Study options

Master's Programme in Industrial Engineering and Management

The Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM) programme provides students with the essential skills and entrepreneurial mindset to create and transform technology-based businesses. The programme is a unique combination of engineering, business and leadership studies that empower top-tier future leaders to create value and sustained competitive advantage for organisations. Graduating engineers from the programme are prepared for challenging positions to solve the most complex business problems including crafting strategies, developing daily operations and designing future organisations.
Aalto University / students doing group work / photography Unto Rautio


Master of Science (Technology)

Application period:

2.12.2019 – 3.1.2020

Language of instruction:



2 years, full-time


Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Technology and Engineering


120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Science

Tuition fees:

For non-EU/EEA citizens, €15000/y (Master’s studies)

The application period has closed

Scholarships and Tuition Fees

Study objectives

Businesses are increasingly shaped by technology. Therefore, the programme prepares graduates to lead and develop technology-based businesses by combining engineering, economic, and human perspectives. Industrial Engineering and Management programme graduates have:

  • An integrative understanding of technology and business. Graduates understand engineering processes, technical systems and underlying technologies and how they are connected to the value creation process of businesses. 

  • Strong leadership and people skills. Graduates are equipped to lead and develop organisations and motivate people to realise their inherent potential. 

  • Practical problem-solving skills. Graduates possess applicable practical skills to solve complex business problems, for example by leveraging sophisticated data analytics. 

  • A can-do attitude. Graduates are confident and willing to face challenges and tackle new tasks with determination. 

  • An entrepreneurial mindset. Graduates are able to identify innovative opportunities for adding value for technology-based businesses. 

  • Broad knowledge of various organisations. Graduates are able to apply their learnings to a wide scale of technology-based businesses from early-stage startups to large multinational corporations. 

  • Hands-on experience. Graduates have practical experience in putting the theories into action within the context of technology-based businesses. 

Upon graduation from the IEM programme, graduates have solid competence in engineering and business as well as widely applicable practical leadership and problem-solving skills. 

Career opportunities

Studying Industrial Engineering and Management enables several diverse career paths in organisations ranging from startups to multinational corporations, consultancies and NGOs. The programme alumni have also founded numerous companies. Typically, graduates work in expert, analyst or project management roles in their first job after graduation.

The department’s close collaboration with the industry and an active alumni network helps students build relationships with companies throughout the studies. Furthermore, the student association of Industrial Engineering and Management organises networking events such as an annual seminar for students and alumni.  Several companies also offer master’s thesis positions that can lead to employment after graduation.

Potential career paths for IEM graduates:

  • Business and service development 
  • Supply chain and quality development 
  • Operations and project management 
  • Management consulting and advisory services 
  • Risk management 
  • Startup founder 

Aalto University has well-established career services that assist and support you in employment in Finland and abroad. Aalto students tend to find good positions with ease upon graduation. An active entrepreneurship community is also present at Aalto, which can help as a springboard for founding your company. Finally, if an academic career is of interest, the Master’s programme in Industrial Engineering is a great foundation for doctoral studies and post-doc positions.

Further information on the research conducted can be found from the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management website

Studies in Industrial Engineering and Management are the best field for high-growth entrepreneurship.

Risto Siilasmaa, Chairman of Nokia, Founder of F-Secure, Alumnus of Aalto IEM


Graduates of the programme will graduate with a Master of Science (Technology) degree (diplomi-insinööri in Finnish). 

Post-graduate studies

The programme qualifies for doctoral studies (Doctor of Science in an applicable field).

Language of instruction

The language of instruction is primarily English, and the programme can be completed entirely in English. Some courses can be taken in Finnish or Swedish. More information is available in the General information about studies page (

Tuition fees

The tuition fee is €15 000 for non-EU/EEA students per academic year. More information on Scholarships and Tuition Fees page (

Study contents

Studying Industrial Engineering and Management is a combination of state-of-the-art theoretical research-based insights and practical learning through cases and group assignments. The programme is in close collaboration with several industry leading companies and the students are able to carry out real-life cases, group assignments, course projects and Master’s Thesis research for them.

