Students who wish to pursue a career in advanced industrial research and development, or university research and teaching can apply to join the Department’s PhD program. This program emphasizes training in original thinking and independent research. Students can design their program of study to suit their interests and needs. The program should cover a specialized area in industrial engineering and at least one minor area, and must be approved by the thesis advisory committee.
The PhD program seeks to develop a student’s skills in identifying issues related to a practical application, formulating an original research project that addresses some of the significant issues, and independently creating an effective solution to the problem. A PhD candidate is supervised by a Department faculty member.
Students who have a bachelor’s degree are required to take a minimum of 30 credits of approved coursework. Students entering with master's degrees from other universities may be granted credit transfer of up to 12 credits. Subject to the approval of the student’s thesis supervisor and the postgraduate committee, a maximum of six credits of undergraduate 4000-level coursework may be counted toward degree requirements.
PhD students are required to take five courses from the following list:
  1. IELM 5110 Information System Design
  2. IELM 5170 Advanced Production Planning and Control
  3. IELM 5230 Deterministic Models in Operations Research
  4. IELM 5250 Stochastic Models in Operations Research
  5. IELM 5260 Design and Analysis of Engineering Experiments
  6. IELM 5270 Engineering Statistics
  7. IELM 5320 Design for People
  8. IELM 5520 Contextual Design for Decision Support System
They must also:
  • take one 3-credit course at Engineering School (non-IELM) 5000 level or above 
  • take and pass ENGG6770 Professional Development in Engineering and IELM6770 Professional Development in IELM. Students are expected to complete in their first two years of study
  • take at least one 3-credit IELM Special Topic or 6000-level course
  • pass the one-credit LANG 5001  Postgraduate English for Academic Purposes course, though credit earned from LANG 5001 cannot be counted toward degree requirements. Students can be exempted from taking LANG 5001 by the department head or the postgraduate coordinator, based on students’ background and/or the HKUST Language Center’s English proficiency assessment  
  • take and pass IELM6800 for at least four semesters during their residency. Part-time students may be exempted from this requirement
  • pass the qualifying examination, pass the preliminary oral examination to review and approve the student’s written research proposal, write a thesis and pass a final thesis examination