Volgenau School of Engineering
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Operations Research, MS

Systems Engineering and Operations Research Department
George Mason University
2100 Nguyen Engineering Building
4400 University Drive, MS 4A6
Fairfax, VA 22030

Phone: (703) 993-1521

Email: seor@gmu.edu

Program Overview

The program prepares students for research and professional practice associated with the formulation, analysis, and computer implementation of mathematical models of operational systems. Features of the program include mathematical programming, queueing and network theories, computer simulation and modeling, applied and computational probability, and the application of these to realistic problems. Students are expected to become proficient in these areas, as well as in supporting areas of information technology necessary to implement OR analysis approaches.

Highlights

2016-2017 Academic Year

This program prepares students for research and professional practice associated with the formulation and analysis of mathematical models for decision making and their computer implementation. Major components include optimization, queuing and network modeling, computer simulation and modeling, applied and computational probability, and application of these components to realistic and relevant operational analysis problems. Students are expected to become proficient in these areas, as well as in supporting areas of information technology necessary to implement operations research methods.

The program includes core courses and electives selected by the student with the aid of a faculty advisor. To obtain the MS degree, students complete an approved plan of study that contains a minimum of 30 graduate credits. Students may take courses through the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program. Appropriate courses may be transferred, with advisor approval, into this Mason degree program.

An accelerated master’s option is available to students in selected bachelor’s of science programs. See BS (selected)/Operations Research, Accelerated MS for specific requirements.

Dual-Degree MS in Operations Research and Statistical Science

The program allows students to earn an MS in operations research and an MS in statistical science by completing 48 credits of course work in both areas instead of the 60 that would be required if the degrees were sought independently. See the corresponding catalog entry.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the program, students must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in engineering, mathematics, computer science, physical sciences, economics, or a related field. They also must have completed courses in calculus (MATH 113, MATH 114, and MATH 213), matrix algebra (MATH 203), differential equations (MATH 214), applied probability and statistics (STAT 346), and a scientific programming language (CS 112).

Other requirements are as follows:

  • Provide evidence of satisfactory educational achievement in at least one of the following forms: a GPA of at least 3.00 as an undergraduate or an acceptable GPA in graduate courses. International students must also achieve satisfactory scores on the GRE. Nonnative English speakers must have a satisfactory score on the TOEFL.
  • Provide two letters of recommendation submitted by former professors or supervisors.

The department offers SYST 500 - Quantitative Foundations for Systems Engineering as an intensive review of undergraduate engineering mathematics, including matrix algebra, transforms, differential equations, probability, and statistics. On acceptance, students will be required to take a foundation qualification test a week or two before school starts, unless waived by the department chair or graduate coordinator. Students who fail the test will be required to take SYST 500. A sample test is available from the department.

Students with minor deficiencies in preparation may be accepted conditionally pending removal of the deficiencies. Courses taken to remove admission deficiencies (including SYST 500) extend minimum requirements for the degree. Students whose undergraduate training was in the quantitative social sciences or quantitatively oriented business administration may be allowed to complete a portion of the mathematics prerequisite by taking SYST 500.

Degree Requirements

The program consists of 30 credits. Students must complete four core courses and the project (15 credits). The remaining 15 credits are electives subject to the requirements below, and can be taken in one of five concentration areas or in an individual plan approved by the student’s advisor.

Required Core Courses (12 credits):

Project (3 credits):

Methods Courses (6 credits):

Students should take at least one deterministic methods and one stochastic methods course.

Deterministic methods courses:

Stochastic methods courses:

Additional Electives (9 credits):

Up to three additional elective courses may be chosen with written concurrence of the advisor. At least two of these electives must be taken from SEOR course offerings, and one of these must be OR 600-level or higher. The remaining course should be taken in an area appropriate to the student’s interests, such as operations research, systems engineering, computer science, information systems, statistics, data analytics, electrical and computer engineering, economics, mathematics or supply chain management.

Concentrations

Students may construct concentration areas by choosing electives from among special groupings. The five concentrations available are decision analysis, financial engineering, military operations research, optimization, and stochastic modeling. In addition to the required core courses (12 credits) and project course (3 credits), the remaining 15 credit hours consist of methods and elective courses associated with the concentration areas as outlined below. Students can also devise their own grouping of electives subject to prior approval of their advisor.

Concentration in Decision Analysis (DA)

Students concentrating in decision analysis must complete the following.

Concentration in Financial Engineering (FNNE)

Students concentrating in financial engineering must complete the following:

and one course from the following list:

Students must also complete the following: 

  • one deterministic methods course
  • one stochastics methods course (if the student has already taken OR 645 this can be substituted for an elective course with written concurrence of the student’s advisor)

Concentration in Military Operations Research (MOR)

Students concentrating in military operations research must complete the following.

Concentration in Optimization (OPT)

Students concentrating in optimization must complete three courses from the following.

Students must also complete the following:

  • one stochastic methods course
  • one elective course with written concurrence of the student’s advisor

Concentration in Stochastic Models (STM)

Students concentrating in stochastic models must complete three courses from the following:

Students must also complete the following:

  • one deterministic methods course
  • one elective course with written concurrence of the student’s advisor

Total: 30 credits

 

This information is being provided here for your planning purposes only. For official catalog information, please refer instead to the official George Mason University Catalog Website at http://catalog.gmu.edu.

Opportunities

Operations researchers may work in universities, in industry, or in government. They may teach, do research, and/or solve real problems. Operations researchers may be involved in one phase of a study, or may participate in all portions of a project; many operations researchers have moved from the technical branch of a company or agency into managerial positions. Students with special interests in optimization, stochastic modeling, decision analysis, military operations research, or financial systems engineering may elect to concentrate in these areas.

This information is being provided here for your planning purposes only. For official catalog information, please refer instead to the official George Mason University Catalog Website at http://catalog.gmu.edu.