Apply here Deadline: January 4th, 2022

Admission to the PhD program in Decision, Risk, and Operations is highly competitive. Superior academic performance is expected, and a strong background in and facility with mathematics are essential for the successful completion of the program. To begin the application process, we'll ask you to create an account with us. This will keep your application secure and allow you to edit and revise your information before final submission. To be considered for the program applicants must submit their materials via the online portal no later than January 4th. Applications received after this date will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. 

The Ideal Candidate

The entering student must be able to use mathematics as a language, translating verbal descriptions of phenomena into the appropriate mathematical framework(s). Students with some background in linear algebra, the elements of optimization, and probability and statistics will be better prepared for required course work. At a minimum, a thorough working knowledge of a two-semester introductory calculus sequence is required.

Application Materials


The Decision, Risk and Operations Division is interested in your reasons for pursuing doctoral studies. Please describe them in an essay that is 500-700 words in length.

Research Paper

Applicants are encouraged to submit a research paper as part of their application, if they have one. The application form provides the option to submit a research paper under "Essays". 

Recommendation Letters

Two letters of recommendation are required. However, a total of five may be submitted. 


A bachelor’s degree or the equivalent (i.e., a four-year course of study in an accredited college or university) is required for admission. A master’s degree is not required, although many applicants have a master’s degree in such fields as management, economics, psychology, sociology, and statistics. Superior academic performance is expected. 


For the 2021/22 admission cycle, the GMAT/GRE requirement is optional for all applicants to the Decision, Risk, and Operations Division. 


Applicants from abroad must also take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the IELTS unless they received a degree from an institution where English was the language of instruction. 

Application Fee

An application fee of $100 must be submitted with your application. An application is not considered complete until the fee has been paid. 

Fee waivers are available to active-duty US military personnel, and members of the Peace Corps, Teach for America, Teach for China, or Teach for India who are currently in service. Applicants who qualify for a fee waiver should email a fee waiver request, as well as proof of service, to [email protected].

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get CBS my letters of recommendation?

We only accept letters of recommendation through our online system.

How do I pay the application fee?

An application fee of $100 in the form of a credit or debit card must be submitted in tandem with your application. An application is not considered complete until the fee has been paid. You may use Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover when using our online application.

By when do I need to submit my scores and undergraduate transcript?

Ideally, you would submit these in advance of the application deadline. All test scores (GMAT, GRE and TOEFL) should be self reported in the application form. When admittance decisions are made we will ask admitted students for official copies of both their transcripts and test scores. Decisions are not binding until these materials have been received.

Can I enroll in the program part-time?

Our PhD Program is full-time only. We do not offer a part-time course of study.