The first bachelor of science in industrial engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison was awarded in 1972. Since that time the demand for industrial engineers has grown dramatically for one chief reason: the need for organizations to raise their level of productivity through thoughtful, systematic applications.

Becoming an industrial engineer (IE) places one in an exciting field of engineering that focuses on productivity improvement worldwide. It is a field that deals as much with human aspects of work as with today's sophisticated tools of work.

What sets industrial engineering apart from other engineering disciplines is its broader scope. An IE deals with people as well as things. The industrial engineer applies problem-solving techniques in almost every kind of industry, business, or institution. There are IEs in banks, hospitals, government at all levels, transportation, construction, processing, social services, electronics, facilities design, manufacturing, and warehousing.

An IE looks at the "big picture" of what makes society perform best—the right combination of human resources, natural resources, and human-made structures and equipment. An IE bridges the gap between management and operations, dealing with and motivating people as well as determining what tools should be used and how they should be used. Industrial engineering is concerned with performance measures and standards, research of new products and product applications, ways to improve use of scarce resources, and many other problem-solving adventures.

Because industrial engineering serves a broad cross-section of business, industry and institutions, the IE's work environment varies from office to plant to field. Choices can be made even after the IE begins his or her career. Few other vocations offer a graduating student such a wide selection of places to work or kind of work to perform. Need for industrial engineers makes this profession particularly attractive from the financial standpoint. Beginning salaries rank in the top group of high-paying engineering disciplines, and fast advancement is not unusual.

In the industrial and systems engineering department at UW–Madison, the course curriculum is set up to provide a diversified background and at the same time allow choices according to individual interests. Specialized coursework might be categorized in five main areas:

  • Decision Science and Operations Research
  • Health Systems Engineering
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Manufacturing and Production Systems
  • Quality Engineering

Although there is no sub major within IE, it is possible to achieve a degree of specialization through a judicious choice of IE technical electives. Courses focusing on teams and design projects prepare students to succeed in the workplace.

Industrial Engineering Program Educational Objectives

  1. Graduates will demonstrate competence in the professional practice of industrial engineering.
  2. Graduates will demonstrate the skills needed to assume leadership in their workplaces and profession.
  3. Graduates will act with professional and ethical responsibility, and appreciate the impact of proposed solutions in a global/societal context.

Admission to the College as a Freshman

Students applying to UW–Madison need to indicate an engineering major as their first choice in order to be considered for direct admission to the College of Engineering. Direct admission to a major means students will start in the program of their choice in the College of Engineering and will need to meet progression requirements at the end of the first year to guarantee advancement in that program.

Cross-Campus Transfer to Engineering

UW–Madison students in other schools and colleges on campus must meet the course and credit requirements for admission to engineering degree granting classifications specified in the general college requirements. The requirements are the minimum for admission consideration. Cross-campus admission is competitive and selective, and the grade point average expectations may increase as demand trends change. The student’s overall academic record at UW–Madison is also considered. Students apply to their intended engineering program by submitting the online application by stated deadlines for spring and fall. The College of Engineering offers an online information tutorial and drop-in advising for students to learn about the cross-campus transfer process.

Off-Campus Transfer to Engineering

With careful planning, students at other accredited institutions can transfer coursework that will apply toward engineering degree requirements at UW–Madison. Off-campus transfer applicants are considered for direct admission to the College of Engineering by applying to the Office of Admissions with an engineering major listed as their first choice. Those who are admitted to their intended engineering program must meet progression requirements at the point of transfer or within their first two semesters at UW–Madison to guarantee advancement in that program. A minimum of 30 credits in residence in the College of Engineering is required after transferring, and all students must meet all requirements for their major in the college. Transfer admission to the College of Engineering is competitive and selective, and students who have earned more than 80 transferable semester credits at the time of application are not eligible to apply.

The College of Engineering has dual degree programs with select four-year UW System campuses. Eligible dual degree applicants are not subject to the 80 credit limit.