The programme itself is very multidisciplinary and flexible. There are plenty of topics and courses from which to combine the perfect study path for every student. Students get insights from each of the three major options to form an overview of industrial engineering and management. The curricula can be found on the student portal Into (please note that there may be changes to the curricula for 2020-2022. The new curricula will be published in April-May 2020). The major options are: 

Operations and Service Management 

The major in operations and service management covers issues from operations strategy to efficient execution of operations that are at the core of successful technology-based businesses. These range from configuring appropriate resources and processes into a production system that best contributes to the organisation’s goals and competitive advantage to managing the production system in order to provide the best match with demand and supply. The major in operations and service management builds on the generic principles of operations management but emphasizes novel ways of encountering the challenges and utilising the opportunities related to creating and transforming technology-based business.  Read more

Organisation Design and Leadership

The major in organisation design and leadership focuses on issues of organisational design, motivation and leadership that are critical to the creation and transformation of technology-based businesses. The central question addressed is how companies can grow and prosper while at the same time preserving their adaptability, creativity, and entrepreneurial mindset. The success of any organisation depends on the potential of its people and its capabilities to maintain a purpose-driven organisation. Therefore, to be able to renew themselves, companies need to unleash and develop their human potential by enabling teams and individuals to self-organise (as opposed to just executing decisions made by top managers) and pursue collective action to seize entrepreneurial opportunities. 
Read more

Strategy and Venturing

The major in strategy and venturing focuses on topics related to the identification, formulation and implementation of courses of action that improve or sustain business performance and thus support the creation and transformation of technology-based businesses. Identifying proper courses of action requires the ability to analyse and synthesize a wide range of different pieces of information and to exercise judgment. Often such analysis is carried out by teams. To achieve their objectives the courses of action also need to be implemented and put into practice.Read more

Minor studies

The technical minor guarantees the student acquires the appropriate level of knowledge in a technical discipline. The minor can be chosen from an appropriate field of engineering, where appropriateness depends on the student’s educational background.Read more about the minor studies


The language of instruction is primarily English, and the programme can be completed entirely in English. Some courses can be taken in Finnish or Swedish. Regardless of the language, the variety of courses provided is extensive, covering topics like entrepreneurship, innovation and finance. Here are a few examples of the wide course selection:

  • Designing Adaptive and Creative Organisations (5 ECTS) 
  • Knowledge Management in Practice (5 ECTS) 
  • Service Operations Management (5 ECTS) 
  • Startup Finance (5 ECTS) 
  • Strategies for Growth and Renewal (5 ECTS) 

See all courses 

Structure of studies

Industrial Engineering and Management is organised by the School of Science and comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits. The two-year programme consists of:

  • Major (45 ECTS) 
  • Minor (20 ECTS) 
  • Electives (25 ECTS) 
  • Master’s Thesis (30 ECTS) 

The minor is chosen from a technical field and based on the in-depth knowledge acquired during the bachelor studies.

At the beginning of their studies, students define their Personal Study Plans (HOPS) with the help of the programme staff. The primary purpose of HOPS is to ensure that the studies support the student’s interests and are completed in a logical order.

Personal Study Plan (HOPS) 
Personal Study Plan (HOPS) is a practical tool to define a student’s own study path, i.e. compiling an optimal selection of courses, aligned with the student's interests and programme requirements. HOPS is also a useful tool for keeping up with studies. At best, it shows the stage at which students are with their studies and sets concrete milestones for them to follow. 

Choosing a main subject or field of specialisation

The majors in the programme are Operations and Service Management, Organization Design and Leadership and Strategy and Venturing.


Students are required to complete a Master's thesis, which is a research assignment with a workload corresponding to 30 ECTS credits. The student and the supervising professor agree upon the topic of the thesis. Master's theses are typically written for a company or for one of the research projects of the department in question.


The programme’s study environment is highly international and studies are conducted in multicultural groups. Students can participate in the international exchange programme at one of Aalto University’s many top-tier partner universities worldwide. Other options to gain international experience are to include a summer course or practical training abroad in the degree.

Apart from the studies, student life among IEM students is very welcoming and active. New students can join the IEM student organisation called Prodeko, which provides different activities, events and other opportunities to balance studies with free-time fun. In addition to the invaluable support by Prodeko, the programme’s alumni act as mentors for international students, smoothing their integration into the IEM and Aalto communities.

As Prodeko members, students also join the international student organisation ESTIEM that organises events and activities around Europe for IEM students. It comprises over 60 student organisations across the continent and offers not only great networking opportunities but also possibilities to take on responsibility in different leadership positions – already as a student.

Aalto University is international by nature, welcoming thousands of degree and exchange students from abroad each year. These students join the diverse Aalto community not only through studies, but also multiple free time events, activities and celebrations around the campus. Programme administrators, active student tutors and student support services work rigorously to help international students integrate into Nordic culture and welcome them at home in Finland. 

