Program Details

Degree Requirements

The degree requires a minimum of 72 graduate credit hours that include core and elective course work and a thesis. Coursework is valid for ten years toward a PhD degree; any exceptions must be approved by the director of the ORwE program and the student’s advisor.


  1. Programming (CSCI 261)
  2. Data Structures (CSCI 262)

Students entering in the fall semester must have completed the Programming (CSCI 261) prerequisite or equivalent. Students may take CSCI262 during their first semester of study. Students will only be allowed to enter in the spring semester if they have developed a course program such that they are able to take the qualifying exam within 3 semesters.

Course work

  • 24 credits of core courses
  • 12 credits of elective courses
  • 12 additional credits

Research credits

At least 24 research credits are required. The student’s faculty advisor and the doctoral thesis committee must approve the student’s program of study and the topic for the thesis.

Qualifying Examination Process and Thesis Proposal

Upon completion of the core course work, students must pass a written qualifying examination and complete a qualifying research project to become a candidate for the PhD ORwE degree. The proposal defense should be completed within ten months of passing the qualifying exam.

Transfer Credits

Students may transfer up to 24 hours of graduate-level course work from other institutions toward the PhD degree subject to the restriction that those courses must not have been used as credit toward a Bachelors degree. The student must have achieved a grade of B or better in all graduate transfer courses and the transfer must be approved by the student’s Doctoral Thesis Committee and the Director of the ORwE program.

Unsatisfactory Progress

In addition to the institutional guidelines as described in the bulletin, we impose the following criteria regarding unsatisfactory progress: Unsatisfactory progress will be assigned to any full-time student who does not pass the core courses within the first year and a half of their study. Unsatisfactory progress will also be assigned to any student who does not complete requirements as specified in his or her admission letter. Any exceptions to the criteria regarding unsatisfactory progress must be approved by the ORwE committee. Part-time students develop an approved course plan with their advisor.

PhD Curriculum

Core Courses (24 credits)

  • CSCI/MATH406 Algorithms
  • MEGN585 Network Models
  • MEGN586 Linear Optimization
  • MEGN587 Nonlinear Optimization
  • MEGN588 Integer Optimization
  • EBGN461/MATH438 Stochastic Models
  • MEGN502 Advanced Engineering Analysis
  • MATH530 Statistical Methods I

Elective Courses (12 credits)

Students are required to take 4 courses from the following list:

  • CSCI562 Applied Algorithms and Data Structures
  • CSCI555 Game Theory and Networks
  • EBGN509 Mathematical Economics
  • EBGN528 Industrial Systems Simulation or MATH/CSCI 542 Simulation
  • EBGN560 Decision Analysis
  • EBGN561 Supply Chain Management
  • EBGN575 Real Options and Pricing
  • EENG511 Convex Optimization and its Engineering Applications
  • EENG517 Theory and Design of Advanced Control Systems
  • EENG598B Numerical Optimization
  • MATH531 Statistical Methods II
  • MATH532 Spatial Statistics
  • MATH537 Multivatiate Analysis
  • MATH582 Statistics Practicum
  • MEGN592 Risk and Reliability Engineering Analysis and Design
  • MEGN686 Advanced Linear Optimization
  • MEGN688 Advanced Integer Optimization
  • MNGN536 Operations Research Techniques in the Mineral Industry
  • MNGN538 Geostatistical Ore Reserve Estimation
  • MTGN450/MLGN550 Statistical Process Control & Design of Experiments
  • XXXX598/698 Special Topics (Requires Approval of the Advisor and ORwE Program Director)

Course descriptions can be found in the Graduate Catalog under the appropriate programs: CSCI: Computer Science, EBGN: Economics and Business, MATH: Applied Mathematics and Statistics, MEGN: Mechanical Engineering, MNGN: Mining Engineering, MTGN: Metallurgical and Materials Engineering.