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Graduate Program

Computational and applied mathematics encompasses a broad spectrum of mathematical fields and computational methods, including:

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Operations Research
  • Optimization
  • Differential Equations
  • Scientific Computation

More information on various CAAM research groups can be found here.

Graduates with degrees in computational and applied mathematics are in demand in industry, government research laboratories, and academia, where they often join with physical and biological scientists, engineers, and computer scientists to form teams. Such interdisciplinary teams represent the modern approach to dealing with complex problems whose solutions require mathematical and scientific skills. Our alumni have successful careers in industry, academia, and national research laboratories.

Admission to graduate study in computational and applied mathematics is open to qualified students holding bachelor's or master's degrees (or their equivalent) in engineering, mathematics, or the physical, biological, mathematical, or behavioral sciences. Graduate study in computational and applied mathematics pursues the components of the undergraduate curriculum in greater breadth and depth. Department faculty evaluates the previous academic record and credentials of each applicant individually. For general information, check the General Announcements.

Degrees Offered:

1) CAAM Department Degrees - [ Application Information ]

  • Ph.D.
  • M.A. ( Thesis Required. Typically the M.A. degree is a step towards the Ph.D. Students whose ultimate goal is a Ph.D. should directly apply to the CAAM Ph.D. program. Students interested in a technical career path in industry or business should apply to the M.C.A.A.M program or to the M.C.S.E program.)
  • M.C.A.A.M. ( Master of Computational and Applied Mathematics - an advanced, professional degree program, thesis not required )

2) Interdisciplinary Degrees in Computational Science & Engineering

  • M.C.S.E. ( Master of Computational Science and Engineering - an advanced, professional degree program, thesis not required ) [ Website ]

3) Joint M.B.A. and Master of Engineering Degrees - [ Program Information ]

It normally takes two years to obtain a master's and an additional two to four years for the doctoral degree. Degree requirements can be found in the General Announcements.

Financial Information

Financial aid is offered to incoming PhD students in the form of a graduate fellowship. Graduate students seeking a master's degree are not funded through the graduate fellowships.

The fellowship for PhD students includes a stipend for living expenses from the department and a tuition waiver from the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Historically, doctoral students who have performed well continue to receive financial support in the form of research assistantships during their entire doctoral studies. Many CAAM students have been successful in winning prestigious national fellowships (which often provide more generous stipends and other benefits). A list of some of the fellowships available can be found at the following link http://www.caam.rice.edu/student_life.html. Graduate students are strongly encouraged to seek out these funding opportunities (some before applying to graduate school).

CAAM provides limited teaching assistantships to advanced doctoral students (2nd year and above) who have indicated an interest in a career in academia or who would like to add a teaching experience to their CV.

CAAM Master's students are not funded through the graduate fellowships. However, if a student secures a competitive national or industrial fellowship for stipend, the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies may provide a full or partial tuition waiver. Students that believe they might be eligible for a tuition waiver must provide proof of fellowship through the department. The Graduate Administrator will submit this request for review.

A breakdown of tuition and fees is available at the website of the University Cashier: https://graduate.rice.edu/costofstudy

If you feel there is additional need for financial help, contact the Financial Aid Office of Rice University. http://financialaid.rice.edu/

CAAM Courses & Curriculum

Students should take the following introductory courses in their first year of study, except for CAAM 600 which is taken in the spring semester of the second year.

Introductory Courses
Course # Course Title
CAAM 501: Analysis I
CAAM 519: Computational Science I
CAAM 553: Numerical Analysis I
CAAM 554: Numerical Analysis II
CAAM 571: Introduction to Linear and Integer Programming
CAAM 600: Thesis Writing

Students must also take at least one course in six areas listed below.

Distribution Courses
Area Course number
Applied Analysis CAAM 435, CAAM 440, CAAM 523, CAAM 540, CAAM 552, CAAM 560
Continuous Optimization CAAM 560, CAAM 564, CAAM 565
Mathematical Physics and Biology CAAM 436, CAAM 523, CAAM 615
Numerical Differential Equations CAAM 536, CAAM 552
Numerical Linear Algebra / Computational Sciences CAAM 520, CAAM 551
Probability and Statistics STAT 431, STAT 532, STAT 533, STAT 581, STAT 582, STAT 650

A description of all CAAM courses can be found here.

Graduate Handbook

The CAAM graduate handbook contains detailed information about exams, monetary support, required and recommended courses, and regulations and rules for the various degree programs. While the handbook is written for current students, it answers many questions prospective students may have about the program.

The Fall 2016 Handbook is available in Portable Document Format.

Recent Enrollment and Graduation Data

Enrollments and degrees awarded for degree programs in the Engineering School are available at:

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Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics
6100 Main MS-134   Houston, TX 77005   713.348.4805

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