Industrial Engineering Major Guide for 2011-2012

What is Industrial Engineering

Originally, the industrial engineering profession focused on manufacturing. Today’s industrial engineer is involved in the design of systems and processes to produce and deliver goods and services not only in manufacturing, but also in the service industries and government sectors of the economy. Industrial engineers are concerned with the design of integrated systems involving people, materials, facilities, finances, equipment and energy to ensure the overall system functions efficiently and human needs are adequately met. Industrial engineering is distinctive in two respects: The industrial engineer typically works on problems or systems which include human beings as a major variable; and the industrial engineer is by definition a systems engineer, whose unique combination of skills can be applied to many working environments.

It is this emphasis on people, science and technology that distinguishes industrial engineering from the other engineering disciplines. The industrial engineer’s objective is to achieve the best possible results for the benefit of humankind, in terms of safety, quality and productivity. Industrial engineers create value through a total systems approach, scientific method, engineering design and integration of new technologies. In common with all engineering disciplines, industrial engineering is based on mathematics and the physical sciences. However, industrial engineering also emphasizes the life sciences and social sciences. This concern for the human element leads to system designs that enhance the quality of life for all people, both as producers and consumers of products and services.

The faculty members of the Department of Industrial and Information Engineering pursue research in areas such as information engineering and data mining, lean manufacturing, manufacturing process improvement, computer simulation modeling, biomechanics of impact injuries, development and evaluation of criteria for athletic protective equipment, risk assessment models for cumulative trauma disorders, operations research and human performance analysis. Many of these research activities provide opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in research.

The objectives of the industrial engineering program include enabling the students to obtain:

  • an understanding of fundamental engineering principles, mathematics, science, and statistics.
  • an understanding of and an ability to apply the following concepts to the multi-faceted problems associated with the production of, maintenance, and delivery of goods and services; fundamental human factors which influence engineering design, the economic analysis of alternative design choices, introductory economics and accounting, quality control techniques, manufacturing processes and materials, production and inventory system design and control, the mathematical modeling and simulation of complex systems, and the design and installation of information acquisition and control systems.
  • an ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, to function on multi-disciplinary teams, to have knowledge of pertinent contemporary issues, and to recognize the need for a commitment to life-long learning.The university’s engineering programs are fully accredited by the ABET Engineering Accreditation Program.

Career Opportunities in Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineers have an almost unlimited range of career fields available, including retail distribution, banking, health-care delivery, corporate management, consulting firms, aerospace systems, research groups, government and military agencies as well as manufacturing. In all areas of manufacturing, service and government, there is increasing emphasis on the goal of improving quality and productivity. Industrial engineers work closely with the top management in these sectors to achieve this goal.  A good resource is the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook

High School Preparation

Core academic subjects required for admission can be found on the Undergraduate Admissions website

Prospective students who want to enter the engineering program are also required to meet the criteria of the “Success Prediction Index” (SPI). The formula for SPI is 10 x high school core GPA + math ACT score. The College of Engineering admissions can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog Students who are unable to meet the admission requirements may register as “university undecided” students and complete appropriate mathematics, science and other courses before applying for admission to Engineering the following year. 

How to Major in Industrial Engineering

The industrial engineering degree program is administered by the UT Department of Industrial and Information Engineering (IIE). Students applying to the university should specify industrial engineering as their chosen major when completing the admission form. Students transferring from other departments within UT or from other educational institutions should contact the department for more information regarding the appropriate entry level and any additional required courses.

Requirements for Industrial Engineering

The IIE department currently does not have any special requirements for admission to the industrial engineering program, other than the general admission requirements for the university and the college. College of Engineering students at the sophomore level and above are required to own laptop computers for class work. For more information, please visit

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

All UT freshman engineering students are automatically enrolled in the innovative Engage Engineering Fundamentals Program, designed to help students learn basic engineering concepts and teamwork skills through a series of hands-on projects and activities:

The College of Engineering’s Office of Professional Practice (EPP) provides income-generating opportunities for engineering students to experience real world engineering challenges through cooperative education (co-op) and internship programs. Both programs offer structured learning environments where students develop increasing responsibilities by holding full-time paid positions in a professional environment related to their academic and career goals:

In addition to financial and scholarship programs available to all students, the college also provides special scholarships and support programs to minority students, including:

The College of Engineering also participates in the University Honors Program, which is designed to give academically outstanding students a unique undergraduate experience consisting of special courses, seminars, mentoring and research projects: The College of Engineering has Honors concentrations in all majors

The UT Center for International Education collaborates with the COE to create opportunities for engineering students to study in other countries:

Highlights of Industrial Engineering

Students majoring in industrial engineering are encouraged to participate in professional societies, including the UT chapter of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), which is open to all students with an interest in the discipline. Alpha Pi Mu, the industrial engineering honor society, and Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, are pleased to invite students with outstanding academic records into their memberships. These organizations provide members the opportunity to gain valuable experience in time management, public speaking and teamwork.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

Engineering students can take part in UT Study Abroad programs throughout the world. There are programs in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, South America, and North America. You can take classes during one semester, mini-term, summer, or the whole academic year.  There are also opportunities for international internships and other work experiences.  See the websites at the Engineering Outreach Office and Programs Abroad Office for more information.

Learn more about UT’s Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.

