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Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering
Graduate Program Coordinator


The Master of Science in Operations Research online degree consists of 30 credit hours and is a course work only program. The degree requirements are as follows:

A final master's culminating experience presentation is required for each student upon completion of their course work or in the final semester of course work. The culminating experience is administered by the student's supervisory committee and tests their grasp of topics in the curriculum as well as their ability to apply them in the workplace.

Students residing within 250 miles of Manhattan, Kansas, must travel to campus to meet with their supervisory committee for the culminating experience. Others may request a telephone or teleconference culminating experience. Students must be enrolled in a K-State course during the semester in which they are graduating. 

Course format 

All course work is offered at a distance via K-State Online, the course management system at Kansas State University.

Classes are made up of lectures, readings, videos, discussion boards or other online learning activities. Classes vary in format. There may be quizzes, tests or papers, and students may be required to have an exam proctor. Students work independently, yet share comments and questions via K-State Online.

Classes are delivered within a semester time frame. Fall and spring semesters are 16 weeks. Summer classes are eight to 12 weeks.

Core Courses (9 credits) 

One course must be taken from each category. Each course is offered once every two years. 

Continuous Optimization 

  • IMSE 881 - Linear Programming (3 credits)
  • IMSE 982 - Nonlinear Programming(3 credits)  

Discrete Optimization

  • IMSE 882 - Network Flows and Graph Theory (3 credits)
  • IMSE 884 - Integer Programming and Combinatorial Optimization (3 credits) 

Stochastic Processes

  • IMSE 865 - Simulation of Industrial Management Systems (3 credits)
  • IMSE 866 - Applied Stochastic Processes and Theoretical Simulation (3 credits)

One core course is offered each semester (fall, spring and summer). These six courses are taught on a two-year rotating basis and taking all six courses meets the core and “Additional” operations research course requirements. It is possible to take three of these core courses and still graduate, but students earning an operations research master's degree are encouraged to take all six. These six core courses provide a fundamental understanding of the breadth of operations research, which aids in solving complex problems by applying a variety of methods to the problem.

Additional Operations Research Courses (6 credits)

Students must complete 6 hours of additional operations research courses that are not used to fulfill the core requirements. Accepted courses include any operations research core classes not used toward fulfillment of the core requirement credits, or:

  • IMSE 751 - Normative Theory of Decisions and Games (3 credits)
  • IMSE 760 - Stochastic Calculus Financial Engineering (3 credits)
  • IMSE 780 - Methods of Operations Research (3 credits)
  • IMSE 810 - Industrial Logistics Engineering (3 credits)
  • IMSE 830 - Applied Fuzzy Set Theory (3 credits)
  • IMSE 842 - Reliability Theory (3 credits)
  • IMSE 976 - Scheduling Theory (3 credits)
  • IMSE 991 - Multiple Criteria Decision Making (3 credits)

Some of these courses are not currently offered online but may be offered in the future. Students may take additional core courses from the list above to complete the “Additional Operations Research Courses” requirement.

Elective Courses (15 credits)

Students will work with their supervisory committee to choose appropriate elective courses. The electives can be taken from various departments or transferred from another university (up to 10 credit hours). However, the supervisory committee typically wants to see quantitative courses selected as electives and normally will not count more than 6 hours of courses that do not have substantial mathematics. Thus, most electives tend to be taken from industrial engineering, statistics, mathematics, computer science and electrical engineering departments. Some common quantitative electives include:

  • IMSE 680 - Quantitative Problem Solving Methods (3 credits)
  • IMSE 811 - Advanced Production and Inventory Control (3 credits)
  • IMSE 822 - Advanced Engineering Economy (3 credits)
  • STAT 705 - Regression and Analysis of Variance (3 credits)
  • STAT 716 - Nonparametric Statistics (3 credits)
  • STAT 722 - Experimental Design for Product Development and Quality Improvement (3 credits)

View the rotation of course offerings (pdf). Changes and additions may occur in the schedule.

See the department course catalog for course descriptions.

Program of Study

Actual degree requirements will be summarized on a Program of Study. Students are to choose the following for their supervisory committee when completing their Program of Study: Dr. Todd Easton, Dr. Jessica Heier Stamm and Dr. John Wu. Dr. Easton is typically the major professor. The student's supervisory committee must approve the student's program of study. Some general guidelines include:

  • At least 60 percent of classes must be above the 700 level.
  • No more than 6 hours can be taken from outside the department without prior permission. Note: Classes listed as common quantitative electives are typically not counted toward these hours.
  • Courses in the IMSE department must be above the 600 level.
  • Courses outside the department must be above the 500 level.
  • No more than 6 hours can be taken at the 500 level.
  • No course can count as both a core course and an additional operations research course.
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Quick Facts

Degree: Master of Science
College: Engineering
Credits: 30
Course delivery: Online
Tuition per credit hour: $863.90

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