Operations Research Theory

Study at the frontiers of science: become a game changer for industry practice

Operations Research Theory is a specialization of the Econometrics and Operations Research master's programme.

If you are interested in a career defining the rules of the game of industry and production practice by having a deep understanding of the possibilities of cutting-edge techniques, if you want to pursue an academic career, or if you just love the mathematics of operations research, then the Operations Research Theory specialization is for you. It offers you deeper knowledge and understanding of this research area and eventually, through the thesis, participate in front-line research in operations research.

Next to the core courses of the programme, lectures are provided through the Dutch Network on the Mathematics of Operations Research, a collaboration of the top researchers from throughout the Netherlands. This way, the specialization offers the opportunity of learning from a wide range of leading researchers in the field.

The programme challenges you to deepen your knowledge and understanding of the mathematics behind Operations Research models and methods, so that you will be able to contribute to the further development of the field. Next to the theory in the core courses, you will also get hands-on experience in turning the models and methods you learn, or design yourself, into practical code.

For more information please contact: r.a.sitters@vu.nl

AACSB

Four 6 EC compulsory core courses:

  • Combinatorial Optimization
  • Stochastic Gradient Techniques in Optimization and Learning
  • Operations Research Case study
  • Behavioral Operations Research

Three electives from the programme offered by the Dutch Network on the Mathematics of Operations Research (LNMB, Landelijk Netwerk Mathematische Besliskunde).
The LNMB-courses are taught by the best researchers in OR from all over the Netherlands in centrally-located Utrecht. The following courses are offfered:

  • Continuous Optimization
  • Discrete Optimization
  • Heuristic Methods in Operations Research
  • Scheduling
  • Advance Linear Programming
  • Queueing Theory

Thesis (18 EC): work on a challenging research question under supervision of one of our staffmembers. If you belong to the very best students of the Operations Research Theory specialization, and you have the creative talents to do research, you may like to do a PhD with us or at any other university in the world.

The one-year master's allows the student to attain a double degree by combining it with the second year of another tightly related two-year master's programme, such as Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Industrial Engineering or Business Analytics.

Annual schedule 2019-2020

Your theoretical knowledge, conceptual understanding and creative insight, all tested and expanded in this specialization, will be highly valued by business and industry. Our alumni have leading positions in the companies where they work. This is thanks to their analytical excellence strengthened by the mathematical approach to problems in our Econometrics and Operations Research programme. Many of our best master’s students went on to study for a PhD with us or at universities in other parts of the world.

During your studies there are plenty of social activities organized by our student association, so that you get to know your future colleagues. After completion of your master's, you will be part of our thriving alumni community.

Graduates in Operations Research are highly desired throughout industry and society. More than 25% of our students already find a position during their master study, and almost all of them find a position within 3 months of graduating. According to a study by Elsevier, the average gross monthly income of graduates from Operations Research and Econometrics in their first year is approximately € 3.300.

Job_Prospects_OR_Graph

Our research team has a broad internationally renowned expertise, by which we are able to offer advanced models and methods from the whole spectrum of Operations Research. Moreover, we allow students to personalize and specialize. The one-year master's allows the student to attain a double degree by combining it with the second year of another tightly related two-year master's program, such as Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Industrial Engineering or Business Analytics.

Econometrics and Operations Research is the only master's programme of its kind in the beautiful and exciting city of Amsterdam, a major European business hub. The faculty’s Career Services office supports you with series of workshops and individual coaching in your transition to the job market. Optimizing your world is not just optimizing your own personal world, but optimizing the world in which you live. Reflection on societal impact is asked in courses, especially in the behavioral course, and in reporting on cases.

Graduates in Operations Research are highly desired throughout industry and society. More than 25% of our students already find a position during their master study, and almost all of them find a position within 3 months of graduating. According to a study by Elsevier, the average gross monthly income of graduates from Operations Research and Econometrics in their first year is approximately € 3.300.

Job_Prospects_OR_Graph

I want to send my application form to apply for a Master's programme before the first of April. I expect to graduate before the end of this academic year. Is it possible to apply without having my Bachelor's diploma yet?
Yes, that is possible. Your eligibility can be assessed without the actual diploma. After (conditional) admission to one of our MSc programmes, we will contact you and ask for the original and official documents for registration at the university. One of these documents is the official diploma (or certified copy of it).

