Naval Postgraduate School

Naval Postgraduate School

Team Members

Team Awards

UPS George D. Smith Prize: Winner(s)
2013 - Winner(s)

The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) began offering its degree program in operations research in 1951, making it the first O.R. degree program in the United States.  Approximately 55 students per year graduate from the Naval Postgraduate School with a Master of Science in Operations Research (MSOR) degree.  The program is unique in it strong and inexorable link to its sponsor, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), which keeps NPS students and faculty focused on applying methods to problems facing the military with a focus impacting operational efficiency and effectiveness.  

Its students are practitioners upon entry to the program, and on exit.  They come to NPS in midcareer in the military, and leave it with a position in the military.  They are, in fact, full time employees of the military even as they undertake the NPS O.R. program.  Thus, the practical usefulness of the material is paramount.

Students' theses are all applied.  They are required to conduct a three-week 'experience tour' in which they immerse themselves in the field to gain first-hand experience with the application of their research topic.  The department celebrates student O.R. practice with a competition within each graduation class for the MORS/Tisdale award that is won by the student whose thesis demonstrates the greatest impact of operations research on the DoD.

The NPS faculty regularly publishes on it pedagogical philosophy in OR/MS Today and other outlets, and is regularly among the top schools in practical research according to the Rothkopf Rankings.  They have received multiple Teaching of OR/MS Practice awards from INFORMS, among other awards.

The NPS program treats real world practice as laudable and necessary products of O.R. As such, NPS seeks to influence policy.  NPS acts as a trusted source of policy advice for our government, and has been credited with advising and shaping defense investments of over a trillion dollars.