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Operations Research, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology offer a general degree track as well as three optional degree tracks in operations management, networked systems, and analytics. All doctoral students must complete the general degree track requirements; those who choose an optional degree track will have additional, specialized requirements to fulfill. 

General Degree Track

In addition to computer literacy and writing competency requirements, our rigorous curriculum includes challenging coursework, action learning, and innovative research.

You’ll take eight graduate-level classes that have been approved by the ORC co-directors, including at least two courses in optimization, at least three in applied probability and statistics, and at least one in OR modeling.

You’ll put OR theory into practice through valuable, hands-on learning experiences, completing one of the following:
  • Option 1: Participate in a summer internship, during which you’ll create OR models that address a real-world problem.
  • Option 2: Undertake a project with an ORC faculty member, either as part of a supervised research activity or as an extra part of a regular course offering.
  • Option 3: Take part in a class, for which you’ll build and implement OR models that have practical applications.
And, you’ll conduct in-depth research on a topic that complements your academic interests and career goals. You’ll write a thesis based on the independent research you conduct under the guidance of our expert faculty.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Introduction to Mathematical Programming
  • Nonlinear Optimization
  • Integer Programming and Combinatorial Optimization
  • Robust Modeling, Optimization, and Computation
  • Discrete Stochastic Processes
  • Queues: Theory and Application
  • Fundamentals of Probability
  • Advanced Stochastic Processes
  • Inference and Information
  • Algorithms for Inference
  • Machine Learning
  • Statistical Learning Theory and Applications
  • Econometrics
  • Statistical Learning and Data Mining
  • Logistical and Transportation Planning Methods
  • Game Theory with Engineering Applications
  • Network Science and Models
  • The Analytics Edge
  • Inventory Theory and Supply Chains
  • Revenue Management and Pricing

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test

General Requirements

Admission requirements:
  • Field of interest
  • Personal information/addresses
  • International student data
  • Three or more names and email addresses of letter writers
  • Scanned copies of your Official College Transcripts
  • Educational and work history
  • Statement of objectives
  • Outside financial support and potential outside support
  • Credit card payment of $75

Tuition Fee

  • International

    44720 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 44720 USD per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • National

    44720 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 44720 USD per year and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Cambridge

  • 1814 - 3760 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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