Six Sigma Minor

Six Sigma is a highly disciplined process that puts sharp focus on developing and delivering near-perfect products and services. It has been used to shape both the strategy and operation of companies of all sizes and sectors. Six Sigma provides a framework for quality improvement and innovation that builds upon statistical tools to achieve results.

The Six Sigma Minor is an 18 credit minor designed for any student who is interested in the Six Sigma statistical methodology. Students completing the minor should:

  • Be knowledgeable about why organizations use Six Sigma and how they apply its philosophy and goals
  • Gain experience with using the define, measure, analyze, improve, control (DMAIC) methodology for problem solving
  • Gain experience with using the define, measure, analyze, design, optimize, verify (DMADOV) methodology for new product innovation
  • Understand the links between customer requirements, product specifications, and process capability
  • Understand the theory and application of regression analysis, design of experiments, and statistical quality control
  • Be familiar with the project selection process including knowing when to use the Six Sigma methodology

Dr. Harriet Black Nembhard, professor of industrial engineering and ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, is the person in charge of the minor.

Requirements for IME students

The minor requires 18 credits of course work as follows:

  • IE 305: Product Design, Specification and Measurement.  Principles of product design and specifications and methods for product verification. Contact: E.A. Lehtihet
  • IE 322: Probabilistic Models in Industrial Engineering. The study and application of probability theory in the solution of engineering problems. Contact: M. J. Chandra
  • IE 323: Statistical Methods in Industrial Engineering. The study and application of statistics in the solution of engineering problems. Contact: E. Joshi
  • IE 433: Regression and Design of Experiments. Theory and application of regression analysis and design of experiments to build models and optimize process and product parameters. Contact: E. Castillo
  • IE 434: Statistical Quality Control. Statistical techniques for univariate and multivariate monitoring of independent and autocorrelated processes: foundations of quality control and improvement. Contact: H.B. Nembhard
  • IE 436: Six Sigma Methodology. Techniques for structural problem-solving to improve the quality and cost of products and processes. Contact: H.B. Nembhard
  • Students must obtain a C or better in the specified courses to satisfy the requirements for the Minor.

Requirements for Non-IME students

The final two courses, IE 434 and IE 436, must be taken by all students in the minor. Non-IME students may make the substitutions listed below.

  • Non-IME students may substitute IE 327 for IE 305.  IE 327 is offered during the academic year as well as on-line through World Campus.
  • Non-IME students may substitute STAT 414-415 for IE 322-323.
  • Non-IE students may substiutte STAT 460 and 462 for IE 433.

What IME students are saying...

  • "I've seen Six Sigma practices utilized in industry, specifically on my co-op at Ingersoll Rand. I can say with utmost confidence that the Six Sigma Methodology class here at Penn State has given me a knowledge and advantage that will aide me in any career choice I make in the future." - Katie Slaughter '09
  • "Taking the IE 433, 434, and 436 course series was the best decision that I could've made as far as industrial engineering electives go. This trio of IE courses integrates statistics, application, and business very well into one bundle that employers demand." - Kyle Ferlic '09
  • "If not for the Six Sigma curriculum, I wouldn't have skills in SQC and DOE which I now consider to be some of the most powerful tools in my engineering toolbox. I believe the combination of IE 433, IE 434, and IE 436 help develop strong statistical skills as well as implementation and managerial ideologies to prepare students for success in technical project management." - Brad Bolenius '09
  • "The hands-on experience from the IE 436 labs really gave me an appreciation for working in groups and taught me the importance that Six Sigma has in the business world." - Luciano Ricondo ’09

Entrance to minor application

Students can register for the Six Sigma through elion.