Car driving simulator

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 four main areas:

  • Engineering Analytics and Operations Research
  • Healthcare Systems Engineering
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management

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

During the first several years following graduation from the program, a graduate from UW-Madison with a B.S. in industrial engineering would be expected to:

  1. Demonstrate competence in the professional practice of industrial engineering.​
  2. Demonstrate industrial engineering skills needed as a foundation for leadership in a career and the profession.​
  3. Act with professional and ethical responsibility, fostering an inclusive work environment, and appreciate the impact of proposed solutions to a global and/or 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 minimum admission requirements for admission consideration to engineering degree granting classifications. 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 exceeded the 80 credit limit 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.

Summary of Requirements

The following curriculum applies to students admitted to the Industrial Engineering, BS, degree program beginning in Fall 2020 or later. Required courses and electives satisfying the Mathematics and Basic Science, Computer Sciences, IE Focus Area, and General Education Communication requirements are indicated. For Liberal Studies Electives refer to the College of Engineering Liberal Studies Guidelines.

Mathematics and Basic Science30-31
Probability and Statistics6
Computer Sciences7-8
Required I SY E Courses28
I SY E Focus Area Technical Electives 18
Professional Electives, Communication Skills, and Liberal Studies27
Free Electives4
Total Credits120-122

Mathematics and Basic Science

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
Select one of the following: 15-6
General Physics
General Physics
and Dynamics
and Dynamics
Choose 9 credits from the following list: 19
Basic Science
Introductory Biology
Introductory Biology
Introductory Biology
General Chemistry I 2
Advanced General Chemistry
Chemical Principles I
General Chemistry II
Chemical Principles II
Chemistry Across the Periodic Table
Fundamentals of Analytical Science
Fundamentals of Analytical Science
Elementary Organic Chemistry
Elementary Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Organic Chemistry I
Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Organic Chemistry II
Intermediate Organic Chemistry Laboratory
General Microbiology
General Microbiology Laboratory
General Physics
General Physics
A Modern Introduction to Physics
Modern Physics for Engineers
Introduction to Modern Physics
A Modern Introduction to Physics
Introduction to Discrete Mathematics
Techniques in Ordinary Differential Equations
The Theory of Single Variable Calculus
Introduction to Modern Algebra
Applied Linear Algebra
Introduction to Combinatorics
Analysis I
Analysis II
Total Credits30-31

If E M A 201 and E M A 202 or M E 240 are used to fulfill the PHYSICS requirement, 5 additional credits of math or basic science will be required


Credit will not be given for both CHEM 103 and CHEM 109 to fulfill Mathematics and Basic Science requirements.

Probability and Statistics

STAT 311 Introduction to Theory and Methods of Mathematical Statistics I3
or STAT/​MATH  309 Introduction to Probability and Mathematical Statistics I
I SY E 210 Introduction to Industrial Statistics3
or STAT/​MATH  310 Introduction to Probability and Mathematical Statistics II
or STAT 312 Introduction to Theory and Methods of Mathematical Statistics II
Total Credits6

Computer Sciences

COMP SCI 220 Data Science Programming I4
Select one of the following:3-4
Programming I
Programming II
Data Science Programming II
Programming III
Introduction to Numerical Methods
Total Credits7-8

Required I SY E Courses

I SY E 191 The Practice of Industrial Engineering2
I SY E 312 Data Management and Analysis for Industrial Engineers3
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 Industrial Engineering Design I3
I SY E 450 Industrial Engineering Design II3
Total Credits28

I Sy E FOCUS Area Technical Electives 

Choose 1 of the following 6 focus areas.

Engineering Analytics and Operations Research

Choose at least 3:9
Fundamentals of Industrial Data Analytics
Introduction to Combinatorial Optimization
I SY E 460
Introduction to Decision Analysis
Machine Learning in Action for Industrial Engineers
Introduction to Optimization
Linear Optimization
Advanced Linear Programming
Introduction to Computational Geometry
Methods for Probabilistic Risk Analysis of Nuclear Power Plants
Special Topics in Engineering Analytics and Operations Research
Simulation Modeling and Analysis
Stochastic Modeling Techniques
Introduction to Stochastic Processes
One elective I SY E course other than those listed in the Engineering Analytics and Operations Research area3
Additional elective I SY E courses in any area6
Total Credits18

Healthcare Systems Engineering

Choose at least 3:9
Health Systems Engineering
Decision Making in Health Care
Human Factors Engineering for Healthcare Systems
Human Performance and Accident Causation
Patient Safety and Error Reduction in Healthcare
Special Topics in Healthcare Systems Engineering
Safety and Quality in the Medication Use System
Health Information Systems
One elective I SY E course other than those listed in the Healthcare Systems Engineering area3
Additional elective I SY E courses in any area6
Total Credits18

