Undergraduate Programs

B.S. in Industrial Engineering

The undergraduate program is designed to develop the technical skills and intellectual discipline needed by our graduates to become leaders in industrial engineering and related professions. The program is distinctive in its emphasis on quantitative, economic, computer-aided approaches to production and service management problems. It is focused on providing an experimental and mathematical problem-formulating and problem-solving framework for industrial engineering work. The curriculum provides a broad foundation in the current ideas, models, and methods of industrial engineering. It also includes a substantial component in the humanities and social sciences to help students understand the societal implications of their work.

The industrial engineering program objectives are:

  1. To provide students with the requisite analytical and computational skills to assess practical situations and academic problems, formulate models of the problems represented or embedded therein, design potential solutions, and evaluate their impact;
  1. To prepare students for the workplace by fostering their ability to participate in teams, understand and practice interpersonal and organizational behaviors, and communicate their solutions and recommendations effectively through written, oral, and electronic presentations;
  1. To familiarize students with the historical development of industrial engineering tools and techniques and with the contemporary state of the art, and to instill the need for lifelong learning within their profession; and
  1. To instill in our students an understanding of ethical issues and professional and managerial responsibilities.

B.S. in Operations Research

The operations research program is one of several applied science programs offered at the School. At the undergraduate level, it offers basic courses in probability, statistics, applied mathematics, simulation, and optimization as well as more professionally oriented operations research courses. The curriculum is well suited for students with an aptitude for mathematics applications.

It prepares graduates for professional employment as operations research analysts, e.g., with management consultant and financial service organizations, as well as for graduate studies in operations research or business. It is flexible enough to be adapted to the needs of future medical and law students.

B.S. in Operations Research: Engineering Management Systems

This operations research option is designed to provide students with an understanding of contemporary technology and management. It is for students who are interested in a technical-management background rather than one in a traditional engineering field. It consists of required courses in industrial engineering and operations research, economics, business, and computer science, intended to provide a foundation for dealing with engineering and management systems problems. Elective courses are generally intended to provide a substantive core in at least one technology area and at least one management area.

Due to the flexibility of this option, it can incorporate the varied educational needs of preprofessional students interested in law, medicine, business, and finance. In addition, most students are encouraged to add a minor in economics or computer science to their standard course schedules.

B.S. in Operations Research: Financial Engineering

The operations research concentration in financial engineering is designed to provide students with an understanding of the application of engineering methodologies and quantitative methods to finance. Financial engineering is a multidisciplinary field integrating financial theory with economics, methods of engineering, tools of mathematics, and practice of programming. Students graduating with this concentration are prepared to enter careers in securities, banking, financial management, and consulting industries, and fill quantitative roles in corporate treasury and finance departments of general manufacturing and service firms.

Students who are interested in pursuing the rigorous concentration in financial engineering must demonstrate proficiency in calculus, computer programming, linear algebra, ordinary differential equations, probability, and statistics. Applications to the concentration are accepted during the fall and spring semesters of the sophomore year, and students will be notified of the departmental decision by the end of that spring semester. The department is seeking students who demonstrate strength and consistency in all the above-mentioned areas. Application to this concentration is available online: www.ieor.columbia.edu/pages/undergraduate/financial_eng/bsfe_app.html.

Undergraduate Advanced Track

The undergraduate advanced track is designed for advanced undergraduate students with the desire to pursue further higher education after graduation. Students with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.4 and faculty approval have the opportunity to participate. Students are invited to apply to the track upon the completion of their sophomore year. Advanced track students are required to take higher-level IEOR courses, including the following:

  • IEOR E4004 instead of IEOR E3608
  • IEOR E4106 instead of IEOR E3106
  • IEOR E4403 instead of IEOR E4003 and MATH V2500

Students successfully completing the requirements of the undergraduate advanced track will receive recognition on their academic record.

Minors

A number of minors are available for students wishing to add them to their programs. These minors are described here.

IEOR program students may want to consider minors in economics or computer science. In addition, operations research and engineering and management systems majors may elect to minor in industrial engineering, and industrial engineering majors may elect to minor in operations research.

The department does not offer a minor in engineering management systems or financial engineering.