Off-campus transfer students are encouraged to discuss their interests, academic background, and admission options with the Transfer Coordinator in the College of Engineering: or 608-262-2473.

Second Bachelor's Degree

The College of Engineering does not accept second undergraduate degree applications. Second degree students might explore the Biological Systems Engineering program at UW–Madison, an undergraduate engineering degree elsewhere, or a graduate program in the College of Engineering.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.


The following curriculum applies to students admitted to the industrial engineering degree program beginning in fall 2018 or later. Required courses are indicated. The Industrial Engineering Undergraduate Curriculum Guide contains lists of courses that fulfill the requirements in the following categories: General Education Communication Elective, Mathematics, Science, Engineering and Science Electives, IE Required Courses, IE Technical Electives, Junior Design and Senior Design. For Liberal Studies Electives refer to the College of Engineering Liberal Studies Guidelines.

Mathematics and Statistics22
Engineering and Science Electives15
Required I SY E Courses32
I SY E Technical Electives12
Communication Skills and Liberal Studies21
Total Credits120

Mathematics and Statistics

MATH 221 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 15
MATH 222 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 24
MATH 234 Calculus--Functions of Several Variables4
MATH 340 Elementary Matrix and Linear Algebra3
STAT 311 Introduction to Theory and Methods of Mathematical Statistics I3
STAT 312 Introduction to Theory and Methods of Mathematical Statistics II3
Total Credits22


Select one of the following:5
General Physics
General Physics
and Dynamics 1
and Dynamics 1
Select one of the following:5
General Physics
General Physics
Select one of the following:5
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II
Advanced General Chemistry
Select one of the following:3 or 4
Programming I
Data Programming I
Programming II
Total Credits18-19

Engineering and Science Electives 

Fifteen credits in engineering and science are required, with at least three credits coming from engineering science, computer science, and statistics. Courses that can be used to fulfill the requirements are listed below:

Engineering Science - minimum 3 credits

All engineering courses between 200-699 1

Statistics - minimum 3 credits

E C E 379 Special Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering (Topic: Data Science & Engineering) 21-4
I SY E 412 Fundamentals of Industrial Data Analytics 33
I SY E 575 Introduction to Quality Engineering 3, 43
STAT 333 Applied Regression Analysis3
STAT 303 R for Statistics I1
STAT 304 R for Statistics II1
STAT 304 R for Statistics II1
STAT 349 Introduction to Time Series3
STAT 351 Introductory Nonparametric Statistics3
STAT/​M E  424 Statistical Experimental Design 3, 43
STAT/​COMP SCI  471 Introduction to Computational Statistics3
Statistics course at the 500 level or greater that are not cross-listed with I SY E 5

Computer Science - minimum 3 credits

COMP SCI 200 Programming I3
COMP SCI 220 Data Programming I4
COMP SCI 270 Fundamentals of Human-Computer Interaction3
COMP SCI 300 Programming II 63
COMP SCI 310 Problem Solving Using Computers3
COMP SCI 320 Data Programming II4
COMP SCI 368 Learning a Programming Language1
COMP SCI 369 Web Programming3
COMP SCI 400 Programming III3
COMP SCI 412 Introduction to Numerical Methods3
Computer Science courses at the 500 level or greater that are not cross-listed with I SY E

Mathematics - optional

MATH/​COMP SCI  240 Introduction to Discrete Mathematics3
MATH 319 Techniques in Ordinary Differential Equations3
MATH/​STAT  431 Introduction to the Theory of Probability3
MATH 441 Introduction to Modern Algebra3
MATH/​COMP SCI/​STAT  475 Introduction to Combinatorics3
Mathematics courses at the 500 level or greater that are not cross-listed with I SY E

Biology and Other Science - optional

ANAT&PHY 335 Physiology5
CHEM 343 Introductory Organic Chemistry3
ZOOLOGY/​BIOLOGY  101 Animal Biology3
ZOOLOGY/​BOTANY/​ENVIR ST  260 Introductory Ecology3
ZOOLOGY/​BIOLOGY/​BOTANY  151 Introductory Biology5
ZOOLOGY 153 Introductory Biology3