Multidisciplinary opportunities

The programme itself is multidisciplinary. It is not entirely focused on the technical capabilities but also on the leadership and people skills. Students can choose electives from other schools of Aalto University or from other Finnish universities. Also the technical minor can be selected from other departments schools. 

Aalto University is well-known for bridging disciplines of business, arts, technology and science. The lively campus brings students from different fields under one roof. This spontaneous multidisciplinary environment sparks new ideas, gathers enthusiasts around them and gives birth to friendships, networks, and every so often, startups. 

Co-operation with other parties

The Department of Industrial Engineering and Management co-operates closely with the national and international companies (ranging from start-ups to multinational enterprises) and research institutes of the field. In addition, the department has academic co-operation with high quality international universities and organisations research.

Research focus

The topics of the major are linked to ongoing research focus areas in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management at Aalto University School of Science.

Programme-specific admission requirements

In addition to these programme-specific admission requirements, applicants must also fulfill the general admission requirements

The number of places is limited and the evaluation process is highly competitive. Applicants must demonstrate both ability and motivation for pursuing the Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering and Management. In order of significance, the criteria used for the academic evaluation are 

  1. Previous academic performance (grades)  
  2. Content of the previous degree(s) 
  3. Motivation for pursuing the Master’s degree 

The Department of Industrial Engineering and Management is responsible for the academic evaluation. The Departmental Selection Board (The Board) consists of academic faculty members of the department and it executes the evaluation. The Board reserves the right to decide on the exact interpretation of these requirements. The admission quota limits the intake and The Board will finally admit only the highest ranked applicants.

When evaluating academic performance, The Board emphasizes the grades achieved in the degree that gives the eligibility for applying. The recognition of the applicant’s home university also affects the final interpretation of the academic performance.

Applicants should include a motivation letter which describes not only interest in the field and willingness to pursue the degree but applicants should reflect on their capabilities and goals with respect to the objectives of our programme. Applicants should keep in mind that once accepted into the program they will be part of a very active community of students and alumni with ample opportunities for involvement. They are thus encouraged to familiarize themselves with the activities and values of the community and, in particular, reflect upon these in their motivation letter. Read more>>

Evaluation criteria

The evaluation process has two phases. Concerning academic performance and the content of previous degrees, the programme has set benchmarks that the application must meet. In the first phase of the evaluation, the Board screens out the applications that do not prove outstanding academic performance and relevance of the previous degree studies. The second phase ranks the qualified applications according to all the three criteria. 

First phase 

In order to prove outstanding academic performance, the degree certificate and/or the official transcript of university records should clearly indicate that the applicant has been among the best students (top 10-15%) in his or her home university. For example, an applicant has achieved consistently the best grades throughout the degree studies (very high weighted average grade or GPA), which typically leads to graduation with distinction. For example, applicants from Finnish universities should have a GPA of at least 4.0 on the grading scale of 1-5. For universities of applied sciences, the expected GPA is generally at least 4.5, however.

Considering the relevance of previous degree studies, the programme prefers applicants who have a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in some field of engineering and at least 25 ECTS of business studies included in the degree. 

The Board may deem other Bachelor’s degrees suitable if the content of these studies, together with relevant university-level non-degree studies, is comparable to the preferred degrees. In this case, the application documents should unambiguously show sufficient amount of studies in the following relevant subject areas. 

Concerning business studies, the application should demonstrate basic knowledge of management science, covering at least the basic concepts of markets and competition, operations management, organizational behaviour and financial management.

The minimum amount of typical Bachelor’s level engineering studies is 70 ECTS consisting of

  • University-level engineering mathematics at least 25 ECTS 
  • University-level computer science and programming at least 10 ECTS 
  • University-level physics or chemistry at least 10 ECTS or additional 10 ECTS in computer science or data analytics 
  • Minor or equivalent orientation in a field of engineering 25 ECTS 

The Board also takes into consideration that the degree in the Master’s Programme in Industrial Engineering and Management will give the applicant genuinely new knowledge. Applicants that already have a master’s degree in the field of industrial engineering and management or an equivalent degree, or that have completed an equivalent combination of engineering and business studies, may not be considered for further evaluation.

Second phase 

In the second phase, the Board re-evaluates and ranks the qualified applications using all the three criteria. The Board weighs up the ability and motivation for pursuing the Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering and Management as a whole. The academic performance is the primary criterion. Since all the candidates in this phase have outstanding academic performance, the content of previous degree(s) and in particular the motivation for pursuing the degree are also significant.

