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Operations Research and Computer Analysis

Within every complex organization, including the Coast Guard, the quantitative tools of operations research are crucial for continuous improvement and effective decision-making. The Operations Research and Computer Analysis (ORCA) major instructs cadets in how to use advanced analytical methods – mathematics, computers, statistics and the scientific method – to analyze complex issues and provide informed solutions.

  • ORCA majors learn to conceptualize and describe reality using the tools of mathematics
  • Use of computers in the analysis of data is central to the major, and cadets graduate with a strong background in programming
  • ORCA is applicable to almost any field, with numerous opportunities inside and outside the Coast Guard

Areas of Concentration

ORCA majors are exposed to a breadth of courses in mathematics, which provide the foundation for creating mathematical models, simulations and algorithms used in problem solving. Students can then delve deeper into the fundamentals of mathematical reasoning and analysis with electives in three areas of specialization:

  • Probabilistic Modeling and Statistics
  • Deterministic Modeling and Optimization
  • Computational


The resource that more than any other sets apart the Coast Guard Academy's ORCA program is the Coast Guard itself. We are not solving “book” problems; rather, we are solving real-world problems that the Coast Guard often immediately implements. Our cadets' operations research is frequently presented to the highest levels of government.

Facts and Figures
11:1 Student Faculty SVGstudent-to-faculty ratio
22 Class Size SVGmaximum class size in ORCA program
12% Internship SVGof ORCA majors participate in an internship
100% Capstone SVGof ORCA majors conduct research, as part of a capstone project

Contact Information

Operations Research and Computer Analysis
LCDR Philip Baxa(860)