Professors in charge: Ahti Salo
Credits: 40–42 ECTS (compact major)
Abbreviation: OR
Code: SCI3055


The objective of the major in Systems and Operations Research is to educate experts who master quantitative methods and have professional skills for solving decision problems arising in the planning and management of complex systems. Core topics in the major are optimization, statistics, forecasting, dynamic systems, simulation, and decision and risk analysis. The major includes hands-on laboratory exercises and project assignments on real problems posed by external organizations.

Overall, the major is founded on a balanced engineering-economic approach which builds on structured problem solving, systems thinking and mathematical modelling. This approach allows operations research (OR) professionals to optimize the use of limited resources, to improve the efficiency of production and services, and to support decisions in recognition of risks and multiple objectives, for instance.

Methods of systems and operations research are used extensively in application areas such as finance, logistics, manufacturing, services, defence, energy, environment and healthcare. OR is widely known as “the Science of Better”. The rapidly expanding field of analytics employs OR methods to provide data-driven decision support.

Graduates in Systems and Operations Research are in growing demand by firms, consultancies, research institutes and the public sector. Many start their careers as analysts and then advance to more senior positions and even to top management. The major provides an excellent basis for continued studies and graduates often choose to pursue a doctoral degree. 

Content and structure

All courses can be taken in the first or second year of studies and many even during bachelor studies. The recommended years for the core courses are shown below.

Mandatory courses (30 cr)

CodeNameCreditsPeriodRecommended Year
MS-E2112Multivariate Statistical Analysis5III-IV
  1. (or earlier)
MS-E2121Linear Optimization5III-IV
  1. (or earlier)
MS-E2122Nonlinear Optimization5I-II2.
MS-E2133Systems Analysis Laboratory II5I-II2.
MS-E2134Decision Making and Problem Solving5I-II1.
MS-E2148Dynamic Optimization5III


Select at least one seminar:

CodeNameCreditsPeriodRecommended Year
MS-E2177Seminar on Case Studies in Operations Research5-7III-V
  1. or 2.
MS-E2191Graduate Seminar on Operations Research5I-II2.

If organized, MS-E2142 Seminar on optimization also qualifies.

Select further courses from the following list to complete the required  40-42 credits:

CodeNameCreditsPeriodRecommended Year
MS-E2108Independent Research Projects in Systems Analysis5-8I, II, III, IV, V
  1. or 2.
MS-E2114Investment Science5I–II1. or 2. (or earlier)
  1. (or earlier)
MS-E2129Systeemien identifiointi5I–II (every other year)1. or 2.
MS-E2130Matemaattinen malliajattelu5I-II1. or 2.
  1. (or earlier)  
CS-E4710Machine Learning: Supervised Methods5I-II
  1. or 2.

All other MS-E2XXX courses also qualify.