Online math degrees are offered at many colleges and universities across the country. You can browse our list of great options for an online math degree.
When you are weighing your options and researching schools, be sure to pay close attention to institutional accreditation. Accreditation is a general term for the validating of a college's credentials, by a nonpartisan organization. Because there is no specific programmatic accrediting agency for mathematics, understanding and assessing institutional accreditation is an important aspect of choosing a quality degree program.
Online Bachelor's in Mathematics with the Highest Return on Investment
The five schools below offer top online programs in mathematics ranked by return on investment (ROI). Indiana University - East and Southern New Hampshire University Online, ranked #1 and #2, have higher ROIs than the national average of $465,100, and their tuition rates range from $9,600 to $10,227. We calculated ROI by subtracting student loan payments from projected career salaries 10 years after graduation. The higher a program’s ROI, the more profitable the degree may be in the future.
ROI amounts are based on data reported by the U.S. Department of Education. Tuitions are manually researched in order to determine tuition amounts specific to online degrees. Read our methodology for more details.
Best Bachelor's Degrees in Mathematics Rankings Details
Indiana University - East
10-Year ROI: $545,800
Median Salary: $55,286
Annual Tuition: $10,227
Median Debt: $18,750
Indiana University East (IUE) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Mathematics degree. The program requires 120 credit hours, but the school may allow students to transfer as many as 64 credits earned at a regionally accredited two-year college or up to 90 credits from a four-year accredited university. During 46 credits of mathematics courses, students solve quantitative reasoning... problems, analyze and interpret data, and investigate scientific hypotheses and theories.
IUE delivers courses asynchronously through the Canvas learning management system, where students access course materials, view grades, and communicate with classmates. IUE provides several scholarships specifically for incoming first-year students and others for transfer students. Tuition for online and in-state students is discounted. The Career Services office helps students locate internships and provides real-world experience before graduation. The Alumni Association creates connections for additional resources.
Prospective students can apply online, although they can choose to mail a paper application. IUE requires high school or GED transcripts and SAT or ACT scores for first-year candidates, and postsecondary transcripts for transfers. Students can access academic resources, research assistance, and technical support.
Cost per Credit: $341
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 40%
Acceptance Rate: 70%
Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
Average SAT Scores: 920 - 1120
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,901
Southern New Hampshire University Online
10-Year ROI: $507,900
Median Salary: $51,106
Annual Tuition: $9,600
Median Debt: $14,666
The online Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics is available as a general degree program or with a concentration in applied mathematics. The 120-credit program curriculum prepares students to solve real-world problems for careers as actuaries, statisticians, financial analysts, management analysts, and other positions in quantitative and analytical fields. Students take 15 mathematics... courses, including three electives. Another option is the school’s Bachelor of Arts in General Studies with a concentration in mathematics, which exposes online students to mathematical concepts and methods that enhance computational reasoning and quantitative and problem-solving skills. In addition to the General Studies requirements, students take 12 math credits, six of which must be upper-level classes.
Remote students can submit weekly assignments, join discussion boards, and use other online tools asynchronously. Online students can transfer as many as 90 credits into these programs and can take the Pathways to Math Success assessments to earn as many as 12 credits for what they already know. The university has frozen the cost of online learning since 2012. Service members and their spouses also earn tuition discounts.
Applications can be completed online. Benefits for remote learners include online tutoring, 24/7 technical support, and full access to all of the features of the university’s Shapiro Library.
School Type: Non-Profit
Graduation Rate: 52%
Acceptance Rate: 78%
Financial Aid Recipients: 75%
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 76,929
University of North Dakota
Grand Forks (ND)
10-Year ROI: $430,400
Median Salary: $43,798
Annual Tuition: $10,675
Median Debt: $16,500
The University of North Dakota (UND) offers an online Bachelor of General Studies with a concentration in natural sciences and mathematics. This 120-credit program allows students to tailor an approach to their individual needs and career goals. They can enroll in courses dedicated to multiple concentrations, allowing them more flexibility in the future when considering job placement... or pursuing additional degrees.
In the Blackboard system, online students can access course materials, speak with professors and students through video conferencing, and turn in work and exams. UND awards about $7.8 million in scholarships annually and assists applicants who are looking for grants and financial aid. The average time to earn a degree is four years, but students are allowed to work asynchronously and enroll in classes whenever they choose.
