PhD in Industrial Engineering

Admission Contact Information
Jonni Sutton (
E3437 Thomas and Nell Lafferre Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-2691

About the Doctoral Degree

Programs are individually tailored to meet students’ objectives and to culminate in an original research dissertation. The PhD builds upon the MS programmatic areas. The three current focus areas are Operations Research and Statistics, Manufacturing/Production/Service Systems and Human/Enterprise Systems. Other focus areas are in development. Fundamental IE knowledge in each is expected. The basic goals of the PhD program are to provide students with a solid understanding of the theoretical bases for the latest tools and techniques of systems analysis and design, an extensive experience in applying these analyses and design tools and techniques, and research experience in the development of new tools or applications of existing techniques to design or analyze problems.

Application Deadlines

Applications accepted all year.
Fall decision dates: March 1
Spring decision date: September 1

Minimum Criteria to be Considered for Admission

  • Minimum BS GPA: 3.3/4.0; MS GPA: 3.5/4.0 
  • Minimum OVERALL IELTS scores: 6.0; or Minimum TOEFL scores:
Internet-based test (iBT) Paper-based test (PBT)
80 550
  • Minimum GRE scores:
When did you take the GRE? Verbal + Quantitative Analytical
Prior to August 1, 2011 350 700
On or After August 1, 2011 143 155
  • Foreign Language: No foreign language is required in either program.
  • Completed master's thesis or equivalent (Non-thesis MS is not considered).
  • Compatible research interests with a member of the IMSE faculty.
  • BS in Math is very welcome in OR focus.

Note: Only highly qualified students are accepted for advisement in the PhD program. The faculty looks for excellence in undergraduate and graduate work, high GRE scores, thesis training, and strong indications of research potential.


This department does not use “rolling admission.” Applicants will be notified within a month after decision date.

Required Application Materials

To the Office of Graduate Studies:

  • All required Graduate Studies documents

To the IMSE Graduate Program:

  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • GRE scores
  • Writing sample demonstrating research experience

TA/RA Hiring

This academic department does not have any function of financial Aid. Rather, IMSE hires TA/RA automatically based on the department needs. No separate application or contacts are necessary; all top ranked applicants will be considered.

Degree Completion Requirements

The granting of a PhD requires completion of five major requirements:

  1. A qualifying examination,
  2. A course of study (Study Plan),
  3. Comprehensive examination,
  4. Acceptance of dissertation proposal, and
  5. Final public defense of the completed dissertation.

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