Study options

Master's Programme in Mathematics and Operations Research

The unparalleled problem-solving power and predictive capability of mathematics and statistics enable profound and sustainable solutions to even the most complex problems. The Master's Programme in Mathematics and Operations Research educates top mathematical problem solvers with strong analytical skills and explicit knowledge of logical reasoning. Graduates from the programme typically land in specialist and management roles in international companies and organisations, or continue with doctoral studies at Aalto and other prominent universities.
Aalto University / students doing teamwork / photo by Unto Rautio


Master of Science (Technology)

Application period:

1.12.2021 – 3.1.2022

Language of instruction:



2 years, full-time


Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Technology and Engineering


120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Science

Tuition fees:

For non-EU/EEA citizens, €15000/y (Master’s studies)

The application period has closed

Applying to master’s programmes

Webinar | Mathematics and Operations Research

Learn more about Master's programme in Mathematics and Operations Research. Watch the Webinar recording where programme representatives and students tell more about the studies, career possibilities and answer some other questions you might have.

Watch webinar recording
Students doing group work

It is hard to think of another field that has such a predictive capability and problem-solving power in as many areas of society as mathematics does. Climate change, management of natural resources, and delivery of healthcare services are but few examples of application areas which can be addressed with the help of systematic problem structuring approaches and mathematical modelling to create sustainable solutions. The Master's Programme in Mathematics and Operations Research educates top mathematical thinkers with strong analytical and logical reasoning skills. The demand for experts with these mathematical and problem-solving skills continues to grow rapidly in many areas of society, offering graduates a large variety of career opportunities in companies, research institutes, and universities.

Mathematics and Operations Research graduates will have:

  • Strong problem solving skills to answer some of the most complex and interesting questions in the world. Graduates possess a broad set of skills to work on diverse problems and answer some of humankind's greatest questions.
  • Extensive analytical toolbox to choose the most appropriate techniques from. Graduates possess the knowledge on how different mathematical tools and statistical methods  work and how they can best be implemented to achieve desired goals.
  • Ability to think mathematically. Graduates can generate mathematical ideas, test and refine conjectures, and make connections to fully understand how mathematical ideas interconnect.
  • Expertise to build mathematical models and create new tools for unexpected demands. Graduates can adapt and stay ahead of the rapidly changing nature of the modern world by creating new tools for unexpected demands.
  • Means to master the art of scientific thinking. Graduates understand the principles of theory generation, hypothesis testing and data interpretation, and have the competencies needed to come up with scientific discoveries. This provides an excellent basis to continue studies further towards a doctoral degree in mathematics, statistics, and other mathematical sciences.

Structure of studies

Master’s Programme in Mathematics and Operations Research comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits. The two-year programme consists of:

  • Major studies (40-65 ECTS)
  • Possible minor studies (20-25 ECTS)
  • Elective studies (25-35 ECTS)
  • Master’s thesis (30 ECTS)


The studies are flexible and can be completed at the student's own convenience. Basic core courses provide a strong foundation before further study in specific sub-areas. By selecting modules that fit with the student’s particular interests, the student will develop a wide palette of skills and creativity to tackle problems of significant importance. The programme has three majors: Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Systems and Operations Research. The choice of major is made upon entering the programme.

In addition to their major, students may select a minor from any discipline that suits their preferences – from environmental studies to entrepreneurship. Examples of possible topics covered in the programme include:

  • Computational Algebraic Geometry (5 ECTS)
  • Decision Making and Problem Solving (5 ECTS)
  • Lie Groups and Lie Algebras (5 ECTS)
  • Numerical Matrix Computations (5 ECTS)
  • Random Graphs and Network Statistics (5 ECTS)

>> To learn more about the Mathematics and Operations Research studies, see the programme curriculum (


The Master’s Programme in Mathematics and Operations Research is international by definition. Education is acknowledged globally and – as mathematics is a universal language – graduates can take their skills to any country in the world. The Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis offers the programme co-operates closely with high-quality international universities, research institutes and companies in the field.

