Undergraduate Degree Program for Operations Research and Engineering

The Operations Research and Engineering (ORE) undergraduate degree program will give you a broad understanding of the modeling concepts and solution techniques you’ll need to analyze and improve business and industrial systems.

Such systems are complex: people, equipment, information, materials, and methods are brought together to achieve financial, schedule, and quality goals. There are numerous tradeoffs to be investigated and uncertainties to be resolved. As an operations analyst, you will be studying such systems, analyzing why they behave the way they do, and making recommendations for system improvements—a better way to organize the flow of work, a better way to forecast the results, a better way to make decisions and allocate scarce resources—to name a few. Your tools will be the tools of operations research (optimization, probability, statistics, simulation, and stochastic processes) and other disciplines such as engineering economics and behavioral science. You will work with people at all levels of an organization, from the shop floor to the corporate boardroom, and you will use advanced software packages to conduct your analysis. In some cases, you will develop new approaches as well as new software to support their implementation.

Examples of operations analysis abound. An automobile manufacturer might be able to save millions of dollars each year by identifying and eliminating bottlenecks in an assembly line. A marketing company might want a better strategy to bid for advertising slots on Google search results. A hospital could more efficiently schedule the use of its operating rooms, lowering costs and improving the quality of patient care. An Internet retailer could reduce costs and improve delivery performance with optimized inventory policies and better demand forecasts. These are the kinds of problems that are tackled by experts in ORE. As work becomes more complex and data-intensive, and the demands of the economy require a more efficient use of resources, you’ll find your ORE skills in ever greater demand.


So where will a major in ORE take you? Historically, the field has been concerned with manufacturing and the delivery of goods and services. Many operations analysts find career opportunities in those areas. In recent years, however, the field has expanded as business and industry leaders have discovered that the methods of ORE can be used profitably in fields like finance, data analytics, and information technology. As a result, you’ll find ORE graduates working in a wide variety of areas as analysts, consultants, industrial engineers, management associates, project managers, and even investment bankers. This major provides robust analytical tools and experiences that lead into flexible career paths.

Master of Engineering Degree Program

The one-year Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) degree will prepare you to hit the ground running and stand out in the career of your choice. The ORIE M.Eng. program offers specializations that are highly sought after in today’s job market, including: data analytics, financial engineering, information technology, applied operations research, strategic operations, systems engineering, and manufacturing. Building upon a curriculum encompassing optimization, probability and statistics, stochastic processes, and simulation, our M.Eng. students undertake industry-sponsored project work to solve real problems in the real world. Recent project sponsors include Canadian National Railway, New York Presbyterian Hospital/Cornell Weill Medical Center, and Walmart.com.

Some Areas of Faculty Research

  • algorithm theory, design, and analysis
  • biomedical statistics
  • combinatorial optimization
  • data analytics
  • financial engineering
  • game theory
  • information technology
  • inventory and logistics control
  • mathematical programming
  • network design
  • production planning
  • queuing and storage theory
  • revenue management
  • scheduling
  • service systems planning
  • simulation
  • statistics
  • stochastic processes
  • supply chain management

Operations Research and Engineering by the Numbers

Number of Operations Research and Engineering undergraduate students: 202

Starting salaries of B.S. Operations Research and Engineering graduates (for 2020):

  • Median salary: $80,000
  • High salary: $300,000

Post-graduate plans for operations research graduates at the time of graduation (2020):

  • Employed 73% 73%
  • Attending Graduate School 27% 27%