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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Operations Research (O R)

Program Home Page 

M-JEYA CHANDRA, Chair
205 Leonhard Building
University Park, PA  16802
814-863-4745

 

Degrees Conferred:

Students electing this option through participating programs earn a degree with a dual title at both the Ph.D. and the M.S., M.A., or M.Eng. levels, i.e., Ph.D. in (graduate program name) and Operations Research, or M.S., M.A., or M.Eng. in (graduate program name) and Operations Research.

The following graduate programs offer dual degrees in Operations Research:  Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Economics; Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Animal Science; Business Administration; Civil Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Computer Science and Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Economics; Educational  Leadership; Energy and Mineral Engineering; Entomology; Forest Resources; Geography; Geosciences; Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management; Industrial Engineering; Mathematics; Mechanical Engineering; Statistics; and Workforce Education and Development.

 

The Graduate Faculty

 

The Program

The Operations Research dual-title degree program option is administered by an Operations Research committee, which is responsible for management of the program. The committee maintains program definition, identifies faculty and courses appropriate to the option, and recommends policy and procedures for its operation to the dean of the Graduate School. This dual-title degree program is offered as an option through graduate major programs in eight colleges. The option enables students from diverse graduate programs to attain and be identified with the tools, techniques, and methodology of operations research, while maintaining a close association with areas of application. Operations research is the analysis--usually involving mathematical treatment--of a process, problem, or operation to determine its purpose and effectiveness and to gain maximum efficiency. To pursue a dual-title degree under this program option the student must apply to the Graduate School and register through one of the approved graduate programs.  

Admission Requirements

Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), or from a comparable substitute examination accepted by a graduate program and authorized by the dean of the Graduate School, are required for admission. At the discretion of a graduate program, a student may be admitted provisionally for graduate study in a program without these scores. Requirements listed here are in addition to general Graduate School requirements listed in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin.

For the M.S., M.A., M.Eng. dual-title degree in Operations Research, in addition to those prescribed by the graduate major program, prerequisites for acceptance to the program without deficiency include the following or their equivalent: MATH 140, MATH 141, MATH 220; CMPSC 101; and 3 credits of probability and statistics.

For the Ph.D. dual-title degree in Operations Research, in addition to those prescribed by the graduate major program, prerequisites for acceptance to the program without deficiency include the following or their equivalent: MATH 401, MATH 436; CMPSC 101; and 3 credits of probability and statistics.

Degree Requirements

To qualify for a dual-title degree, students must satisfy the requirements of the graduate major programs in which they are enrolled, in addition to the minimum requirements, or their equivalent, in the Operations Research program. Students must enroll in O R 590 Colloquium for at least 1 credit in each year enrolled in the program and in residence.

For the M.S. or M.A. dual-title degree in Operations Research, the minimum requirements are: 6 credits in stochastic/statistical methods, including a minimum of 3 credits in each of the areas of statistical methods and stochastic processes; 6 credits in optimization, including a minimum of 3 credits in linear programming; 3 credits in computational methods; and 3 credits in applications/specialization. (Application courses are those that involve problem solving through the use of decision methods.) A minimum of 9 credits must be in the 500 series. Particular courses may satisfy both the graduate major program requirements and those in the Operations Research program.

A thesis may be required, the supervisor of which must be a member of the graduate faculty recommended by the chair of the program granting the degree and approved by the Operations Research committee as qualified to supervise thesis work in operations research. A paper or report may be written in lieu of the M.S. or M.A. thesis upon approval of the student's graduate major program. An M.Eng. student or a student selecting the paper or report must take an additional 6 credits in the Operations Research program. It is the prerogative of the graduate major program to assign these credits to one or more of the following categories: stochastic/statistical methods, optimization, computational methods, or applications.

The minimum requirements for the Ph.D. dual-title degree in Operations Research are: 9 credits in stochastic/statistical methods, including a minimum of 3 credits in each of the areas of statistical methods and stochastic processes; 9 credits in optimization, including a minimum of 3 credits in linear programming; 6 credits in computational methods, including a minimum of 3 credits in simulation; and 12 credits in applications/specialization. A minimum of 18 credits must be in the 500 series, and particular courses may satisfy both the graduate major program requirements and those in the Operations Research program.

A Ph.D. minor program in Operations Research is available for doctoral students who find it advantageous to include advanced quantitative methods of systems analysis in their programs of study and have been approved to do so by their doctoral committees. To qualify for a minor in Operations Research, students must satisfy the requirements of their graduate major programs, meet the same prerequisites as the M.S. dual-title degree, and meet the following minimum requirements: 6 credits in stochastic/statistical methods, including a minimum of 3 credits in each of the areas of statistical methods and stochastic processes; 6 credits in optimization; and 3 credits in computational methods. A minimum of 6 credits must be taken at the 500 level.

The doctoral committee for a Ph.D. dual-title degree student is recommended by the graduate major program granting the degree. The chair and at least two members of a doctoral committee must be members of the graduate faculty and approved by the Operations Research committee as qualified to supervise doctoral theses in operations research. The Operations Research committee is responsible for administering an examination in operations research that constitutes a portion of the comprehensive examination administered to the doctoral students in the program option, as well as to the candidate who chooses operations research as a minor field.

STOCHASTIC/STATISTICAL METHODS

Statistical Methods
MATH/STAT 414, MATH/STAT 415, MATH/STAT 418
I E 511
MS&IS 501, MS&IS 533
STAT 460, STAT 501, STAT 502, STAT 503
ECON 501
AG EC/ECON 510, AG EC/ECON 511
Stochastic Processes
I E /SC&IS 516
I E 517
MATH/STAT 416, MATH/STAT 516, MATH/STAT 519
STAT 515

OPTIMIZATION

Linear Programming
I E 405 or MS&IS 451 or MATH 484
I E 505
Nonlinear Programming
MS&IS 452
I E 521
Integer Programming
I E 510
Dynamic Programming
I E/SC&IS 519
Mathematical Programming
I E 512, I E 520
CMPSC/MATH 555
SC&IS 525, MS&IS 550

COMPUTATIONAL METHODS

Numerical Methods
CMPSC/MATH 451, CMPSC/MATH 455, CMPSC/MATH 456, CMPSC/MATH 550
Simulation Methods
I E 453 or MS&IS 432
I E 522
MSIS 532

APPLICATION/SPECIALIZATION
Includes courses in the above areas as well as courses in quality control, scheduling, inventory, queuing, decision analysis, game theory, logistics, expert systems, econometrics, forecasting, and others.

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 599 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

OPERATIONS RESEARCH (O R) course list

 

DATE LAST REVIEWED BY THE GRADUATE SCHOOL: 5/24/04

Faculty linked: 6/27/14

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