Sample Curriculum


The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering


First Year

Hours Credit

CHEM 120 * or CHEM 128 * 4
ENGL 101 * or ENGL 118 *, ENGL 102 * 6
MATH 141 * or MATH 147 *, MATH 142 * or MATH 148 * 8
EF 105 , EF 151  or EF 157 , EF 152  or EF 158  9
1Social Sciences  General Education Elective*    3
 Critical Courses: Math 141/147 and 142/148; EF 151/157 and EF 152/158; Chemistry 120/128  

Second Year

MATH 200 , MATH 231 , MATH 241 , or MATH 247  8
PHYS 231 * 3
EF 230  2
IE 200 , IE 202 , IE 250 , IE 405  10
MSE 201  3
ME 331  3
ECON 201 * or ECON 207 * 4
 Critical Courses:  Math 200; IE 200, 202  

Third Year

ECE 301  3
IE 300 , IE 301 , IE 304 , IE 310 , IE 340 , IE 350 * 16
IE 401 , IE 402 , IE 421  9
2Arts and Humanities  Elective 3
 Critical Courses: IE 300, 301, 310  

Fourth Year

IE 404 , IE 406 , IE 422  (OC, WC), IE 427 , IE 450  11
3IE Technical Electives 12
4Cultures and Civilizations  Electives* 6
5Arts and Humanities  Elective* 3
 Critical Courses: IE 404, 422  

Total 128

*Meets General Education Requirement .
1 See Social Sciences  – University General Education Requirement. Select one course from the list other than ECON 201  and ECON 207 .
2 See Arts and Humanities  – University General Education Requirement. Select one course from the list.
3 Chosen from AE 341 *; BME 300 ; BUAD 361 *, BUAD 410 *; BULW 301 ; ECE 206 , ECE 255 , ECE 300 *, ECE 302 ; ECON 311 *, ECON 312 *, ECON 313 #, ECON 322 *, ECON 331 , ECON333 ,ECON 351 *, ECON 361 ; FINC 300 #, FINC 425 *#, FINC 455 *#; IE 423 , IE 457 , IE 483 , IE 484 ; INSC 310 , INSC 451 #, MARK 300 #; MGT 300 #; MSE 302 , MSE 340 ,

MSE 360 , MSE 390 , MSE 405 ; ME 321 , ME 363 *#, ME 365 #, ME 405 ; NE 342

 . Courses denoted with * have a registration restriction. Courses denoted with # have a prerequisite or corequisite that is not part of the industrial engineering program.

4 See Cultures and Civilizations  – University General Education Requirement. Select two courses from the list, or select a two-course sequence in a foreign language at the intermediate level, or select a six-hour intensive foreign language course at the intermediate level.
5 See Arts and Humanities  – University General Education Requirement. Select one course from the list, preferably PHIL 244 *.

 Five-Year BS/MS Program

The department offers a 5-year BS-MS program with a major in industrial engineering for qualified students. The primary component of the program is a qualified student may take up to 9 hours of approved graduate courses for their senior undergraduate courses and have them count toward both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Tennessee. This program is designed for students attending the University of Tennessee for their Master of Science degree because other universities may not accept these courses for graduate credit since they were used to satisfy requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree. The student may also take an additional 9 credit of courses, while working towards their bachelor’s, which will count only for the master’s degree. Qualifications for admission to the program are:

  • The student must have an earned minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.4 to be considered for admission to the program. Conditional admission may be granted the student after completing 65 hours of the required course work.
  • Conditional admission must be obtained before taking a graduate course that is to be used to satisfy the requirements of both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Students admitted to the program must request permission from the Graduate School to take approved courses for graduate credit. Students admitted to the program must also follow the normal procedure for admission to the Graduate School.
  • Full admission may be granted after completing 96 hours of required course work and with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.4 in the required course work.
  • Conditional and full admission of a student into this program must be approved by the Department of Industrial Engineering, the College of Engineering, and the Graduate School.
  • Full admission must be obtained before taking a graduate course that is to be used to satisfy the requirements only for the master’s degree. These courses must be identified in advance, with the proposed master’s advisor or the Industrial Engineering Graduate Program Coordinator.
  • Any course taken for graduate credit prior to satisfying all requirements for the bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering must be approved by the department head or designee and the Graduate School.
  • A student will not be eligible for a graduate assistantship until the student is enrolled as a graduate-level student in the Graduate School, has satisfied all of the requirements for the bachelor’s degree, or the student is in the final semester of the bachelor’s degree and has completed all undergraduate industrial engineering coursework.


Honors Concentration

Students, who wish to pursue the honors industrial engineering concentration, will normally be part of the Chancellor’s Honors Program. Candidates for the honors concentration in industrial engineering must complete the following requirements.

  • First-year courses for honors concentration in the engineering majors.
  • Two upper-division honors courses in industrial engineering via Honors-by-Contract or Honors Independent Study.
  • If participating in only the Chancellor’s Honors Program, the Honors-by-Contract paperwork goes to the Chancellor’s Honors Office on campus during the first 10 days of the semester. If participating in Engineering Honors and not Chancellor’s Honors, the Honors-by-Contract paperwork is submitted the first 10 days of the semester to the engineering major department. If participating in both Chancellor’s and Engineering Honors, the Honors-by-Contract paperwork is submitted to both areas. (Note: These honors requirements are course substitutions for the industrial engineering major.)
  • Minimum of 3-credit hours of an honors senior design course. This requirement is normally satisfied as part of their senior capstone design course (IE 422 ).

For More Information

Industrial and Information Engineering
416 East Stadium Hall
Knoxville, TN 37996-0700
Phone: (865) 974-3333
Fax: (865) 974-0588