Undergraduate Degree Program for the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering

The operations research and engineering (ORE) undergraduate degree program encompasses the data-driven decision-making tools and techniques that power the technology-driven economy. You will develop skills in data science, optimization, machine learning and mathematical modeling, and learn how those skills are used in the sharing economy, in online market design, in transportation applications in companies like CitiBike and Uber, in e-Logistics in companies like Wayfair and Amazon, in healthcare and in a host of other settings. For example, faculty and students in the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering played a major role in ensuring that Cornell’s Ithaca campus could open for a residential 2020-21 academic year during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The foundation of the major is the development of basic skills in calculus, statistics, probability, optimization, mathematical programming, and computer science, which provide the fundamental tools used in the field. The basic courses in the undergraduate program major in Operations Research and Engineering provide students with a solid background in these subjects.

Additional required courses in the major, cover the topics of cost accounting, manufacturing systems, and simulation. In the senior year, our program is quite flexible. Students select a total of at least nine credit hours of ORIE electives. These serve to broaden and deepen their experience in the major. These electives are chosen from the areas of applied probability and applied statistics, industrial systems, optimization, information technology, or financial engineering. Nine credits of major-approved electives are also required; this requirement provides students with the flexibility to study topics closely related to Operations Research, such as information technology, quantitative management, and economics.


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 2021):

  • Median salary: $85,000
  • High salary: $118,000

Post-graduate plans for operations research graduates at the time of graduation (2021):

  • Employed 73% 73%
  • Attending Graduate School 24% 24%
  • Seeking Employment 2% 2%