Departments & Programs

The Cockrell School of Engineering is home to seven top-ranked departments that offer bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in a variety of engineering disciplines. The Cockrell School is also affiliated with several interdisciplinary degree, dual degree and cross-institutional degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

aerospace engineer works in research lab

In aerospace engineering, students work closely with faculty to create, develop and apply aerospace technology to solve important global and societal problems — from mapping deforestation and migration to tracking weather patterns and more.

Learn More

Biomedical Engineering

Student looks through microscope

Biomedical engineering combines knowledge in engineering, molecular and cellular biology, and medicine to improve human health and progress. Students and faculty work to build interdisciplinary knowledge and translatable solutions for human health.

Learn More

Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineer works in lab with test tubes full of chemicals

Chemical engineering is one of the most broadly based engineering disciplines, offering opportunities in advanced materials, bioengineering, energy, environmental engineering, microelectronics, modeling and simulation, polymers and more.

Learn More

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Students work together with models of buildings

The increasing demand for energy, water and the need to minimize and control climate change, requires civil, architectural and environmental engineers to be at the forefront, using state-of-the-art technologies to ensure adequate food, water and mobility.

Learn More

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Electrical and computer engineer works with equipment

In electrical and computer engineering, students learn transformative solutions for building and maintaining secure data infrastructure, design intelligent utility networks, smart grids and mobile wireless networks, and advance nanotechnology and biochips.

Learn More

Mechanical Engineering

male mechanical engineer works with equipment

Mechanical engineering is the application of the principles of physics in the analysis, design, manufacturing and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is one of the broadest engineering disciplines and has one of the longest histories.

Learn More

Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering

A professor works with a student on a project

Energy is a key component to people's lives; and a secure energy future requires a balance between environmental impact and affordable supply. Petroleum and geosystems engineers are able to address and solve important issues that will lead to energy security.

Learn More

Materials Science and Engineering

Materials Science and Engineering

Developments and challenges in materials science and engineering cut across the traditional lines of engineering and science. That's why the Cockrell School and the College of Natural Sciences have joined forces to create a multidisciplinary graduate program to solve these challenges.

Learn More


Both master's and doctoral students are expected to establish a relationship with an ORIE faculty member for supervision of their research within their first semester in the graduate program.

The Cockrell School offers an abundance of research resources and facilities available to ORIE faculty and students. Our primary facilities are located on campus in the mechanical engineering building (the Engineering Teaching Center) and on the J.J. Pickle Research Campus. ORIE also students have access to a the mechanical engineering department's High Performance Computer Laboratory of Linux workstations, as well as to clusters with tens of thousands of processors at the Texas Advanced Computing Center.

For more information about research in ORIE, contact Eric Bickel, ORIE program coordinator.

Degree Options

A principal goal of the ORIE graduate program is to provide students with the educational basis for continued learning and to impart the fundamental skills necessary to function effectively as a professional.

At the master's level, we strive for a balance of theory and applications, relying heavily on the accumulated years of experience our faculty bring to the classroom. At the Ph.D. level, the emphasis shifts to research, enabling students to extend their field of knowledge and to develop analytic techniques that will serve them in their academic, industrial, or governmental careers.

Although rigor is the mainstay at all levels, sufficient flexibility is built into the program to accommodate the needs and interests of most students. With a deep concern for the future, we feel that this formula works best for our students, our faculty and our industrial partners.

For information on specific courses, visit the UT Austin syllabi listing for ORIE.


Master of Science

The Graduate Program in ORIE offers three different Master's degree options:

The Thesis option consists of:
9 hours of required courses
9 hours of additiional ORIE courses
6 hours of courses in minor area (not ORIE)
6 hours of research and thesis writing (ORI 698A and ORI 698B)

The Report option consists of:
9 hours of required courses
12 hours of additional ORIE courses
6 hours of courses in minor area
3 hours of research and report writing (ORI 398R)

The Course option consists of:
9 hours of required courses
15 hours of ORIE courses
6 hours of courses in minor area

Minor courses must be approved by the Graduate Advisor prior to registration.

Required Courses
ORI 390R.1 Applied Probability
ORI 391Q.5 Linear Programming
Approved Statistics Course

These required core courses must be taken from the ORIE faculty. If you do not have a background in ORIE and have never been exposed to ORIE modeling, you are strongly encouraged to register for our undergraduate course Operations Research Models (ME 366L) during your first year.

Minor Courses
Upper division undergraduate or graduate courses in other departments are appropriate as supporting courses. These courses must be pre-approved by the graduate advisor. The seminar course will not be approved as a supporting course.

Seminars have the goal to expand students and faculty knowledge in the field. Every master's student is asked to register for the Seminar course once a year. However, all students are expected to attend every seminar unless conflicts arise.

Doctor of Philosophy

The graduate program in ORIE expects all doctoral students to go through these three steps:

  1. Qualifying Exam (taken typically after the first year in the program)
  2. Admission to Candidacy (requires the creation of doctoral committee)
  3. Dissertation Defense

Guidelines: Doctoral students are expected to master the material of a wide range of topics. Students who do not have a master's degree in Operations Research, Industrial Engineering or a closely related area, must first reach the master's level by completing a master's degree in ORIE. Students with an appropriate master's degree, either from UT Austin or elsewhere, must complete an additional 24 credit hours of courses approved by the graduate advisor. The following six core courses will not count towards the 24 credit hours:

ORI 390R.1: Applied Probability
ORI 390R.5: Applied Stochastic Processes
ORI 391Q.1: Nonlinear Programming
ORI 391Q.4: Integer Programming
ORI 391Q.5: Linear Programming

Center for Lifelong Engineering Education

CLEE banner

The Center for Lifelong Engineering Education (CLEE) is an innovative leader in the training and professional development industry. We provide busy engineers with immediately applicable, real-world knowledge through individual courses, masters degrees and on-site custom courses.

Learn More