|Major Code: 8074
||Degree Awarded: Master of Science
|Delivery Mode(s): Classroom, Online, Off-site
||Admission status: Graduate
|Admission Materials: letters of recommendation, résumé, statement of objectives, transcripts
||Location(s): Main Campus - Melbourne; Virtual Site
Operations research is a scientific approach to modeling, analysis and optimization of complex systems. Operations research techniques are applied to a broad range of problems in both government and public and private sectors in making decisions about the use of scarce human resources, money, materials, equipment or facilities and in solving problems involving complex design, planning, allocation or logistics.
The Master of Science in Operations Research offers concentrations that emphasize areas of application most in-demand in today’s job market. Graduates gain breadth of knowledge in the areas of optimization, data science, statistical modeling, stochastic analysis, and financial mathematics. In addition, graduates acquire skills to effectively communicate with clients and managers through projects enabling them to interact with people who bring different expertise to real-world problems. All areas involve expertise with sophisticated mathematical and computational methods and software tools.
An applicant for the master’s program in operations research should have an undergraduate major in a mathematics, science or engineering discipline that requires a significant amount of mathematics. Business majors with strong quantitative backgrounds are also encouraged to apply. A proficiency in mathematics covering topics in calculus, probability, statistics, and linear algebra must be demonstrated by suitable coursework at undergraduate level. Courses taken to satisfy admission prerequisites cannot be counted toward the degree requirement.
General admission requirements and the process for applying are presented under Graduate Academic Information .
The master of science degree in operation research can be pursued with either a thesis or nonthesis option; each requires 30 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. Under the thesis option, an oral defense is required and six credit hours of the thesis research are used in place of electives. Theses that combine operations research with its applications in science or engineering are encouraged. Nonthesis option candidates may take up to 6 credits of graduate courses outside of the mathematics program, subject to the approval of the department head. Nonthesis option candidates must successfully complete a written final program examination in the areas of stochastic analysis, optimization, and statistics.
The program’s curriculum is designed to provide breadth with some flexibility to accommodate the diversity of backgrounds typically found in an operations research program. Greater flexibility is provided for the elective courses beyond the core. A student has the choice of developing greater depth in one area of specialization, aiming at eventual research in that area or continuing to develop breadth across more than one area.
Each student will complete a program plan that satisfies the requirements listed below, subject to the approval of the department head.