Required I Sy E Courses

ACCT I S 300 Accounting Principles3
or ACCT I S 100 Introductory Financial Accounting
I SY E 313 Engineering Economic Analysis3
I SY E 315 Production Planning and Control3
I SY E 320 Simulation and Probabilistic Modeling3
I SY E 321 Simulation Modeling Laboratory1
I SY E 323 Operations Research-Deterministic Modeling3
I SY E 348 Introduction to Human Factors Engineering Laboratory1
I SY E/​PSYCH  349 Introduction to Human Factors3
I SY E 350 Junior Design Laboratory3
I SY E 415 Introduction to Manufacturing Systems, Design and Analysis3
I SY E 417 Health Systems Engineering3
I SY E 450 Senior Design Project3
Total Credits32

I Sy E Technical Electives 

Twelve credits required.

Human Factors - minimum 3 credits

I SY E 515 Engineering Management of Continuous Process Improvement3
I SY E/​COMP SCI/​DS  518 Wearable Technology3
I SY E/​PSYCH  549 Human Factors Engineering3
I SY E 552 Human Factors Engineering Design and Evaluation3
I SY E 555 Human Performance and Accident Causation3
I SY E/​MED PHYS  559 Patient Safety and Error Reduction in Healthcare2
I SY E/​B M E  564 Occupational Ergonomics and Biomechanics3
I SY E 601 Special Topics in Industrial Engineering 11-3
I SY E 602 Special Topics in Human Factors3
I SY E/​PHARMACY  608 Safety and Quality in the Medication Use System3
I SY E 610 3
I SY E/​B M I  617 Health Information Systems3
I SY E/​PSYCH  652 Sociotechnical Systems3
I SY E/​PSYCH  653 Organization and Job Design3
I SY E/​B M E  662 Design and Human Disability and Aging3
I SY E 699 Advanced Independent Study 11-3
OTM 758 Managing Technological and Organizational Change3

Quantitative Methods - minimum 3 credits

I SY E 412 Fundamentals of Industrial Data Analytics 23
I SY E/​COMP SCI/​MATH  425 Introduction to Combinatorial Optimization3
I SY E/​CIV ENGR/​N E  460 Uncertainty Analysis for Engineers3
I SY E/​M E  510 Facilities Planning3
I SY E/​M E  512 Inspection, Quality Control and Reliability3
I SY E/​M E  513 Analysis of Capital Investments3
I SY E 516 Introduction to Decision Analysis3
I SY E 517 Decision Making in Health Care3
I SY E/​COMP SCI/​E C E  524 Introduction to Optimization3
I SY E/​COMP SCI/​MATH/​STAT  525 Linear Optimization3
I SY E/​COMP SCI  526 Advanced Linear Programming3-4
I SY E 575 Introduction to Quality Engineering 2,33
I SY E 578 3
I SY E 601 Special Topics in Industrial Engineering 11-3
I SY E 605 Computer Integrated Manufacturing3
I SY E 612 Information Sensing and Analysis for Manufacturing Processes3
I SY E 615 Production Systems Control3
I SY E 620 Simulation Modeling and Analysis3
I SY E 624 Stochastic Modeling Techniques3
I SY E/​MATH/​OTM/​STAT  632 Introduction to Stochastic Processes3
I SY E/​MATH/​OTM  633 Queuing Theory and Stochastic Modeling3
I SY E/​COMP SCI  635 Tools and Environments for Optimization3
I SY E/​M E  641 Design and Analysis of Manufacturing Systems3
I SY E/​M E  643 Performance Analysis of Manufacturing Systems3
I SY E 645 Engineering Models for Supply Chains3
I SY E/​INFO SYS/​OTM  671 E-Business: Technologies, Strategies and Applications3
I SY E 699 Advanced Independent Study 11-3
I SY E/​INFO SYS  722 Computer-Based Data Management3
or INFO SYS 422 Computer-Based Data Management
STAT/​M E  424 Statistical Experimental Design 33

