The 5 Best Master's in Industrial/ Manufacturing Engineering Online

Updated November 8, 2022 · 2 Min Read

A masters degree in industrial and manufacturing engineering can lead to an even heftier paycheck for those engineers who want to take on advanced roles. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Industrial and manufacturing engineers work to improve the numerous and complex steps that factor into a manufacturing process. They may analyze a variety of factors such as finances, logistics, supply chain, and even human resources that affect product development in an effort to optimize this process. Industrial/manufacturing engineers are among the highest paid engineers in the field, earning a mean annual wage of $84,310 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A masters degree in industrial and manufacturing engineering can lead to an even heftier paycheck for those engineers who want to take on advanced roles. In this ranking, we explore the top 5 online master's in industrial/manufacturing engineering degree programs. For more general information regarding distance learning, visit our ranking of the top online colleges.

Rating and Ranking Methodology
Tuition Points:

  • Under $20,000—1 point
  • Under $15,000—2 points
  • Under $10,000—3 points
  • Under $5,000—4 points

US News and World Report Recognition as a Top Online School for Master’s Engineering Programs

  • Top 10— 4 points
  • Top 25 —3 points
  • Top 50 —2 points
  • Top 75 —1 point

Customization Options

  • Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, Accelerated, Degree Completion, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
  • Content Customizations (e.g. Minors, Concentrations, Specializations, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option (5-point cap)

Wow Factor

  • 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us

To compile this ranking of the best 25 master's in industrial/manufacturing engineering online programs, our editors began with an initial pool of 42 colleges and universities offering this compelling credential via distance education. To narrow this pool, we applied an affordability filter, eliminating programs with tuition costs over $30,000. We then applied the rating and ranking methodology above, using data from U.S. News & World Report and College Navigator as well as each program's website.

Featured Online Master's Programs

#1 –North Carolina State University

Online Master of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Points: 13

North Carolina State University’s Engineering Online program offers several master’s programs in engineering, including aerospace engineering, industrial engineering, integrated manufacturing systems engineering, and nanoengineering. If none of NC State’s many distance engineering programs fit a student’s specific needs, they may also take the general masters in engineering program and create a customized plan of study that better prepares them for their career goals. Most tracks do not require a thesis or on-campus residency. Many also either do not require GRE scores or waive the GRE requirement for some online students.

In-State Tuition: $8,492

#2 –Purdue University

Online Master of Industrial Engineering


Points: 11

Purdue University offers an online master’s in industrial engineering degree with courses in human factors engineering, production systems engineering, operational research, and manufacturing systems engineering. Flexibility in content is a priority. Students create a plan of study alongside their advisors that addresses their specific academic needs. This plan also takes into account the student’s individual work-life balance. Students are encouraged to take a lighter course load or take time off from their studies if needed. Individuals who are interested in the thesis-based version of this online master’s in industrial engineering program should note that, while Purdue does offer this option, it is not available online.

In-State Tuition: $9,208

#3 –Texas A&M University-College Station

Online Master of Industrial Engineering


Points: 10

Texas A&M University–College Station offers two MS in industrial/manufacturing engineering program online: both an online masters industrial engineering degree and an online masters engineering systems management degree. Both of these programs are non-thesis programs primarily meant for individuals who plan to enter the industry after graduation. However, some students are still able to use these programs as a stepping stone towards a doctoral degree. Both tracks are very structured, but allow online master’s degree in manufacturing engineering students the freedom to choose electives both within the engineering department and outside of the department.

In-State Tuition: $5,941

#4 –University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Online Master of Engineering in Manufacturing


Points: 10

The University of Michigan–Ann Arbor’s online ME in industrial/manufacturing engineering includes four concentrations. However, only the production systems and quality engineering concentration and the manufacturing design and sustainability concentration can be complete entirely online. Students interested in safety, health, and ecology or advanced materials design and manufacturing will have to take at least a couple of courses on-campus. All concentrations can be taken in a hybrid format, however, if a student wants to visit campus or take a concentration course that is not offered online.

In-State Tuition: $22,368

#5 –Mississippi State University

Online Master of Industrial & Systems Engineering


Points: 9

Mississippi State University offers an online master’s in industrial/manufacturing engineering with concentrations in human factors and ergonomics, industrial systems, operations research, manufacturing systems, and management systems engineering. It is primarily designed for individuals with a BS in engineering, but students who do not have an undergraduate engineering degree can take the necessary prerequisite courses after being admitted into the program. Students who do not have to make up prerequisite courses can typically complete the program within eight semesters. MSU’s online master’s in industrial engineering students are never required to travel to campus, but they are welcome to if they would like to.

In-State Tuition: $8,208

Thanks for checking out our ranking of the Top 5 Online Master's in Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering Programs for 2018!

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