Clemson IE opened its doors to a smaller and more diverse class of graduate students for the fall 2019 semester. The class consists of 24 new graduate students from a range of backgrounds, far fewer than the 84 admitted last year.
This change toward a smaller cohort is a direct result of the naturally increasing admission standards in the department, an initiative that Dr. Mason, the graduate coordinator, began this year. Dr. Mason explained that, “The graduate committee purposefully decided to enhance our admission criteria for this fall’s and subsequent year’s graduate students.”
The smaller class size has already begun to benefit the new students. At the IE graduate student orientation, the students began their time at Clemson with a lively social where faculty and current graduate students mingled with the new students.
Monique Williams, graduate student services coordinator, remarked on how much more energy and engagement she is seeing among the students this year as a direct result of the decreased cohort size. In addition to the decrease in class size, of the 24 new students, 16 are female, a testament to the more diverse and gender-balanced student body in industrial engineering as a field.
Dr. Mason notes that this gender diversity is quickly spreading throughout the department: “Not only is our undergraduate program ~35% female, but I would estimate that at least 7 of the top 10 students in each undergraduate class, ranked by GPA, are women. Clearly, though underrepresented in many engineering majors, female students thrive and often lead the way in Clemson’s undergraduate IE program.”
With the fall semester well underway, our graduate students, as well as our faculty and staff, are looking forward to the best student experience Clemson IE has to offer.