Industrial engineering at Rutgers began in 1947 as the Engineering Administration Program. It was renamed the Industrial Engineering Program in 1956 and became part of the Mechanical, Industrial and Aerospace Engineering Department. The graduate program in IE started in 1963, offering MSIE degrees. Finally, the Department of Industrial Engineering was established as a separate unit within the College of Engineering in 1981 and the Ph.D. program was approved in 1991.
In 2002, the department name was once again renamed, this time to Industrial and Systems Engineering to better reflect the present teaching and research activities of the field.