A variety of math-related bachelor's degree programs are available online, but many expect applicants to have already earned up to 60 undergraduate credits at other institutions. Most programs offer customizable curriculum tracts to meet the educational needs of different career fields.
Depending on the specialization, programs may prepare graduates for jobs as engineers, business people and teachers. All math courses can be completed fully online, but programs geared towards math education may require students to complete student-teaching internships. Internships can often be arranged with school districts near a student's residence instead of on the campus of an online program's host college.
Bachelor's Degree in Math
At the bachelor's degree level, an online math program helps students develop quantitative skills through advanced courses such as algebra, geometry and calculus. The curriculum also often comprises a number of technical electives in physical sciences, life science or business.
Different tracts are available online. For example, individuals interested in applying mathematical methods to everyday living, such as social sciences or business, should consider a curriculum that focuses on mathematical research and statistics. In contrast, a curriculum track that includes courses in abstract or basic math functions prepare individuals for teaching math or entering the field of engineering and physical sciences. Education courses can be incorporated into the curriculum for those interested in pursuing teaching licensure.
Many online baccalaureate math programs are structured for students who have already completed lower-division coursework and general education requirements. Online programs often offer the final 30-60 credits required for an undergraduate degree in the field.
Common Bachelor's-Level Math Courses
Common online math courses range from introductory algebra and geometry to advanced calculus and probability modeling.
Mathematical Statistics Course
This online course introduces students to the theory and application of probability models. Lessons cover marginal and conditional distribution, random variables, mathematical expectation and probability distributions.
Both definitions and techniques of differentiation and the evaluation of integrals are presented. Limits and their properties are also discussed.
College Algebra and Trigonometry
Topics covered include rational, polynomial, logarithmic functions and identities. Students develop quantitative reasoning skills.
Career and Certification Information
The most common career path for individuals with a bachelor's degree in math is teaching. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), mathematics is considered a high-demand field for teachers especially in rural and less desirable urban school districts (www.bls.gov). The BLS reports that as of May 2015, the median salary for kindergarten and elementary teachers was $54,550. Middle and high school teachers earned $55,860 and $57,200, respectively.
All U.S. states require educators to be licensed in order to teach in public schools. Some private schools do not require licensure. Although specific licensure requirements vary by state, all teachers are expected to have a bachelor's degree and complete an approved teacher education program. Candidates interested in teaching should verify details through their local State Board of Education.
Graduate programs in mathematics are recommended for individuals who wish to pursue careers outside of math education. Some job roles, such as statistician, require a minimum of a master's degree while many mathematician positions require a Ph.D. Master's degree programs can be found at a wide variety of colleges and universities throughout the country and are often offered online. Ph.D. programs are rarely offered online, but are available at most major universities.
Online programs in math often provide a specialization in teaching which requires student-teaching internships, as well as other tract options to complement a student's career goals. Common courses involve technical electives and advanced algebra, geometry and calculus.