The programme seeks students who will complete the programme successfully in due time. Therefore, The Board also considers the applicant’s previous time-to-graduation besides the GPA. If the applicant has several relevant degrees, all attached information will affect the assessment but we value consistent performance throughout the academic record. However, the level of the highest degree achieved is not a proof of academic performance in this context.

The content of the previous degrees can affect the evaluation in several ways, both positively and negatively. While the studies in the relevant subject areas would have been sufficient to qualify for the second phase, The Board compares them against the other applicants. Deficiencies concerning business studies or typical engineering studies can weaken the application – although a student may later compensate minor deficiencies by compulsory supplementary studies or adjustments in the personal study plan (HOPS). The number of degrees or amount of studies is not an advantage as such but overlapping degrees create a clear disadvantage.

If an applicant already has a M.Sc. or higher academic degree, he/she should describe thoroughly his/her motivation to join and graduate from the program. To improve knowledge in management does not require degree studies because the Finnish educational systems offers other possibilities for this. For example, non-degree or open-university studies are recommended to complement the earlier degree or to improve one’s professional skills. 

Programme-specific documents

On top of the compulsory documents expected of all applicants to Aalto University, there are required study-option-specific documents:

  • Motivation letter
    • Applicants should include a motivation letter which describes not only interest in the field and willingness to pursue the degree but applicants should reflect on their capabilities and goals with respect to the objectives of our programme. Applicants should keep in mind that once accepted into the program they will be part of a very active community of students and alumni with ample opportunities for involvement. They are thus encouraged to familiarize themselves with the activities and values of the community and, in particular, reflect upon these in their motivation letter. Read more>>
    • The motivation letter should be written in English. The maximum length of the motivation letter is about 4000 characters.
  • Officially attested copies of certificates and study records concerning other university-level degree or non-degree studies in addition to the Bachelor’s degree providing eligibility.
    • With documents related to degree studies, follow these instructions. With other higher education studies (e.g. open university or other non-degree), upload the documents to your application as part of the study-option-specific documents.

An applicant can also include the following optional study-option-specific documents in order to support his/her application. These documents provide evidence that support the profile created by the required documents. Quality counts more than quantity.

  • Course descriptions of courses taken in relevant subject areas. These descriptions are important if you do not have a B.Sc. in engineering or you have only few business studies.
    • If the standard official transcript of your institution does not articulate your studies in the way described in the criteria, you may attach course descriptions copied from an official study guide to your application. Your home university must certify this documentation. Internet links are not accepted.
  • Letter of recommendation (at least one). 
    • The recommendation should be written by a person who has supervised you in either academic or employment capacity. The recommendation should be specifically addressed for the IEM Master's Programme. You can upload the recommendation letter(s) to your online application.
  • Results of GRE- or GMAT-test
    • Please upload the test result to your study-option-specific documents.  
  • Relevant letters of reference (work certificates) and other certificates of relevant activities.
    • In case you have work experience or other activities that could support your application, upload copies of these documents to your application. 
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)  

Please note that a valid degree alone does not guarantee a study place in the programme.

General instructions on study-option-specific documents

All additional application documents described above should preferably be submitted in English. If some other language than English, Finnish or Swedish is used in them, the applicant must provide precise, word-for-word translations of them.

Upload the documents to your online application form in pdf-format. Name the file(s) according to format: Name of the document-Lastname-Firstname (e.g. CV-Lastname-Firstname.pdf). Maximum file size is 1.0 GB.

The study-option-specific documents must be uploaded for each study option separately, even if you use the same document (e.g. CV). Please check carefully the study-option-specific document requirements for each study option you apply to.

The deadline for the study-option-specific application documents to be uploaded to your application form is 10 January 2020 at 15:00 (GMT +2).

Contact information

For enquiries regarding the application process, required compulsory application documents or English language proficiency, please contact Admission Services at [email protected].

For enquiries regarding the study-option-specific application documents or studies in the programme, please contact Learning Services at Aalto University School of Science at [email protected].

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Leonidas Karavanas Papadimos

Student testimonial: Leonidas Karavanas Papadimos

Industrial Engineering and Management master's student Leonidas Karavanas Papadimos tells us about his experiences studying at Aalto

Department of Industrial Engineering and Management
Kuva: Unto Rautio

Department of Industrial Engineering and Management

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