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Industrial and Systems Engineering

Degree: BS

Campus: Columbus

College: Engineering

Freshmen applying to the Columbus campus must submit their complete admission application by November 1 to be considered for this major. 

Industrial engineers address the overall performance of systems, responsiveness of systems to customer and user needs, and the quality of products or services produced. Industrial engineers recognize how the design of machinery, tools, equipment, computers, software and automated systems affect the performance of people and work systems. They also evaluate and design the roles people play within work systems to ensure people can safely, effectively and efficiently perform their tasks while maximizing work quality. 

Organizations from every sector of our economy—banking, food, energy, health care, commercial aviation, manufacturing, logistics, entertainment and government—turn to industrial engineers for help in improving an organization’s efficiency and productivity. Industrial engineers often work in teams with other types of engineers and business specialists to design and improve systems that produce and distribute goods and services. Industrial engineers guide and support organizational management and often become managers. 

Upon admission to the university, students may directly enroll as pre-engineering students; however, direct enrollment is selective. Factors used to determine eligibility to directly enroll include ACT/SAT scores (emphasis on math), strong college prep curriculum (emphasis on math, science and rigorous courses), and class rank or GPA. The middle 50 percent of directly enrolled pre-majors (autumn 2016) had ACT score ranges of 29–33 and 98 percent were in the top 25 percent of their high school classes.

Students not eligible to directly enroll in engineering may enroll in Science, Technology and Environment Exploration (see exploration.osu.edu).

All engineering students have a similar first-year plan of study, the college core, that provides fundamental courses in math, science and engineering. View a sample first-year plan of study.

Students in the industrial and systems engineering program gain a strong engineering foundation coupled with core course work in engineering economics, simulation, optimization, quality control, supply chain management and logistics, project management, manufacturing processes, workplace and facility design, ergonomics, lean engineering, systems thinking and cognitive systems engineering.

In addition to the college core and major courses, engineering students also take select core courses and general education courses.

Engineering students have several opportunities for global education, including service learningsemester abroad, international internships, engineering-specific study abroad programs or the Global Option in Engineering program

Whether it be installing solar panels on Haitian schools, researching biomedical optics in China, devising solutions for sustainable food production in Honduras, or setting speed records on the Isle of Man, Ohio State engineering students venture beyond classrooms and labs to find success in every corner of the globe. 

Students work with Engineering Career Services (ECS) to find both paid internships and co-op jobs across the United States and around the world. Nearly 90 percent of career-employed graduates complete at least one semester of engineering-related experience before they graduate. 

Honors and scholars offer students an opportunity to pursue academic rigor (Honors) or foster passion through community (scholars). Engineering students can enhance their experience by getting involved with one of the following engineering-based programs.

Engineering Honors

The Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors (FEH) Program is an optional course sequence that is offered to University Honors-designated engineering students. This accelerated program is designed to challenge students and provide them with a foundation in engineering principles that are necessary for success throughout their academic careers.

Engineering Scholars

Engineering Scholars presents students with a new lens through which to view engineering through two available tracks:

  • Green Engineering Scholars have a community theme of green engineering, innovation and social responsibility. Students examine areas such as alternative energy development, sustainable products and systems, and green manufacturing and building. 
  • Humanitarian Engineering Scholars learn about and engage in engineering activities that impact underserved areas by addressing pressing problems. 

At Ohio State, engineering students conduct research alongside top faculty from across the university—doctors, physicists, designers, artists and experts in many other fields—to advance our knowledge and improve the world around us. Students enjoy multiple outlets to share their work, including Ohio State's annual Denman Undergraduate Research Forum each spring. Learn more about engineering research.

Industrial and systems engineering research topics:

  • human systems integration
  • resilience engineering
  • biomechanics, physical ergonomics and safety
  • optimization
  • supply chain management and logistics
  • forming and casting of lightweight materials
  • data analytics, date-driven optimization and visual analytics

Industrial and systems engineering students choose from more than 50 engineering student organizations, including Alpha Pi Mu, Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Big Data Analytics Association, Institute for Operations Research and Management Science, and Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

Graduates of the industrial systems engineering program develop strong technical, management and design skills that are valuable to many different industries. They pursue a variety of career paths, including jobs in manufacturing and production,  health care, finance, energy systems, retail and distribution, aviation, information technology, marketing, and education.

For the past three years, 83 percent of industrial and systems engineering graduates have been placed in full-time employment within 3 months of graduation.

Some employers of industrial and systems engineering graduates include Accenture, AMEND Consulting, Boeing Co., Deloitte Consulting LLP., Eaton, Ford Motor Co., Honda, IBM Corp., JP Morgan Chase, Mettler Toledo, PepsiCo, SwagelokCo. and Whirlpool Corp.