The Master of Science in Manufacturing Systems Engineering (MSE) is an on-campus, multidisciplinary degree, drawing courses and faculty from engineering, business, computer sciences, and statistics. As the first program of its kind in the United States, and among the first in the world, MSE has long been recognized as a leading provider of resourceful engineers for global and dynamic manufacturing firms. Hands-on projects, along with classes taught by internationally recognized experts and state-of-the-art technology, provide an ideal foundation for anyone entering today's advanced manufacturing environment.

MSE graduates leave the program skilled beyond narrow specialties and equipped to lead technical teams. Students are exposed to practical problems and cutting-edge concepts, resulting in engineers who combine management skills with advanced technical abilities. Courses cover a broad range of manufacturing issues, while reinforcing a systems approach. The variety of subjects allows students to tailor their studies to individual goals or interests. More than 400 MSE alumni currently work in industry.

The student body of the MSE program is predominantly composed of students returning from industry or working for their degrees while employed. The program also has a substantial number of international students. Prospective students find the midsized program an ideal learning environment.

Specifically, the program addresses solutions to problems in the design, development, implementation, operation, evaluation, and management of modern manufacturing systems. An named option in the MSE M.S. degree titled Engineering Management Specialization is also offered, ideal for engineering students with a special interest in management issues pertaining to manufacturing. For students seeking advanced training in management, the School of Business offers an MBA in operations and technology management. A maximum of 6 advanced credits of MSE course work can be used to satisfy some of the MBA degree requirements.

Students may also consider the fully online M.Eng. degree with a named option in Manufacturing Systems Engineering

Graduate School Admissions

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic degree programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet requirements of both the program(s) and the Graduate School. Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.  

Fall Deadline December 15
Spring Deadline The program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline The program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Required.*
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

MSE Admissions Profile

Admission information for the on-campus manufacturing systems engineering M.S.

To be admitted to the M.S. program, applicants must satisfy the Graduate School's minimum admission requirements as well as the following program requirements: undergraduate engineering degree from an ABET-accredited program or its equivalent (students with a physical sciences degree other than engineering and considerable industry experience are also eligible); an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (exceptions may be made by the admissions committee in favor of applicants with significant industry experience); and at least two years of work experience in manufacturing. 

Students who wish to pursue the Research Thesis track should contact faculty that they would like to conduct research with during the application process. 

application deadline: December 15 

Students are only admitted in the Fall term. 

Admission to the master’s program in manufacturing systems engineering (MSE) steps:

  1. Please visit the UW–Madison Graduate School Admissions to review requirements for admission. Frequently Asked Questions.
  2. Apply at the UW–Madison Graduate School.   
  3. Please submit the required application materials to the MSE program uploaded to the online application system including a statement of purpose, 3 letters of recommendation, current vitae/resume' and transcript information for all post high school education.  (Students applying from non-U.S. universities must supply GRE and either TOEFL, MELAB, or IELTS scores).

After you have submitted all the application materials to the MSE program as well as the graduate school, we will review your qualifications and check if everything is complete. The MSE program will then recommend qualified candidates for admission to the graduate school.

For further information, please contact

Costs of Graduate School/ Tuition Information

International Applicant Financial Information

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.


The Manufacturing Systems Engineering program does not offer Teaching Assistantships, Project Assistantships, or Research Assistantships. Students seeking Teaching Assistantships and Project Assistantships should directly contact academic departments that offer courses (e.g., Mechanical Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering). Research Assistantships are only available to students in the research thesis track. Students seeking Research Assistantships should directly contact faculty who they want to conduct thesis research with. 


Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents may be eligible to receive some level of funding through the federal direct loan program. These loans are available to qualified graduate students who are taking at least 4 credits during the fall and spring semesters, and 2 credits during summer. Private loans are also available. Learn more about financial aid at their website


For information on International Student Funding and Scholarships visit the ISS website.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (15 credits out of 30 total credits) must be completed in graduate-level coursework in the College of Engineering, the School of Business, the Department of Statistics, the Department of Biological Systems Engineering, or the Department of Computer Sciences; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.
Assessments and Examinations The research-thesis track requires student to submit a thesis and defend to a committee of faculty. The industry-thesis track requires students to submit an industry thesis and defend it to a committee of faculty. The course-only track does not require a thesis.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

Required COURSES 

The on-campus Manufacturing Systems Engineering M.S. program has three tracks: course only, industrial thesis, and research thesis. Students must take four courses from the core course areas with at least one course from each of the core course areas.  All students are required to take the capstone course I SY E/​M E  641 Design and Analysis of Manufacturing Systems. The remaining course requirements vary depending on the program track that is chosen and are described in the table below.

