Manufacturing Systems Engineering

Lead Your Manufacturing Enterprise into the Future

If you’re ready to move into a bigger manufacturing role, now is the time. Machines and processes are getting smarter, and companies are expecting more from their employees. Not only will you be pushed to produce more—you’ll need to determine where and how to automate key processes to be more productive. Don’t fall into the manufacturing skills gap—get ready to take your manufacturing enterprise into the future.

Prepare For 2025 Now

Your industry is evolving. Engineers are in high demand—but the supply of engineers who can do the work is shrinking. Prepare for 2025 now by learning how to use automation, robotics, rapid prototyping, and big data. You’ll be ready to innovate well into the future—no matter where you are.

With the Master of Engineering: Manufacturing Systems Engineering degree, you’ll be ready to meet the needs of tomorrow’s customers. Training in quality, lean, advanced automation, robotics, supply chain, sustainability and data analytics will improve your decision-making, and increase your credibility. Build relationships with peers from around the globe and swap successes or share your biggest challenges. Our program is 100% online, meaning you’ll apply what you learn to the factory the next day.

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Building on a Tradition of Excellence

Our online master’s in Manufacturing Systems Engineering leverages UW-Madison’s reputation of academic excellence, and brings it to the digital world. 

We incoporate faculty expertise from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, the Wisconsin School of Business, and the Department of Engineering Professional Development.

UW–Madison’s online Master of Engineering: Manufacturing Systems Engineering program offers you:

  • The opportunity to graduate from one of America’s finest research universities
  • The right combination of engineering studies and business strategy in one fully online graduate program
  • Access to our award-winning online education infrastructure
  • Flexibility to complete your studies while staying employed full time

Learning for the Modern Workplace

We build every Manufacturing Systems Engineering course with you and your employer’s needs in mind. We pair course design with small class sizes to provide a learning experience that addresses your goals and enriches your professional life.

Our online engineering degrees placed in the top 10 for the fifth year in a row in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent survey of online graduate engineering programs. 

In addition, UW-Madison’s Manufacturing Systems Engineering Program is widely acknowledged as a solid provider of versatile senior/managing engineers for advanced manufacturing firms. 

How and What You’ll Learn

Students in this fully online program grow the cross-functional expertise needed to drive creative product and process development, efficient production, and timely delivery to the customer through a systematic approach to finance, methods, materials and technology across traditional departmental boundaries.

The online Manufacturing Systems Engineering program requires weekly direct interaction between the professor and students, often resulting in more live discussion, group work and networking than a typical campus lecture format. 


We pair flexibility with a fixed curriculum and semester schedule that will allow you to maintain focus and consistent progress. This versatile but structured approach produces graduates with valuable new skills. As a master’s student, you will develop and polish your skills in project and change management, team leadership, and effective communication.

The program’s courses empower students to conduct hands-on research or projects at their place of employment, providing valuable real-life applications and experiences.

Typical Weekly Schedule

In a typical week, you will engage in online project work, readings, and presentations. 

The weekly assignments afford you the flexibility to choose when to complete them, but weekend deadlines and structured support keep you on track. Each course will engage you in extensive, meaningful interaction with the instructor and other engineers. 

Depending on your background, you can expect to spend approximately 12-18 hours a week per course completing schoolwork and participating in project activities. You can complete your degree in six semesters with an average of six credits per semester.


Students in this fully online program grow the cross-functional expertise needed to drive creative product and process development, efficient production, and timely delivery to the customer through a systematic approach to finance, methods, materials and technology across traditional departmental boundaries.

The online Manufacturing Systems Engineering program requires weekly direct interaction between the professor and students, often resulting in more live discussion, group work and networking than a typical campus lecture format. 


We pair flexibility with a fixed curriculum and semester schedule that will allow you to maintain focus and consistent progress. This versatile but structured approach produces graduates with valuable new skills. As a master’s student, you will develop and polish your skills in project and change management, team leadership, and effective communication.

The program’s courses empower students to conduct hands-on research or projects at their place of employment, providing valuable real-life applications and experiences.

