Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Master's Programs

The Department of Industrial Engineering graduate program prepares engineers to be the research and technical leaders of the future. The departmental philosophy is to provide those earning a master's degree the technical and managerial skills necessary to practice at a sophisticated technical level, to provide those earning a doctoral degree the scholarly experience necessary for a lifetime of innovation and research, and to develop a strong commitment to the profession.

Please refer to the Graduate Manual for more details.

The Master of Science in Industrial Engineering is highly flexible and requires 30 - 31 credits of graduate study, and it can be completed either with or without a thesis option. We also offer a dual degree MSIE-MBA program in cooperation with the Katz Graduate School of Business that can be completed in less than two years.
The department offers a thesis option as well as a non-thesis option, both of which require a minimum of 30 credits in all.

Normally, the program can be completed by full time students in as little as three semesters (12 - 16 months). For part-time students, it may take two and one-half to three years of study. Many courses are offered in the evenings for the convenience of working professionals and at least three courses are offered over the summer term.


Common Requirement
    • IE 2000: Introduction to Industrial Engineering (1-cr.): Required for all students who do not have an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering.

    • 30 credits of graduate coursework without the thesis option
    • 24 credits of graduate coursework plus a six to eight-credit thesis

Non-thesis option: 
    • Required Courses:
         o IE 2005: Probability & Statistics for Engineers
         o IE 2001: Operations Research
         o IE 2006: Introduction to Manufacturing Systems
    • At least 2 of the following 4 courses:
         o IE 2003: Engineering Management
         o IE 2004: Database Design
         o IE 2007: Statistics and Data Analysis
         o IE 2100: Supply Chain Analysis
    • Remaining credits can be specialized or broad-based in conjunction with the student's interests and the approval of the advisor.
    • Options:
         o Can take two courses from other graduate offerings within the University 

Thesis option:

    • Requirements:
        o IE 2005: Probability & Statistics for Engineers
        o IE 2001: Operations Research
        o IE 2006: Introduction to Manufacturing Systems
    • At least 2 of the following 4 courses:
        o IE 2003: Engineering Management
        o IE 2004: Database Design
        o IE 2007: Statistics and Data Analysis
        o IE 2083 : Supply Chain Analysis
    • 6-8 cr. thesis
    • Remaining credits will be additional courses selected in conjunction with the advisor and the thesis
    • No out-of-department electives are permitted with the thesis option

The master's thesis must show marked attainment in one of the departmental concentration areas. Acquisition of the methods and techniques of scientific investigation should also be demonstrated. A faculty member knowledgeable in the student's area of interest must supervise the thesis. Many 2000-level courses are offered in the evening for the convenience of working professionals. At least 3 graduate courses are offered in the summer term.

The Swanson School of Engineering's Cooperative Education Program provides relevant, paid work experience for students by connecting them with local companies.
For more information, contact gradie@pitt.edu

The Department of Industrial Engineering is committed to providing high quality educational opportunities to part-time students. Part-time study is available at the master's degree level.

The academic requirements for part-time students are identical to those of full-time students; however, the nature of part-time education prevents some of the interactions that are possible for full-time students. A majority of master's level courses are offered during the evening so that students working during the regular workday can attend. Courses that require team projects typically require part-time and full-time students to work together and exchange ideas. 

For more information, contact gradie@pitt.edu

A student's program can be specialized or broad based depending on the student's interests and subject to the approval of his or her advisor.

Operations Research

The concentration in operations research provides students with a working knowledge of how to develop analytical models for solving problems that arise in the manufacturing and service sectors. Students receive a solid foundation in several areas including linear and nonlinear programming, simulation, probability, and statistics. They learn the theory of optimization and how to apply it using software packages such as Excel, LINDO, and CPLEX. Students also have the option of taking courses that emphasize how to apply operations research concepts in the areas of production planning and inventory control, scheduling, facility layout and design, and manufacturing processes. Additional elective courses include network optimization, integer programming, dynamic programming, simulation, neural networks, heuristic optimization, reliability and maintainability, and the design of experiments.
Recent projects with local companies that have applied operations research include: personnel and resource scheduling at KnowledgeSoft Inc, process control for the hot rolling of steel at Pittsburgh Flatroll Company, optimizing furnace operations at Crucible Compaction Metals, preventive maintenance systems design for Adtranz (ABB Daimler-Benz Transportation), facility design at PPG, and uncertainty analysis for electric power production costs for GPU Energy.

