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Master's Program in Mathematics and Operations Research

Aalto University
2 years
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
Aalto University

About this program

Master's Program in Mathematics and Operations Research

The objective of the Master's Program in Mathematics and Operations Research is to educate experts who have a broad knowledge of mathematical methods and strong problem solving skills to be able to successfully tackle challenging problems in science, industry, and society.

During the program, along with learning to think mathematically, the students learn to build mathematical models and to analyze them by developing and deploying state-of-the-art methods and algorithms. Through their choice of major, the students can focus on mathematical theory, computational methods, statistics, or modelling and problem solving skills that are needed in practice

The language of instruction is primarily English, and the program can be completed entirely in English. Some courses can be taken in Finnish or Swedish.

Admission requirements

General Eligibility

  • If you have a bachelor’s degree
  • In the field of art and design
  • You cannot apply to a master’s Program on the basis of a previous Master's Degree.

Program-Specific Admission Requirements

Applicants are expected to have a relevant Bachelor’s degree that contains enough studies in mathematics, operations research or statistics and thus provides a sufficiently strong foundation for studies in the Program.

Students chosen to the Program may be required to complement their previous degree with complementary studies. Complementary studies cannot be included in the Master's Degree and they can only compensate for small deficiencies in the prerequisites.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

There are three majors in the Master's Program in Mathematics and Operations Research: Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Systems and Operations Research. The choice of the major is made when entering the program.


Mathematics helps students develop their mathematical thinking so that they understand how mathematical theories are constructed and how mathematical problems are formulated and solved. The education is research-based with all courses taught by mathematicians who lead active research projects related to the course topics.

This major is partly intended as a preparation for students who plan to become researchers or university teachers in mathematics or related sciences. A master’s degree in mathematics also provides the student with a broad range of skills in problem solving, logical reasoning, and flexible thinking, which are attributes valued throughout the society. The covered mathematical areas include abstract and commutative algebra, algebraic geometry, complex analysis, differential geometry, graph theory, mathematical physics, partial differential equations, probability theory, and real analysis.

Applied Mathematics

Applied Mathematics is designed for students interested in mathematical sciences and their application to other disciplines. It is based on a solid mathematical core that gives the student a broad set of skills for working on diverse mathematical problems. The major also includes an elective part that provides flexibility to orientate toward a master's thesis project in a chosen application area. A high proportion of students majoring in applied mathematics will continue their studies to a doctoral degree.

The importance of mathematical techniques is increasing in science and engineering as new fields employing sophisticated mathematical models are constantly emerging. The driving forces for such development are the ever-increasing computational resources, which should be used wisely and to their full power. This requires the education of mathematicians who are able to interact and collaborate with experts in application areas. The major in Applied Mathematics responds to this need.

Systems and Operations Research

The objective of the Systems and Operations Research major 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.

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.


For non-EU/EEA citizens: €15000/year


Upon completion of the program, students will graduate with a Master of Science (Technology) degree. 

Continuing studies

The program qualifies for doctoral studies (Doctor of Science in an applicable field).

Career paths

Graduates from the Master's Degree in Mathematics and Operations Research have an excellent background for pursuing an academic career in mathematics, operations research, and statistics; and also in several other fields requiring a solid mathematical background such as computational science, machine learning, and quantitative finance. The Master's Degree in Mathematics and Operations Research also has a strong reputation in educating top-level experts with strong analytical skills to work in various specialist and management positions in the industry and the public sector.

Typical job titles of our former graduates include

  • Actuary
  • Analyst
  • Assistant professor
  • Associate professor
  • Business intelligence consultant
  • Consultant
  • Data analyst
  • Data scientist
  • Doctoral student
  • Financial analyst
  • Lecturer
  • Management consultant
  • Mathematician
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Operational risk manager
  • Planning engineer
  • Portfolio analyst
  • Portfolio manager
  • Professor
  • Quantitative analyst
  • Research scientist
  • Resource planner
  • Risk manager
  • Risk specialist
  • Senior advisor
  • Senior lecturer
  • Software developer
  • Statistician
  • University teacher

In addition to Aalto University, our recently graduated alumni are doctoral students at several other universities, such as Duke U, EPFL, ETH, FU Berlin, Georgia Tech, KTH, U Copenhagen, U California Davis

Our recently graduated alumni work for example in the following companies: ABB, Finnair, Fortum, Futurice, Kone, Nokia, Nordea, OP Financial Group, McKinsey & Company, UPM, Telia, Veikkaus, VR Group

About this institute

Aalto University

Aalto University is a multidisciplinary community of bold thinkers, where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future....

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Contact info

Aalto University

Otakaari 1B
02150 Espoo

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