Rice University has created a professional master’s degree program in industrial engineering (IE) to be offered by the George R. Brown School of Engineering.
IE is the sixth-most popular engineering master’s degree in the U.S., with 3,538 granted in 2014-15. Nationally, more than twice as many master’s degrees are awarded in IE than in chemical engineering.
The new program, recently approved by the Faculty Senate, will be a 31-credit-hour, two-semester, non-thesis degree, beginning in the fall semester and finishing the following spring. The program will draw from the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Statistics, and will have small classes enrolling only students seeking master’s degrees.
“The program will provide students with a deep set of analytical and engineering skills that will enable them to solve some of the most pressing problems in healthcare, energy, aerospace, manufacturing and infrastructure. Given the significant impact these industries have on Houston, there has never been a more important time for such a program,” said Reginald DesRoches, the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of the George R. Brown School of Engineering.
Andrew J. Schaefer is the Noah Harding Chair and Professor of Computational and Applied Mathematics, and director of the new program. “Rice has always had expertise in various aspects of industrial engineering,” he said, “but until now no educational offerings per se. Students will find Houston an ideal location to study industrial engineering. It is America’s energy capital, has more manufacturing jobs than any city in the country, and the world’s largest medical center is literally across the street from Rice.”