New Product Development and Manufacturing

Industrial engineering departments typically focus on manufacturing as a core area. At the University of Pittsburgh, we have moved beyond traditional manufacturing as a focus and have integrated product design, rapid prototyping, and manufacturing systems into a larger framework of new product development. Industries are quickly beginning to recognize the importance of new product development as part of their core business strategy. Industrial engineers are ideally suited to take the lead in new product development projects within an organization.

This focused area of study will allow engineers to study product design principles, give them hands-on experience in reverse engineering, rapid prototyping, and rapid manufacturing methodologies in one of the best laboratories in the country, and also to learn business and management perspectives of new product development.

Engineering Management

Engineering managers are distinguished from other managers because they posses both an ability to apply engineering principles and a skill in organizing and directing technical people and projects. Industries recognize the importance of technical managers and note that industrial engineers are well suited to fill this role. The concentration in engineering management provides students with hands-on knowledge in several areas including project management, total quality management, decision analysis and modeling, and cost management. Combined with courses from other concentrations of operations research, information systems and manufacturing, a student will be uniquely qualified for managing technical functions in almost any enterprise, or broader functions in a high-technology enterprise.

* It is possible by a judicious choice of courses to choose a concentration in human factors. If a student chooses to do so, the advisor should be a member of the faculty whose area of specialization is this area. *

 This dual-degree program, offered in conjunction with the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, positions individuals with an undergraduate degree in engineering or the hard sciences to take a management role in a company that has a significant engineering and/or technological focus. Full-time students can complete both degrees in 20 months, while part-time students can do so in four years.

A total of 25.5-26.5 credits from the Department of Industrial Engineering are required (12-13 credits in core classes, 12 credits in electives, and 1.5 credits in the integrated project) as follows:

Required Core ( 2 courses: 6-7 credits ) *


Elective Core: at least two of the following ( 2 courses: 6 credits )

  • IE 2004: DATABASE DESIGN (3 Cr.)

Free Electives ( 4 courses: 12 credits )

  • Any elective offered by the IE department (including courses in the elective core above)

Integrated Project (1.5 credits, with additional 1.5 credit from equivalent KGSB course )


*IE 2000 is required only for students without an undergraduate degree in IE


For details on the curriculum requirements for the MBA portion of the program, please visit the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business website .

Offered by the Swanson School of Engineering and the Graduate School of Public Health , University of Pittsburgh, the goal of this certificate program is to develop students with the specific competencies and analytical tools required for effective problem solving relevant to quality management and process engineering in the health care industry. These students will be prepared to serve as quality champions and change agents in addressing the challenges facing health care in the 21st Century Engineering student will gain knowledge of health care operations, the organization culture and strategic issues facing the industry. Health care management students will apply engineering principles, models and tools within a systems approach to analysis, problem-solving and project implementation.

This certificate is intended for individuals pursuing careers in health systems management and process engineering. Primarily designed for Master's degree students in the Department of Health Policy & Management and the Department of Industrial Engineering, this program will provide a rigorous and multi-disciplinary education as a complement to the core curriculum of both programs. With a focus on enhancing innovation, effectiveness and efficiency in health care and public health, the program's ultimate goal is to produce well-educated professionals and leaders in their disciplines.

Click here to see a suggested study plan for the HSE certificate.

For more information, contact Barry Ross , HSE Certificate Program Director

Program Description

The University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering (SSoE) has created a Safety Engineering graduate program dedicated to meeting the nation's critical and ongoing workforce development needs for safety engineering professionals. By offering a distance-enabled Graduate-Level Certificate in Safety Engineering, the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Industrial Engineering (IE) furthers its commitment to make a major contribution to the Pittsburgh region's industrial, oil and gas, nuclear, construction, healthcare and other workforce development needs. By offering this unique program in several critical industry sectors, IE is well-positioned to build a technical base of competency to address the safety engineering needs of regional and national employers, as well as to bring publicity and notoriety to the Pittsburgh region.

The graduate Safety Engineering Certificate program was developed to meet the ever-increasing importance of and need for engineers to be trained in the application and implementation of safety engineering concepts, principles and practices. The increasing presence of the oil and gas industry in the region, the increasing emphasis on world-wide nuclear energy, the increasing evidence of safety-related concerns and injuries in the healthcare industry and the sustained concern of safety engineering in construction, manufacturing and mining have fueled the interest in and implementation of this certificate program.

The certificate is intended for engineers seeking training in safety engineering to enhance their operational abilities or if they become newly assigned to positions that have higher levels of safety engineering responsibilities. The certificate will also enhance the capabilities of non-engineering based safety professionals seeking training in safety engineering.

Safety is fundamental to planning, construction and installation, operation, maintenance and dismantling and disposal, etc. Therefore, it has a place in all industries at all points in the life cycle. This certificate program, through its acceptance criteria, course work and design experiences, produces trained engineers with a fundamental background in safety engineering where quantitative analysis methods and design principles are thoroughly covered.

