Operations Research (OR) Curricula

Originating during World War II as a response to tactical problems relating to the optimal operation of weapon systems and to operational problems relating to the deployment and employment of military forces, Operations Research (OR), also known as Operations Analysis (OA), has since evolved to a full-scale scientific discipline that is practiced widely by analysts in industry, government, and the military. It is the development and application of mathematical models, statistical analyses, simulations, analytical reasoning and common sense to the understanding and improvement of real-world operations. Improvement can be measured by the minimization of cost, maximization of efficiency, or optimization of other relevant measures of effectiveness.

The benefit of exploring this course of study at NPS is that the approach to teaching OR blends a balanced mix of modern technology with the best practices of traditional education. Computing technology is coupled with individual guidance and a superlative faculty in order to give each student a career enhancing educational experience. Each student learns computational methods and develops skills to identify relevant information, formulate decision criteria, and select alternatives. This education enhances performance in all duties throughout a military career including operational billets, technical management assignments and policy-making positions.

The OR program at the Naval Postgraduate School provides several world-class curricula designed to teach students the science of helping people and organizations make better decisions.

This science is necessary in today's increasingly complex operating environment in which officers and managers must respond quickly to a vast array of demands while also weighing the options and consequences of each into his or her final decision. OR offers a scientific approach through the use of many tools and techniques in order to assist an individual in his or her decision making process.

View the OR Catalog

Resident Programs

Masters Programs

Operations Analysis (Curriculum 360)

Completion of this curriculum earns a Masters of Science in Operations Research and qualifies an officer as an Operations Analysis Subspecialist with a subspecialty code of 3211P. The curriculum sponsor is OPNAV N81, Assessment Division.

Logistics Analysis (Curriculum 361)

Completion of this curriculum earns a Masters of Science in Operations Research and qualifies an officer as an Operational Logistics Subspecialist with a subspecialty code of 3212P. The curriculum sponsor is OPNAV N42, Strategic Mobility and Combat Logistics Division.

Human Systems Integration (Curriculum 362) 

Completion of this curriculum earns a Masters of Science in Human System Integration and qualifies for Navy subspecialty code 4600P. The curriculum sponsor is OPNAV N12, Total Force Manpower, Training, & Education Requirements Division.  See the HSI web site for more information.

Systems Engineering Analysis (SEA) (308)

The Systems Engineering Analysis (SEA) curriculum and program at NPS provides a unique education bridging the knowledge bases of both Systems Engineering and Operations Analysis.  The SEA curriculum is designed for unrestricted line officers who aspire to command and seek a graduate degree tailored to enhance their value as combat officers. The Systems Engineering and Operations Research Departments jointly award the Master of Science in Systems Engineering Analysis (MS SEA) degree.  Completion of this curriculum qualifies a naval officer as a Systems Engineering Subspecialist, with subspecialty code 6500P.

Ph.D. Program

The department offers the Doctor of Philosophy in Operations Research degree. The program begins with advanced course work guided by the student's doctoral committee and leading to qualifying examinations in optimization, statistics, and stochastic processes as well as completion of a minor field of study outside of operations research. The primary emphasis then shifts to the student's research program, culminating in the Ph.D. dissertation.

Operations Analysis PhD - Curriculum 382

Non-Resident Programs

Masters in Human Systems Integration (Distributed Learning) (359)

The Human Systems Integration (HSI) is a 24-month, distance learning interdisciplinary program that emphasizes human considerations as a priority in systems design and acquisition, to reduce life cycle costs, and improve total system performance. HSI has been divided into several distinct domains that include human factors engineering, manpower, personnel, training, human survivability, health hazards, system safety, and habitability.   See the HSI web site for more information.

Masters in Cost Estimating and Analysis (Distributed Learning) (Curriculum 379)

The Master of Cost Estimating and Analysis (MCEA) is a 24-month, distance learning graduate degree program designed to increase the accuracy and proficiency of DoD cost estimates and cost estimators. Students will learn cost estimating techniques commonly used in both DoD and industry, and acquire foundation skills and hands-on experience in all aspects of cost estimation, including shipbuilding, aircraft, software, and many other areas. See MCEA graduates' capstone projects here.

Master of Systems Analysis (Distributed Learning) (Curriculum 363)

The Master of Systems Analysis (MSA) is a 24-month, distance learning graduate degree program designed to provide skills necessary for aiding key decisions on force requirements, weapon systems, and other defense matters.  Completion of this curriculum qualifies an officer as an Operations Research Analyst Subspecialist with a subspecialty code of 3210P. The curriculum sponsor is OPNAV N81, Assessment Division.

Certificate Programs

Certificate in Human Systems Integration (Curriculum 262)

Certificate in Systems Analysis (Curriculum 281)

Certificate in Cost Analysis (Curriculum 289)

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