The bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering and engineering management program requires 130 credit hours to complete. Coursework covers a breadth of topics including general education, mathematics, science, industrial engineering, engineering management, and professional breadth electives. Coursework within the industrial engineering and engineering management curriculum ensures that students develop the technical and complex thinking skills required for the 21st century through four pillars of student development that include technical skills, social development, innovation and complex thinking skills, and skills that reinforce self-identity. (For more details about specific courses and requirements, visit the SDSM&T course catalog.)
The department does not offer specializations within the degree, but because of the breadth and interdisciplinary nature of the discipline, we do offer considerable flexibility for students to pursue industrial engineering and engineering management within the context of interest areas. We offer information related to students having interests in the areas of manufacturing, human engineering, engineering management, operations research, and the health professions.
Many people associate industrial engineering with manufacturing plants. Indeed, industrial engineers are very well-equipped to operate, control, and improve manufacturing businesses; but the same skills used to produce a physical product in a traditional manufacturing environment are equally as applicable in processes that provide services as well. And the application of new manufacturing processes allows for greater variety in products and production quantities than ever before (mass customization). Students interested in manufacturing should have strong capabilities in mathematics and people skills. They should seek to improve their knowledge of materials science automation (sensors and programming), product design, and human engineering. Their abilities and understanding of management, leadership, and business skills makes them very valuable.
Operations research and management science are often terms that are used interchangeably to describe the discipline of using advanced analytical techniques for decision making. The procedures and techniques first used in operations research were first formalized by the military to deploy radar, search for enemy submarines, and support logistical operations. Currently, operations research techniques are used extensively in private enterprise for planning, VLSI chip design, financial planning logistics, wind turbine energy analysis, and manufacturing operations, to name a few. Students with a strong quantitative skill set may be interested in the applied mathematics minor offered by the math department or may be interested in quantitative coursework that provides the foundational core needed for continuing studies in this area.
Industrial engineers improve systems and people are usually at the center of those systems. Many students choose industrial engineering as a major because they desire an engineering degree, but also want a strong human connection. In process improvement, the dual goals are to keep workers safe while at the same time increasing productivity and quality, all of which increase profitability for a company. In product development, the goal is to design products to match human physical and cognitive capability. Students wishing to delve even deeper into human engineering should consider the occupation safety minor, graduate school opportunities, and professional certification (e.g. SSP, CPE, CIH, etc.). Industrial engineering students at SDSM&T will study human engineering concepts including ADA compliance, airborne hazards, anthropometry biohazards, chemical exposure, computer interface, construction safety, controls/displays hazard indentification/evaluation control, illumination, lifting and manual materials handling, musculoskeletal and neurovascular disorders, noise, office ergonomics, OSHA compliance, posture analysis, product liability, program development, repetitive motion, standard, thermal stress, toxicology, ventilation, vibration, work measurement, work methods, work physiology, work sampling workers’ compensation, and workstation design.
Engineering management is the art and science of applying engineering principles to planning, organizing, leading, and controlling organizations toward the goal of operational excellence. While often found in manufacturing or other industrial firms, engineering managers are also valued members of firms in industrial, as varied, health services, finance, and the non-profit sector. Engineering management is a ‘bi-cultural’ discipline, requiring understanding of both quantitative decision-making with the constraints of stochastic (i.e. variable or “real world”) systems and qualitative decision-making dealing with people, organizations, negotiation, and politics. Around two thirds of engineers are expected to be managers at some point in their career (ascm.org). Students with strong communication skills combined with the ability to apply probability and statistics to lead organizations may be particularly interested in this area.
Using an engineering BS degree in combination with a pre-med curriculum can provide an excellent approach to medical school, although a challenging one. With an engineering degree, you can distinguish yourself from the common med school applicant. Throughout your engineering education, you will be taught perhaps the most important concept of all, critical thinking. The engineering approach to problem solving shows students how to find solutions with limited information. These techniques greatly parallel those taught in medical school, giving you a head-start. As high tech innovations continue to be incorporated into medicine, a technical background is increasingly valuable. Engineering’s emphasis on the application of science allows its graduates to adopt technical innovations with great ease. With your engineering background, you will be able to more confidently apply what you learn to unique situations. And if for any reason, you choose not to pursue medical school, you still have an engineering degree at hand.
Value Added (Minors and Certificates)
The department offers a number of value-added opportunities for all students on campus. Each of these came about because of specific needs and interest by industry or the state of South Dakota.
Occupational Safety Minor
Occupational Safety Certificate
Six Sigma Certificate
Technology Innovation Certificate
Engineering Management and Leadership Certificate
General Education Requirements
Program Status Sheet
Program Flow Charts