Undergraduate Program

Undergraduate Study in Operations Research and Engineering

The operations research and engineering (ORE) undergraduate degree program encompasses the data-driven decision-making tools and techniques that power the technology-driven economy. You will develop skills in data science, optimization, machine learning and mathematical modeling, and learn how those skills are used in the sharing economy, in online market design, in transportation applications in companies like CitiBike and Uber, in e-Logistics in companies like Wayfair and Amazon, in healthcare and in a host of other settings. For example, faculty and students in the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering played a major role in ensuring that Cornell’s Ithaca campus could open for a residential 2020-21 academic year during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The foundation of the major is the development of basic skills in calculus, statistics, probability, optimization, mathematical programming, and computer science, which provide the fundamental tools used in the field. The basic courses in the undergraduate program major in Operations Research and Engineering provide students with a solid background in these subjects.

Additional required courses in the major, cover the topics of cost accounting, manufacturing systems, and simulation. In the senior year, our program is quite flexible. Students select a total of at least nine credit hours of ORIE electives. These serve to broaden and deepen their experience in the major. These electives are chosen from the areas of applied probability and applied statistics, industrial systems, optimization, information technology, or financial engineering. Nine credits of major-approved electives are also required; this requirement provides students with the flexibility to study topics closely related to Operations Research, such as information technology, quantitative management, and economics.

For detailed information about the undergraduate curriculum, refer to the Undergraduate Handbook.  For questions, please contact the undergraduate coordinator via email or at 203 Rhodes Hall.

Undergraduate Handbook 2023-2024 (PDF)

Undergraduate Handbook 2022-2023 (PDF)

ORIE checklist Class of 2023 and later (PDF)

Why major in ORIE? Some of our students give their answers.

Alexander Ellis '24--The Place for Me

London Brown '26--Every Area of Human Activity

Anoosha Mallkanti '26--See the Impact of Your Work