Your optimal future starts here
Focus on problems where resources need to be allocated effectively in complex, dynamic, and uncertain conditions.
You'll start with a solid foundation in math, including combinatorics, linear optimization, modelling, scheduling, forecasting, decision theory, and computer simulation. On top of that, you’ll add courses in economics, business, and management science, in addition to the ability to gain paid work experience through co-op.
After first year, you'll choose one of two specializations: Operations Research or Business.
When you graduate, you’ll have all kinds of career options. You might enhance scheduling for airline crews and sports games, improve production and distribution efficiency for manufacturing companies, increase service quality and efficiency in healthcare administration, or develop sophisticated tools for finance and investments.
First faculty of mathematics in North America
Waterloo is an international leader in Mathematics
Mathematical Optimization admission requirements
To be considered for entrance scholarships in the Faculty of Mathematics, you must write one or both of the contests. If you complete both contests, we'll use the results of the contest in which you performed best.
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Monthly topics include how to choose a program, what it's like to be a Waterloo student, the differences between high school and university, and more.
Questions? Ask a student!
Contact a Faculty of Mathematics student ambassador to learn about their experience in the program.
Ask them questions such as why they chose their program, what the classes are like, and how you can get involved on campus.
First-year Mathematical Optimization courses and beyond
You may select advanced-stream courses for algebra, calculus, and computer science if you meet the requirements.
September to December
January to April
After first year
Most of the required courses you’ll take will be combinatorics and optimization courses, with additional courses in mathematics. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.
Sample upper-year courses
Customize your Bachelor of Mathematics degree
In upper years, you'll select Business or Operations Research as your specialization. You can also add additional areas of expertise to your degree by including one or more of the minors available to all Waterloo students.
Co-op = relevant paid work experience
By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.
What can you do with a degree in Mathematical Optimization?
Waterloo Mathematical Optimization graduates commonly pursue careers in software development, business analysis, and operations. They often work in financial institutions, consulting companies, universities, and more.
- App Software Developer - Bank of Montreal
- Business Analyst - ThoughtWorks Canada
- Business Technology Analyst - Deloitte & Touche LLP
- Health Information Analyst - Ministry of Health Services, British Columbia
- IT Architect - Scotiabank
- Institutional Analyst - University of Waterloo
- Manager, Business Operations - Fortune Metals Inc.
Learn about the future of careers in business.
Student life, including women in mathematics
Math Society (MathSoc)
MathSoc is run by students for students and provides a wide range of clubs and services as well as social and academic events to make your experience as a Waterloo Mathematics student the best it can be. There are many ways to get involved and to meet students in other Faculty of Mathematics programs.
Outside of the Faculty of Mathematics, our campus is packed with opportunities to get involved, no matter how unique your interests. Between clubs supported by the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association, sports and recreation, student government, and an incredible range of events, there's something for everyone at Waterloo!
Women in Mathematics
The Women in Mathematics (WiM) community encourages and advocates for women of all ages who are interested in studying math and pursuing a career in a related area. WiM strives for all genders to be well-represented in mathematics and welcomes people with under-represented gender identities.
Women in Computer Science
Women in Computer Science (WiCS) promotes gender equity for students interested in studying computer science and pursuing career in computing. WiCS has a very active student-run committee and offers events such as the Big CSters mentoring program, workshops, a speaker series, and panels about diversity in computer science and STEM.
There's also Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (WiSTEM), a student-run club that welcomes all students (regardless of gender) to promote equality in STEM. Opportunities include skills workshops, discussions, homework help, and guest speakers.
Apply to Mathematics and choose Mathematical Optimization as your major
Offered by the Faculty of Mathematics
Ready to learn more?
- Visit the Mathematical Optimization website
- Contact our Mathematics recruitment co-ordinator, who can answer any questions about the program
- Subscribe to our newsletter to get tips and advice from current students
Your choice: four years or five
Choose co-op and gain two years of career-relevant work experience. Or choose the regular system and graduate a year earlier.
Learn from top researchers
There’s no better place to study optimization than Waterloo, home to the world’s largest concentration of combinatorics and optimization professors.