Course Only Track1

Four courses selected from the Core Course Areas 212
I SY E/​M E  641 Design and Analysis of Manufacturing Systems (Offered in spring semester)3
Elective Courses 312
Industry Thesis or Independent Study (Optional for course only option)3
Total Credits30

Industry Thesis Track1

Four courses selected from the Core Course Areas 212
I SY E/​M E  641 Design and Analysis of Manufacturing Systems (Offered in spring semester)3
Industry Thesis 3
Elective Courses 312
Total Credits30

Research Thesis Track1

Four courses selected from the Core Course Areas 212
I SY E/​M E  641 Design and Analysis of Manufacturing Systems (Offered in spring semester)3
Research Thesis12
Elective Courses 33
Total Credits30

Core Course Areas

Fundamentals of Process and Technology
CBE 450 Process Design3
CBE 470 Process Dynamics and Control3
CBE 540 Polymer Science and Technology3
CBE 541 Plastics and High Polymer Laboratory1-3
CBE 770 Advanced Process Dynamics and Control 13
E C E 412 Power Electronic Circuits3
E C E 453 Embedded Microprocessor System Design4
E C E/​B M E  462 Medical Instrumentation3
E C E/N E 528 Plasma Processing and Technology3
E C E 549 Integrated Circuit Fabrication Laboratory3
I SY E 415 Introduction to Manufacturing Systems, Design and Analysis3
I SY E 605 Computer Integrated Manufacturing3
M E 417 Transport Phenomena in Polymer Processing3
M E 418 Engineering Design with Polymers3
M E 419 Fundamentals of Injection Molding3
M E 429 Metal Cutting3
M E 437 Advanced Materials Selection3
M E/E C E 439 Introduction to Robotics3
M E 446 Automatic Controls3
M E 447 Computer Control of Machines and Processes3
M E 449 Redesign and Prototype Fabrication3
M E 460 Applied Thermal / Structural Finite Element Analysis3
M E 469 Internal Combustion Engines3
M E 514 Additive Manufacturing3
M E/​N E  565 Power Plant Technology3
M E/CBE 567 Solar Energy Technology3
M E/E C E 577 Automatic Controls Laboratory4
M E 601 Special Topics in Mechanical Engineering 21-3
M E 717 Advanced Polymer Processing 13
M E/E C E 739 Advanced Robotics 13
M E 747 Advanced Computer Control of Machines and Processes 13
M S & E 401 Special Topics in Materials Science and Engineering 21-3
M S & E 434 Introduction to Thin-Film Deposition Processes3
M S & E/​M E  435 Joining of Materials: Structural, Electronic, Bio and Nano Materials3
M S & E 461 Advanced Metal Casting3
M S & E/​M E  462 Welding Metallurgy3
M S & E 465 Fundamentals of Heat Treatment3
M S & E 803 Special Topics in Materials Science 21-3
N E 405 Nuclear Reactor Theory3
Fundamentals of Systems Engineering and Design
CBE 430 Chemical Kinetics and Reactor Design3
CIV ENGR 370 Transportation Engineering3
CIV ENGR 498 Construction Project Management 23
COMP SCI/​E C E  755 VLSI Systems Design3
COMP SCI/E C E 756 Computer-Aided Design for VLSI 13
E C E 427 Electric Power Systems3
M E 418 Engineering Design with Polymers3
M E 444 Design Problems in Elasticity3
M E 445 Mechatronics in Control & Product Realization3
M E 531 Digital Design and Manufacturing3
M E 535 Computer-Aided Geometric Design3
M E 545 Fluid Power3
M E 548 Introduction to Design Optimization3
M E 549 Product Design3
M E 601 Special Topics in Mechanical Engineering (Design of Computer Control Systems) 21-3
M E 748 Optimum Design of Mechanical Elements and Systems 13
MARKETNG/​OTM  427 Enterprise Systems and Supply Chain Management3
OTM 860 Sustainable Design of Innovative Products, Services and Systems3
I SY E 412 Fundamentals of Industrial Data Analytics3
I SY E/M E 510 Facilities Planning3
I SY E/​M E  512 Inspection, Quality Control and Reliability3
I SY E 515 Engineering Management of Continuous Process Improvement3
I SY E 520 Quality Assurance Systems3
I SY E/B M E 564 Occupational Ergonomics and Biomechanics3
I SY E 575 Introduction to Quality Engineering3
I SY E 601 Special Topics in Industrial Engineering 21-3
I SY E 612 Information Sensing and Analysis for Manufacturing Processes3
I SY E 620 Simulation Modeling and Analysis3
I SY E/M E 643 Performance Analysis of Manufacturing Systems3
I SY E 645 Engineering Models for Supply Chains3
OTM 654 Production Planning and Control3
OTM 770 Sustainable Approaches to System Improvement 1,34
STAT/M E 424 Statistical Experimental Design3
Fundamentals of Buisness and Management
ACCT I S 300 Accounting Principles3
ACCT I S 301 Financial Reporting I3
ACCT I S 710 Managerial Accounting3
GEN BUS 765 Contemporary Topics1-4
FINANCE/​ECON  300 Introduction to Finance3
FINANCE 757 Entrepreneurial Finance 13
I SY E/PSYCH 653 Organization and Job Design3
M H R 700 Organizational Behavior3
M H R 715 Strategic Management of Innovation 13
M H R 722 Entrepreneurial Management 13
M H R 765 Contemporary Topics 11-4
MARKETNG/​OTM  421 Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management3
MARKETNG/​OTM  422 Logistics Management3
MARKETNG/​OTM  724 Strategic Global Sourcing3
OTM 365
OTM 765
Contemporary Topics
and Contemporary Topics
OTM 758 Managing Technological and Organizational Change 13
OTM 861 Strategic Systems and Sustainability3

