Mathematics is an essential subject used in many industries, including science, engineering, finance, and technology. With the growing demand for professionals with solid math skills, pursuing an online math degree can be an excellent way to prepare for a successful career. However, choosing the best online math degree program can be challenging with so many available options. In this guide, we will explore online math degree programs, including their curriculum, cost, and reputation. Whether you are interested in pure mathematics or applied mathematics, this guide will provide valuable information to help you make an informed decision about your education and future career.
If math has always been your strong suit and an area of great interest for you, considering an online degree in mathematics may be the right option for you. Those who hold online math degrees are highly qualified for a wide variety of careers, such as computer programming, actuaries, and even statisticians.
Best Online Math Degrees
Nowadays, obtaining a math degree can be done without traveling to a university or college. You no longer have to worry about paying for room and board. Many online colleges offer accredited math degrees that you can obtain on your schedule, no matter how busy your life is.
You’ll love getting the mathematical skills and knowledge that will give you the necessary expertise to solve real-world problems for businesses. The best part is that earning your degree solely online allows you the flexibility to advance in your existing career or ultimately change career fields without having to struggle with set class times and examinations.
Specializations for Online Math Degrees
A mathematics degree provides a very diverse career outlook for any student. From those who choose to practice pure mathematical theories and concepts to those who focus on determining statistics for private companies, there are a ton of different specialties that those in the mathematics field can choose to pursue. We’re going to go over the four most popularly offered math degree specializations below.
The Applied Mathematics specialty is all about learning functional knowledge about mathematics that allows you to provide its ideas and techniques to solve real-life problems. Those who want to pursue a career in the field of computers, engineering, and science will all need to partake in this specialization to be competitive in the career marketplace.
Most applied mathematics college specialties come with a lot of flexibility where you can gear your coursework selection around your particular interest. For example, if you want to obtain a career in the computer field, you may want to take courses like computation methods and applications of algorithms.
Some common classes that you’ll likely take as part of this college specialization include the following:
- Differential Equations
- Systems Design
- Computational Mathematics
- Computer Science
- Linear Algebra
- Numerical Analysis
- Optimization Theory
Since the applied mathematics field is very flexible in terms of learning, it will make you eligible for a variety of different industries when it comes to choosing the career of your dreams. Many students who graduate with a mathematics degree with a specialization in applied mathematics find themselves working in the following career positions:
- Financial Advisor / Analyst
Those who pursue a specialization in pure mathematics will develop an in-depth understanding of the core structures and concepts underlying all mathematics. You’ll develop expertise in various fields in mathematics, including analysis, geometry, and algebra, alongside many key core competencies like vertical thinking, modeling, and even problem-solving.
There are a number of different classes that one in the pure mathematics major can expect to take along their educational journey. Some of the most common include the following:
- Multivariable Calculus
- Linear Algebra
- Differential Equations
- Discrete Mathematics
It will open the doors to many different industries for you to work in because of the specific analytical and problem-solving skills you’ll develop with this degree major. Some of the most common career industries that graduates with a pure mathematics major find themselves working in include:
- Medical and Scientific Research
Those who are most interested in physical computing are going to fit best into the discrete mathematics major. This field focuses mainly on discrete branches of mathematics instead of continuous structures. This type of math focuses on proofs, sequences, induction, binary sets, recurrence relations, and other integer-related areas of mathematics. Students who opt to undertake this major can expect to take the following courses:
- Abstract Algebra
- Differential Equations
- Linear Math
- Real Analysis
- Graph Theory
- Probabilities and Statistics
- Design and Analysis of Algorithms
When you have a mathematical degree compiled with a major in discrete mathematics, you can find yourself in any of the following career fields:
- Data Science
- Financial Mathematics
- Computer Graphics
- Actuarial Science
Those who endeavor down this major will learn how to collect, analyze, and successfully interpret data. These students will greatly understand how to communicate effectively with others and present their database arguments. Students who opt for this mathematics major can expect to take many of the following college courses:
- Linear Algebra
- Theoretical Statistics
- Statistical Computing
- Applied Statistics
Statistics is a very practical application for many different career paths. For this reason, you’ll be able to find a job in a multitude of various career fields, including all of the following:
- Database Administrator
- Data Scientist
- Market Researcher
- Software Engineer
- Financial Analyst
- Business Analyst
- Cost Estimator
Those who choose to major in computer science can utilize computer-based tools to solve complex problems. Graduates of this major will have a solid foundation of mathematical skills that they can use to form probabilities and create statistical models. There is a large growing industry of artificial intelligence and software problems that need to be handled by those with this specific set of skills.