Self-paced anytime courses are available year-round. Students choosing this approach simply apply for classes one at a time and complete them at their own pace. Online students looking for a more structured approach may also apply for fall, spring, and summer programs. The application deadlines are February 1, December 15, and May 1, respectively. All online students are able to access UND’s virtual classroom, library, tutoring services, IT support, and career coaching through the online education platform.
Cost per Credit: $356
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 55%
Acceptance Rate: 83%
Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
Average SAT Scores: 980 - 1230
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,867
University of Kentucky
10-Year ROI: $348,300
Median Salary: $38,498
Annual Tuition: $17,280
Median Debt: $17,022
The University of Kentucky offers an online Bachelor of Liberal Studies with a concentration in mathematical sciences. This 120-credit program has a full degree option for those with no college background and a degree-completion option for students with some prior credits. Most classes will be devoted to the mathematical science track, where students will examine social issues from... multiple angles and work to address problems from a liberal studies perspective. The program can be completed in as little as two and a half years depending on transfer credits.
Online students use both the asynchronous Canvas learning management system and Zoom for some synchronous conferencing to connect with instructors and classmates. Enrolled online students can explore ScholarshipUniverse, the school’s searchable web database of both internal and external scholarship opportunities.
The application process may be completed online. Application due dates are about a month before each starting date. Digital resources for online students include the Writing Center, academic coaching, the Presentation U tutoring service, tech support, and comprehensive online library availability.
Cost per Credit: $576
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 66%
Acceptance Rate: 96%
Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
Average SAT Scores: 1080 - 1300
Accreditation: SACS COC
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 309
University of Illinois at Springfield
10-Year ROI: $329,200
Median Salary: $34,704
Annual Tuition: $12,210
Median Debt: $22,561
The online Bachelor of Arts in Mathematical Sciences is a 61-credit undergraduate minor that allows students to customize their degree programs in pursuit of a chosen career. For instance, students planning to teach math or work in engineering or the physical sciences can choose mathematics courses. Those interested in applying math to the sciences or working in business may elect... statistics courses.
All coursework is delivered through the Canvas learning management system. Almost 70% of the student body receives financial aid of some kind, including a variety of merit- and need-based scholarships, such as the Grace Brorstrom Oakley Scholarship for single mothers studying online. U.S. Military veterans can take advantage of several forms of tuition assistance.
Applications can be filled out and submitted online (for a fee). The program is available in the spring and fall semesters. Open registration for the Spring semester starts in early November, and in mid-April for the Fall semester. Resources for online learners include help desk tech support and digital access to the Career Development Center and the university’s Brookens Library.
Cost per Credit: $407
School Type: Non-Profit
Credits Required: 120
Graduation Rate: 51%
Acceptance Rate: 52%
Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
Average SAT Scores: 990 - 1218
Undergrad Online Enrollment: 942
Online Mathematics Degree Overview & Career Information
At the undergraduate level, math students take courses in a wide variety of math theories and applications, such as statistics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, and economic modeling. A bachelor's degree in math can lead to careers in finance, economics, computer engineering and other fields that require a strong quantitative understanding. Master's degree students complete a thesis in a chosen area of mathematics, which may be theoretical or applied; this takes the form of a research project that is overseen by the student's faculty adviser. Master's graduates can land a greater variety of jobs in research and development areas.
Mathematicians generally choose one of two specializations: theoretical or applied math. The choice of a specialization results in a greater focus on either application of mathematics or on the derivation of mathematical theory, but in both areas, mathematicians will need to be well-versed in the past study of theory as well as contemporary mathematical thought.
Many students choose to undertake an internship while completing their bachelor’s degree, to gain experience applying their coursework in a real-world setting. Because many math students expect to move on to higher degrees before seeking full-time employment, internships also help to break up long sequences of study.
Online Bachelor's Degrees in Mathematics
Online bachelor’s degrees in math help individuals who want to prepare for a role in math education, a math-intensive career or for graduate level math study. Bachelor's degree programs usually consist of about 120 credit hours and full-time students can complete their studies in four years. During the first two years of a bachelor’s degree, students take classes in liberal arts areas, such as social science, natural science, humanities, and fine arts. This curriculum is designed to help all students to develop useful critical thinking and communication skills, as well as improved cultural knowledge. In the final two years of the program, students focus on math topics including calculus, linear and abstract algebra, statistics, differential equations, and discrete and logical mathematics, all taken in sequences of varying length. Many undergraduate math students also complete an internship related to their field of study. Because many bachelor's level math students expect to move on to higher degrees before they seek full-time employment, internships provide the opportunity to apply theoretical coursework in real-world settings.
