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IME PhD Program Requirements

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering BS - PhD Program

The BS - PhD program is designed with the highly motivated and diligent student in mind. This route provides a fast track for well-rounded students to bypass the MSIE degree and receive their doctorate in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering in a relatively short time.

Entry Requirements

Students should possess a baccalaureate degree in engineering, science, or mathematics with a minimum GPA of 3.4 on a 4.0 scale. The average GRE scores are 155 (Quantitative) + 154 (Verbal) [720 (Quantitative) + 500 (Verbal) in the old scale]. Three favorable letters of recommendation are required.

Candidacy Requirements

Once admitted, students will be required to take up to 24 credit hours of course work before they are eligible for doctoral candidacy. This course requirement will be determined on an individual basis by the student's doctoral committee. The students who entered the program with a BS degree or an MS degree with no thesis are required to take a 3 credit hour Review Paper Directed Independent Study (RPD), which is intended to allow students to demonstrate their ability to conduct a literature review and display their understanding of the theoretical framework as directed by the doctoral committee. Throughout the duration of study, the student must maintain a grade of 'B' or higher in every course. Additionally, the semester-to-semester GPA must not fall below 3.4.

As part of the candidacy requirements, the students must demonstrate a thorough understanding of the following core courses, which consist of 18 credit hours:

Industrial Engineering Core (IEC) - 12 Credit Hours Hours Semester
IEC1 - ESI 5525: Modeling and analysis of Manufacturing and Industrial Systems 3 Fall
IEC2 - ESI 5247: Engineering Experiments 3 Spring
IEC3 - ESI 5408/ESI 5412: Applied Optimization 3 Spring
IEC4 - EIN 5930-02: Research Methodology 3  
PhD Core (Select one from each PHC group) - 6 Credit Hours Hours  
PHC 1: Mathematics Course Group (3hrs) 3  
MAA 5306: Advanced Calculus I 3  
MAP 5345: Elementary Partial Differential Equations 1 3  
STA 5323: Intro to Mathematical Statistics 3  
PHC 2: Computational Course Group (3hrs) 3  
MAD 5403: Foundation of Computational Methods I 3  
EIN 5930: Finite Element Methods 3  
STA 5106: Computational Statistics I 3  

The student may also be required to fulfill additional course requirements (PHA group), depending upon the goals of the doctoral committee. The make-up of these courses (PHA group) is at the discretion of the doctoral committee and is intended to enhance the student's fundamental knowledge in the chosen research area. The credit hours resulting from these courses will normally run between zero to six hours. The following is a flow chart outlining the requirements for the BS - PhD program. Once the necessary course work is complete, the student must successfully complete the Preliminary Examination (prelim exam) in order to achieve doctoral candidacy status, and then complete 24 dissertation hours to be eligible for graduation.

The student will be expected begin a search for a research topic/area upon admission. This will enable the completion of the 3 credit hour RPD course in time for the prelim exam.

The previous chart is color coded to illustrate a student's route to doctoral candidacy once admitted into the BS - PhD program. According to this chart, which presumes a fall semester start, the students will complete the IE and PhD core courses by the spring semester. By their third semester (fall) (Note: Summer term is not considered in this semester count), they will submit a detailed literature review report to their committee for grades in the RPD course. In that semester and beyond, the student will take any additional course requirements set by their committee (PHA). However, this cannot extend beyond the student's fourth semester in the program. At a predetermined point in the third or fourth semester, the student must take the prelim exam. The student will be allowed to attempt the prelim exam only twice.

The following chart shows a student's route to doctoral candidacy based on a spring semester start. Again, the prelim exam must be taken by the fourth semester.

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering MS - PhD Program

The MS - PhD program is designed for students who have previously received an MS degree in engineering or a related discipline.

Entry Requirements

Students should possess a baccalaureate degree in engineering, science, or mathematics with a minimum GPA of 3.4 on a 4.0 scale. The average GRE scores are 155 (Quantitative) + 154 (Verbal) [720 (Quantitative) + 500 (Verbal) in the old scale]. Three favorable letters of recommendation are required.

