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.
- 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.
- Available as a regular or co-op program
- Graduate with a Bachelor of Mathematics in Mathematical Optimization
- Offered by the Faculty of Mathematics
What will you learn?
During your first year, you'll take a mix of foundational courses in Math and Computer Science.
In upper years, most of your classes will be combinatorics and optimization courses. You'll also take additional mathematics courses.
Learn more about the courses you'll take for your Mathematical Optimization degree.
Customize your 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.
Once you're a student, advisors can help you explore which minors or specializations may fit into your plans.
Get tips from Waterloo students
Join our monthly newsletter for tips such as choosing a university program, life at Waterloo, and finances.
Contact a student ambassador
Ask a Faculty of Mathematics student about their program, classes, getting involved on campus, and more!
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.
Women in Computer Science
Women in Computer Science (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.
Mathematical Optimization admission requirements
Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
- Advanced Functions
- Calculus and Vectors
- Any 4U English
- One other 4U course
Recommended course: Grade 11 U Introduction to Computer Science
Admission averages: Individual selection from the high 80s
How to apply?
Apply to Mathematics and choose Mathematical Optimization as your major. Once you've applied, you'll need to complete the Admission Information Form as part of the application process.
We strongly encourage you to participate in the Canadian Senior Mathematics Contest and/or the Euclid Mathematics Contest to enhance your admissions status.
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.
Connect with us
Questions about courses, programs, requirements, or careers?
Contact Laura Jane Watkins, our Mathematics recruitment coordinator, who can answer any questions you have.