Operations, Information and Decisions

Wharton’s program in Operations, Information and Decisions emphasizes research on real management problems and maintains a balance between theory and implementation.


The faculty trains scholars in decision making, information and operations/operations research.

Our faculty leads in the development and application of an innovative blend of analytical and empirical approaches to important problems facing the private and public sectors, including: supply chain management; service delivery systems; product development and innovation processes; decision support systems; information-based strategy; systems development and implementation; risk and environmental management; and behavioral approaches to individual and managerial decision making.

Our PhD program provides a unique mix of behavioral, economic, statistical and analytical training to its students, and its strength is reflected in our students’ record of placement and achievement.

3 Areas of Specialization

  • Decision Making (DM)

What factors influence human judgment and decision-making? Why and when are people prone to judgement errors and biases? What kinds of interventions will help people make better decisions, or improve human welfare? Our interdisciplinary Decision-Making PhD program focuses on training students to conduct and publish academic research that helps to answer these important questions. Along the way, students receive rigorous quantitative/statistical training, and acquire a deep understanding of the literature on judgment and decision-making, significant exposure to the fields of psychology, economics, organizational behavior, and marketing.

  • Information Systems (IS)

The IS track covers a broad range of research interests. Students interested in information and decision technology (IDT) focuses on the analytical and information technology-based methods for managing complex organizations. Those interested in information strategy and economics (ISE) focus on understanding the strategic aspects of information and information management.

  • Operations Management / Operations Research (OM / OR)

OM/OR focuses on the processes that define an organization’s outputs, as well as the methods commonly used to analyze these processes. Students specializing in OM are interested in a wide range of functions and organizational types, including operations strategy, product design, process design, technology management, capacity planning, inventory control, supply chain management and service system planning. Students interested in OR focus more on the application of mathematical models to these areas.

Core Courses


The department requires that all students complete a graduate-level sequence in microeconomics or to transfer a comparable graduate level set of courses from another institution.

Core Courses

All students must complete the following departmental core courses.

  • OIDD 900: Foundations of Decision Processes
  • OIDD 940: Operations Management
  • OIDD 955: Research Seminar in Information Systems

Students are expected to earn a B+ or better in these core courses in order to satisfy the core course requirement.


The Wharton School requires all PhD students to demonstrate proficiency in the material covered in one of several sequences of statistics courses offered by the University. The OID Department allows students to fulfill this requirement with one of the following course sequences: Statistics 500-501; Statistics 520-512; Statistics 520-521; Statistics 550-551; or Economics 705-706. Students may demonstrate proficiency by either receiving a grade of B- or better in each course within a sequence, or by passing a waiver exam administered by the Economics or Statistics Departments, or by transferring a comparable graduate level course from another institution. Students may choose courses across sequences (e.g., 520 and 550) with permission from the PhD coordinator.

Get the Details.

Visit the Operations, Information and Decisions website for details on program requirements and courses. Read faculty and student research and bios to see what you can do with an Operations, Information and Decisions PhD.


Operations, Information, and Decisions Program Doctoral Coordinator
Prof. Noah Gans
Anheuser-Busch Professor of Management Science at Wharton
Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions

Email: gans@wharton.upenn.edu
Phone: (215) 573-7673

Faculty Members
PhD Students