The safety engineering field is governed by several well-recognized and widely-known certifying entities. These entities require that board certified safety professionals maintain their certifications through specific educational and work-experience related activities. Most state engineering licensing boards also require that licensees actively seek on-going education and knowledge development. The proposed certificate program affords the opportunity for engineers and other working professionals to maintain their certifications and licensure.

Program Objectives

Equip the engineering professionals taking these courses with broader capabilities in safety engineering-related analytical skills, problem solving and solutions design.

Engineers will acquire a more thorough and in depth understanding of critical operational safety related hazards.

Engineers will gain an understanding and an ability to analyze dynamic hazard scenarios and design protective systems preventing those hazards from manifesting themselves into injuries, fires, explosions, releases, etc.

Engineers will be able to analyze and quantify risk as well as be able to apply risk-based safety and business decision making.

Engineers will gain an understanding of human performance and human-based system.

Provide for the energy, health care, manufacturing and construction industries, a pool of engineering professionals qualified to address the challenges posed by the hazardous nature of our industries.


The admission requirements for the graduate certificate program are equivalent to the admission requirements for the MS in Industrial Engineering. When completing the application, simply click the appropriate "certificate" box on the application indicating their interest in applying for the safety engineering certificate program. If one does not have an undergraduate engineering degree, work experience will be considered and with the approval of the program director and an additional leveling course or two (depending on the nature of the degree held), one can still be admitted to the program.

Students already enrolled in the Swanson School of Engineering may apply for admission to the program by contacting their respective Graduate Coordinator. Certificate admission may be initiated anytime after the applicant has been admitted to the degree program. Once approved by the coordinator, the certificate applicant will submit to the certificate admission committee a brief statement addressing interest in safety engineering, previous experience and areas of interest with safety engineering and their relation to career goals.

Prerequisite Courses

There are no prerequisite courses for this program, however if an applicant does not have an undergraduate engineering degree, there may be some additional courses required for acceptance in the program. This will be determined by the program director in consideration of the applicant's work experience and undergraduate degree.

Possible considerations may be:

  • IE-2000 Fundamentals of Industrial Engineering
  • IE-2001 Operations Research
  • IE-2005 Probability and Statistics


Core Courses (must take all three)


Elective Courses (must take any two - this list will be dynamic and other courses will be added as the program is implemented)



Civil and Environmental Engineering (including Mining Engineering Certificate)

  • CEE2201 Construction Cost Estimating
  • CEE2202 Construction Scheduling
  • CEE2203 Construction Methods and Equipment
  • CEE2207 Construction & Cost of Mechanical Systems
  • CEE2230 Building Information Modeling
  • CEE2347 Bridge Engineering
  • CEE2700 Traffic Management Operations
  • CEE2711 ITS Operations and Design
  • CEE2725 Public Transportation Systems
  • CEE2730 Highway Engineering
  • CEE2750 Project Development and Implementation
  • ENGR2710 Traffic Control Systems
  • ENGR2205 Construction Finance and Cost Control
  • ENGR2725 Public Transportation Systems
  • ENGR2633 Minerals Industry Risk Management
  • ENGR2638 Mining Health and Safety
  • ENGR2639 Mine Evaluation and Management
  • ENGR2635 Mine Ventilation Engineering


Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • ECE2646 Special Topics (Advanced Power Electronics or Smart Grid Technologies and Applications)
  • ECE2777 Power System Transients 1 (offered every even numbered year)
  • ECE2774 Power Systems Engineering and Analysis II
  • ECE2250 Power Electronics Circuits and Applications
  • ECE2795 Special Topics: Protective Relaying and Automation
  • ECE2795 Special Topics: Renewable and Alternative Energy Systems


Mechanical Engineering and Materials Sciences (including Nuclear Engineering certificate)

  • ENGR2102 Nuclear Plant Dynamics and Control
  • ENGR2130 Environmental Issues & Solutions for Nuclear Power
  • ENGR2115 Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow
  • ENGR2100 Fundamentals of Nuclear Engineering
  • ENGR2103 Integration of Nuclear Plants with the Reactor Core
  • ENGR2112 Nuclear Chemistry and Radiochemistry
  • ENGR2125 Case Studies in Nuclear Codes and Standards
  • ENGR2110 Nuclear Materials
  • ENGR2120 Mathematical Modeling of Nuclear Plants
  • ENGR2104 Nuclear Operation Safety
  • ENGR2105 Heat and Mass Transfer
  • ME2053 Heat and Mass transfer
  • ME2045 Linear Control System