Degree Requirements

The online Manufacturing Systems Engineering program can be completed in two to three years and you may transfer up to six credits of prior graduate work. 

Our program consists of 30 credits, designed to give you a well-rounded professional education.

The courses in the online Master of Engineering: Manufacturing Systems Engineering program will build your ability to collect and manage data, conduct sustainable system improvements, design and operate supply chains, and evaluate new technologies for the manufacturing process.


Courses in the manufacturing systems engineering curriculum will provide you with knowledge about the latest best practices and innovations, along with training in quality techniques, lean manufacturing, data analytics, how to approach complex systems, quality control, accounting, and much more. Upon completion of this degree program, you will have improved technical skills and communication skills.

Required Courses

Learn best practices for leading quality improvement as you lead a team at your workplace in improving an actual product or process. You and your employer see real on-the-job results from your project. Your project provides visibility, credibility, and a launching point for new career opportunities.


Terry Mann

3 Credit(s)

Learn production system modeling principles, performance analysis procedures, and analytical tools. You will understand continuous improvement procedures, lean buffer implications, and design principles. You will be able to carry out bottleneck analysis.


Jingshan Li

3 Credit(s)

Improve your strategies, methods, and tools for managing complex projects and teams. Apply what you learn to a real-world project you and your team select.


Jeffrey S. Russell
Wayne P. Pferdehirt
John Nelson

3 Credit(s)

This course provides a practical, management perspective of supply chain management and logistics. The course will look at distribution, transportation, international logistics, inventory control, key performance indicators, leadership in a supply chain role and an introduction to logistics technology including ERP systems.


Peter Luksys

3 Credit(s)

Develop your ability to implement data-driven modeling techniques such as regression, classification, and principal component transformation. Understand the concept of model complexity and trade-off between model bias and variation, as well as improve your problem-solving capability using realistic industrial datasets.


Kaibo Liu

3 Credit(s)

Learn how to evaluate, choose, and integrate automation and robotic equipment into manufacturing systems, and design automation and robotic equipment for manufacturing applications. You will analyze, design and simulate manufacturing equipment control at multiple levels including process, motion, task, cell and system control.


Neil Duffie
Michael Zinn


3 Credit(s)

Improve your grasp of the "big picture" and how daily decisions affect the financial performance of your organization. Learn how your projects are judged by financial managers and how to perform economic analyses that gain support for your initiatives.


Charles Krueger

3 Credit(s)

This course will involve comprehensive industry case study assignments to illustrate practical treatment of theoretical concepts covered in class. You will evaluate several modern manufacturing strategies, including Lean and Quick Response Manufacturing, and tools for manufacturing system analysis, among other topics.


Ananth Krishnamurthy

3 Credit(s)


This course addresses strategies, models, and practices to build trust, cooperation, and affiliation among team members in a context directly relevant to practicing engineers. Through case studies, participants will apply methods to work across organizational and cultural boundaries, as well as enhance the functionality and effectiveness of team activities.


1 Credit(s)

Learn best practices in presentation design and delivery in professional formats. Strategies help in connecting with your audience, clarifying your story, and using stronger visuals in your oral presentations.


Christine Nicometo

1 Credit(s)

Understand how sustainability can impact quality, cost and value in design and manufacturing processes, and learn analytical techniques to improve the sustainability of operations for complex systems.


Mark Finster

4 Credit(s)

Overcome barriers to working effectively with colleagues, clients or suppliers from other cultures. Gain new understanding and practices that lead to effective collaboration across cultural boundaries. Develop a plan for introducing a new product or service to a new country.


Don Schramm

3 Credit(s)

Grow your ability to represent, market, and sell ideas, services and products to internal or external audiences. Grow your ability to be a technical resource that clients and suppliers respect as a competent, trusted representative of your organization’s services and products.


3 Credit(s)

Learn how to use statistics for making better engineering decisions in a practical, applications-oriented approach. This highly practical course helps engineers assess uncertainty and design experiments and analyses that lead to better, data-supported decisions.


Conrad Fung

3 Credit(s)

This course provides a comprehensive understanding of single input, single output (SISO) continuous closed-loop control system analysis and design. Discrete (computer) control also is introduced including analysis in the z domain. Taken as part of the Power Conversion and Control Capstone Certificate.