Some bachelor’s programs offer specialization tracks in relevant quantitative areas, such as actuarial science, industrial mathematics, or systems analysis. Other bachelor’s degrees are designed to prepare math teachers for employment and include courses in curriculum design and instruction. Graduates from these programs are typically qualified to apply for state certification to become primary or secondary mathematics teachers. Postsecondary teaching, however, requires a master's or doctoral degree.
The quantitative and analytical skills of math bachelor’s degree graduates are highly valued in a number of career areas. Possible roles for graduates include actuary, operations research specialist, investment analyst, bioinformatics analyst, and statistician. Many departments within the federal government - such as internal revenue, census procedures, and defense - require a bachelor's degree or the equivalent of 24 semester hours of math coursework for their entry-level positions.
The Importance of Accreditation
There is no specific accreditation agency governing the field of mathematics, but it is still important for students pursuing online math degrees to research the accreditation status of schools where they are interested in earning their degree or certification. Any institution you consider should have earned this important designation, which indicates that a school has met certain academic standards of quality. The Department of Education maintains a list of recognized regional and national accrediting agencies. Attending an institution that has been accredited by one of these agencies means you’ll be eligible for government financial aid. It will also mean your degree will be recognized by other educational institutions should you choose to transfer credits or continue your education at another institution in the future.
Students interested in preparing to become math teachers in public schools should also ensure that any teacher-preparation program they're considering has earned recognition from the board of education in the state where they hope to teach; this credential is required to earn a teaching license. TEACH.org (previously operated by the US Department of Education) has more information about the path to teaching in K-12 public schools.
What Students Will Learn in an Online Mathematics Program
The core math curriculum covers several advanced mathematics topics. Calculus, linear algebra, statistics, abstract algebra, and real analysis are commonly required classes. Other courses, such as formal logic or computer algorithms, have strong connections with mathematics and support the study of math theories. Along with the core curriculum, students may take upper-level math courses of their choosing or complete a minor in a related area. Math education students might take courses in geometry for teachers and applied math instruction, while students with a computer science minor would take courses in programming and operating systems.
Courses taken during a bachelor's degree typically include calculus, linear and abstract algebra, statistics, differential equations, and discrete and logical mathematics, all taken in sequences of varying length. Most online master's degree programs in mathematics are geared toward math education. Students can prepare to teach math at the elementary, middle school, or high school level. The master’s degree program contains upper-level mathematics classes, as well as perspectives on math education. Common coursework topics may discuss classroom management, effective teaching strategies, diversity in the classroom, math instructional technology, and mathematics learning. Education-focused programs also require teaching practicums and internships in a real classroom setting so that graduates gain hands-on teaching skills.
Degree programs in math that are not oriented toward education can usually be completed 100 percent online. Students learn new math concepts through online video lectures and tutorials. Email, instant messaging and video conferencing with instructors may also be used to aid student understanding. Programs that are designed to prepare graduates for the classroom will require some on-site work, usually in the form of teaching practicums (mock teaching workshops) and teaching work in a local school. Online programs work to accommodate online students by placing them in schools in their community.
Career Specializations for Mathematics Graduates
There is a wide variety of careers open to mathematics majors, from engineers to accountants, actuaries to economists.
Individuals who choose careers as mathematicians can focus on applied mathematics or pure mathematics. An applied mathematician collaborates with engineers, chemists, or anyone else who is in need of complex mathematical assistance. These mathematicians must be able to solve real-life, practically applicable math problems. A pure mathematician usually works in academia, creating and contributing to new mathematical disciplines, solving complex theoretical problems, and working with patterns. Pure mathematicians are relatively rare and usually have doctoral degrees that allow them to work as professors.
Additional career options for math majors include:
Economics and Finance: Economists and financiers work with money. Economists track global economic trends to make predictions about the future of a nation's trade and commerce. Financiers help develop financial plans and make recommendations to individuals or companies about their financial futures.
Statistics: Statisticians conduct surveys and collect statistical information, which they then interpret and apply to practical situations. Statistics professionals work in many different disciplines, ranging from politics to biology, and must be able to think logically and work accurately.
Teaching: Students in the United States struggle with the math segments of standardized tests more than they do in any other subject. Qualified teachers with innovative and motivating approaches to math education are always in high demand.
Theoretical Mathematics: These mathematicians construct new principles and discover previously unrecognized connections with already existing principles, expanding knowledge and establishing new theoretical foundations in subfields of math.
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