Jul 15, 2024  
2024-2025 Florida Tech Catalog 
2024-2025 Florida Tech Catalog

Operations Research, M.S.

Major Code: 8074 Degree Awarded: Master of Science
Delivery Mode(s): Classroom, online, off-site Admission status: Graduate
Admission Materials: Letters of recommendation, résumé/CV, transcripts Location(s): Main campus - Melbourne; Virtual Education Center

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. 

Admission Requirements

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. 

General admission requirements and the process for applying are presented under Graduate Academic Information .

Degree Requirements

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 6 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. 

Nonthesis Option (6 credit hours)

Two 5000 or higher-level courses in mathematics, operations research, science or engineering disciplines. The selection of courses outside of the mathematics program must have the approval of the department head.

Thesis Option (6 credit hours)

Six credit hours of ORP 5999 Thesis Research  are required to complete the thesis in two terms. The thesis should be an in-depth study of some topic or problem in operations research, subject to the approval of the thesis committee. Thesis students are encouraged to submit one manuscript to peer-reviewed journals prior to thesis defense. 

Total Credits Required: 30