I have graduated from a Dutch HBO. Is it possible for me to get admission to one of the Master's programmes?
Unfortunately, if you hold a HBO BSc diploma you cannot get direct admission to one of our Master's programmes. We have a specific Premaster’s programme for some of our Master’s programmes. The Premaster’s programmes are entirely taught in English. Apart from you HBO BSc you need a GMAT score of at least 550. Some Master’s programmes have other entry requirements if you hold a Dutch HBO. Please check ‘admission and application’ on the Master’s page to see if there is a specific Premaster’s programme available. You can find more information on our pre-masters here.

Is it possible to study one of the Master's programmes part-time?
All Master's programmes open to international students are full time programmes, which means that you are expected to spend at least 4 days a week at the university. There are two part-time Master's programmes both taught in Dutch.

Can I apply for a MSc programme starting in February?
No, all our Master's programmes start in September.

Can I apply online?
International students can apply online. See the webpage "Admission and application" of your respective master's programme for more information.

Application deadline
International degree students: 1 April (different deadlines may hold for other category students). Dutch degree students: Application in Studielink before 1 June.

Do you require work experience to get admission to one of the Master's programmes?
No, we do not require work experience. Sometimes it might help to have some work experience to get admission if your Bachelor's diploma does not cover all the academic requirements (see admission requirements in the left menu).

Do you require GMAT or GRE to get admission to one of the Master's programmes?       
In some cases we might require a GRE or GMAT. For the Master’s programmes in Economics and Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics a GRE might be required. The admission board will let you know if a GRE is required. At other Master’s programmes a GMAT or GRE is not required. This does not mean that we do not pay any attention to your grades. If you have obtained a good GMAT or GRE score it is recommended to mention this in your application and to enclose a copy of the results. 
 
Please note: To be admitted to one of our specific Dutch taught pre-master's programmes you have to score at least 550 on the GMAT. 

Is it possible to pay the tuition fee in installments?
Yes, that is possible. The registration period is in August after your arrival in the Netherlands. You can pay the tuition fee either at once before 1 September or you can choose to sign a contract that you will pay it in installments during the academic year.

Keuzegids Masters Topopleiding 2019 EN

Overview Econometrics and Operations Research: Operations Research Theory

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

1 year

TUITION FEE

APPLICATION

1 April for international degree holders from non-EU/EEA countries (different deadlines may hold for other category students);

15 July for Dutch degree holders and international degree holders from EU/EEA countries

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

SPECIALIZATIONS

Operations Research Theory is a specialization of the Econometrics and Operations Research master's programme

FIELD OF INTEREST

Economics, Business and Law
Computer Science, Mathematics and Business

Ay May

Alumna

Econometrics Ay May Master student

"This is real science - science with the special accent that can only come from econometrics. Science that requires the broad-based knowledge derived from statistics, computer science, and econometrics.”

Admission with a Dutch degree

We welcome any student with a great interest in solving optimization problems in the field of Supply Chain Management, Financial Engineering, Data Science, or any other field where mathematical optimization plays a key role in making decisions. Besides being extremely motivated, students should satisfy the admission requirements listed here.

Admission requirements
With a Bachelor's degree in Econometrics and Operations Research, Economics and Business Economics or (International) Business Administration from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam you are admissible provided you successfully meet the requirements in this document.

Application procedure
To enroll in the programme submit your enrolment application via Studielink. Please note: in Studielink you can apply for the Master in Econometrics and Operations Research and in VUnet you can select your specialization Operations Research.

Step 1:
Apply for the programme MSc Econometrics and Operations Research via Studielink before 15 July. You can apply for the specialization in VUnet (see step 2)

Step 2:
Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions, affirming  your choice for the specialization Operations Research and uploading the following document:
•    a formal transcript of your bachelor grades. Your transcript must include an average score (GPA).

Please note: we can only process your application when your choice of specialization is clear and you uploaded your transcript.

More information regarding registration WO-bachelors, see the VU website (in Dutch).

Services for international (IBA) students / Residence permit:
If you are planning to continue your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam after your IBA, please contact the Central Admission’s Support Team of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for further information and specific questions about the offered services for international students like extending your residence permit. You will need to apply for extension of your residence permit if you continue your studies at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

We welcome any student with a great interest in solving optimization problems in the field of Supply Chain Management, Financial Engineering, Data Science, or any other field where mathematical optimization plays a key role in making decisions. Besides being extremely motivated, students should satisfy the admission requirements listed here.

