Combinatorics and Optimization

Clare chats with a friend in the cafe

"I chose Waterloo because I believe it is the best school for math in the country. The talent on campus has always blown me away. Hearing the accomplishments of students and faculty makes me feel surrounded by bright minds."

What is Combinatorics and Optimization?

Combinatorics looks at permutations and combinations. Optimization explores ways to make any operation work more efficiently within given constraints. Together, they provide powerful methods for modelling and solving large management problems, from optimizing flight schedules to making a factory’s layout as efficient as possible. Study at the first department of its kind in the world and you’ll graduate with the skills to solve problems in computer science, business, communications, and more.

  • Available as a co-op or regular program
  • There are 40 courses for this degree
  • Graduate with a Bachelor of Mathematics, major in Combinatorics and Optimization

First-year courses

  • MATH 135/145 - Classical Algebra
  • MATH 137/147 - Calculus 1
  • CS 115/135/145 - Computer Science
  • A communications course
  • One non-math elective

See full courses in our undergraduate calendar

Upper-year courses

  • AMATH 331 - Applied Real Analysis
  • CO 330 - Combinatorial Enumeration
  • CO 351 - Netflow Flow Theory
  • PMATH 336 - Groups and Rings
  • PMATH 340 - Elementary Number Theory

Student story

Meet Clare

Outside of school and classes, Clare is very involved in the University of Waterloo’s different communities. She put her video and writing skills to work sharing her story as a Math Ambassador, and she's an active member of the campus theatre scene. She's a scriptwriter, and she produces her own videos too. You can read more about Clare's experiences in the Faculty of Mathematics on the Beyond Ideas blog!

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How to apply

Apply to Mathematics for admissions consideration. If admitted, speak with an academic advisor after first year to declare Combinatorics and Optimization as a major.

Find out more information on the steps to apply


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