Online master's degree programs in mathematics are available for those who hold a bachelor's degree in the subject. These programs are available in fully online formats and include both thesis and non-thesis options.
These programs help prepare the graduate for careers in science, research and education. Students can choose an academic, financial or statistical focus. Applicants must have a bachelor's in math, statistics, or related field. Those who intend to work in public schools must complete licensing requirements, which vary by state. Most postsecondary educators must earn a doctoral degree, with the exception of some educators at community colleges.
Master's Program in Math
Designed for individuals who have a bachelor's degree in mathematics, statistics or a related field, an online master's degree in math prepares students for careers in science, business, government, industry or education. Graduates are also prepared to pursue doctoral studies if they choose. Through an online math curriculum students are able to broaden their knowledge and skill sets in statistics, mathematics and applied math theory. In addition, students study the history of math, mathematical technology and math communication. Programs focused on math education may include graduate level coursework in teaching methods at the elementary, secondary and college levels.
This type of master's degree can typically be completed within two years and requires approximately 36 credit hours. In addition to required core courses, students are provided flexibility to build a math curriculum that best meets their needs. For example, students in financial industries, banking or government may choose courses that focus on statistical methods, data analysis and computer technology. However, students entering the world of academia may opt to take more courses in math theory. Most programs are offered 100% online and can be completed without any on-campus residency. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available.
Online math courses cover the same content as those offered as part of on-campus programs. Graduate classes cover a broad range of mathematical disciplines, including advanced instruction in geometry, numerical analysis, mathematical modeling and abstract algebra.
Topics covered include the systems of vector spaces, linear equations, determinants, linear independence and linear dependence. Students are expected to apply concepts learned and illustrate understanding through a variety of assigned projects submitted electronically.
This online course discusses types of data and data collection methods. Other topics include probability, estimation, data analysis and model assessment. Most assignments are completed using prescribed computer software, such as Microsoft Excel.
Lessons focus on the theory and application of ordinary differential equations, stability of solutions and initial value problems. Students are expected to demonstrate knowledge through a number of computer assignments and projects.
Career and Certification Information
Individuals with a master's degree in math can choose from careers in science, research or education. Becoming a statistician is one common career choice. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for statisticians was $80,110 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). The BLS projects job growth for statisticians to increase by 34% between 2014 and 2024. Although entry-level positions are available for those with a master's degree, for some positions applicants with a Ph.D. in mathematics are preferred. Ph.D. programs are available through major colleges and universities, but are rarely offered online.
Another common career path for master's-level graduates includes entering the classroom to educate others. In addition to elementary and secondary education, graduates are able to teach at the college level. According to the BLS, math teachers are in high demand, especially in less desirable urban and rural school districts. Every state in the U.S. requires teachers to be licensed in order to teach math in public schools. However, some private schools and colleges do not require licensure. Candidates interested in teaching should check with their local state board of education for more details.
Master's degree programs in mathematics can be completely online, and graduate may be qualified for work in the fields of science, research and education. Students are permitted to choose a focus, such as finance, and will take courses in advanced math.