Because of the very diverse core information that you’re going to need to operate within the computer science field, there are a ton of different classes that you can end up taking. Some of the most common college courses include the following:
- Operating Systems
- Computer Science Theory
- Data Structures
Due to the increased demand for technology-driven programs, majoring in computer science for your mathematics degree can be highly beneficial on a financial level. If you decide to major in this career field, you can find a job in a variety of fields, including:
- Information Systems
- Software Engineering
- Computer Sciences
- Information Technology
- Computer Engineering
- Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
Career and Salary Information for Online Math Degrees
Those who obtain a bachelor’s degree in mathematics will have a wide variety of career options to choose from. In fact, you’ll find these graduates working in the private, public, non-profit, and even government sectors. It’s important to note that the mathematics career field that you choose will have a very big impact on your annual salary. We’re going to share some of the most common mathematical career fields and their median salaries so that you can get a better idea of what you can expect after you obtain your online degree.
|Physicists and Astronomers
|Computer Systems Analysts
|Operations Research Analysts
|Market Research Analysts
As you can see, salaries range typically from around $60,000 to $150,000. With such a diverse range of careers, online mathematics degrees will equip you with the necessary skills to retain a lifelong job within the mathematics industry. After seeing all these different jobs, it becomes overly clear why mathematical careers are always in demand.
Curriculum and Courses for Online Math Degrees
Those who choose online degrees where they major in mathematics can expect to take an abundance of general education courses alongside more specialized courses in mathematics. Most math programs include discrete mathematics, geometry, algebra, calculus, and even statistics. These courses work together to provide you with a solid foundation of theories and functional uses for mathematical formulas.
To help you better understand some of the courses that you’re going to take on your pursuit of getting your online degree, we will provide descriptions for some of the most common courses that online math majors take below.
|This course focuses on problem-solving and proofs based on the theory of single-variable calculus.
|This course is about instructing you on making logical arguments by learning the philosophical side of being a mathematician.
|These courses are all about single variable, multivariable, integration, and other areas of study of continuous change.
|This course focuses on algebraic structures and helps to solidify your basic understanding of mathematical proofs.
|This course will focus on multiple areas of geometry, such as projective and transformational. You’ll study lines, planes, points, and other geometrical figures and how they relate to the physical world around you.
|Probability and Statistics
|This college course is all about using applied statistics and probabilities in the real-world via critical analysis and the interpretation of data and graphs.
|Proofs and Problem-Solving
|This course is about creating mathematical proofs and understanding how to utilize them as a mathematician.
|This course is commonly taken by those looking to get into finance as it covers mathematical modeling of financing.
|This course is all about understanding mathematical structures with distinct values and is a must for those looking to enter the computer science field.
|These courses focus on the practical application of mathematics and its role in problem-solving.
The above are just some of a number of different courses that will be part of the curriculum for most math majors. It can be beneficial to look at the curriculum each school offers as you’re going to find different variations of these courses.
Admissions Requirements for Online Math Degrees
When it comes to getting accepted to an online degree program for mathematics, most colleges and universities will only require typical admission applications. These include five main areas, which are:
Most programs will require you to take a placement examination to ensure that you have the necessary foundational knowledge to pursue a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Some colleges or universities may also require you to have a particular score on the ACT or SAT examination.
Statement of Goals
Most schools require you to write an essay regarding your specific goals for your online degree, which helps showcase your critical thinking and writing skills.