Admission requirements
The master programme  Econometrics and Operations Research, track Operations Research, is open to students with a university Bachelor's degree that provides a thorough knowledge in mathematics. Additionally, you need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this program, consisting of (or equivalents of):

•   Stochastic modelling
    - S.M. Ross, Introduction to Probability Models , Academic Press, 2009

•  Operations research and deterministic optimization
    - H.A. Taha, Operations Research: An Introduction , Prentice Hall, 2010, Chapter 1-12 or
    - F.S. Hillier and G.J. Lieberman, Introduction to Operations Research , McGraw-Hill, 2005 (8-th ed.).
      Chapters 1-12

Besides these core courses, the requirements of admission are that the applicant has followed courses in Linear Algebra, Probability Theory, Analysis and Statistics at the level of our Bachelor EOR. The levels of these courses are indicated by the following books:

•  Linear Algebra:
    - D.C. Lay, Linear Algebra and Its Applications, Addison-Wesley, 2013
•  Probability Theory:
    - S.M. Ross, A First Course in Probability, Pearson, 2013
•  Analysis:
    - J.M. Howie, Real Analysis, Springer, 2001
•  Statistics:
    - J.A. Rice, Mathematical Statistics and Data Analysis, Duxbury Press, 2006  or G. Casella and R.L. Berger, Statistical Inference, Cengage Learning, 2008

Furthermore, it is important that students have experience with optimization and numerical programming in, for example, Python, R, Matlab, Java or C/C++. If you can show certified exam results for courses in operations research and mathematics as listed above you are admissible for the master. The equivalence will be evaluated by the Admission Board.

For more informatin about these course requirements contact Dr. R.A. Sitters: r.a.sitters@vu.nl.

Approval is in most cases given to students who:

  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree in Econometrics and Operations Research.
  • Hold a Bachelor's degree that provides a thorough knowledge in mathematics and statistics (such as Mathematics, Econometrics, Operations Research, Business Analytics, Management Science,  Computer Science, Physics, Industrial Engineering) and who completed courses in Operations Research as listed above.

Application procedure
To enroll in the programme submit your enrolment application via Studielink. Please note: in Studielink you can apply for the Master in Econometrics and Operations Research and in VUnet you can select the specialization Operations Research.

Step 1:
Apply for the programme MSc Econometrics and Operations Research via Studielink. You can register for the specialization Operations Research in VUnet (see step 2)

Step 2:

After application in studielink you will receive a VUnet-ID and password. Please complete your application in VUnet by answering additional questions, affirming  your choice for the specialization Operations Research and uploading the following document:
•    a formal transcript of your bachelor grades. Your transcript must include an average score (GPA).
Please note: we can only process your application when your choice of specialization is clear and you uploaded your transcript. 
 
Step 3:
The admission committee will assess if you meet the admission criteria and will inform you about the decision via email.

For the full description of the registration procedure see the VU website (in Dutch).

We welcome any student with a great interest in solving optimization problems in the field of Supply Chain Management, Financial Engineering, Data Science, or any other field where mathematical optimization plays a key role in making decisions. Besides being extremely motivated, students should satisfy the admission requirements listed here.

If you have a Dutch higher vocational (HBO) degree you need to enroll in a transfer programme, which is specifically designed to bridge the gap between higher vocational education and university-level education. The transfer programme consists of courses in the fields of: 
•    Linear Algebra
•    Probability Theory
•    Mathematical Analysis
•    Statistics.
•    Programming

Additionally, the transfer programme contains courses in:
•    Stochastic Operations Research and
•    Deterministc Operations research

If you already completed courses in these fields that are at the level of our EOR bachelor and that cover the required subjetcs, then it is possible to follow a reduced program. The equivalence will be evaluated by the Admission Board.
If you want to apply for the transfer programme you can send a transcript of your grades to toelating.sbe@vu.nl
Information days and activities
contact@vu.nl
Admission questions
toelating.sbe@vu.nl
or on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 15:00h and 16:00h: Tel. 020 5985873
Tuition fees, Studielink, VUnet
Central Student Desk
Application
Studielink
Other questions
contact@vu.nl

Visit our information day

Master’s event 
3 December 2019
Please register later

Admission with an international degree

We welcome any student with a great interest in solving optimization problems in the field of Supply Chain Management, Financial Engineering, Data Science, or any other field where mathematical optimization plays a key role in making decisions. Besides being extremely motivated, students should satisfy the admission requirements listed here.

