Graduate Program in Operations Analytics Launching Fall 2020

The Department of Industrial Engineering will offer a new graduate program in fall 2020. The Master of Science in Operations Analytics (M.S.O.A.) is open to students interested in leveraging data to make organizations run more efficiently.

Students from engineering and non-engineering backgrounds are encouraged to enroll. Students with undergraduate degrees from ABET-accredited industrial engineering programs should not have to complete any pre-requisite courses.

David Humphrey, vice president-investor relations with ArcBest, said the program would position graduates to improve business processes by analyzing data.

"More and more at ArcBest, data related to every element of our company is abundantly available. For us to be successful, it is essential that we have the ability to effectively analyze that data in order to refine processes that improve our customers' experience and profitably grow our company.  We are excited to know that the new University of Arkansas M.S.O.A. graduate program will develop the important analytical skills that engineering graduates need in data management and modeling."      

The master's program provides students with the professional and intellectual growth needed to become managers and leaders in operations analytics. Students will gain the core operations analytics and quantitative modeling skills to better manage, control and improve the operations of enterprise or public-sector organizations.

Through coursework, students will develop knowledge of the principles and practices of analytics modeling methods, such as optimization, statistical modeling, machine learning, simulation, and computing methods, as they apply to the strategic, operational and tactical control of operations.

"Data-driven insights directly impact how industries produce a product or service a customer.  Continuing education in a field driven by analytics and engineering will only enhance student's critical thinking and data visualization skills. Operational Analytics knowledge will make valuable contributions in turning a company's vision into reality," said Karen Jewell, vice president engineering and technology with J.B. Hunt.

For students with a degree other than an ABET-accredited industrial engineering degree, prerequisite courses may be required and are available through the industrial engineering website. Students are expected to have completed:

  • Mathematics courses through differential and integral calculus of several variables
  • Vector calculus
  • Linear algebra
  • A calculus-based probability and statistics course
  • A computer programming course

Skills Graduates Acquire:

  • Develop descriptive, predictive and prescriptive mathematical and statistical models and to apply those models through computational methods to problems of controlling and improving enterprise operations.
  • Use foundational knowledge and apply critical thinking skills to problem identification, problem-solving, and decision-making, within the context of controlling and improving enterprise operations.
  • Adapt analytics concepts to interpret and communicate findings and implications to senior decision makers.
  • Use information systems, statistics and computing principles and apply state-of-the-art technologies for data representation, data retrieval, data manipulation, computational analytics, data analysis, visualization as they apply analytics within enterprise operations.
  • Program graduates will be prepared for occupations as: General and operations managers, Operations research analysts, and Management analysts.

The Industrial Engineering Graduate Program ranked in the top 25 Best Graduate Schools in U.S. News & World Report last year, moving up nine spots overall, and 10 spots among public institutions, to number 17.

For more information contact: or visit:


Tamara Ellenbecker, website developer
Industrial Engineering

Nick DeMoss, director of communications
College of Engineering


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