BA in Computational and Applied Mathematics

Why a BA in CAAM?

Courses within the computational and applied math major can provide foundations applicable to the many fields of engineering, physical sciences, life sciences, behavioral and social sciences, and computer sciences. Undergraduate majors have considerable freedom to plan a course of study consistent with their particular interests.

CAAM offers a Bachelor of Arts degree with advanced courses chosen from the areas of:

  • Numerical analysis
  • Operations research
  • Optimization
  • Differential equations
  • Scientific computation

For an overview of the BA in Computational and Applied Mathematics program, learning outcomes, requirements and more, visit General Announcements.

Degree Requirements

Students majoring in computational and applied mathematics are required to complete 49-52 semester hours, as spelled out in the following program of study:

Introductory Courses

Typically completed during your first two years:

  • CAAM 210: Introduction to Engineering Computation
  • CAAM 334: Matrix Analysis for Data Science
  • (or) CAAM 335: or Matrix Analysis
  • MATH 101: Single Variable Calculus I*
  • MATH 102: Single Variable Calculus II
  • MATH 212: Multivariable Calculus+

* Students with prior experience with calculus may replace MATH 101 with a 3-credit quantitative elective at the 200-level or above, as approved by a CAAM undergraduate adviser. (This quantitative elective is in addition to the four electives required below.)

+ Students may substitute the Honors Calculus sequence (MATH 221, 222) for MATH 212.

Entering students should enroll in the most advanced course commensurate with their background; advice is available from the CAAM department during Orientation Week.

Intermediate Courses

Typically completed by the end of your third year:

  • CAAM 336: Differential Equations in Science and Engineering
  • CAAM 378: Introduction to Operations Research and Optimization
  • MATH 302: Elements of Analysis
  • STAT 310: Probability and Statistics

* Students who plan to pursue graduate studies in Computational and Applied Mathematics should take MATH 321 and MATH 322.

Advanced Courses

Typically completed during your fourth year:

  • CAAM 453: Numerical Analysis I ( and one of the following two courses )
  • CAAM 454:
  • Iterative Methods for Systems of Equations and Unconstrained Optimization
  • (or) CAAM 471: Linear and Integer Programming

Design Project

Typically completed during your fourth year:

  • CAAM 495: Senior Design Project I
  • CAAM 496: Senior Design Project II


Four courses at 300‐level or above; two of which must be at the 400‐level or above
Two must be CAAM classes, and the other two chosen from approved courses in
departments such as Computer Science, Economics, Mathematics, Mechanical
Engineering, and Statistic (chosen in consultation with a CAAM undergraduate

Apply to Rice

All prospective students should apply through Rice University's Office of Admission. They can also help you schedule a visit to campus.

Learn more about our enrollment and degrees awarded.