Candidacy Requirements

Once admitted, students will take up to 24 credit hours of course work prior to being eligible for doctoral candidacy.  This course requirement will be determined on an individual basis by the student's doctoral committee.  Throughout the duration of study, the student must attain a grade of ‘B' or higher in every course attempted.  Additionally, the semester-to-semester GPA must not fall below 3.4.

As part of the candidacy requirements, the students must demonstrate a thorough understanding of the following core courses, which consist of 18 credit hours:

Industrial Engineering Core (IEC) - 12 Credit Hours Hours Semester
IEC1 - ESI 5525: Modeling and analysis of Manufacturing and Industrial Systems 3 Fall
IEC2 - ESI 5247: Engineering Experiments 3 Spring
IEC3 - ESI 5408/ESI 5412: Applied Optimization 3 Spring
IEC4 - EIN 5930-02: Research Methodology 3  
PhD Core (Select one from each PHC group) - 6 Credit Hours Hours  
PHC 1: Mathematics Course Group (3hrs) 3  
MAA 5306: Advanced Calculus I 3  
MAP 5345: Elementary Partial Differential Equations 1 3  
STA 5323: Intro to Mathematical Statistics 3  
PHC 2: Computational Course Group (3hrs) 3  
MAD 5403: Foundation of Computational Methods I 3  
EIN 5930: Finite Element Methods 3  
STA 5106: Computational Statistics I 3  

If the IEC course requirements have already been met prior to registering for the doctoral program, they will be waived.

The student may be required to fulfill additional course requirements (PHA group), depending on the goals of the doctoral committee.  The make-up of these courses (PHA group) is at the discretion of the doctoral committee and is intended to enhance the student's fundamental knowledge in the chosen research area.  The credit hours resulting from these courses will typically run between zero to six hours.  The following is a flow chart outlining the requirements for the MS - PhD program.  Once the necessary course work is complete, the student must successfully attempt the prelim exam, and then take 24 dissertation hours to be eligible for graduation.

The student must begin searching for a research topic/area upon admission. 

The following chart is color coded to illustrate a student's route to doctoral candidacy once admitted into the MS - PhD program.  In this chart, which presumes a fall semester start, the students will complete the IE and PhD core courses by the spring semester.  By their third semester (fall) (Note: Summer term is not considered in this semester count), and beyond, the student will take any additional course requirements (PHA) set by their committee.  However, this cannot extend beyond the student's fourth semester in the program.  At a predetermined point in the third or fourth semester, the student must successfully complete the prelim exam.  The student will be allowed to attempt the prelim exam only two times.

The following chart illustrates a student's route to doctoral candidacy presuming a spring semester start.  Again, the prelim exam must be taken by the fourth semester.

If the student has completed the IEC 1, 2, and 3 requirements prior to registering for the doctoral program, the requirements will be waived, and the program chart will look like the following:

In this case (fall semester start), the initial attempt of the prelim must be by the student's second semester.  The final attempt must be successfully completed by the student's third semester.

The program chart for a spring semester start by the student will look like the following:

Again, the initial attempt of the prelim exam must be undertaken by the student's second semester.  The final attempt must be successfully completed by the student's third semester.

Preliminary Examination

The Preliminary Examination (prelim exam) is the final requirement for doctoral candidacy.  Following successful completion of core courses, and upon certification of the doctoral supervisory committee that the student has (1) maintained a minimum 3.4/4.0 GPA, and (2) progressed sufficiently to begin independent research in the area of the proposed dissertation, the student is ready to take the prelim exam. The purpose of this exam is to test the adequacy of a student's background in relation to his/her area of concentration, and to determine if the student is sufficiently prepared to formulate and undertake acceptable dissertation research.  This exam is taken over a five-week period.  It must be successfully completed by the student's third semester (MS - PhD route), or fourth semester (BS - PhD route).  The student is allowed to retake the exam only once.

In the semester the student intends to take the prelim exam, he/she needs to register for the 0-credit hour prelim exam course.  This registration must only be done once

In preparing for the prelim exam, the student shall present to the doctoral committee a 40-page research review report demonstrating an understanding of the theoretical framework in the area of research based on an in-depth literature review. [Students on the BS-PhD route may draw from the RPD report to fulfill this requirement]. In demonstrating an understanding of the literature, the student must include a discussion that identifies the knowledge gaps in their research area. The student shall end the prelim report by indicating what kind of research is necessary to close the identified knowledge gaps, and a schedule for an initial assessment, which leads to a research proposal. Upon submission of the prelim report, the committee will respond to the student with questions based on the literature review and research area.

