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Master of Operations Research

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Program Overview

The Master of Operations Research (MOR) is designed to prepare students for careers as OR practitioners in either the private or the public sector. OR is a discipline that involves the development and application of advanced analytical methods to aid in making complex decisions. The MOR degree requires completion of 30 credit hours in OR and OR-related courses. It does not require a thesis or on-campus residency.

Admission Requirements

Applications for master’s degree programs are accepted from undergraduate majors in mathematics, the mathematical sciences (e.g., economics and statistics), and engineering. Exceptions to this are possible based on the student’s background. 

GRE scores are required of all applicants (Online students may request a waiver by sending an CV and Unofficial Transcript to Linda Smith at

Students should have the following background in order to be considered for admission into the MOR degree program:

Undergraduate coursework in…

  • single and multivariable calculus
  • introduction to probability and/or statistics (calculus-based)

An undergraduate course in linear/matrix algebra is useful, as is coursework or experience with the basics of computer programming.

The Graduate School requires that all international applicants take the TOEFL or IELTS examination if they have not received a degree from a U.S. institution or completed one year of study in the United States. Find out more about the English proficiency requirements.

Degree Requirements

  • Completion of 30 credit hours (10 courses) of graduate level courses at the 500 or 700 level with an overall grade point average of 3.0. The MOR program requires 15 credit hours (5 courses) in the core curriculum with the remaining credit hours chosen as electives from STEM disciplines. 
  • Elective courses should come from mathematics, engineering, statistics, computer science, or other STEM disciplines (e.g., econometrics, data science, etc.). Some business courses are also acceptable as electives. Questions regarding electives should be directed to the OR Director of Graduate Programs (DGP) or the student’s faculty advisor. 
  • No thesis or on-campus residency requirement.
  • All requirements for the degree must be completed within six years of enrolling in the first course approved in the Plan of Graduate Work. You must comply with the Graduate School regulations for continuous enrollment or must request a leave of absence not to exceed one year. More details in the Graduate Student Handbook

It is preferable to seek admission to the MOR program as soon as possible to assure integration into the advising process. However, you do not have to be admitted to a degree program to enroll in an online credit course. Prior to applying to Graduate School, you may enroll in Engineering Online courses as a Non-Degree Studies (NDS) student. The NDS classification is designed for individuals who wish to undertake academic work but who are not currently admitted to a degree program. To be admitted in an online OR course, you must enroll through Engineering Online. If you wish to take only a few courses and not pursue a degree, you do not need to apply for formal program admission to NC State University. However, if you wish to earn the MOR degree, you must formally apply for admission to the Graduate School. If you are admitted to the MOR program, a maximum of twelve hours taken as a NDS student or from another institution may apply toward the 30 credit hour requirement. When completing the online application, please be sure to select the online version of the degree.

Course Offerings

Students must successfully complete five Core courses from the following list. Exceptions to this list may be made on a case-by-case basis. 

  • OR 501: Introduction to Operations Research
  • OR 504: Introduction to Mathematical Programming
  • CSC 505: Design and Analysis of Algorithms
  • OR 506: Algorithmic Methods In Nonlinear Programming
  • ST 516: Experimental Statistics For Engineers II, or ST 512: Experimental Statistics For Biological Sciences II
  • ISE 589: Probability and Statistics for Engineers
  • ISE 537: Statistical Models for Systems Analytics in Industrial Engineering
  • OR 560: Stochastic Models in Industrial Engineering
  • OR 562: Simulation Modeling

Full course list available here

Course Registration

To register for an Engineering Online course, you will need to create an Engineering Online (EOL) account and request registration in selected classes. You can complete the registration form on the Engineering Online website. Follow the directions and create your EOL account. Distance students cannot register through the University MyPack Portal system for Engineering Online courses.

Course Logistics

Online courses are the same as on-campus courses in terms of content, requirements and academic rigor. On-campus class lectures are captured, digitized and placed on the Internet for distance students to access at any time and from any location. Students must, however, follow the on-campus class schedule in terms of submitting homework and taking exams. Course assignments, lecture notes, and handouts are made available to distance students on the course website. All in-class exams must be proctored.

Contact Information

  • For program questions, contact:
    • Dr. Maria E. Mayorga,
      Distinguished Chair, Operations Research Program
      Telephone: 919-513-1690
    • Department website:
  • For more information about the registration process, course offerings, and course logistics, contact: