Operations Research and Management Science

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

The Operations Research and Management Science (ORMS) major is designed for students in the College of Letters & Science. It provides a solid foundation in the quantitative, model building, and problem-solving skills of operations research and management science. It also gives students the flexibility to learn more about a particular field of interest to them in which they can apply these skills.

The major is very math intensive and is appropriate for students who enjoy and are good at mathematics, computers, and solving practical, multidisciplinary problems. 

Declaring the Major

Note: These declaration requirements are for students admitted to UC Berkeley prior to Fall 2023.  Newly admitted first year students in Fall 2023 should refer to the L&S High Demand major policy.

ORMS is a high-demand major in L&S.

For students admitted to UC Berkeley prior to fall 2023:

To declare the ORMS major, students should have a minimum of a 3.2 overall grade point average (GPA) in the prerequisite courses. For more information on major declaration requirements, request to be added to the email list at https://ieor.berkeley.edu/undergraduate-resources/orms/.

For students admitted to UC Berkeley fall 2023 and thereafter:

First-year students applying to Berkeley Letters & Science will be guaranteed admission into the ORMS major if they selected ORMS as their primary major on their UC Berkeley admissions application. Students are guaranteed a spot in the ORMS major, subject to completing the major prerequisites, maintaining good academic standing in L&S, and filing a declaration form.

The opportunities for being admitted into the ORMS major after enrollment at UC Berkeley will be extremely limited, and applying to the ORMS major via the comprehensive review process does not guarantee a spot in the major. If you have an interest in the ORMS major, we strongly encourage you to select ORMS as your primary major during the UC application process. If you opt to change to the ORMS major after being admitted to Berkeley, you will be required to have an alternate plan to declare a non-high demand major as a back-up.

For more information on the high-demand major policy please visit the "Admissions" page for the College of Letters and Science on the Berkeley Academic Guide.


Prerequisite Coursework

All four prerequisite classes (MATH 53, MATH 54, UGBA 10, and either ECON 1ECON 2 or ECON C3) must be completed prior to acceptance to the major and all must be taken for a letter grade. Students should declare the major during the semester in which they are enrolled in their final prerequisites but before their 4th semester. For students applying to the major with prerequisite coursework completed Spring 2020 to Spring 2021, please see the ORMS website for alternate prerequisite GPA calculations of coursework not taken for a letter grade.  

Many factors are considered in determining admission. The main criterion, however, is academic performance as measured by the Berkeley GPA in the prerequisite courses.  Since this major is capped, planning for an alternate major is recommended. There is an Operations Research concentration in the Math Department that might be a good choice if students are not admitted to the ORMS major.

Honors Program

Students with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.5 overall and 3.7 in the major upper division coursework should consider participating in the ORMS honors program. To graduate with honors, a student must find a faculty sponsor appropriate for an original research project that he or she wishes to do and enroll in two semesters (6 units) of the honors thesis courses IND ENG H196A and IND ENG H196B

Alternatively, a student may take two approved graduate courses in Operations Research or a related field, and achieve at least an A- in each course. Courses used for the honors program cannot be used to fulfill the requirements for the ORMS major or any IEOR graduate program. The student must also maintain a minimum 3.5 overall GPA and 3.7 in the major at the time of graduation.

Minor Program

There is no minor program in Operations Research and Management Science.  However, students interested in an ORMS minor, may be interested in the Industrial Engineering and Operations Research minor.

Visit Department Website

Major Requirements

In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the major requirements below must be taken for graded credit, other than courses listed which are offered on a Pass/No Pass basis only. Other exceptions to this requirement are noted as applicable.  Exceptions for the Spring 2020 to Spring 2021 semesters are listed on the ORMS website.
  2. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs, with the exception of minors offered outside of the College of Letters & Science.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in both upper and lower division courses used to fulfill the major requirements.

For information regarding residence requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.

Lower Division Requirements

MATH 1ACalculus4
MATH 1BCalculus4
MATH 53Multivariable Calculus4
MATH 54Linear Algebra and Differential Equations4
or EECS 16A Designing Information Devices and Systems I
ECON 1Introduction to Economics4
or ECON 2 Introduction to Economics--Lecture Format
or ECON C3 Introduction to Environmental Economics and Policy
ENGIN 7Introduction to Computer Programming for Scientists and Engineers4
or COMPSCI 61A The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
Foundations of Data Science
and Computational Structures in Data Science
UGBA 10Principles of Business3

Upper Division Requirements

IND ENG 172Probability and Risk Analysis for Engineers4
or STAT 134 Concepts of Probability
or STAT C140 Probability for Data Science
or DATA C140 Probability for Data Science
IND ENG 173Introduction to Stochastic Processes 13
One of the following:
Nonlinear and Discrete Optimization [3]
Linear Programming and Network Flows
Two of the following:
Introduction to Machine Learning and Data Analytics [3-4]
Engineering Statistics, Quality Control, and Forecasting
Simulation for Enterprise-Scale Systems
Four clustered electives (see below for sample clusters):12
ORMS majors, with the signed advance approval of their faculty advisers, select a minimum of four upper division elective courses to form a coherent cluster, or concentration, in an area where Operations Research is applied. Courses in other departments may count toward this requirement if they have substantial relevant content at an appropriately advanced level. These courses must be taken for a letter grade.

