Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree with a Major in Operations Research

Program Learning Outcomes for the BA Degree with a Major in Operations Research

Upon completing the BA degree with a major in Operations Research, students will be able to:

  1. Formulate mathematical programs and stochastic processes that model real-world situations. (Critical Thinking)
  2. Design and analyze exact and approximate approaches to solve operation research models. (Design)
  3. Design, implement and debug software to solve operations research models. (Design)
  4. Communicate the solutions and insights generated by operations research models to a non-technical audience. (Communication)

Requirements for the BA Degree with a Major in Operations Research

For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in Operations Research must complete:

  • A minimum of 20-21 courses (64-69 credit hours), depending on course selection, to satisfy major requirements.
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A minimum of 14 courses (43-45 credit hours, depending on course selection) taken at the 300-level or above.

The undergraduate program in operations research has been designed to accommodate a wide range of student interests. Students are strongly encouraged to take additional courses in pure and applied mathematics, computation, and modeling.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the major’s academic advisor, or where applicable, the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. (Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the major's Official Certifier.) Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Operations Research64-69
Total Credit Hours Required for the BA Degree with a Major in Operations Research120

Degree Requirements

Introductory Requirements
COMP 140COMPUTATIONAL THINKING4
COMP 182ALGORITHMIC THINKING4
COMP 215INTRODUCTION TO PROGRAM DESIGN4
MATH 101SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS I3
or MATH 105 AP/OTH CREDIT IN CALCULUS I
MATH 102SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS II3
or MATH 106 AP/OTH CREDIT IN CALCULUS II
Select 1 course from the following:3-6
MULTIVARIABLE CALCULUS
HONORS CALCULUS III
and HONORS CALCULUS IV
Intermediate Requirements
CAAM 378INTRODUCTION TO OPERATIONS RESEARCH AND OPTIMIZATION3
CAAM 382STOCHASTIC MODELS3
MATH 302ELEMENTS OF ANALYSIS3
or MATH 321 INTRODUCTION TO ANALYSIS I
MATH 355LINEAR ALGEBRA3
or MATH 354 HONORS LINEAR ALGEBRA
STAT 310 / ECON 307PROBABILITY AND STATISTICS3
Advanced Requirements
CAAM 421LOGISTICS AND SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGMENT3
CAAM 467OPTIMIZATION METHODS IN FINANCE3
CAAM 471LINEAR AND INTEGER PROGRAMMING3
CAAM 476LARGE-SCALE OPTIMIZATION3
CAAM 485DISCRETE-EVENT SIMULATION3
Elective Requirements
Select 3 courses (minimum of 9 credit hours) from the following:9-11
NUMERICAL OPTIMIZATION
CONVEX OPTIMIZATION
GRAPH THEORY
COMBINATORIAL OPTIMIZATION
STOCHASTIC OPTIMIZATION
REASONING ABOUT ALGORITHMS
OPTIMIZATION: ALGORITHMS, COMPLEXITY AND APPROXIMATIONS
GENOME-SCALE ALGORITHMS AND DATA STRUCTURES
LARGE-SCALE MACHINE LEARNING
INTRODUCTION TO MACHINE LEARNING
INTRODUCTION TO MACHINE LEARNING
DATA SCIENCE AND MACHINE LEARNING
INTRODUCTION TO STATISTICAL MACHINE LEARNING
CONCRETE MATHEMATICS
PROBABILISTIC ALGORITHMS AND DATA STRUCTURE
FINANCIAL ECONOMICS
PRINCIPLES OF FINANCIAL ENGINEERING
LEARNING FROM SENSOR DATA
ALGORITHMS AND OPTIMIZATION FOR DATA SCIENCE
GRAPH ALGORITHMS
PROBABILITY
STATISTICAL INFERENCE
APPLIED TIME SERIES AND FORECASTING
QUANTITATIVE FINANCIAL RISK MANAGEMENT
QUANTITATIVE FINANCIAL ANALYTICS
MARKET MODELS
MATHEMATICAL PROBABILITY I
MATHEMATICAL PROBABILITY II
Senior Design
DSCI 435 / COMP 449APPLIED MACHINE LEARNING AND DATA SCIENCE PROJECTS4
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Operations Research64-69
Additional Credit Hours to Complete Degree Requirements20-25
University Graduation Requirements *31
Total Credit Hours120

Footnotes and Additional Information

Policies for the BA Degree with a Major in Operations Research

Program Restrictions and Exclusions

Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in Operations Research should be aware of the following program restriction:

  • Students pursuing the major in Operations Research may not additionally declare the major in Computational and Applied Mathematics.
  • Students pursuing the major in Operations Research may not additionally declare the minor in Computational and Applied Mathematics.

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: https://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Departmental Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the major in Operations Research should be aware of the following departmental transfer credit guidelines:

  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis. 

Additional Information

For additional information, please see the Computational and Applied Mathematics website: https://www.caam.rice.edu/.

Opportunities for the BA Degree with a Major in Operations Research

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Fifth-Year Master's Degree Option for Rice Undergraduate Students 

In certain situations and with some terminal master's degree programs, Rice students have an option to pursue a master’s degree by adding an additional fifth year to their four years of undergraduate studies.

Advanced Rice undergraduate students in good academic standing typically apply to the master’s degree program during their junior or senior year. Upon acceptance, depending on course load, financial aid status, and other variables, they may then start taking some required courses of the master's degree program. A plan of study will need to be approved by the student's undergraduate major advisor and the master’s degree program director.

As part of this option and opportunity, Rice undergraduate students:

  • must complete the requirements for a bachelor's degree and the master's degree independently of each other (i.e. no course may be counted toward the fulfillment of both degrees).
  • should be aware there could be financial aid implications if the conversion of undergraduate coursework to that of graduate level reduces their earned undergraduate credit for any semester below that of full-time status (12 credit hours).
  • more information on this Undergraduate - Graduate Concurrent Enrollment opportunity, including specific information on the registration process can be found here.

Rice undergraduate students completing studies in science and engineering may have the option to pursue the Master of Computational and Applied Mathematics (MCAAM) degree. For additional information, students should contact their undergraduate major advisor and the MCAAM program director. 

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Computational and Applied Mathematics website: https://www.caam.rice.edu/.