Operations Research Certificate

The operations research certificate, supervised by Mark Herman (chair) from mathematics, Joseph Ciminelli from statistics, and Jiaming Liang from data science and computer science, is administered through the Multidisciplinary Studies Center. Interested students should apply by spring semester of their junior year, in most cases.

At graduation, students successfully completing the operations research program will receive a certificate along with their diploma.

What Is Operations Research?

Operations research uses mathematical modeling and techniques, with statistics, computing, and data analysis, to find efficient ways to solve complex problems which arise in business, technology, and beyond. In many ways, operations research is the scientific method in action, putting mathematical conclusions to the test with expirementation, data collection, and analysis, to further refine models. 


For certification, students must complete course requirements with a GPA of at least 2.5. None of the certificate courses may be taken satisfactory/fail.

Core Courses 

All four of the following:

  • MATH 165: Linear Algebra with Differential Equations
  • MATH 201: Introduction to Probability
  • MATH 208: Operations Research I
  • MATH 209: Operations Research II

Plus one of the following:

  • ECON 230: Econometric Statistics
  • STAT 212: Applied Statistics I
  • STAT 213: Elements of Probability, Mathematics, and Statistics
  • STAT 262: Computational Introduction to Statistics

Plus one of the following:

  • CSC 161: Introduction to Programming
  • CSC 171: Introduction to Computer Science
  • STAT 275: R Programming
  • STAT 276: Statistical Computing in R
  • STAT 277: Introduction to Statistical Software

Additional Courses

Choose two courses from the groups below, in accordance with the following restrictions:

  • No more than one course may come from a single group.
  • For students completing the Actuarial Certificate, your 2 course choices below cannot intersect with your Actuarial Certificate course plan. For example, STAT 203 is a core course for the Actuarial Certificate, and thus cannot be chosen below if you are also planning to complete the Actuarial Certificate.
  • Note: several courses have extensive prerequisites which must be adhered to. 

Algorithms Group:

  • CSC 282: Design and Analysis of Efficient Algorithms
    • prereqs: (CSC 172 and MATH 150) or MATH 172
  • CSC 284: Advanced Algorithms
    • prereqs: see instructor
  • CSC 287: Sampling Algorithms
    • prereqs: see instructor

Business, Economics, Management Group:

  • BUS 221: Operations and Strategy
  • ECON 220: Fair Allocation
  • ECON 288: Game Theory

Mathematical Analysis Group:

  • MATH 202: Introduction to Stochastic Processes
    • prereqs: MATH 201
  • MATH 235: Linear Algebra
    • prereqs: MATH 165
  • MATH 248: Graph Theory
    • prereqs: MATH 173 or MATH 235 or (MATH 165 and 200)
  • MATH 265: Functions of a Real Variable
    • prereqs: (MATH 164 and 235) or (MATH 164 and 200) or MATH 174

Statistics Group:

  • STAT 203: Introduction to Mathematical Statistics
    • prereqs: MATH 201
  • STAT 216: Applied Statistical Methods I
    • prereqs: STAT 211, 212, or 213
  • STAT 223: Introduction to Bayesian Inference
    • prereqs: STAT 203 and MATH 164
  • STAT 226W: Linear Models
    • prereqs: (STAT 211, 212, or 213) and STAT 203