The Program

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 theoretical problem or a practical application, formulating an original research project that addresses some of the significant issues, and independently creating an effective solution to the problem. Supervised by a Department faculty member, a PhD candidate is expected to demonstrate mastery of knowledge in the chosen discipline and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making an original and substantial contribution to the discipline.

Curriculum and Program Requirement

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:

  • IEDA 5110 - Information System Design
  • IEDA 5170 - Advanced Production Planning and Control
  • IEDA 5230 - Deterministic Models in Operations Research
  • IEDA 5250 - Stochastic Models in Operations Research
  • IEDA 5260 - Advanced Quality Technology and Data Analytics
  • IEDA 5270 - Engineering Statistics
  • IEDA 5320 - Design for People

They must also:

  • take one 3-credit course at Engineering School (non-IEDA) 5000 level or above 
  • take and pass PDEV 6770 Professional Development for Research Postgraduate Students
  • take at least one 3-credit IEDA Special Topic or 6000-level course
  • pass the one-credit LANG 5001 Postgraduate English for Engineering Research Studies 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 IEDA 6800 Departmental Seminar 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

Further details on the program requirement and courses offered can be found at the PG Program Catalog and PG Course Catalog respectively.