Bob Litt
Written By - Bob Litt

Check MarkEdited By Darryl S.

Check MarkReview & Contribution By Dr. Jay Connell

Operations Research (OR), or Decision Science or Operations Analysis, profoundly impacts industries and society. This mathematical branch employs analytical methods for effective problem-solving and decision-making in organizational management, deconstructing problems into fundamental elements and resolving them through mathematical analysis. Originating during World War II, OR’s application extends to post-war problem-solving in business, government, and society, offering a robust approach with comprehensive dataset utilization, holistic option assessment, precise outcome prediction, and risk estimation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a projected 23% growth in employment for operations research analysts from 2022 to 2032[1], favorable career prospects await graduates.

Masters in Chemistry

Table Of Contents

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

The Best Operations Research Master’s Online

Operations research master’s programs are popular among students. However, there are not a whole of universities that offer these degrees in an online format. While these degrees are mostly offered on campus, some universities offer them online. We collected a list of such universities that ranked based on the program quality, graduation rates, tuition fees, student success, and many other factors. Based on this research and methodology, here are the best operation research master’s online programs:

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
University of Southern California
University Park, Los Angeles, California 90089
Georgia Institute of Technology
225 North Ave, Atlanta, Georgia 30332
Cornell University
300 Day Hall, Ithaca, New York 14853
Florida Institute of Technology
150 West University Boulevard, Melbourne, Florida 32901
Kansas State University
919 Mid-Campus Drive, Anderson Hall, Manhattan, Kansas 66506
Columbia University in the City of New York
West 116 St and Broadway, New York, New York 10027
Purdue University Global
2550 Northwestern Avenue, Suite 1100, West Lafayette, Indiana 47906
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
2101 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695
Southern Methodist University
6425 Boaz St, Dallas, Texas 75275
George Mason University
4400 University Dr, Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

What Operations Research Master’s Online Entail

Curriculum and Skills You’ll Gain

A master’s in operations research would have common core courses for most credits. Still, per the program’s specialization, some coursework and concentration would vary. Here are a few subjects learned in a master’s in operations research online program and the skills attained:

Decision Theory:

This course delves into the study of rational decision-making under uncertainty. Students learn to evaluate choices using mathematical models and principles, incorporating concepts from probability, statistics, and economics. This knowledge equips graduates to make informed decisions in complex scenarios, enhancing their problem-solving skills for roles in diverse industries such as finance, manufacturing, and logistics.

Computer Programming:

This program teaches students essential programming skills for solving optimization and analytical problems. Through hands-on coding experience, students learn to develop algorithms, analyze data, and implement solutions using programming languages like Python and MATLAB. This proficiency empowers graduates to efficiently tackle complex real-world challenges in fields such as supply chain management, logistics, and resource allocation.

Introduction to Probability and Statistics:

This program provides a foundational understanding of key probabilistic and statistical concepts. Students learn to analyze and interpret data, make informed decisions, and model uncertainty. This knowledge equips graduates to apply quantitative methods to optimize processes, enhance efficiency, and make strategic decisions across finance, healthcare, and manufacturing.

Discrete Optimization:

This program explores techniques for solving combinatorial problems with discrete variables. Students learn to design efficient algorithms, model complex decision-making scenarios, and find optimal solutions in various fields, including logistics, telecommunications, and network design. This expertise enables graduates to streamline processes, improve resource allocation, and address real-world challenges using advanced optimization techniques.

Network Optimization:

This program focuses on analyzing and optimizing complex networks. Students learn to enhance transportation, communication, and supply chain systems through mathematical modeling and algorithms. This knowledge equips graduates to tackle challenges in industries like logistics, telecommunications, and urban planning, ensuring efficient resource utilization and effective decision-making within interconnected networks.

Skills Gained:

A Master’s in Operations Research program cultivates a versatile skill set crucial for tackling complex industry challenges. Ability to assess complex scenarios, make informed decisions, and manage risk.

Degree Types

MS in Operations Research

MBA with Operations Research Concentration

MBA in Operations Management

Master of Industrial Engineering in Operations Research and Information Engineering

Specializations for Operations Research Students

Graduation Timeline

Accelerated Operations Research Master’s Programs

Northern University2
George Mason University3

Admission Requirements for Operations Research Master’s Online Programs

Though every master’s in operations research online will have a specific requirement, applicants must typically have a bachelor’s degree in operations research or a related field or have completed substantial undergraduate coursework in operations research. While GRE and GMAT test scores may be requested in some programs, it is not a universal requirement. Some universities might even require experience and employer references. These are the typical master’s in operations research prerequisites. For students looking to enroll in a master’s program, OMC has dedicated resources for GRE and GMAT.

