College Math Credits From Online Colleges and Universities

Many colleges and universities offer online math courses for college credit that can be applied toward a certificate, degree, or continuing education requirements. Course offerings range from pre-algebra courses for high school students to linear algebra courses for university students. View article »

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Video Transcript

Online Math Courses

Program Levels Courses at the associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels
Common Topics Most undergraduate and graduate math topics are available
Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalent for undergraduate courses; course prerequisites vary by course and level
Online Availability Fully online courses are available
Course Formats Traditional and self-paced
Course Length 4-16 weeks

Many math courses are available online to college students, high school students, and working adults interested in gaining college credit toward a degree or pursuing continuing education. These courses often last the same amount of time as traditional classroom courses (roughly 8-16 weeks) and cover the same basic material. Some schools offer independent study courses with flexible start dates and give students up to a year to finish. Some schools offering these courses also provide free tutoring services to students.

Students may also be required to complete prerequisite courses prior to enrolling. For example, some college algebra courses require students to complete second-year high school algebra before enrolling. Students are expected to be able to study independently, turn in assignments on time, and be familiar with computers, e-mail, and the Internet.

Online College Credit Math Courses

The following subjects are generally available at most online programs:

Trigonometry: Trigonometry courses are one of the most common offerings, and these courses teach students about a number of concepts related to the field, such as function, equations, identities, degrees and radians, and oblique triangles. Trigonometry requires knowledge of other subjects, and as such, most schools feature prerequisite courses in algebra and geometry.

Calculus 1: This course is the second-most basic calculus course, behind pre-calculus. It focuses on derivative and integral functions, which are two of the most essential concepts in calculus. Once students have demonstrated an understanding of these concepts, the course continues on to discuss other topics that occur in more advanced calculus courses.

Algebra: Algebra is one of the simpler mathematical fields and often serves as a prerequisite to more complex fields such as trigonometry or probability theory. Algebra courses are offered at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, with course content differing depending on a student's knowledge and experience. Common course topics in an algebra course include logic, inequalities, real number systems, radical expressions, graphing, and function notation.

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Schools with Online Math Courses

The following are a few examples of universities and colleges that offer online courses in mathematics:

The University of Illinois offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematical Sciences that consists of 60 credit hours and can be earned entirely online. Students in this program will be introduced to a number of topics in mathematics including:

  • Linear Algebra
  • Statistics
  • Calculus
  • Operations research methods

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers a plethora of online math courses through the school's open courseware program. Though these courses do not result in a degree, they offer students the opportunity to learn advanced topics taught by top professors, all for free. Sample course topics include:

  • Topology
  • Elliptical curves
  • Single variable calculus

Located in North Dakota, Mayville State University has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. To earn this degree, students will need to complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of courses in advanced topics such as:

  • Number theory
  • Probability
  • Modern geometry

The program also mandates that students must minor in either business administration or general science.

The University of Massachusetts Lowell offers a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics, and certain courses can be completed online. The 126-credit curriculum consists of courses that examine:

  • Discrete structures
  • Scientific communication
  • Technical physics
  • Other mathematical concepts

Mercy College in New York offers a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics that focuses on the marriage of mathematics and technology. Students learn about theories in applied math and computer language with course topics including:

  • Linear algebra
  • Numerical analysis
  • Mathematical modeling

Online math courses are available both as part of a program or as an independent class. Students of many different levels should be able to find a course that works for them.

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