Students will receive no credit for IND ENG 165 after taking STAT 135, or  IND ENG 172 after taking STAT 134 or STAT C140.

Sample Clusters

Decision Making in Economic Systems

ECON 101AMicroeconomics (Math Intensive)4
ECON 101BMacroeconomics (Math Intensive)4
ECON 104Advanced Microeconomic Theory4
ECON 141Econometrics (Math Intensive)4
ECON C142Applied Econometrics and Public Policy4
ECON C110Game Theory in the Social Sciences4
or UGBA 143 Game Theory and Business Decisions
or STAT 155 Game Theory
IND ENG 142Introduction to Machine Learning and Data Analytics3
or IND ENG 165 Engineering Statistics, Quality Control, and Forecasting
or IND ENG 174 Simulation for Enterprise-Scale Systems
MATH 104Introduction to Analysis4

Decision Making in Industrial and Service Systems

ECON C110Game Theory in the Social Sciences3-4
or UGBA 143 Game Theory and Business Decisions
or STAT 155 Game Theory
IND ENG 115Industrial and Commercial Data Systems3
IND ENG 130Methods of Manufacturing Improvement3
IND ENG 150Production Systems Analysis3
or UGBA 141 Production and Operations Management
IND ENG 151Service Operations Design and Analysis3
IND ENG 153Logistics Network Design and Supply Chain Management3
IND ENG 160Nonlinear and Discrete Optimization3
or IND ENG 162 Linear Programming and Network Flows
IND ENG 165Engineering Statistics, Quality Control, and Forecasting3
or IND ENG 142 Introduction to Machine Learning and Data Analytics
or IND ENG 174 Simulation for Enterprise-Scale Systems
IND ENG 166Decision Analytics3
IND ENG 170Industrial Design and Human Factors3
UGBA 102BManagerial Accounting3

Decision Making in Societal Systems

ECON 101AMicroeconomics (Math Intensive)4
ECON 101BMacroeconomics (Math Intensive)4
ECON C110Game Theory in the Social Sciences4
or UGBA 143 Game Theory and Business Decisions
or STAT 155 Game Theory
IND ENG 165Engineering Statistics, Quality Control, and Forecasting3
or IND ENG 142 Introduction to Machine Learning and Data Analytics
or IND ENG 174 Simulation for Enterprise-Scale Systems
IND ENG 166Decision Analytics3
SOCIOL 101Sociological Theory I5
SOCIOL 105Research Design and Sociological Methods5
SOCIOL 106Quantitative Sociological Methods4
SOCIOL 119SOrganizational Strategy and Design: A Sociological Perspective4

Algorithmic Decision Making 

COMPSCI 61BData Structures This is a prerequisite and does not count toward the four required upper division courses.4
COMPSCI 170Efficient Algorithms and Intractable Problems4
COMPSCI 172Computability and Complexity4
COMPSCI 174Combinatorics and Discrete Probability4
IND ENG 115Industrial and Commercial Data Systems3
IND ENG 142Introduction to Machine Learning and Data Analytics3
or IND ENG 165 Engineering Statistics, Quality Control, and Forecasting
or IND ENG 174 Simulation for Enterprise-Scale Systems
IND ENG 160Nonlinear and Discrete Optimization3
or IND ENG 162 Linear Programming and Network Flows
IND ENG 166Decision Analytics3
MATH 110Abstract Linear Algebra4

College Requirements

Undergraduate students must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those required by their major program.

For detailed lists of courses that fulfill college requirements, please review the College of Letters & Sciences page in this Guide. For College advising appointments, please visit the L&S Advising Pages. 

University of California Requirements

Entry Level Writing

All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley. 

American History and American Institutions

The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a US resident graduated from an American university, should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

Berkeley Campus Requirement

American Cultures

All undergraduate students at Cal need to take and pass this course in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.

College of Letters & Science Essential Skills Requirements

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is designed to ensure that students graduate with basic understanding and competency in math, statistics, or computer science. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course.

Foreign Language

The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work.

