Applying to Operations Research Graduate Programs as a math major

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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aeiou12345
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2021 1:31 pm

Applying to Operations Research Graduate Programs as a math major

Post by aeiou12345 » Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:37 pm

I'm a student with a strong math background, and as much applied math coursework as possible at my school. I'm interested in applying to programs with faculty who do work in discrete optimization. This means I could be applying to math departments, applied math departments, or operations research departments, depending on the program. I am concerned that as a student with a primarily mathematical background, I will not stand a chance for OR programs compared to students with engineering/CS backgrounds. Does anyone have experience with this sort of situation/have any knowledge/insight/advice on the matter?

Jmr324
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu May 16, 2019 11:57 pm

Re: Applying to Operations Research Graduate Programs as a math major

Post by Jmr324 » Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:55 am

I was planning on applying to OR programs to do something related to discrete optimization/algorithms and I spoke to many faculty members. What I was told was that I will be very competitive. I don't think IEOR PhD programs are as competitive as math PhD programs. I emailed multiple potential advisors that do discrete/combinatorial optimization and related topics and they almost all say they prefer math majors. They like to see classes in optimization, discrete math, analysis, algorithms/complexity. Also, I'd email potential advisors at schools you are interested in applying to they were all very nice and eager to take students.



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