Admission requirements for a Master’s in Operations Research may vary by institution, but common prerequisites include:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A completed undergraduate degree, often in a related field such as mathematics, engineering, computer science, or business.
  • GPA: A competitive grade point average (GPA) from the undergraduate degree, typically above 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two to three letters of recommendation from professors or professionals who can attest to the applicant’s academic and professional capabilities.
  • Statement of Purpose: A written statement outlining the applicant’s academic and career goals, as well as why they are interested in pursuing a Master’s in Operations Research.
  • Resume/CV: A comprehensive resume or curriculum vitae detailing academic and professional experiences.
  • Standardized Test Scores: Some programs may require GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores, while others may accept GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) or waive standardized tests altogether.
  • Prerequisite Courses: Completion of specific undergraduate courses in mathematics, statistics, or related subjects may be required.
  • Work Experience: Some programs prefer or require applicants to have relevant work experience in operations research, analytics, or a related field.
  • Interview: An admissions interview may be part of assessing the applicant’s suitability for the program.

Prospective students should check the specific admission requirements of the institutions and programs to which they plan to apply, as these can vary.

Online Master’s in Operations Research No GRE Programs

Numerous universities mandate the submission of standardized test scores like GMAT or GRE. Nevertheless, a strong GPA can sometimes exempt an applicant from this necessity, similar to having relevant work involvement in Operations Research. A selection of institutions provides online Master’s in Operations Research programs with no GRE obligation, relying solely on a commendable GPA. It is advisable to carefully peruse the University Prospectus or Program Guidelines for GMAT/GRE prerequisites before pursuing enrollment in a program. Here are a few examples of online master’s in operations research with no GRE: 

John Hopkins University4
Middle Tennessee State University5

Accredited Programs

Accreditation is a vetting process wherein an institution has been evaluated by an independent accrediting body and found to meet the high standards of a rigorous education. Therefore, to ensure that the industry and fraternity recognize the degrees students are obtaining, and more importantly, to be eligible for U.S. federal student aid, one must ensure that the institution one is enrolling in is accredited by a federally recognized accreditation body. ANSI National Accreditation Board6 is one such body. ANSI typically accredits Operations Research Programs. Students should check for accreditation by ANSI for their Operations Research programs. Universities may also be accredited nationally or by one of six regional accrediting agencies:

Read more about Accreditation.

Free Operations Research Master’s Online Courses

In operations research, students can enroll in free courses to enhance their understanding of the discipline. These courses provide valuable insights into the roles and responsibilities of operations research professionals. Upon course completion, students may receive certificates of achievement, though some organizations might not acknowledge them as equivalent to formally recognized programs. Here is a selection of cost-free operations research courses for students to contemplate:

How to Pay for Your Online Degree

Given the current cost of education and the accompanying student debt, funding one’s online master’s in operations research is crucial. The most strategic approach is through scholarships. Working professionals who don’t qualify for scholarships can explore employer reimbursement. Alternatively, securing a student loan or checking eligibility for federal student aid are additional avenues for funding.

Scholarships and Grants serve as primary avenues for securing funding. Numerous universities provide Scholarships, often in the form of lump sums or waivers, contingent upon fulfilling specific requirements. It is essential to remain cautious of prevalent scholarship scams.

Students also can opt for the following ways to fund their master’s program:

Internships provide valuable real-world experience, allowing individuals to apply their knowledge and skills in a professional setting. They offer opportunities for learning, networking, and gaining insights into specific industries, enhancing employability and personal growth.

Graduate assistantships offer graduate students valuable opportunities to gain hands-on experience, assist in teaching or research, and receive financial support, often covering tuition and providing a stipend in exchange for their contributions to academic and research endeavors.

Student Loans

Student loans provide financial assistance for education, covering tuition, fees, and living expenses. Borrowed funds must be repaid, often with interest, offering students a means to pursue higher education and achieve academic goals.

Many Business Schools providing online Master’s in Operations Research programs extend financial assistance through Scholarships or Grants, aiding in offsetting educational expenses. Depending on the institution, program, and eligibility parameters, opportunities for Scholarships, Grants, and Awards are readily accessible and merit exploration. Nonetheless, vigilance against potential scholarship scams is crucial.

Scholarships for Master’s in Operations Research Online Degree Students

Career Paths and Average Salaries for Operations Research Graduates

Certifications and Licensing for Operations Research Graduates

Additional Resources for Students

FAQs About Operations Research Master’s Online Programs

What is Operation research with example?

Operations research (OR) is an analytical method of problem-solving and decision-making useful in managing organizations. In operations research, problems are broken down into basic components and solved in defined steps by mathematical analysis.

Is operations research a good career?

What does an operational researcher do?

Data Science vs. Operation Research

What should I major in to become an operations research analyst?

How do I become an operation researcher?

Is Operation Research hard?

What is the average salary of someone with a master’s in operations research?

Which certification is best for operations management?