Operations Research, MSOR

The Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) offers comprehensive research and educational programs for students pursuing the Master of Science (MS) in Operations Research (OR). These extensive programs and course work allow for the selection of a degree that meets a wide range of personal and professional goals. 

General Degree Requirements

To be eligible for admission to any of the MS degree programs, a prospective student must hold a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, science, mathematics, or an equivalent field. Students in all master’s degree programs must complete a minimum of 32 semester hours of approved course work (exclusive of any preparatory courses) with a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.000. Students can complete a master's degree by pursuing any one of the three tracks: course work option, project option, and thesis option. Specific degree requirements for each of these tracks can be found under the "Program Requirements" tab. Also, students can complete their master's degree either on a full-time or part-time basis; however, certain restrictions may apply.

Special Course Requirements

All MIE MS students pursuing thesis or project options (excluding MS students in engineering management and Gordon Engineering Leadership programs) must complete Technical Writing (MEIE 6800) and Research Seminar in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MEIE 6850), preferably during the first year of full-time study. If appropriate, part-time students may petition the Graduate Affairs Committee to waive these requirements. Students in combined BS/MS programs pursuing thesis or project options must take Research Seminar in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MEIE 6850) as part of their course work requirement, while Technical Writing (MEIE 6800) is optional for these students.

All MIE graduate students are also required to complete a brief online session on Responsible Conduct of Research and Plagiarism in one of these courses. The outcome of the online session will be filed with the student’s records.

Academic and Research Advisors

All nonthesis students (students doing course work or project options) are advised by the academic advisor designated for their respective concentration or program. Students doing an MS thesis must find a research advisor within the first year of their study and may have thesis reader(s) at the discretion of their research advisor. The research advisor must be a full-time or jointly appointed faculty or affiliated member of the MIE department; otherwise, a petition must be filed and approved by the MIE Graduate Affairs Committee. If the research advisor is outside the MIE department, a faculty member with 50 percent or more appointments in the MIE department must be chosen as the co-advisor. Thesis option students are advised by the academic advisor designated for their specific concentration before they select their research advisor(s).

Plan of Study and Course Selection

It is recommended that all new students attend orientation sessions held by the MIE department and the Graduate School of Engineering to acquaint themselves with the course work requirements and research activities of the department as well as with the general policies, procedures, and expectations.

In order to receive proper guidance with their course work needs, all MS students are strongly encouraged to complete and submit a fully signed Plan of Study (PS) to the department before enrolling in second-semester courses. This form helps students manage their course work as well as helps the department to plan for requested course offerings. The PS may be modified at any time as the students progress in their degree programs. However, requests for changes in the PS must be processed before the requested change actually takes place. A revised PS form must also be approved and signed by the student's academic advisor. 

Students pursuing study or research under the guidance of a faculty member can elect for project option by taking Master’s Project (OR 7945).  An MS project must be petitioned to the MIE Graduate Affairs Committee and approved by both the faculty member (instructor for MS Project) and the student's academic advisor. The petition must clearly state the reason for taking the course; a brief description of the goals; as well as expected outcomes, deliverables, and grading scheme. 

Students doing course work option may petition the MIE Graduate Affairs Committee to substitute up to a 4-semester-hour Independent Study (OR 7978).  An independent study must be approved by the academic advisor. The petition must clearly state the reason for taking the course; a brief description of the goals; as well as expected outcomes, deliverables, and grading scheme.  Students in other options (i.e., thesis or project) are not eligible to take independent study.

Options for MS Students (course work only, project, or thesis)

Students accepted into any of the MS programs in the MIE department can choose one of the three options: course work only, project, or thesis. Please see the “Program Requirements” tab on the top menu of this page for more information. MS students who want to pursue project or thesis options must find, within their first year of study, a faculty member or a research advisor who will be willing to direct and supervise a mutually agreed research project or MS thesis. Moreover, students who receive financial support from the university in the form of a research, teaching, or tuition assistantship must complete an 8-semester-hour thesis.

Students who complete the thesis option must make a presentation of their thesis before approval by the department. The MS thesis presentation shall be publicly advertised at least one week in advance and all faculty members and students may attend and participate. If deemed appropriate by the research advisor, other faculty members may be invited to serve as thesis readers to provide technical opinions and judge the quality of the thesis and presentation. 

Change of Program/Concentration

Students enrolled in any of the MIE department programs or concentrations may change their current program or concentration no sooner than the end of their first full-time semester of study. In order for the program or concentration change request to be considered by the MIE Graduate Affairs Committee, the student must be in good academic standing and have completed at least 8 semester hours of course work at Northeastern. See here for instructions on how to request a program or concentration change.

Graduate Certificate Options

Students enrolled in a graduate degree program in the College of Engineering have the opportunity to pursue an engineering graduate certificate in addition to or in combination with the MS degree. For more information please refer to Graduate Certificate Programs.

Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership

Master's Degree in Operations Research with Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership

Students may complete a Master of Science in Operations Research in addition to earning a Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership. Students must apply and be admitted to the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program in order to pursue this option. The program requires fulfillment of the 16-semester-hour curriculum required to earn the Graduate Certificate in Engineering Leadership, which includes an industry-based challenge project with multiple mentors. The integrated 32-semester-hour degree and certificate will require 16 hours of advisor-approved operations research technical courses.

Engineering Leadership

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.

General Requirements

IE 6200Engineering Probability and Statistics4
or MATH 7241 Probability 1
OR 7245Network Analysis and Advanced Optimization4
or MATH 7234 Optimization and Complexity
OR 7230Probabilistic Operation Research4
or MATH 7341 Probability 2
OR 6205Deterministic Operations Research4


Select one of the following options:

Course Work Option

Complete 16 semester hours from the course list below.16

Project Option 

OR 7945Master’s Project4
MEIE 6800Technical Writing0
MEIE 6850Research Seminar in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering0
Complete 12 semester hours from the course list below.12

Thesis Option

OR 7990Thesis (required for all students who receive financial support from the university in the form of a research, teaching, or tuition assistantship)8
MEIE 6800Technical Writing0
MEIE 6850Research Seminar in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering0
Complete 8 semester hours from the course list below.8

Course List

Machine Learning
Theory of Computation
Concepts of Object-Oriented Design
Concepts of Object-Oriented Design with C++
Component Software Development
Customer-Driven Technical Innovation for Engineers
Product Development for Engineers
Pattern Recognition
Combinatorial Optimization
Engineering Project Management
Engineering/Organizational Psychology
Economic Decision Making
Financial Management for Engineers
Healthcare Systems Modeling and Analysis
Systems Engineering in Public Programs
Lean Concepts and Applications
Mass Customization
Biosensor and Human Behavior Measurement
Manufacturing Methods and Processes
Supply Chain Engineering
Simulation Analysis
Data Mining in Engineering
Statistical Methods in Engineering
Statistical Quality Control
Reliability Analysis and Risk Assessment
Human Factors Engineering
Neural Networks in Engineering
Program Structure and Algorithms
Data Management and Database Design
Combinatorial Analysis
Graph Theory
Mathematical Statistics
Time Series
Statistical Decision Theory
Stochastic Calculus and Introduction to No-Arbitrage Finance
Inventory Theory
Integer and Nonlinear Optimization
Multi-Criteria Decision Making
Constraint Programming
Logistics, Warehousing, and Scheduling

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

32 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.000 GPA required