Named Options (Sub-Majors)

A named option is a formally documented sub-major within an academic major program. Named options appear on the transcript with degree conferral.

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

A Graduate Program Handbook is the repository for all of the program's policies and requirements.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 12 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions toward the minimum graduate degree requirement and toward the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement. No credits from other institutions can be counted toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

With program approval, up to 7 credits from the UW–Madison Undergraduate career numbered 400 or above may be counted toward the minimum graduate degree credit requirement. No prior coursework from the UW–Madison undergraduate career may be counted toward the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement or the minimum graduate residence credit requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, students are allowed to count up to 15 credits of coursework numbered 400 or above taken as a UW–Madison Special student toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement and the minimum graduate degree credit requirement; coursework numbered 700 or above may satisfy the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission is not allowed to satisfy requirements.


The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.


Every graduate student is required to have an advisor. To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects them to meet with their advisor on a regular basis. Students can be suspended from the Graduate School if they do not have an advisor. See People section of this Guide for possible MSE advisors. 

The director of the Manufacturing Systems Engineering Program is assigned as the advisor to incoming students. Students in the research thesis track are expected to identify an advisor during the admission process. This advisory can be any faculty member affiliated with this program


15 credits

Time Constraints

Master's degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence.



Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 



An Individual Development Plan helps with self-assessment, planning, and communication:

  • An IDP can help you communicate your professional development and career planning needs and intentions to others including your mentor, which can lead to helpful advice and resources.
  • You can use the IDP to make sure you and your mentor’s expectations are clearly outlined and in agreement so that there are no big surprises, particularly at the end of your training.
  • The current job market is challenging and research has shown that individuals who perform structured career planning achieve greater career success and satisfaction.

The onus to engage in the IDP process is your responsibility—although your mentor, PI, or others may encourage and support you in doing so. The IDP itself remains private to you, and you choose which parts to share with which mentors. Through the IDP process, you may decide to identify various mentors to whom you can go for expertise and advice. 


Julie Rae, Assistant Director for Graduate Student Career Services, graduate students in all engineering programs


6171 Helen C. White Hall

The UW Writing Center provides free of charge face-to-face and online consultations that focus on a number of different writing scenarios (i.e. drafts of course papers, resumes, reports, application essays, cover letters, theses, etc). Writing Center instructors will not edit or proofread papers. Instead, their goal is to teach students to edit and proofread on their own in order to become a better, more confident writers.

  1. Demonstrate a strong understanding of mathematical, scientific, and engineering principles in the field.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to formulate, analyze, and solve advanced engineering problems.
  3. Apply the latest scientific and technological advancements, advanced techniques, and modern engineering tools to these problems.
  4. Recognize and apply principles of ethical and professional conduct.