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College of Engineering

Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering

Lead industry into the future with a Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering.


Are you fascinated by questions of how people and organizations interact with industrial systems? Do you have innovative ideas about how to apply new research to industrial engineering?

If so, a Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering is an excellent opportunity to pursue your passions. By studying at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, you can tackle these problems and more in a supportive, well-equipped environment.

N.C. A&T is the top industrial and systems engineering degree-producer for African American students, and the only HBCU to offer a Ph.D. in the subject. Our unique distinction speaks to the quality of our program and the dedication of our faculty to this area of scholarship.

You’ll be able to choose from three areas of concentration for your engineering degree as you prepare for a future in academia, industry, or the public sector. Best of all, you can reach these professional and research goals while enjoying the highly affordable education N.C. A&T prides itself on.

Why choose the Ph.D in industrial and systems engineering at N.C. A&T?

As the only HBCU with a dedicated Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering, we’re committed to providing you with the best opportunities to pursue your passions while getting your engineering degree. Earning your Ph.D. in engineering here gives you the opportunity to:

Work with renowned faculty. Our industrial engineering faculty are well-recognized in their field and regularly asked to participate in projects funded by the U.S. government and military. Students can work alongside professors to advance these real-world projects as they pursue their Ph.D. in engineering.

Pursue the research you’re most passionate about. With three concentrations to choose from, you can focus on the area of industrial engineering or systems engineering that you’re most passionate about. We offer a wide variety of courses you can choose from to expand your skillset, from manufacturing processes to machine learning to neuroergonomics.

Earn your Ph.D. at an affordable price. At N.C. A&T, we take pride in being accessible to scholars from all walk of life. Our costs are low for both in-state and out-of-state students. In addition, the vast majority of Ph.D. students — over 99% — are supported through grants and fellowships.

Industrial and systems engineering concentrations 

  • Human-Machine Systems Engineering (HMSE) - This concentration explores the interaction of people with computers and equips you to build or maintain systems where humans interact with machine interfaces. Ph.D. candidates in this concentration research topics like cognitive systems engineering, human-machine interactions and occupational biomechanics.
  • Manufacturing and Service Enterprise Engineering (MSEE) - 
    Analyze how you can apply industrial engineering concepts to complex organizational and logistics systems with this concentration. You’ll have opportunities to design and optimize manufacturing, service and supply chain enterprises from the perspectives of both process management and technical design.
  • Operations Research and Systems Analysis (ORSA) - This concentration is ideal for anyone seeking to optimize industrial processes. Learn to analyze information systems and other industrial processes to discover inefficiencies through your research and propose solutions.

Dream. Career paths for industrial and systems engineering Ph.D. graduates

A Ph.D. in engineering from N.C. A&T opens doors to careers in government laboratories, academia, and industry.

Our graduates have found research positions in well-regarded public universities such as Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, Emory-Riddle Aeronautical University, and many others. Even more graduates have been recruited by national and federal laboratories.

For those who wish to become leaders in the public sector, a Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering positions you to succeed in careers such as manufacturing process manager, human factors professional, or continuous process improvement expert for major corporations.

Connect. Industrial and systems engineering faculty

Our industrial and systems engineering faculty is nationally and internationally recognized for their research and authority in the field.

Many of our faculty are involved in ongoing research in industrial engineering and are internationally cited for their findings. Others are involved in projects funded by major government entities, including the National Security Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and more.

In addition, several are leaders in professional societies and organizations that have worldwide memberships, granting them authority and recognition in the field.

Achieve. Industrial and systems engineering courses and curriculum

We offer a broad variety of courses under three different concentrations so you can pursue the area of study most relevant to your career or research goals.

As a Ph.D. candidate, you likely know what you’re passionate about. We let you further those passions by allowing you to choose from a diverse array of courses in topics such as:

  • Manufacturing processes
  • Nano materials science
  • Human-machine systems engineering
  • Operations research
  • Machine learning

The program will culminate in a dissertation based in your independent research. Altogether, this Ph.D. in engineering typically takes three to four years to complete.

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Explore. Scholarships and financial aid for industrial and systems engineering Ph.D. candidates

At N.C. A&T, we believe you should be able to pursue your education as affordably as possible. In addition to our usual low prices, we offer several forms of scholarships and financial aid for graduate students.

Ph.D. candidates in particular can benefit from grants and fellowships. These benefits help offset the costs of your education, and many also fund the pursuit of your research.

Discover. Programs related to industrial and systems engineering

IExplore other opportunities to earn a postgraduate engineering degree or similar degree at N.C. A&T.

Do. Apply to the industrial and systems engineering Ph.D. today