Many colleges will ask you to provide multiple letters of recommendation from qualified individuals like academic professors, coaches, or employers.
You’ll need to complete an official application at the college or university you plan on attending. This will collect specific information about you, your contact information, educational history, degree intentions, etc.
Colleges will need to see proof that you graduated high school, and most want to know your grades. You may be asked to obtain an official transcript or send in an authorization form to your high school to allow the college to obtain an official transcript on your behalf.
Remembering that each school will be different from the next is crucial. Some schools may require only the three typical admission applications we went over above, while others may require you to go above and beyond. Most of the time, schools that are noted as more competitive will require you to pass multiple advanced math courses before they accept you into their programs. It can be conducive to speak with a college admission professional about what admission requirements you need to meet before applying for their online math degrees.
Accreditation for Online Math Degrees
It is essential to consider schools with regional accreditation. Regional accreditation ensures that the school embodies the highest academic, institutional, and management standards. Furthermore, accreditation impacts the availability of scholarships, grants, and loans.
There are a few different accreditations that an online college can have. You can easily figure out what regional accrediting organization a potential school has by checking out the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or CHEA website. Here are the six central regionally accrediting bodies for four-year universities:
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
- New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
- WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Financial Aid & Scholarships for Online Math Degrees
Many students who pursue online math degrees will have some financial aid to help pay for their education. Financial aid should be one of the main factors that you can consider when choosing which school is best for you to go to. The FAFSA website is one of the best places to start regarding financial aid. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and it will connect you with federal student loans and grants that you’re eligible to receive.
Apart from federal student aid, you can also apply for a multitude of scholarships that are available. Most of these scholarships are offered by local community organizations and private organizations. Scholarship America is one of the best online resources for locating prospective scholarships. Be sure to search for those specifically related to mathematics and those offered to the general student.
What Can You Do With an Online Math Degree?
An online degree in mathematics is considered a reasonably broad degree. You’ll learn the fundamental skills throughout your online mathematics degree program that can be extremely useful in various career paths in business, finance, government, and even academia. Depending on your specific interest, skills, and aspirations, you can gain the necessary experience that will help to formulate a direction for your career. Previous graduates with online mathematics degrees have successfully taken careers as budget analysts, statisticians, actuaries, and computer systems analysts.
How Much Does an Online Math Degree Cost?
If you’re considering pursuing an online degree in mathematics, you’ll need to consider the total cost of obtaining that degree. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average amount of money spent on tuition each year during the 2021 school year was $9,400 at public schools. Getting this education at a private non-profit school costs over four times that of public school each year ringing in at $37,600.
It’s very important to realize that what you pay per credit can range anywhere from as low as $200 to up to $2,000, depending on the specific school you decide to go to and the amount of financial aid that you’re able to receive. Apart from tuition expenses, you also need to think about additional costs like your books. Obtaining an online degree is a great way to help reduce educational-related expenses like room and board and travel fees.
How Long Does it Take to Get Online Math Degrees?
Most online math degrees will be bachelor’s degrees. This means it will traditionally take full-time students four years to attain the degree successfully. As with any sort of degree program, you can always speed up the process by attending summer classes, taking more courses during your semesters, and so forth. If you attend on a part-time basis it will take longer to finish the degree.
Are There Affordable Online Math Degrees?
As with any sort of college degree, you can expect to invest a good chunk of money in obtaining that degree. However, many online degree programs are more affordable than in-person classes due to fewer overhead costs for the university. Choosing to obtain your degree in an online format can be a great decision to help make college more affordable for you.
One of the best ways to keep costs down for an online program is to attend a public school in your state. Often, public schools offer discounted rates for residents, even for online degree programs. According to the Education Data Initiative, the average cost of an online bachelor’s degree for in-state students at a public university is under $40,000. Considering the high salaries for people in this field, this price is very affordable!
Is an Online Math Degree Worth It?
