The evaluation process has two phases. The first phase screens out the applications that do not indicate both outstanding academic performance and suitable previous degree studies. The second phase ranks the remaining acceptable applications according to all the aforementioned criteria.
In order to surpass the first phase, an applicant should have a valid degree in the field of engineering, or some other field relevant to Industrial Engineering and Management. The programme aims at an integrated skill set consisting of mathematical, technological, economic, and social competences.
Foremost, the official transcript of the applicant’s degree studies should clearly indicate a good technological foundation, i.e. studies in science, engineering mathematics and one clearly technological discipline, supplemented with basic engineering reasoning and problem-solving skills. Therefore, we prefer applicants with B.Sc. degrees in engineering or compatible fields in computer science, natural sciences, or mathematics.
Furthermore, 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. Relevant work experience, professional certificates or online courses are considered but they do not directly compensate for the university level studies that include also the theoretical foundations of the required subjects. The desired amount of management studies is 25 ECTS.
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. This would mean that for applicants from Finnish universities applying the grading scale 1-5, the expected GPA is generally at least 4.0.
In the second phase, we rank the remaining acceptable applications according to all the aforementioned criteria, especially evaluating the ability and motivation for pursuing the Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering and Management as a whole. We seek applicants who will complete the programme successfully in due time. The academic performance is the most important criterion but the other two criteria – the content of previous degree(s) and the motivation for pursuing the degree - can distinguish otherwise even applications. The curriculum vitae and the motivation letter become important compulsory documents. The additional documents provide evidence that support the profile created by these compulsory documents.
Besides the grade point average, we also consider the applicant’s previous time-to-graduation. 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 extent of the technological studies would have been sufficient to qualify for the second phase of evaluation, they are re-evaluated and put into comparison with other applicants. In addition, deficiencies in the prerequisites concerning management studies may weaken the application although a student may later compensate minor deficiencies by compulsory supplementary studies or adjustments in the personal study plan (HOPS). We also take into consideration that degree in the Master’s Programme in Industrial Engineering and Management will give the applicant genuinely new knowledge. In this respect, the number of degrees or amount of studies is not an advantage as such. Overlapping degrees create a clear disadvantage.
The motivation letter should describe not only interest in the field but properties and willingness to achieve the degree and the targets set by the programme. If an applicant already has an M.Sc. or higher academic degree, he or 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.