Degrees Offered

Why Major in CAAM or Operations Research?

The Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Rice University offers the following undergraduate degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree with a Major in Computational and Applied Mathematics
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree with a Major in Operations Research

Both of our majors provide rigorous mathematical foundations, data science, modeling and computational skills. They serve as strong backgrounds for a variety of quantitative careers in fields such as consulting, data science, logistics, finance, and engineering.

About the Degrees

The BA in CAAM provides foundations applicable to the many fields of science and engineering. CAAM majors take four technical electives that allow considerable freedom to plan a course of study consistent with their particular interests.

The BA in OR is focused on mathematical models that address complex decisions that arise in a variety of industrial and societal settings. OR majors receive a strong grounding in computer science, optimization and stochastic modeling, and depth in various important application areas, such as finance and supply chain management. OR majors take three technical electives that pull from fields such as economics, computer science, and statistics.

For more information about the BA in CAAM and the BA in OR, including learning outcomes, requirements and more, visit the Rice University General Announcements.

Summary of Degree Requirements

Students majoring in CAAM are required to complete 49-52 semester hours. Students majoring in OR are required to complete 64-69 hours.

Mathematical Foundations

  • Both majors require six courses in calculus, linear algebra, analysis, and probability and statistics
  • Computation:
  • CAAM majors take CAAM 210: Introduction to Engineering Computation
  • OR majors take COMP 140: Computational Thinking, and COMP 215: Introduction to Program Design

Introduction to Mathematical Modeling

  • Both majors require CAAM 378: Introduction to Operations Research and Optimization
  • CAAM majors take CAAM 336: Differential Equations in Science and Engineering
  • OR majors take COMP 182: Algorithmic Thinking, and CAAM 382: Stochastic Models

Advanced Courses

  • CAAM majors take two courses in numerical analysis and optimization methods
  • OR majors take one course in each of supply chain management, financial optimization, simulation, and large-scale optimization

Electives and Senior Design

  • CAAM students take four technical electives, and OR majors take three technical electives
  • CAAM and OR majors complete a senior design project

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.