SUGS details

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SUGS Program in Industrial and Operations Engineering

The Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Study (SUGS) program in the Industrial and Operation Engineering (IOE) Department combines undergraduate study in an approved field with graduate study in the IOE master’s program. The SUGS program allows outstanding students to pursue a streamlined five-year combined degree program, B.S.E./M.S.E or B.S.E./M.S. This is accomplished by allowing students to “double-count” six credit hours of previously approved graduate-level courses in order to satisfy all requirements for both the B.S.E. and master’s degrees. Double-counted courses are selected from graduate-level electives or non-IOE Technical electives. SUGS students must enroll in Rackham for at least two full terms, paying Rackham tuition (this will be the final two terms of enrollment in the five-year program).

Further SUGS information may be found on the website of the Rackham Graduate School via the following link:

Undergraduate students from all programs in the College of Engineering are eligible to apply to the SUGS program in IOE. *NOTE: Engineering students with dual majors are not eligible for SUGS.

Both the traditional IOE Master’s and SUGS Master’s programs lead to a Master’s degree in IOE. The critical differences lie in the academic timeline, credit transfer or double count limit, and dual enrolment options.

The choice between the traditional IOE Master’s program and the SUGS program depends on multiple factors, including the student’s academic plan, interest in research or internships, funding options, and plan to pursue an additional Master’s degree or graduate certificate. It’s crucial to consult with an academic advisor to choose the best option.  

Many students who enroll in the SUGS program plan to enter industry but seek additional intellectual depth beyond the bachelor’s degree. Students who wish to pursue other options within the  IOE master’s degree, which is further explained in the section on choosing between SUGS and the traditional master’s, should apply to the regular (i.e., non-SUGS) IOE Master’s program, and students who plan to pursue a PhD can apply directly to the IOE PhD program. The SUGS program’s focus on completing the program quickly, in many circumstances, does not align well with preparing for a PhD program.

Application requirements

  • 3.5 both in cumulative and major GPA at the time of application.  
  • It requires one letter of recommendation.  The remaining application requirements are the same as traditional Master’s
  • Cannot be pursuing dual majors
  • Application deadlines are October 1 for Winter and January 15 for Fall admissions.
  • Must be on track to complete an undergraduate degree before starting SUGS-Master’s degree.  
  • Students who do not meet the GPA or other admissions requirements listed here may petition the IOE Graduate Admissions Committee for provisional admission, in accordance with Rackham rules, by providing other credentials such as letters of recommendation from faculty and/or other evidence of special accomplishments.

Timeline and pre-application

  • During the middle of Junior year through the start of Senior year, make an appointment with an undergraduate advisor in your undergraduate program to review courses that could be double-counted or “transferred up” (i.e., have credits transferred into the master’s program without double-counting them towards the undergraduate degree). Having an advising appointment with the IOE graduate advisor is also recommended.
  • By the end of your appointment with the undergraduate advisor, you should know what courses you will be double-counting or transferring up into the Master’s program.  

Program Requirements

  • Must be enrolled for two semesters full-time (at least 9 credits) each. The degrees should be pursued sequentially, i.e., The graduate degree should be started in the regular semester (i.e., Fall or Winter) immediately following the completion of the undergraduate degree.
  • No dual enrollment between undergrad and grad programs is allowed. (Dual enrollment is  registering as both an undergraduate and graduate student in the same term.)
  • Six total graduate-level credits can be double-counted between undergraduate and master’s degrees if they are not on the IOE master’s program’s not allowed list. These courses have to be from the remaining technical electives or general electives sections on the student’s audit.
    • Cannot triple-count, e.g., use a course for the major, Master’s, and minor. 
  • Nine additional graduate-level credits could transfer up if the credits were not used for another degree, minor, or certification and if they are not on the IOE Master’s program’s forbidden list. These courses have to be from the Remaining Technical Electives or General Electives sections on the student’s audit.
  • The following classes are eligible for graduate-level credit:
    • For IOE classes: any classes at 400 level or above that are not on the forbidden list.
    • For non-IOE classes: the list of graduate-level classes is maintained by Rackham on their website. As long as the courses are not listed on the IOE master’s program forbidden list, and if they are Graduate level,  they can be used for double-counting (if they were used for B.S.E.) or transferring up (if they were not)
    • ACC 471 is a popular course that can be used for EGL and IOE-SUGS.  To use this for SUGS, each student needs to submit a memo written by their ACC instructor confirming that the student did graduate-level work while enrolled in the course.

Please consult the degree requirements or an advisor if you are unsure about how a course may be counted toward the IOE degree.


  • Students will need to fill out the Accelerated Master’s Degree Election Form, which requires the signature of their undergraduate department advisor and graduate advisor.
    • Make sure the form is filled out completely. All 30 credits needed for the degree must be accounted for in the form’s three columns. The undergraduate advisor will sign and include a copy of the degree audit and transcript with the two double-counted courses highlighted. Send all three documents to the graduate advisor.
  • A memo from the undergraduate advisor is also needed if you are transferring credits up to confirm that the credits were not used to satisfy any undergraduate degree, minor, or certificate requirements.

* The application requirements are the same for both, and the degree is a master’s in IOE for both, with no special SUGS designation. The degree requirements are the same for both as well

When choosing whether to pursue the traditional master’s degree or SUGS, consider the following important points: 

  • The two-semester Rackham full-time registration requirement for SUGS makes it impossible to finish the graduate degree in one term or one term of full-time and one term of part-time graduate enrollment, which may be possible for some students in the traditional master’s program.  
  • Furthermore, the traditional master’s program allows a student to be dual-enrolled between undergraduate and graduate programs for one semester. SUGS does not allow that.  
  • If a student knows they want to take three or more terms to finish, they don’t need the extra planning and hoops to jump through with SUGS. Some possible non-curricular or degree-requirement-related reasons to take three terms may include the following:
    • Interest in a graduate-level internship
    • Transitioning from a non-IOE undergrad and wanting an additional term to ease into the new course content area.
    • Pursuing research and wanting additional time to find research opportunities. 
  • If a student is getting a dual master’s degree or a graduate certificate, the following considerations come into play:
    • Rackham does not allow double-counting credits between both undergraduate and graduate degrees and between graduate degrees.  A student pursuing dual master’s degrees is allowed up to 10 double-counted credits between graduate programs, saving a full semester of time and tuition, versus the undergraduate cap of 6 double-counted credits.  
  • Traditional master’s allows a maximum of 15 transfer credits, while the SUGS cap is 9.