Admission requirements
The master program  Econometrics and Operations Research, track Operations Research,  is open to students with a university Bachelor's degree that provides a thorough knowledge in mathematics. Additionally, you need to have successfully completed courses and studied literature related to the core of this program, consisting of (or equivalents of):

•  Stochastic modelling
    - S.M. Ross, Introduction to Probability Models , Academic Press, 2009
•  Operations research and deterministic optimization
    - H.A. Taha, Operations Research: An Introduction , Prentice Hall, 2010, Chapter 1-12 or
    - F.S. Hillier and G.J. Lieberman, Introduction to Operations Research , McGraw-Hill, 2005 (8-th ed.). Chapters 1-12

Besides these core courses, the requirements of admission are that the applicant has followed courses in Linear Algebra, Probability Theory, Analysis and Statistics at the level of our Bachelor EOR. The levels of these courses are indicated by the following books:
•  Linear Algebra:
    - D.C. Lay, Linear Algebra and Its Applications, Addison-Wesley, 2013
•  Probability Theory:
    - S.M. Ross, A First Course in Probability, Pearson, 2013
•  Analysis:
    - J.M. Howie, Real Analysis, Springer, 2001
•  Statistics:
    - J.A. Rice, Mathematical Statistics and Data Analysis, Duxbury Press, 2006  or G. Casella and R.L. Berger, Statistical Inference, Cengage Learning, 2008

Furthermore, it is important that students have experience with optimization and numerical programming in, for example, Python, R, Matlab, Java or C/C++. If you can show certified exam results for courses in operations research and mathematics as listed above you are admissible for the master. The equivalence will be evaluated by the Admission Board.

For more information about these course requirements contact Dr. R.A. Sitters: r.a.sitters@vu.nl.

English language proficiency
The admission board wants to stress the intensity of the programme: reading scientific articles and writing papers will be a key part, all in a very high pace. Your English language skills, both oral and written, are extremely important in this programme. As you will have to communicate frequently with your fellow students and you will be working with and for international companies.

VU Amsterdam requires all applicants to take an English test. You can already apply online without having the test results. We do advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the programme:  

IELTS (academic):
•    Minimum general score 6,5
•    Minimum score speaking 6,5
•    Minimum score listening 6,5
•    Minimum score writing 6,0
•    Minimum score reading 6,0

TOEFL:
•    Paper based test 580
•    Internet based test 92-93

Cambridge English:
•    Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C
•    Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C
The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers the TOEFL ITP English-language proficiency test. The test is offered by the VU Taalloket. You can find more information and register for this test at www.taalloket.nl 

See our language requirement page for the general requirements regarding the English language test.


If you have read the admission requirements and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your relevant documents are required. You can already apply online without having completed your Bachelor’s degree. After admission, you will have until 31 August to send a proof of graduation by postal mail.

Step 1: Prepare documents and apply online
Please prepare the following documents and arrange the payment of the non-refundable €100 application fee. You can find a more detailed explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English, and preferably in .PDF format.

  • Copy of your valid passport or ID (only for EU citizens)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Motivation letter
  • Transcript of records
  • A description of the relevant courses you have taken during your previous higher education, with the main literature used for those course. You can use this format.
  • Thesis (or another sample of academic writing). If your thesis was not written in English, please submit the original with an added summary of about 3 pages in English.

After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. After you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via e-mail. Please refer to the application page to see which application deadline applies to you.

Step 2: Await decision on admission
After submitting your complete application, the Admission Board will review all your documents to assess your eligibility. In general, we can inform students of the admission decision within 4 weeks. Around deadlines, this can take a bit linger, so we always recommend to apply as soon as possible. If you are admitted, you will receive your letter of conditional admission by email. After that, you can start planning your move to Amsterdam!

Step 3: Finalize your enrolment and move to Amsterdam!
Make sure to finalize your enrolment as a student before the start of the programme. Here on our website, you will find an explanation of all things to arrange after admission. When all enrolment requirements have been met you will be ready to start your programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!

Further information about:

Our international student ambassadors are happy to tell you all about their experiences with studying at VU and living in Amsterdam. Our student ambassadors come from all over the world and are currently attending various bachelor's and master's programmes.

Our student ambassadors are listed here.

Reach out to them and hear their stories about being a VU Amsterdam student!

International students can apply to several scholarships. For all VU scholarships, please see www.vu.nl/scholarships. Any available external grant or scholarship can be found through www.grantfinder.nl.

Visit our Master's Events

Central International Office
For detailed questions about the Master’s programmes or the application procedure, please contact one of your International Student Advisors at the International Office: masters.sbe@vu.nl

Leanne Schrijver
Leanne Schrijver
Tel +31 20 59 83032
Paul Steeman
Paul Steeman
Tel +31 20 59 88739
Amu Shrestha
Amu Shrestha
Tel +31 20 59 84296
Lotte de Winter
Lotte de Winter
Tel +31 20 59 89072


For general information about VU Amsterdam:
Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday – Friday, 09:00 to 17:00).
You may also e-mail us at study@vu.nl .

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