What will I learn?

One of the most rapidly growing areas of research in applied mathematics, computer science, and operations research has been dealing with discrete structures. This has been most evident in the fields of combinatory, discrete optimization, and the analysis of algorithms. Increasingly, work in each of these subjects has come to depend on knowledge of all of them. Indeed, many of the most significant advances have resulted from the efforts of researchers in more than one, if not all three, of these areas.

In response to these developments, Georgia Tech has introduced a doctoral degree program in Algorithms, Combinatory, and Optimization (ACO). This multidisciplinary program is sponsored jointly by the School of Mathematics, the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, and the College of Computing. Faculty for the program is drawn from these three sponsoring units, as well as from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the College of Business.

The ACO program is arranged to bring together the study of discrete structures and the design and analysis of algorithms in areas such as graph theory, integer programming, combinatorial optimization, and polyhedral theory. It is intended for students possessing a strong background in one or more of the fields represented by the three sponsoring units. Each student in the program has a single home department chosen from the School of Mathematics, the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, and the College of Computing. Courses for the program are drawn from all three of these units, and include study in such areas as combinatorial methods, algebraic structures, probability, the analysis of algorithms, computational complexity, linear programming, discrete optimization, and convex analysis.

The College of Computing is one of the sponsors of the multidisciplinary program in Algorithms, Combinatory, and Optimization (ACO), an approved doctoral degree program at Georgia Tech. The other sponsoring units are the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the School of Mathematics. The degree program is administered by an oversight committee drawn primarily from the sponsoring units.

The study of discrete structures is a rapidly growing area in computer science, applied mathematics, and operations research, most obviously in the analysis of algorithms, combinatory, and discrete optimization. Collaborative work among the three traditionally separate disciplines is already common. The doctorate in Algorithms, Combinatory, and Optimization will prepare students for careers in this exciting and expanding field.

Students are expected to be well prepared in at least one of the three fields represented by the sponsoring units (computer science, mathematics, and operations research). Each student in the program is admitted through one of the three sponsoring units, which serves as the home department. Coursework is drawn from all three disciplines. The research advisor may be any member of the ACO program faculty, which is drawn from electrical and computer engineering, management, and other disciplines in addition to the three sponsoring units.

Which department am I in?

College of Computing

Study options

Full Time (Maximum 7 years)

Tuition fees
USD $1,215/hr for 1-11 credit hours; USD $14,570 for 12 or more credit hours
Start date

Expected August 2021


College of Computing

801 Atlantic Drive,



30332, United States

Entry requirements

For international students

Applicants for Georgia Tech's graduate programs should hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

The minimum score for graduate admission required by Georgia Tech is: IELTS: 7.0 Overall Band score and minimum Component Band scores of: 6.5 Reading, 6.5 Listening, 6.5 Speaking, 5.5 Writing,

  • 577 (paper based), or
  • 90 (Internet based) and minimum section scores of 19

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.