The following is a schedule of events for the successful completion of the prelim exam:

  • The student must make arrangements with the major professor to schedule a five-week time period for the examination. The student is required to bring an Application for Preliminary Examination (available from the Department) to the oral examination. After completion of the examination, the supervisory committee chair should submit the signed form to the Director of Graduate Studies.
  • The five-week time period will be spent as follows:
    • With the consultation of the major professor, the student will submit a research review report to the supervisory committee. This document should be approximately 20 typed double-spaced pages.
    • The committee will submit written questions to the major professor for collection by the student two weeks after submission of the research review report. These questions will relate to the research review report.
    • The student will have two weeks to develop written responses to the questions in preparation of the oral exam. These responses will be submitted to the major professor, who will then distribute the responses to the committee members. The student should submit a complete bound set of answers to each committee member.
    • The oral examination will be held within one week of submission of the written responses. This examination will be primarily related to the research area and the student's written responses. Appropriate related fundamental concepts may also be covered.
    • Pass/fail is determined on the combined written and oral responses to committee questions. A majority of committee votes and a pass vote by the committee chair is required to pass.
    • A student who passes the examination will be recognized as a candidate for the PhD Degree. The Preliminary Examination Report Form should be filled after the examination is completed.

Research Proposal

The research proposal is a description of the research which the student intends to undertake and which will be reported in a detailed, comprehensive fashion in the completed dissertation. It offers the student an opportunity to convince the supervisory committee of the appropriateness of the research topic, as well as of his/her capability to pursue the projected topic to a successful conclusion.

The research proposal must be submitted to the supervisory committee after the student passes the preliminary exam (usually 1 year after the prelim exam) and before beginning dissertation research. The student must provide an oral presentation at least one week after submitting the proposal. A revised proposal (with approval signatures from all thesis supervisory committee members must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies within two weeks after the presentation. Use the PhD Research Proposal Form for the proposal presentation.

The research proposal narrative must include:

  1. Problem Statement. The definition of the problem to be investigated, including its scope.
  2. Objectives. Objectives of the project, clearly stated in terms that lend themselves to observation and/or measurement.
  3. Present Status of the Problem. Summary of pertinent previous research in the field, documented with citations from the literature. Must demonstrate the relation of the material cited to the present problem.
  4. Procedure. Approach and steps to be taken to achieve objectives. Must include nature of data and the procedure(s) to be employed in the analysis of the data, and state clearly how the research will be done.
  5. Expected Results and Schedule. Expected results from the research work, including an outline and plan to accomplish the research work in the time remaining prior t defense.

Progress Report and Presentation

Upon completion of the preliminary exam the PhD candidate is required to deliver a written progress report to the committee members once every year. The format of the progress report is to be determined by the committee members. The PhD Annual Progress Review Form should be filled after the progress presentation.

Upon completion of the dissertation proposal examination, the PhD candidate is required to deliver a formal progress presentation to the committee members. The progress presentation should be held at least 6 weeks prior to the dissertation defense presentation. All committee members should attend the presentation in person or via distant technology. The PhD Final Progress Review Form should be filled after the final progress presentation.

Dissertation Defense Requirements

Subject to approval of the doctoral candidate's committee confirming the candidate's readiness to defend his/her dissertation, and upon the acceptance of at least two refereed journal papers for which the candidate is the first author and the submission of at least two refereed journal papers, the candidate may proceed to defend their dissertation research. The submitted papers should be under consideration at the time of the defense.

NOTE: All committee members and the student must be physically present during the entire defense. In cases where this is not possible, the department allows no more than one member to attend the defense in real time by participating via distance technology. The distance technology must allow two way audio and visual links. That is, the committee member who is away can be seen and heard by all other members and the student and vice versa. Communication link that allow only audio (i.e. teleconferencing) is not acceptable in a defense.

Timeline of PhD requirements

A suggested timeline of certain PhD requirements can be found at: https://eng.famu.fsu.edu/ime/graduate/phd/suggested-timeline.

Remark about requirements

The requirements outlined in this page are effective to all current IME PhD students, regardless of their date of entry to the program.