
  3. Register for the 9 units of IME 599 over a one year period. Work diligently on your project.
  4. When you near the end of your project, form a committee made up of three faculty members. Your thesis advisor may have recommendations for other committee members. Once the committee has been formed fill out the Thesis/Project Committee Membership Form.
  5. Submit the final rough draft of your thesis to your advisor and committee members to review. There may be changes after this submittal so wait for feedback before finalizing the document.
  6. Schedule a Thesis Defense meeting. Discuss availability with all the committee members. Book a room through the IME department office, and advertise the meeting so all interested faculty and students may attend.
  7. The thesis defense is a comprehensive presentation of your project. The presentation usally takes a full hour.
  8. Committee members will meet immediately after your defense. After this meeting your advisor will let you know if you have passed, or if you need to do more work on the project.
  9. Once the committee members are satisfied with your work, you will need to get signatures from all your committee members.
  10. The thesis must be approved by the Graduate Programs office and you must submit the thesis to the library's digital commons. Follow the instructions for THESIS Preparation & e-Submittal for Library Digital-Commons