3 Credit(s)

Gain a comprehensive introduction to digital computer control theory and application, as well as sequential logic control. An increasing demand for engineers with automatic control background has been accelerated by the proliferation of computer control applications. The design of industrial processes and machines must be influenced by engineers with computer control background and experience to effectively apply computer control technology.


3 Credit(s)

Designed for Working Professionals

UW’s online Manufacturing Systems Engineering master’s program is specifically designed for working professionals. The degree portal is a one-stop online interface for accessing courses and student resources. This offers convenience, flexibility and ease of use for busy professionals. 

Tying it All Together

As a UW-Madison master’s student, you will be an active part of your own learning, and nowhere is this more evident than in the capstone course. This course covers a broad range of concepts, techniques and tools relevant to the design, analysis, development, implementation, operation and management of modern manufacturing industries on a global scale. 

The emphasis in this course is breadth of knowledge instead of covering any one topic in detail. Through lectures and projects, the course is intended to create an awareness of the wide range of issues that impact the design and operation of manufacturing systems.

Support and Collaboration to Help You Succeed 

With internet-based tools such as web conferencing, online discussion forums, email, and conference calls, our program emphasizes close collaboration among students and instructors. 

The ability to work independently is crucial to your success as a distance learner. However, this does not mean you are alone. Our instructional design team develops every course to meet online learner needs.

Your instructors and teaching assistants are always available to answer your questions. In addition, faculty and staff understand the challenges you face as a working professional and distance learner, and proactively monitor your progress. A full-time program advisor will assist and guide you throughout the program.



Faculty members in the manufacturing systems program are experts in their field, and they offer students an engaging education experience that is convenient and accessible even when working full-time.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for the Master of Engineering: Manufacturing Systems Engineering program are listed below.

Exceptions to standard admission requirements are considered by the admissions committee on an individual basis.

  • A BS degree from a program accredited by the ABET or the equivalent.*
  • A minimum undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 on the equivalent of the last 60 semester hours (approximately two years of work) or a master’s degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00. Applicants from an international institution must have a strong academic performance comparable to a 3.00 for an undergraduate or master’s degree. All GPAs are based on a 4.00 scale. We use your institution’s grading scale; do not convert your grades to a 4.00 scale.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must provide scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 580 on the written version, 243 on the computer version, or 92 on the Internet version.
  • International applicants must have a degree comparable to an approved U.S. bachelor’s degree. 

We do not require applicants to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). 

*Equivalency to an ABET accredited program: Applicants who do not hold a bachelor’s degree from an ABET accredited program may also qualify for admission to the program. Such applicants must have a BS in science, technology, or a related field with sufficient coursework and professional experience to demonstrate proficiency in engineering practice OR at least 16 credits of math and science coursework. Registration as a professional engineer by examination, if achieved, should be documented to support your application. 

All applicants are advised to determine whether this program meets requirements for licensure in the state where they live. See the National Society of Professional Engineers website for contact information for state licensing boards

Application Overview

The admissions process has been designed to conduct a holistic review of your likelihood of success in the program. Decisions are based on your academic and professional background.

To start the process, please read the admission requirements to determine your eligibility. If you have questions about your eligibility, please request an eligibility review by e-mailing Daryl Haessig at This e-mail should include a copy of your current resume and informal transcripts.

Applications are accepted for admission during the Fall term. Applications are reviewed in the order received on a rolling basis until the July 1 deadline. Admission is competitive and selective. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to submit application materials prior to the deadline. 

Steps to Apply Now 

Email the admissions committee chair and state your intent to apply and to which program. Attach your current resume or CV to your Intent to Apply email.

Your resume/CV should include at least:

  • Educational history (including GPA, awards and honors received).
  • Professional work experience (including specific details on your engineering experience, technical training, and responsibilities).
  • Listing of professional association memberships, advanced training (such as a PE license) and other noteworthy, personal- or engineering-related details.
 In the application be sure to:
  • Upload a pdf version of your current resume/CV
  • Upload a pdf version of your “Reasons for Graduate Study” essay
  • Upload a pdf version of your transcripts
  • Enter contact information for at least three professional recommendations, including at least one from a direct supervisor
  • Important: Complete the application by submitting the application fee. Applications submitted without paying the fee cannot be reviewed and will not be acted on.

