Online bachelor's degree programs in mathematics help students cultivate their problem solving, quantitative reasoning and analytical thinking skills. These programs are fully online and generally prepare a student for graduate study or prepare the student to teach. Mathematicians with undergraduate degrees can go onto further study in accounting, finance, industrial mathematics or statistics. Teachers with bachelor's degrees in math are qualified to teach middle school or high school math such as geometry, trigonometry or calculus. Some programs require exams to be proctored and those pursuing teaching degrees will be required to student teach.
Distance learning programs in math are available through public and private universities or colleges. It takes around four years of full-time study to earn a bachelor's degree; however, many schools offering online programs in this field expect students to already have an associate's degree or a certain number of undergraduate college credits. This could cut the time required to earn a degree down by as much as two years. Some schools require that prospective math majors have a minimum number of earned credits in calculus in addition to having computer programming skills.
Those who pursue mathematics bachelor's degrees, whether on-campus or via distance education, generally intend to become mathematicians or math teachers. Specific coursework will vary by the type of mathematics career a student plans to pursue.
Course Topics for Aspiring Mathematicians
Online programs geared toward aspiring mathematicians lead to degrees such as the Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics or Mathematical Sciences or the Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. These programs focus heavily on developing students' advanced math skills, while simultaneously preparing them to continue their education in master's or doctoral programs. Some schools allow online mathematics students to specialize in areas such as statistics or the history of math. Distance learning bachelor's degree programs in mathematics or mathematical sciences cover the same topics as on-campus programs, including the following:
- Advanced Calculus
- Advanced Statistics
- Discrete Mathematics
- Linear Algebra
- Differential Equations
Course Topics for Aspiring Math Teachers
Prospective math teachers seeking to learn via distance education can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics or Mathematics Education for grades 5-9 or 5-12. Such programs don't delve as deeply into complex mathematics as those for aspiring mathematicians. Instead, they include a great deal of teacher education courses. Like undergraduate mathematics education offerings on physical campuses, distance learning programs require students to complete a student-teaching requirement at a school convenient to them. Online mathematics education programs cover topics such as the following:
- Problem Solving
- Lesson Planning
- Human Development
Distance learning students use virtual classroom tools to navigate course materials and interact with instructors or classmates. These tools may include lectures, visual aids, assignments, discussion boards or group collaboration tools. Schools may have math video tutorials or labs available online as well. Most online bachelor's programs -- with the exception of teacher education programs -- in this field can be completed totally online, but some instructors could require students to take their exams in an approved proctored location in their area.
Online bachelor's programs in mathematics are generally for those wanting to continue their education with a graduate program or for those wanting to be math teachers. Students in these programs complete all coursework online with virtual classroom tools, though some professors require students to take exams with a proctor.