Best Colleges For Industrial and Systems Engineering 2021

Best Colleges for industrial engineering student illustration.

This is our ranking of the best colleges for industrial and systems engineering, which also is known at some universities as the department of operations research. The RealRankTM ranking provided here factors in important criteria for assessing the overall standing of the department, and the university as a whole. The listing of the top 20 industrial engineering colleges can be found below.

Industrial engineering goes by a number of different names, covering similar disciplines. Among these names, besides industrial, are systems engineering and operations research. In this ranking, I will refer to all of these using the umbrella term “industrial engineering.”  Industrial engineering is not as outdated as its early 20th century name may imply. Rather, it is a critical field to the modern highly automated manufacturing world. It is concerned with the creation of modern and efficient manufacturing systems, for the creation of anything from computer chips, to electric car components, to pharmaceutical manufacture, to Amazon ‘s automated warehouse systems. The skills developed in a top industrial engineering major include management and organization of people, machines, supplies, information technologies and anything needed to create an end product.

Economic Value of An Industrial Engineering Degree

Industrial Engineering careers include:

  • Industrial Engineer.
  • Supply Chain Specialists.
  • Process and Production Engineers.
  • Packaging Engineer.
  • Quality and Efficiency Control. Counselors, such as guidance, substance abuse and homeless counselors.

Industrial Engineering is a Relatively High Paying Career

Industrial Engineering, like other engineering disciplines, is a relatively high paying career path for recent college graduates.  Because of that, there may be some cost-benefit to attending a higher priced university if you believe it will provide a better credential that one of the lower cost state schools.

However, as shown in the ranking of the top 20 programs, some of the highest ranking industrial and systems engineering programs can be found at the state universities. These public universities all provide real resume value and academics.

20 Best Colleges for Industrial Engineering Majors

This is our RealRank list of the best colleges for Industrial Engineering. If you want to visit any of the listed university’s websites, there are links on the list. You can search around those websites to find out more about their Industrial Engineering programs, and the fee/cost estimators, if they have one. (Independence Note: We do not earn any commissions from the links!)

RankCollegeCityState
1Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaGA
2Virginia TechBlacksburgVA
3University of MichiganAnn ArborMI
4Northwestern UniversityEvanstonIL
5University Of WisconsinMadisonWI
6Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteIN
7Texas A&M UniversityCollege StationTX
8University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesCA
9Penn StateUniversity ParkPA
10Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeMA
11North Carolina State UniversityRaleighNC
12Columbia UniversityNew YorkNY
13University of IllinoisChampaignIL
14Stanford UniversityPalo AltoCA
15The Ohio State UniversityColumbusOH
16University of California - BerkeleyBerkeleyCA
17Cornell UniversityIthacaNY
18University of WashingtonSeattleWA
19Lehigh UniversityBethlehemPA
20Arizona State UniversityTempeAZ

What do you think? Do you think that some of the state universities with larger departments should rank up higher on this list?

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