Jan 21, 2020  
University of Alberta Calendar 2017-2018 
University of Alberta Calendar 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Major in Operations Management [Business]

Description of Field

All firms have an operations function. It is the group of people concerned with delivering a product or service to the customer. A basic understanding of this process is important within all functional areas of a firm. The success of many businesses and government organizations depends on how efficiently they can match supply and demand. In general, operations management students study the business processes needed for the purchasing, transformation and delivery of goods and services. Specific topics include demand forecasting, workforce planning and scheduling, production planning and scheduling, inventory management, and supply chain management. These topics are supported and complemented by the study of analytical tools such as optimization and simulation, which are useful not only to analyze operations but other business issues as well.

Career Opportunities

Opportunities for majors are in the operations function of any firm. Large firms have departments dedicated to different aspects of the operations function. Smaller firms need operations specialists to drive out cost from the delivery process. Firms with international operations, including ones who out source parts of their operations, need people who can manage international supply chains. Business analysts provide simulation or mathematical models of crucial decisions to inform choices. Minors in Operations Management with a concentration in Business Analytics will learn to develop decision support systems to help inform choices in their field. Minors concentrating in Operations will bring to their job an understanding of the process by which the firm satisfies customer needs.

Sequence of Courses

Year Three

Year Four

  • ★9 in Operations Management electives (See Note 4)
  • ★21 in free electives (See Note 1)


  1. See Policy on Elective Courses 
  2. Either ACCTG 322  or MIS 311  may be taken in Year Two with the other taken in Year Three.
  3. May be taken in any year except Year Two, Fall Term.
  4. Operations Management electives may be chosen from any 400-level OM courses and from a list of additional approved courses available from the Department of Accounting, Operations, and Information Systems. At least four of the seven Operations Management electives must be chosen from 400-level OM courses, MGTSC 405  and MGTSC 455 .
  5. Students planning to take advanced course work in Economics may wish to substitute ECON 281 . See Policy on Elective Courses (4) . ECON courses used to satisfy the requirements of this major may not also be used to satisfy the requirements for coursework outside the Faculty of Business.


  1. Students with a declared major in Operations Management may choose to do a minor in any subject area of Business. See Minors for Business Students  . Minors are not required. Students are urged to select areas complementary to the Operations Management major. Some suggestions and details are listed next. Students may also wish to consider the Cooperative Education program (see BCom (Cooperative Education Program) ).
  2. Students with a declared major in another area may complete a minor in Operations Management by fulfilling the requirements of Minors for Business Students  . ★3 must be in OM 352 .
  3. Students wishing to construct informal programs of study outside the Faculty of Business should consider the following suggestions:
    1. Economics: Any senior ECON course, with Departmental approval.
    2. Statistics/Mathematics Computing Science: Additional work is recommended for students who are interested in graduate studies, for example, MATH 373  and STAT 265 .

Operations Management Concentrations

Students majoring in Operations Management can tailor their program to focus on either Operations (the purchasing, transformation and delivery of goods and services to customers) or Business Analytics (modeling and analysis to support decisions in operations and other fields). Recommended courses for each of these streams are listed below.

Professional Designations

Many Operations Management positions require a professional designation. Elective courses in Operations Management help prepare students for pursuing professional designations and count towards the requirements of some professional designations. Please consult the appropriate governing body.

  1. CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management) and CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Professional): Offered by APICS: The Association for Operations Management.
  2. SCMP (Strategic Supply chain Management Professional): Offered by the Purchasing Management Association of Canada.
  3. CITT: Offered by the Canadian Institute of Traffic and transport.
  4. CORS Diploma: Offered by the Canadian Operational Research Society.