Ph.D. Program

Our Ph.D. program is a rigorous and academically-demanding program that involves independent investigation of open problems with the purpose of creating original scholarly work of the highest caliber. Doctoral graduates are prepared for academic teaching and research positions and placement in the private sector.

Operations Research field-faculty in Ithaca Campus, as well as in Cornell Tech New York City, advise Ph.D. students. All Ph.D. students complete their foundational course work in Ithaca during the first one or two years. Ph.D. students that would like to work with advisors located at Cornell Tech move to New York City after finishing their foundational course work. There is no separate application process for the students that would like to work with advisors in Cornell Tech.  The same course requirements apply to all students. Specific information about pursuing an ORIE Ph.D. in Cornell Tech is available through Cornell Tech’s Ph.D. programs website.

For the Fall 2024 admissions cycle, we do not require (nor will we accept) GRE scores. The deadline for applying to the Ph.D. program for fall admission is January 5, 2024. We do not accept applications for spring admission.

We are one of the world’s preeminent Schools of Operations Research and Information Engineering—highly respected for the research and academic investigation conducted here and the role our work plays in influencing and seeding ideas in the academic community to reach new understanding. A leader in advancing and influencing the decision and management sciences, the School provides an unparalleled educational and research environment. The School’s core strength is our faculty, distinguished teachers and researchers, who build breadth and depth in fundamental science and methodological research.

One of the most remarkable aspects about Cornell is the extent of inter-departmental relations. The ties between our School and the departments of computer science and mathematics are particularly strong, as are our links with the Centers for Statistics and Applied Mathematics and with the Johnson School of Management. Our students often take courses offered by other units, in engineering and across the university. In particular, our Ph.D. students benefit from the strengths in the Operations Management and Finance groups in the Johnson School, in the practice and theory of computational mathematics, and in the study of probability and statistics throughout Cornell.

Furthermore, one of the unique aspects of Cornell is the “field system”. The faculty in the “Field of Operations Research” represent a broad range of areas, and have faculty appointments within departments spanning several colleges within Cornell. As such, our students are able to engage in a wide variety of projects, spanning from purely theoretical research such as mathematical probability, to practical applications of machine learning techniques on data sets provided by companies that consult with Cornell.