Aalto University is international by nature, welcoming thousands of degree and exchange students from abroad every year. These students join the diverse Aalto community not only through their studies, but also through multiple free time events, celebrations and extracurricular activities around the campus. Active tutoring programs and support services work hard to help international students integrate to the Nordic culture and feel at home in Finland.

Further study opportunities

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

Career opportunities

Mathematics and operations research is some of the fastest growing fields where demand for highly skilled experts is set to increase over the next years. Throughout the programme, students get a good grasp of their strengths and career aspirations by participating in various projects together with companies and organisations.

The Master's Programme in Mathematics and Operations Research has a strong reputation in educating top-level experts with strong analytical skills and the ability to think two steps ahead. Such skills are in high demand in various specialist and management positions in the industry and the public sector, and thus students can use their expertise in a number of ways after graduation. Examples of career paths our graduates have taken include: 

  • Academic career in mathematics, operations research, statistics, computational science, machine learning, and quantitative finance.
  • Specialist and management roles in leading international companies
  • Research scientist in academia or industry, e.g. government laboratories, environmental organisations, specialist research organisations or universities

Many of our recent graduates also decide to pursue doctoral studies at Aalto University or at another top ranking school for science.

Aalto University has well-established career services to support students’ employment in Finland and abroad. Thanks to the flexible curriculum, many Aalto students work already during their studies and guarantee themselves entry positions before graduation. There is also a very active entrepreneurship community at Aalto, working as a springboard for founding a company.

Research focus

The studies in the programme are closely related to the research conducted at the Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis.


Co-operation with other parties

Aalto University embraces collaboration, creativity, and the sharing of knowledge, and thus the Master’s Programme in Mathematics and Operations Research strongly fosters cross-departmental interaction. The primary focus of the programme is on teaching the universal language of science. Students learn to apply mathematical models and theories, advanced statistical methods, and computational optimisation skills to any discipline where this type of knowledge is needed. Some of the cutting-edge topics revolve around sustainable management of natural resources, renewable energy generation and use, climate change mitigation policymaking, privacy-enabled cloud computing, large-scale inverse problems in medical imaging, unsupervised statistical learning and network analytics for next-generation artificial intelligence solutions.

Aalto University is well-known for bridging disciplines of business, arts, technology and science. The lively campus and freedom of choosing elective courses across the University bring students from different fields under one roof. This spontaneous multidisciplinary environment sparks new ideas, gathers enthusiasts around them and gives birth to friendships, networks, and every so often, startups.

Programme-specific admission requirements

Mathematics and Operations Research applicants meeting the general eligibility criteria for master's studies are evaluated according to the below Evaluation criteria. The evaluation process is described under Applicant evaluation process. In addition to the obligatory application documents, this study option asks the applicants to submit also the documents listed under Requested documents.

Contact information

For enquiries regarding the application process, obligatory application documents or English language proficiency, please contact Admission Services at [email protected].

For enquiries regarding the programme-specific application documents or studies in the programme, please contact Learning Services of Aalto University School of Science at [email protected].

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Are you wondering what it is like to study at Aalto University? Or what student life is like at Aalto’s vibrant Otaniemi Campus or at the Mikkeli Unit? Come chat with our students about all things Aalto!

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Get to know us

Napoleon Freitas Paajanen

Student testimonial: Napoleon Freitas Paajanen

Mathematics & Operations Research master's student Napoleon Freitas Paajanen tells us about his experiences studying at Aalto

Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis
Joanna Simms

Student testimonial: Joanna Simms

Mathematics & Operations Research master's student Joanna Simms tells us about her experiences studying here

Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis

Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis

Our main research areas are algebra and discrete mathematics, analysis, applied mathematics and mechanics, stochastics and statistics, and systems analysis and operations research.

Guild of Physics Aalto

Guild of Physics (external link)

The Guild of Physics is the association for the Engineering Physics and Mathematics students at the Aalto University, although everyone else is welcome too. The Guild was founded in 1947 and currently has about 550 members.

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Finland’s excellent reputation in education, combined with a wide range of courses offered in English, makes Finland and Aalto University an attractive study destination for international students.

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