Arrange to have one copy of your official transcript sent directly from your previous educational institutions to the Department of Engineering Professional Development. Transcripts should be sent directly by the educational institution to the CoE Online Admissions Office.

We will accept transcripts via any delivery method options (including pdf) offered by the educational institutions you have previously attended. However, transcripts issued to students are not sufficient for admission to the Graduate School.

To avoid processing delays, have your transcripts sent directly to:

CoE Online Admissions Office
Attn: Daryl Haessig
432 N. Lake Street, Room 701
Madison, WI  53706

(For pdf’s, use the following email address:

After all of your application materials have been received, the admissions committee chair will schedule a phone interview with you. Once completed, your application will be presented to the Admissions Committee for evaluation at the next scheduled meeting. 

Admission decisions are made on applications in the order received. The Admissions committee will make one of the following decisions:
  • Recommend admission to the UW-Madison Graduate School
  • Request additional information before evaluating further 
  • Decline further consideration of your application
After a decision has been made on your application, the admissions committee chair will contact you by email to inform you of the decision and to schedule a time to discuss the decision and your next steps.
The admissions committee provides admission recommendations to the Graduate School. The Graduate School is the formal admitting office for graduate students and retains ultimate authority on all admissions decisions.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition Costs

$1,300 per credit, payable at the beginning of each semester. 

Tuition Includes
  • Technology costs for Internet course delivery
  • Live webconferencing
  • Toll-free telephone line for the audio portion of conference call
  • Library use
  • Use of the webconferencing facilities for group project work for program courses
  • Advising
  • Technical support
  • Access to campus computing resources 
Total Tuition

Total tuition for this program is $39,000* for students entering in Fall 2017.

*Based on 2016-2017 tuition rates. This total does not include textbooks.

Federal Loans

Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents maybe eligible to receive some level of funding through the federal direct loan program. These loans are available to qualified graduate students who are taking at least four credits during the Fall and Spring semesters, and two credits during Summer. Private loans are also available. Learn more about financial aid at

Employer Support

Many students receive some financial support from their employers. Often, students find it beneficial to sit down with their employer and discuss how this program applies to their current and future responsibilities. Other key points to discuss include how participation will not interrupt your work schedule.

How Your Employees Benefit 
The Master of Engineering: Manufacturing Systems program is committed to delivering the highest quality and best value in engineering education. Your organization will immediately benefit as your employees apply new strategies and tools, ultimately improving real projects and processes.
Through participation in this program your employees will be able to: 
  • Attend courses with peers from other top employers and gain knowledge as you work together
  • Tailor coursework to apply to your specific industry 
  • Enhance skills in process improvement, data analytics, supply chain, quality and engineering leadership

No Interruption to Employees’ Availability 

This program is designed for full-time, working professionals. The format enables your employees to pursue world-class graduate engineering studies without interruption to work schedule or hindering availability for travel. Students continue their studies from anywhere in the world they can connect to the Internet. 

Proven Program from a Top-Ranked University 

The UW–Madison degree your employee will earn via distance learning has the same high-quality standards and academic status as a degree earned on-campus. The only difference is that UW’s online Manufacturing Systems Engineering graduate program is conveniently delivered online for working professionals.

Contact Us





Master of Engineering

Manufacturing Systems Engineering

$1300 per credit

Resident and Non-Resident

July 1

Fall Semester Application Deadline

Students & Alumni

Whether you’re a current or past student of the program, you have access to several resources that will keep you tied to UW-Madison.

See more here.

Are you falling into the manufacturing skills gap?

The manufacturing skills gap is nothing new. Employers of manufacturing organizations worldwide are finding that their employees aren’t prepared for many of the challenges they face at work. If you’re a manufacturing engineer who doesn’t want to fall into the gap, read these tips to avoid being glossed over for the next job or promotion.

Learn More

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