Operations Research (OR) is the professional discipline that deals with the application of information technology for informed decision-making. OR professionals aim to provide rational bases for decision making by seeking to understand and structure complex situations and to use this understanding to predict system behavior and improve system performance. Much of this work is done using analytical and numerical techniques to develop and manipulate mathematical and computer models of organizational systems composed of people, machines, and procedures.
Operations Research draws upon ideas from engineering, management, mathematics, and psychology to contribute to a wide variety of application domains; the field is closely related to several other fields in the “decision sciences” — applied mathematics, computer science, economics, industrial engineering, and systems engineering.
Operations Research is distinguished by its broad applicability and by the wide variety of career opportunities and work styles it embraces. Because the concepts and methods of OR are so pervasive, operations research offers highly flexible career paths.
The SMU Operations Research Ph.D. program prepares its graduates for a career in higher education, research, or industry. With its strong faculty and curriculum, the SMU OR program is ranked in the top 25 operations research programs in the United States.
For admission to the Ph.D. with a major in Operations Research, a candidate must have: