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Ph.D. in Operations Research – Operations & Supply Chain Management Track

NC State’s Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in Operations Research is an interdisciplinary program supported by faculty from across the university. The Operations & Supply Chain Management track at the Poole College of Management is designed for students who are interested in an academic career in this area.

What is Operations & Supply Chain Management?

Operations & Supply Chain Management is concerned with planning and coordinating the value‐adding activities and the flow of materials and information within and among the organizational units or firms that participate in the product fulfillment process – from procurement to manufacturing and distribution.

Objective & Structure

The Poole College of Management seeks students who have an interest in pursuing an academic career in Operations & Supply Chain Management (O&SCM). The expected duration of the doctoral program is five years.

  • The initial years focus on building foundations. Students concentrate on their coursework and on learning the “process” of academic research (reading academic papers, defining research problems, and writing papers).
  • The following years then focus on the completion of the doctoral dissertation. During this time, students may still take some courses based on their research interests, but the primary goal is the development and completion of their dissertation research.

The O&SCM track is offered within the doctoral program in Operations Research at NC State University. Operations Research (OR) uses scientific methodology to study systems whose design or operation requires human decision-making. OR is interdisciplinary, drawing on and contributing to the techniques from many fields, including mathematics, management science, engineering and economics.

The NC State OR program is a university-wide initiative that is not associated with any specific college or department. Many of NC State’s leading academic departments are affiliated with the program including faculty from business, engineering, mathematics, and computer science. For general information on the NC State OR program, please visit

Faculty & Research

Students in the O&SCM track will closely work with the Poole College of Management Operations & Supply Chain Management faculty.

Current research topics the O&SCM Poole faculty are working on include (but are not limited to): 

  • Supply Chain Management
  • Production and Inventory Management
  • Sustainability
  • Closed-loop supply chains
  • Healthcare Operations Management
  • Supply Chain Analytics

Financial Support for Doctoral Students

The Poole College of Management offers Research Assistantships for doctoral students in the O&SCM track. Funding under the Poole College Assistantships is competitive and sufficient to allow students to focus on their academic development and dissertation research.

Funding is available for the entire duration of the program, subject to satisfactory student performance. The recipient(s) receiving support will be selected by the O&SCM faculty based on the applicant’s perceived potential to conduct successful research.