Online Colleges for Mathematics: How to Choose

Learn about important considerations when selecting an online mathematics school. Keep reading to get an overview of the program options, career prospects, and common courses offered for the field of study.

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs in mathematics are available online from several different institutions. Explore a few of the available schools and degrees, and learn about some considerations for selecting the best school for you.

How to Select an Online Mathematics School

Students considering online mathematics schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Mathematics is broadly defined as the study of numbers, with an emphasis on manipulating quantities and searching for patterns. Online education in mathematics is offered at the bachelor's and master's degree levels at universities and colleges throughout the nation. Students must not only weigh program emphasis but its presentation as well.

Program Emphasis

Many online mathematics degrees are geared towards training graduates to work in academia, some cover general topics in the field and others are designed for students who will enter a specialized area like engineering or computer science. Students should choose a mathematics program based on the career they wish to pursue.

Program Presentation

Some online mathematics programs require students to attend virtual classes and interact with other students. These programs often utilize videoconferencing software and other means of real-time virtual communication. Other programs primarily use text-based methods of communication to relay lecture materials and assignments. These programs normally do not require students to attend at any particular time and often allow students to complete assignment at their own pace. Some classes that have set schedules may not be appropriate for working adults, so students should keep this in mind when choosing a school.

Available Online Programs in Mathematics

Bachelor of Science in Mathematics

Online Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs in mathematics usually teach students about different types of quantitative systems. Graduates can continue their education, become teachers or find a job applying their mathematical skills to other concerns. Online B.S. programs are normally presented asynchronously. Classes teach students about:

  • Differential equations
  • Abstract and linear algebra
  • Probability and number theory
  • International finance

Master of Science in Mathematics

Master of Science (M.S.) programs in mathematics are typically designed for students interested in earning a doctorate or becoming educators, though student can also prepare for careers in finance, statistics and other fields. Some online programs require students to complete a thesis project as part of their coursework. Online M.S. programs are available in synchronous and asynchronous formats to accommodate all types of learners. Students take courses such as:

  • Nonlinear waves
  • Advanced probability
  • Numerical analysis and scientific computing
  • Mathematical biology
  • Multivariate methods

Schools With Online Programs in Mathematics

Indiana University has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics that requires 45 credits in mathematics. Students may take classes in algebra, calculus, mathematical modeling and more. This program is ideal for those wishing to pursue graduate studies in the field or a career in actuarial sciences.

The University of Illinois offers a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematical Sciences that consists of 60 mathematics credits. This degree program can work for students with varying career interests. Students interested in teaching math or working as an engineer can choose additional math electives, while those pursuing careers in the natural sciences can take research and statistics electives.

Texas A&M University provides students with a Master of Science in Mathematics program that requires 36 semester hours. This program is especially good for those wishing to teach math in K-12 or community colleges. Applicants should have a strong foundation in math, but a bachelor's degree in math is not a requirement.

Students interested in studying mathematics online can pursue a bachelor's or master's degree from several schools. A program's emphasis and format should be a couple of the key considerations for students selecting which school to attend.

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