In today’s environment, online math degrees are well worth their investment. Since this bachelor’s degree allows you entry into a plethora of different career fields, you’ll always have an opportunity waiting for you. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 31% job growth in mathematics over the next decade. Even better, you’ll be able to work in many different sectors, including education, non-profit, and even research.
10 of the Best Schools Offering Online Math Degrees
As technology continues to develop and people demand more flexibility, online degree programs have been established at several credible universities throughout the globe. An online math degree can provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to excel in your chosen field. However, choosing the right one can be overwhelming with so many online math degree programs available. Here are ten exceptional online degree programs for mathematics. These regionally accredited schools have an excellent reputation. They are listed in alphabetical order.
1. Central Methodist University (Fayette, MO)
This mathematics program establishes a way that will allow you to study its subject matter in written, oral, and symbolic formats. You’ll get the opportunity to study a diverse area of courses, including algebra, engineering, geometry, and statistics. You can take advantage of projects, research opportunities, and internships.
2. Eastern New Mexico University (Portales, NM)
This university will allow you to tailor your mathematics degree in various fields, including theoretical mathematics, the teaching of mathematics, statistics, industrial mathematics, and applied mathematics. This degree will include recorded and live lectures that will work around your schedule. You can even consider minoring or majoring in statistics or computer science to boost your hiring aspirations.
3. Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)
This university offers a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics that will provide you with the knowledge of common core courses like linear algebra and the opportunity for many specialized electives like pure mathematics. This program was named one of the Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2023.
4. Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA)
LSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics is a 120-credit degree. The program consists of faculty-mentored projects and a comprehensive curriculum that will prepare you for numerous mathematical-related career fields.
5. Maryville University (Town and Country, MO)
This university offers a versatile degree program that will give you the theoretical, foundational, and practical mathematical skills you need to pursue several exciting career fields. They offer a variety of programs like financial mathematics, statistical modeling, optimization, and advanced calculus.
6. Mayville State University (Mayville, ND)
This degree program is all about prepping you with the right skills, knowledge, and techniques to enjoy a lifelong career in non-teaching mathematical positions. This program is 100% online. If you already have an undergraduate degree, Mayville offers a quick path to a math degree. You only need to complete pre-requisite courses and core mathematics degree requirements.
7. Ottawa University (Ottawa, ON)
When you’re ready to prepare for your life of significance, Ottawa University is ready for you. This university’s mathematics program will assist you in gaining the necessary knowledge and mathematical thought to help you be an effective problem-solver and analytical thinker who will excel in a wide range of career fields, including operations research, computer science, education, and actuarial science.
8. Thomas Edison State University (Trenton, NJ)
This university offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics that will help you develop a mastery of algebra, applied mathematics, and analysis. You’ll discover how to write and create mathematical proofs and successfully demonstrate problem-solving via mathematical concepts.
9. University of Illinois-Springfield (Springfield, IL)
This school features a Bachelors of Arts degree in mathematics that can prepare you for a successful career in mathematics, statistics, and operations research. Many university graduates work in teaching, management, insurance, research, and industry/engineering.
10. University of Massachusetts-Lowell (Lowell, MA)
This university’s Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics is a great way to create a solid foundation for various career opportunities. UMass Lowell focuses on quantitative analysis, problem-solving, and critical thinking through its robust curriculum. The program is specifically designed to provide all students with an in-depth understanding of the science of mathematics.
Getting your Online Math Degree
In summary, pursuing an online math degree can be a wise decision for those looking to enhance their knowledge and skills in mathematics while maintaining their busy schedules. With the abundance of online math programs available, students can choose a program that best fits their career goals and interests. Whether they are interested in finance, technology, or education, an online math degree can provide the foundation and skills necessary for success in these industries.
Moreover, an online math degree can offer significant benefits beyond academic and career advancement. The skills learned in math courses, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical reasoning, can be applied to a wide range of life situations. An online math degree can instill confidence and a sense of accomplishment, leading to more significant personal and professional growth. Ultimately, earning an online math degree can provide a valuable and versatile foundation for a fulfilling career and a successful life.