Quality Engineering - minimum 3 credits

I SY E/​M E  512 Inspection, Quality Control and Reliability3
I SY E 515 Engineering Management of Continuous Process Improvement3
I SY E 575 Introduction to Quality Engineering 2,33
I SY E 601 Special Topics in Industrial Engineering 11-3
I SY E 699 Advanced Independent Study 11-3
STAT/​M E  424 Statistical Experimental Design 33

Additional I SY E elective or internship/co-op - optional

E P D 275 Technical Presentations2
INTEREGR 110 Introduction to Engineering1
INTEREGR 170 Design Practicum3
I SY E 1 Cooperative Education Program1
I SY E 191 The Practice of Industrial Engineering 41
I SY E 389 Honors in Research1-3
I SY E 489 Honors in Research1-3
I SY E 520 Quality Assurance Systems3
I SY E 601 Special Topics in Industrial Engineering 11-3
I SY E 699 Advanced Independent Study 11-3

Communication Skills and Liberal Studies

ENGL 100 Introduction to College Composition3
or COM ARTS 100 Introduction to Speech Composition
or LSC 100 Science and Storytelling
or ESL 118 Academic Writing II
E P D 397 Technical Communication3
Liberal Studies Electives (according to CoE requirements)11
ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics4
Total Credits21

Minimum Required Credits: 120

University Degree Requirements

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.
  1. Identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. Apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. Communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. Recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. Function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. Develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. Acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies
  8. Recognize, describe, predict and analyze systems behavior
  9. Understand physiological, cognitive, and sociotechnical aspects of humans as components in complex systems design
  10. Apply the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice, such as quality engineering, optimization, simulation, and project management


First Year
MATH 221 or 2755MATH 222 or 2764
ECON 1014Liberal Studies Elective3
 Communications A3
 I SY E 1911
 14 16
Second Year
MATH 2344STAT 3113
PHYSICS 2025I SY E 3133
Engineering Science Elective3I SY E 3153
COMP SCI 2204MATH 3403
 Engineering and Science Elective (Stats)3
 16 15
Third Year
I SY E 3233I SY E 3203
I SY E 3481I SY E 3211
I SY E/​PSYCH  3493I SY E 3503
ACCT I S 300 or 1003E P D 3973
STAT 3123Engineering and Science Elective (Comp Sci)3
Liberal Studies Elective3I Sy E Technical Elective2
 16 15
Fourth Year
I SY E 4153I SY E 4503
I Sy E Technical Elective (Human Factors)3I Sy E Technical Elective (Quantitative Methods)3
I SY E 4173I Sy E Technical Elective (Quality)3
Engineering Science Elective (ENGR)3Liberal Studies Elective3
Liberal Studies Elective3Engineering Science Elective3
 15 15
Total Credits 122


Each College of Engineering program has academic advisors dedicated to serving its students. Program advisors can help current College of Engineering students with questions about accessing courses, navigating degree requirements, resolving academic issues and more. Students can find their assigned advisor on the homepage of their student center. 

Engineering Career Services

Engineering Career Services (ECS) assists students in identifying pre-professional work-based learning experiences such as co-ops and summer internships, considering and applying to graduate or professional school, and finding full-time professional employment during their graduation year.

ECS offers two major career fairs per year, assists with resume writing and interviewing skills, hosts workshops on the job search, and meets one-on-one with students to discuss offer negotiations.

Students are encouraged to utilize the ECS office early in their academic careers. For comprehensive information on ECS programs and workshops, see the ECS website or call 608-262-3471.


Linderoth (chair)

Associate Professors


Assistant Professors

Del Pia

See also Industrial and Systems Engineering Faculty Directory.


Accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

Note: Undergraduate Program Educational Objectives and Student Outcomes are made publicly available at the Departmental website. (In this Guide, the program's Student Outcomes are designated by our campus as "Learning Outcomes.")