Industrial and Systems Engineering

School of Engineering

Doctorate Programs

Director, Ph.D. Program: Thomas Sharkey

Ph.D. in Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems

The ISE doctoral program prepares students with the ability to create and apply new mathematical, computational, and statistical approaches to novel, cutting-edge applications of ISE. This fact allows our Ph.D. graduates to pursue successful careers within academia, industry, and government. Graduates of the ISE doctoral program receive a Ph.D. degree in Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems (DSES) - a name that can be attributed to the department's history in interdisciplinary approaches to solving critical, practically-motivated problems. In fact, the department itself was founded in 1987 under the DSES name and brought together faculty from mathematics, engineering, and management. The interdisciplinary nature of ISE research is a strong theme within the department and ISE faculty are examining problems in a broad set of application areas including disaster response, adaptive supply chains, homeland security, and team decision-making.

Our Ph.D. program offers both unique research and educational experiences for our students. The research pursued by our students fits into an important theme of RPI: "Why not change the world?" Our Ph.D. students are applying the intellectual strengths of ISE to critical challenges faced by the world over the next century, especially in the areas of disaster response and adaptive supply chains. We invite you to learn more about our research here. The educational experiences offered to our Ph.D. students, especially those interested in a career in academia, help to prepare them to educate 21st century students. These experiences include the potential to create "virtual office hours" that can be blended into the traditional classroom experiences for our undergraduate students. These virtual office hours have been created for our core undergraduate Operations Research course and Supply Chains course.

The impact of these experiences have lead our recent alumni to great positions in academia and in industry. You can learn more about how our ISE Ph.D. program has prepared our recent alumni for their careers by looking at the profiles of recent PhD graduates.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

  • Plan of Study approved by PhD program director and Dean of the Graduate School
  • Average GPA 3.5 or better
  • Doctoral Qualifying Exam: A short version of Doctoral Candidacy Exam document, evaluated by two ISE faculty that are not the advisor.
  • Doctoral Candidacy Exam (within one year after passing DQE)
  • Doctoral Dissertation
  • Oral defense

Average time to dissertation is around four years

For details, please refer to
Ph.D. Program in Decision Science and Engineering Systems

Related Links