M.S. in Data Science in Operations Research

The M.S. in Data Science in Operations Research (DSOR) program emphasizes fundamentals in the areas of optimization, statistics, computing, data analysis, and communication. The program enrolls students with backgrounds in engineering, applied or pure mathematics, computer science, statistics, or basic sciences. Students in the DSOR program learn how to use data to generate practical business insights and make decisions.

Data Science in Operations Research (DSOR) Curriculum

The goal of learning from data is to make better decisions, and this objective lies at the heart of our M.S. in Data Science in Operations Research program. In addition to descriptive and predictive methods, our master's program emphasizes prescriptive methods that help decision-makers select appropriate courses of action.

The core curriculum is grounded in the methodology of Operations Research/Industrial Engineering and includes courses from Computer Science and Statistics, as well as a flexible choice of electives. Students receive training from engaged, energetic faculty in a full range of skills to implement, analyze, and improve data-oriented engineering and business processes.

Students enter the three-semester (16-month) program in the fall semester and typically finish the program in the subsequent fall semester. Through rigorous coursework, students build a strong foundation in data-driven methodologies for model building, decision making, and communication of results.

Each student in the DSOR program puts these skills to use in a real-world setting by completing an exciting semester-long Capstone project. Projects are completed in small teams of two to four students. Each project has an industry sponsor, and is supervised by both an industry advisor and a faculty advisor. Projects allow students to interact closely with their two advisors and the industry sponsor.

Program Requirements

The M.S. in Data Science in Operations Research degree requires 30 credits of coursework. The required courses are IE 5531, IE 5532, IE 5561, IE 5773, IE 5801, STAT 5302, and CSCI 5521 or CSCI 5523. Non-native English speakers must also take ESL 5008, which is not counted toward the 30-credit requirement. The recommended course sequence is listed below.

1st Year Fall Semester 

  • IE 5531—Engineering Optimization I 
  • STAT 5302—Applied Regression Analysis 
  • IE 5773—Practice-focused Seminar
  • ESL 5008—Speaking for Professional Settings (required only for non-native English speakers)

1st Year Spring Semester

  • IE 5561—Analytics and Data-Driven Decision Making 
  • One of the following two courses:
    1. CSCI 5521—Machine Learning Fundamentals
    2. CSCI 5523—Introduction to Data Mining 
  • One Elective from the list below

2nd Year Fall Semester

  • IE 5532—Stochastic Models
  • IE 5801—Capstone Project Course 
  • One Elective from the list below

Approved Electives for M.S. in DSOR

IE 5441—Financial Decision MakingSTAT 5303—Designing Experiments
IE 5522—Quality Engineering and ReliabilitySTAT 5401—Applied Multivariate Methods
IE 5541—Project ManagementSTAT 5421—Analysis of Categorical Data
IE 5545—Decision AnalysisSTAT 5511—Time Series Analysis
IE 5551—Production and Inventory SystemsSTAT 5601—Nonparametric Methods
IE 5553—SimulationCSCI 5521—Machine Learning Fundamentals
IE 5571—Reinforcement Learning and Dynamic ProgrammingCSCI 5523—Introduction to Data Mining
PUBH 7461—Exploring and Visualizing Data in RCSCI 5525—Machine Learning: Analysis and Methods
PUBH 7475—Statistical Learning and Data MiningCSCI 5707—Principles of Database Systems
MSBA 6321—Data Management, Databases, and Data WarehousingCSCI 5751—Big Data Engineering and Architecture
MSBA 6331—Big Data AnalyticsMABA 6321—Data Management and Big Data

Note: Subject to departmental approval, other elective courses can be selected.

Analytics computer work

Become Your Company's Most Valuable Asset

With corporations and organizations everywhere striving to operate more efficiently, our graduates are sought after to help employers make smarter, better-informed decisions driven by data. In the M.S. in Data Science in Operations Research program, students go beyond what is typically taught in business degree programs, and gain hands-on experience working with data while also mastering the details behind sophisticated models and algorithms.

Potential Career Paths

  • Data Scientist
  • Operations Researcher
  • Data Analyst
  • Business Intelligence Analyst
  • Financial Analyst
  • Consultant

Take Advantage of the Twin Cities

UMN-Minneapolis skyline

The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering is located on the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities campus in the heart of Minneapolis, on the banks of the scenic Mississippi River. A new, modern light rail system connects the campus with downtown Minneapolis, downtown St. Paul, and the MSP International Airport.  With year-round outdoor activities, a metro population of over 3 million, and a diversified economy, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul offer a truly exceptional standard of living. The state of Minnesota is home to 17 Fortune 500 companies.

Ready to apply?

Review our admission requirements and start your application today!

How to Apply


For more information, please contact Graduate Program Coordinator Amy Bolis at isyegradinfo@umn.edu or (612) 625-4909.