Master of Science Programs

The Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research offers courses and M.S. programs in (1) financial engineering on a full-time basis only; (2) management science and engineering on a full-time basis only; (3) industrial engineering on either a full- or part-time basis; and (4) operations research on either a full- or part-time basis. The Department’s M.S. program in Management Science and Engineering is offered in conjunction with the Columbia Graduate School of Business. Lastly, the Department and the Graduate School of Business offer a combined M.S./M.B.A. degree program in industrial engineering.

All degree program applicants are required to take the Aptitude Tests of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). M.S./M.B.A. candidates are also required to take the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT ). A minimum grade-point average of 3.0 (B) or its equivalent in an undergraduate engineering program is required for admission to the M.S. programs. At a minimum, students are expected, on entry, to have completed courses in ordinary differential equations, linear algebra, probability, and a programming language such as C, Java, or Python.

The Department requires that M.S. students achieve grades of B– or higher in each of the fundamental core courses in the discipline of study.
Poor performance in core courses is indicative of inadequate preparation and is very likely to lead to serious problems in completing the program. As a result, students failing to meet this criterion may be asked to withdraw.

Courses taken at the School of Continuing Education will not be counted toward the M.S. degree in the IEOR Department (e.g., courses with the following prefixes: ACTU, BUSI, COPR, IKNS, SUMA, FUND, and more). Please consult with your academic adviser regarding electives offered in other departments and schools, prior to registration.

Financial Engineering - Program Chart

The M.S. program in Financial Engineering is offered on a full time basis only. Financial Engineering is intended to provide a unique technical
background for students interested in pursuing career opportunities in financial analysis and risk management. In addition to the basic requirements for graduate study, students are expected, on entry, to have attained a high level of mathematical and computer programming skills, particularly in probability, statistics, linear algebra, and the use of a programming language such as C, Python or JAVA. Previous professional experience is highly desirable but not required.

Graduate studies in Financial Engineering consists of 36 points (12 courses), starting the fall semester. Students may complete the program
in May, August, or December of the following year. The requirements include six required core courses and additional elective courses chosen from a variety of departments or schools at Columbia. The six required core courses for Financial Engineering are IEOR E4007, E4701, E4703, E4706, E4707, and E4709. In addition, students are required to attend the Financial Engineering Seminar Series and submit
learning journals.

Financial Engineering has five concentrations: (1) Computation and Programming; (2) Finance and Economics; (3) Derivatives; (4) Asset
Management; and (5) Computational Finance and Trading Systems. A sample schedule is available in the Department office and on the IEOR website. Students select electives from a group of specialized offerings in both the fall and spring terms. They may select from a variety of approved electives from the department, the School of Business, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Management Science and Engineering - Program Chart

Management Science and Engineering (MS&E), offered by the IEOR Department in conjunction with Columbia Business School, is the first such program between Columbia Engineering and Columbia Business School. It reflects the next logical step in the longstanding close collaboration between the IEOR Department at the Engineering School and the Decision, Risk, and Operations (DRO) Division at the Business School. Coursework emphasize both management and engineering perspectives in solving problems, making decisions, and managing risks in complex systems. Students pursuing this specialization are provided with a rigorous exposure to optimization and stochastic modeling, and a deep coverage of applications in the areas of operations engineering and management.

Graduates of this program are expected to assume positions as analysts and associates in consulting firms, business analysts in logistics, supply chain, operations, or revenue management departments of large corporations, and as financial analysts in various functions (e.g., risk management) of investment banks, hedge funds, credit-card companies, and insurance firms.

Management Science and Engineering (36 points) can be completed in a single calendar year, in three semesters. Students enter in the fall term and can either finish their coursework at the end of the following August, or alternatively, have the option to take the summer term off (e.g., for an internship) and complete their course work by the end of the following fall term. Students are required to take the equivalent of 12 3-point courses (36 points).

Students must take at least six courses (18 points) within the IEOR Department, three to six courses at the Business School, and the remaining courses (if any) within the School of Engineering, the School of International and Public Affairs, the Law School, or the Departments of Economics, Mathematics, and Statistics. Students in residence during the summer term can take two to four Business School courses in the third (summer) semester in order to complete their program. Additional details regarding these electives are available in the Departmental office and on the MS&E website.

Industrial Engineering

Graduate studies in Industrial Engineering enable students with industrial engineering bachelor’s degrees to enhance their undergraduate training with studies in special fields such as production planning, inventory control, scheduling, and industrial economics. However, the department also offers a broader master’s program for engineers whose undergraduate training is not in industrial engineering. Students may complete the studies on a full-time (12 points per term) or part-time basis.

Industrial Engineers are required to satisfy a core program of graduate courses in production management, probability theory, statistics, simulation, and operations research. Students with B.S. degrees in industrial engineering will usually have satisfied this core in their undergraduate programs. All students must take at least 18 points of graduate work in industrial engineering and at least 30 points of graduate studies at Columbia. Industrial Engineering may include concentrations in: (1) industrial regulation studies and (2) systems engineering. Additional details regarding these concentrations and electives are available in the Departmental office and on IEOR website.

Operations Research - Program Chart

Graduate studies in Operations Research enables students to concentrate their studies in methodological areas such as mathematical programming, stochastic models, and simulation. Students may complete the studies on a full time (12 points per term) or part time basis.

Students are required to satisfy a core set of graduate courses in probability, statistics, linear programming, and simulation. All students must complete at least 18 points of operations research courses and at least 30 points of graduate work at Columbia. The Department considers it desirable that students construct balanced programs involving deterministic and stochastic models, as well as substantive areas for application.

Operations Research has five areas of concentrations including: (1) applied probability; (2) business analytics; (3) financial and managerial applications of operations research; (4) logistics and supply chain management and (5) optimization. Students may select from a variety of approved electives from the Department, the School of Business, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Additional details regarding
these concentrations and electives are available in the Departmental office and on IEOR website.

Joint M.S. and M.B.A.

The department and the Graduate School of Business offer a joint M.S. master's program in Industrial Engineering. Prospective students
for this special program must submit separate applications to Columbia Engineering and the Graduate School of Business and be admitted to both schools for entrance into the joint program.

Admissions requirements are the same as those for the regular M.S. program in Industrial Engineering and for the M.B.A. This joint program is coordinated so that both degrees can be obtained after five terms of full-time study (30 points in two terms while registered in Columbia Engineering and 45 points in three terms while registered in the Graduate School of Business).

Students in the joint program must complete certain courses by the end of their first year of study. If a substantial equivalent has been completed during undergraduate studies, students should consult with a faculty adviser in order to obtain exemption from a required course.