Reading and Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing, and critical thinking the College requires two semesters of lower division work in composition in sequence. Students must complete parts A & B reading and composition courses in sequential order by the end of their fourth semester.

College of Letters & Science 7 Course Breadth Requirements

Breadth Requirements

The undergraduate breadth requirements provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program. As the foundation of a liberal arts education, breadth courses give students a view into the intellectual life of the University while introducing them to a multitude of perspectives and approaches to research and scholarship. Engaging students in new disciplines and with peers from other majors, the breadth experience strengthens interdisciplinary connections and context that prepares Berkeley graduates to understand and solve the complex issues of their day.

Unit Requirements

  • 120 total units

  • Of the 120 units, 36 must be upper division units

  • Of the 36 upper division units, 6 must be taken in courses offered outside your major department
Residence Requirements

For units to be considered in "residence," you must be registered in courses on the Berkeley campus as a student in the College of Letters & Science. Most students automatically fulfill the residence requirement by attending classes here for four years, or two years for transfer students. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless you go abroad for a semester or year or want to take courses at another institution or through UC Extension during your senior year. In these cases, you should make an appointment to meet an adviser to determine how you can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.

Note: Courses taken through UC Extension do not count toward residence.

Senior Residence Requirement

After you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned toward your BA degree), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence in at least two semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units. Intercampus Visitor, EAP, and UC Berkeley-Washington Program (UCDC) units are excluded.

You may use a Berkeley Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence requirement, provided that you successfully complete 6 units of course work in the Summer Session and that you have been enrolled previously in the college.

Modified Senior Residence Requirement

Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP), Berkeley Summer Abroad, or the UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) may meet a Modified Senior Residence requirement by completing 24 (excluding EAP) of their final 60 semester units in residence. At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units.

Upper Division Residence Requirement

You must complete in residence a minimum of 18 units of upper division courses (excluding UCEAP units), 12 of which must satisfy the requirements for your major.

Student Learning Goals

Learning Goals for the Major

All Operations Research and Management Science (ORMS) graduates are expected to acquire the following general skills and knowledge:

  1. Ability to apply mathematics and science to the solution of societal problems.
  2. Ability to design and conduct experiments, analyze, and interpret data.
  3. Ability to design system and operating policies to meet desired needs.
  4. Ability to function on multidisciplinary teams and communicate effectively.
  5. Ability to identify, formulate, and solve societal system problems.
  6. Understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
  7. Recognize the need for and ability to engage in life-long learning.
  8. Knowledge of contemporary issues.
  9. Ability to use techniques, skills, and modern tools in practice.


The ORMS major in the IEOR Department has four general objectives for the Bachelor of Arts degree program. The department aims for the BA degree graduates to become skilled in the following:

  1. Quantitative modeling and analysis of a broad array of systems-level decision problems concerned with economic efficiency, productivity, and quality.
  2. Development and creative use of analytical and computational methods for solving these problems.
  3. Collection and analysis of data and the use of database and decision-support tools.
  4. Comprehension and analysis of risk and uncertainty.

In addition, graduates will obtain the broader skills, background, and knowledge necessary to be effective life-long professionals who understand the impact of systems in a societal context in a rapidly changing global economy.

Specific outcomes of the BA degree program are as follows:

  1. Develop scientific, quantitative, model building, and problem solving skills through core courses in mathematics, statistics, operations research, and management sciences.
  2. Learn how to apply these skills and tools effectively for operational, tactical, and strategic decisions in an area of choice.
  3. Pursue graduate study in operations research and the management sciences.

Major Map

Major Maps help undergraduate students discover academic, co-curricular, and discovery opportunities at UC Berkeley based on intended major or field of interest. Developed by the Division of Undergraduate Education in collaboration with academic departments, these experience maps will help you:

  • Explore your major and gain a better understanding of your field of study

  • Connect with people and programs that inspire and sustain your creativity, drive, curiosity and success

  • Discover opportunities for independent inquiry, enterprise, and creative expression

  • Engage locally and globally to broaden your perspectives and change the world

  • Reflect on your academic career and prepare for life after Berkeley

Use the major map below as a guide to planning your undergraduate journey and designing your own unique Berkeley experience.

View the Operations Research and Management Science Major Map PDF.


Operations Research and Management Science

Contact Information

Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

4141 Etcheverry Hall

Phone: 510-642-5484

Visit Department Website

Professor and Chair

Alper Atamturk

423 Sutardja Dai Hall

Phone: 510-642-4559


Student Affairs Officer

Ginnie Sadil


ORMS Head Undergraduate Advisor

Dorit Hochbaum

4181 Etcheverry Hall

Phone: 510-642-4998


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