Human Factors and Ergonomics

Choose at least 3:9
Wearable Technology
Human Factors Engineering
Human Factors Engineering Design and Evaluation
Human Performance and Accident Causation
Human Factors Engineering for Healthcare Systems
Human Factors of Data Science and Machine Learning
Occupational Ergonomics and Biomechanics
Special Topics in Human Factors
Organization and Job Design
Interactive Data Analytics
Design and Human Disability and Aging
One elective I SY E course other than those listed in the Human Factors and Ergonomics area3
Additional elective I SY E courses in any area6
Total Credits18

Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management

Choose at least 3:9
Introduction to Manufacturing Systems, Design and Analysis
Facilities Planning
Inspection, Quality Control and Reliability
Engineering Management of Continuous Process Improvement
Quality Assurance Systems
Introduction to Quality Engineering
Special Topics in Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management
Computer Integrated Manufacturing
Information Sensing and Analysis for Manufacturing Processes
Production Systems Control
Design and Analysis of Manufacturing Systems
Performance Analysis of Manufacturing Systems
Engineering Models for Supply Chains
One elective I SY E course other than those listed in the Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management area3
Additional elective I SY E courses in any area6
Total Credits18

 Distributed Focus Area

Total credits in Distributed Focus Area:18
Choose 6 courses in at least 3 of the 4 areas listed above (Engineering Analytics and Operations Research, Healthcare Systems Engineering, Human Factors and Ergonomics, and Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management)

 Honors in Research Focus Area

Total credits in Honors in Research Focus Area:20
I SY E 468 Introduction to Industrial Engineering Research1
I SY E 478 Research and Beyond in Industrial Engineering1
I SY E 489 Honors in Research3
Choose 5 courses in at least 2 of the 4 areas listed above (Engineering Analytics and Operations Research, Healthcare Systems Engineering, Human Factors and Ergonomics, and Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management)

Professional Electives, Communication Skills, and Liberal Studies

Professional Electives 16
Choose 6 credits from:
College of Engineering courses numbered 200 or higher
Biological, natural, social, or physical sciences; humanities; or literature at the Intermediate or Advanced level
At most 5 credits of I SY E 699 and/or I SY E 1 (independent study courses from other engineering subject areas can also be used)
School of Business courses numbered 200 or higher (as well as ACCT I S 100)
Communication Skills6
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
INTEREGR 397 Engineering Communication3
Liberal Studies15
Liberal Studies Electives (according to CoE requirements)11
ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics4
Total Credits27

Professional electives may not include STAT 301 Introduction to Statistical Methods or transfer/test math elective credits for calculus.

Free Electives

4 credits of Free Electives4
Total Credits4

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 MATH 2755I SY E 1912
ECON 1014MATH 222 or MATH 2764
Communications A3Liberal Studies Elective3
 16 14
Second Year
I SY E 3133I SY E 3153
MATH 2344I SY E 3481
Liberal Studies Elective2I SY E/​PSYCH  3493
Computer Sciences Elective3-4MATH 3403
Math and Basic Science Elective3Math and Basic Science Elective3
 I SY E 2103
 15-16 16
Third Year
I SY E 3123I SY E 3203
I SY E 3233I SY E 3211
Professional Elective3I SY E 3503
Liberal Studies Elective3I SY E Focus Area Elective3
 Free Elective1
 15 14
Fourth Year
I SY E Focus Area Elective3I SY E 4503
I SY E Focus Area Elective3I SY E Focus Area Elective3
Professional Elective3I SY E Focus Area Elective3
Free Elective3I SY E Focus Area Elective3
Math and Basic Science Elective3Liberal Studies Elective3
 15 15
Total Credits 120-121


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.


Laura Albert (Chair)
Oguzhan Alagoz
John D. Lee
Jeffrey Linderoth
Kaibo Liu
James Luedtke
Ranjana Mehta
Robert Radwin
Raj Veeramani

Doug Wiegmann
Shiyu Zhou

Associate Professors

Alberto Del Pia

Assistant Professors

Justin J. Boutilier
Tony McDonald
Carla Michini
Yonatan Mintz 
Hantang Qin
Xin Wang
Qiaomin Xie
Gabriel Zayas-Caban

Teaching Professors

Amanda Smith

Teaching Faculty

Hannah Silber
Sinan Tas
Tina Xu
Charlene Yauch


Terry Mann

Undergraduate Advisors

Michele Crandell
Missy Moreau

Graduate Program Coordinator

Pam Peterson

See also Industrial and Systems Engineering Faculty Directory.


Accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,, under the commission's General Criteria and Program Criteria for Industrial and Similarly Named Engineering Programs.

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.")