Center for Operational Analysis (COA)

Center for Operational Analysis (COA)
Master of Science in Operations Research

THE DEGREE
 
The Commander, Air University, is authorized by Public Law 733 of the 83d Congress to confer degrees upon persons who meet all requirements for those degrees as established by AFIT. The Institute is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools through the doctoral level. The Master of Science in Operations Research (OR.MS) program leads to the degree of Master of Science in Operations Research.
 
THE PROGRAM
 
The in-residence OR.MS program requires 18 months (6 academic quarters) of full?time study and begins in August of each year; however, part-time study is also possible. The program is directed by the Department of Operational Sciences of the Graduate School of Engineering and Management (AFIT/ENS), 2950 Hobson Way, Bldg 641, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433-7765 (DSN 785-3636 ext. 2549, Commercial 937-255-3636 ext. 2549). The purpose of the program is to educate qualified military members and US citizen civilians in the theory and practice of operations research, with emphasis on the application of quantitative analysis techniques to defense decision-making.
 
Specific topics of study include mathematical modeling, decision analysis, simulation, statistical analysis, and optimization. The program is continuously reviewed by the users of program graduates, including Headquarters Air Staff, Studies and Analyses, Assessments, and Lessons Learned (HQ USAF/A9, the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, and Major Command analysis groups. The program is also open to qualified Department of Defense (DoD) civil service employees and other non-DoD US citizens.
 
PROGRAM GRADUATES
Graduates are typically assigned to analysis groups at the Pentagon, MAJCOM headquarters, AFMC product centers, or other DoD agencies. Non-operational Air Force officer graduates normally carry a 61A specialty code (analytical scientist) while operational officers come from the pilot, navigator, missile, and communications career fields. The program leads to the award of an education code of 0YEY, 0YEA, 0YEC, 0YET, 0YSY, 6EDY, 6EMY, or 6EOY. Army graduates are normally assigned to MAJCOMs, HQ DA, or various joint commands as FA49 or FA57 officers.
 
THE DISCIPLINE
 
Operations Research is the discipline of applying advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions.  It provides a rational basis for decision making by seeking to understand and structure complex situations and to use this understanding to predict system behavior and improve system performance. Much of this work is done using analytical and numerical techniques to develop and manipulate mathematical and computer models of organizational and operational systems composed of people, equipment, and procedures. Operations Research draws upon ideas from engineering, management, mathematics, and psychology to contribute to a wide variety of application domains; the field is closely related to several other fields in the decision sciences:  applied mathematics, decision analysis, computer science, economics, industrial engineering, and systems engineering. Operations Research is distinguished by its broad applicability, and by the wide variety of career opportunities and work styles it embraces. Within the field, some Operations Research professionals remain generalists while others specialize in particular tools or problem domains.
 
ADMISSION CRITERIA AND PROCEDURES
 
The educational prerequisite for admission to the OR program is a baccalaureate degree in operations research, mathematics (not math education), engineering, physics, computer science, or quantitative economics, or other quantitative discipline, provided in each case that curriculum includes sufficient mathematics. Mathematics prerequisites include calculus I and II (integral and differential calculus) and an advanced calculus course (e.g. multivariable calculus). The minimum undergraduate grade?point?average (GPA) is 3.00 out of 4.00 for all coursework. All applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE); minimum acceptable GRE scores are at least 153 (verbal) and 148 (quantitative) on the Education Testing Service (ETS) 2012 GRE Concordance Table (which is based upon performance of all examinees who tested between 1 August 2011 and 30 April 2012); or at least 500 (verbal) and 600 (quantitative) for GRE tests taken/scored under the old scale ETS used prior to August 2011 test dates.
 Waivers to these requirements can be requested through the AFIT Admissions Office.
Potential applicants may submit a request for evaluation of eligibility at any time. The request should be submitted to the AFIT Admissions Office (AFIT/ENER), 2950 Hobson Way, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433-7765 (DSN 785-6234, x3184, Commercial 937-255-6234, x3184). A favorable evaluation by ENER will result in issuance of a “letter of academic eligibility”. Eligible Air Force officers are competitively selected to fill specific program quotas by the Air Force Personnel Center.
 
PEOs AND POs: MASTER OF SCIENCE IN OPERATIONS RESEARCH
 
Program Educational Objectives (PEOs)
 
Our Program Education Objectives (expectations two or more years beyond graduation) are to produce graduates who:
 
1. Breadth.  Apply foundational operations research analysis techniques to efficiently and effectively advance Air Force, DoD, and other government inter-agency organizations, as well as other employer capabilities.

 
2.  Depth. Are well educated, highly-valued, and successful operations research analysts.

 
3.  Professionalism.  Professionally communicate technical analytical assessments, solutions, and results.

 
4.  Lifelong Learning.  Continue to pursue lifelong multidisciplinary learning.
 
Program Outcomes (POs)
 
Our Program Outcomes (student knowledge/skills/abilities) produce graduates who:
 
1.  Critical thinking and problem solving skills.  Have the ability to classify, formulate, and solve operations research problems.

 
2.  Operations research specific knowledge.  Have knowledge of operations research areas such as probabilistic modeling, applied statistics, mathematical programming, simulation, and decision analysis to directly support decision and policy making activities.

3.  Communication Skills.  Develop written and oral communications skills necessary to present complex problems to a decision-making audience: problem definition, modeling methodologies, including solution advocacy that utilizes rigorous analytical support.

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Last updated: 14 Mar 2014
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