Math and Statistics Degrees by Degree Program Level

Math and statistics degrees are offered at every postsecondary level. Find out what kind of requirements and specifics relate to each, along with career information.

Essential Information

Postsecondary math and statistics programs offer courses at varying levels of difficulty and intensity, and should all provide students with the mathematical and computational techniques and theories needed to examine and solve business and scientific problems. Students enrolled in these programs learn the procedures and principles for processing information and making informed decisions based on numerical data.

Programs are available typically at the associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. For undergraduate programs, the only requirements are typically a high school diploma or GED and a strong background in math. For a master's program, students must possess a bachelor's degree. Doctorate programs require students to have earned a master's in math and pass qualifying exams in complex analysis, real analysis, applied mathematics, and topology. Both graduate programs will also require students to have adequate grade point averages and GRE scores.

Associate's Degree in Mathematics

An associate's degree in mathematics educates students in the study of numbers and defines operational and numerical symbols. This program teaches students to use computer programs to impute equations and solve algorithms. Graduates with this degree use mathematical data to advance businesses, government, social science, and engineering. Courses teach students to solve practical problems by separating the elements and reducing them to mathematical variables. Classes are available in the following areas:

  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Programming
  • Elementary statistics
  • Calculus

Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics

A bachelor's degree in mathematics examines the relationships between mathematical theory, problem-solving, and applications. This degree offers students the opportunity to develop their analytical skills and gain an understanding of applied mathematics. Many students who graduate with bachelor's degrees in mathematics combine this degree with teachers' education programs and choose to teach the subject at the middle or high school level. This program coursework provides a foundation in the field, and graduates are able to explain the principles of mathematics to others. The curriculum includes college algebra, trigonometry, and other courses in:

  • Elementary statistical analysis
  • Economics
  • Business analysis
  • Calculus
  • Mathematical game theory
  • Discrete mathematics

Bachelor's Degree in Statistics

A bachelor's degree in statistics teaches students to collect, organize, interpret, and analyze numerical information for various settings and industries. The methods involved in statistics are designed to address the common questions involved in business. Graduates must develop strong communication skills to explain statistical and technical data to people without statistical experience. The curriculum within a statistics program ensures that students understand how to obtain information and use it to the advantage of businesses, organizations and agencies. The program includes classes in calculus, basic statistics, biostatistics, and the following:

  • Applied statistics
  • Probability and statistics
  • Experiments and sampling
  • Applied regression analysis
  • Discrete data analysis
  • Linear algebra

Master's Degree in Statistics

A master's degree in statistics teaches students to use mathematical and statistical data in order to make decisions, collect research and process information. The field of statistics is used in a variety of areas, including business, science, health, education, and sports. Graduates develop an understanding of how to gather data, develop questionnaires, determine the size of a sample group and prepare instructions for employees. Those who graduate from this program may specialize in areas such as biostatistics, actuarial statistics, mathematical statistics, or computational statistics. Full-time students can complete the required curriculum in 2-3 years, and classes are offered in:

  • Applied quality assurance
  • Statistical programming
  • Advanced probability
  • Statistics theory
  • Variance model analysis

Ph.D. in Mathematics

Academic and research positions often require a Ph.D. in mathematics. A Ph.D. program in mathematics is focused on the study of applied mathematics, pure mathematics, and statistics. Courses teach students to develop new principles within this field to further scientific and engineering achievements. Students learn to formulate and recognize various research problems and reach solutions using mathematical equations and probability. While many graduates with a Ph.D. work as educators, opportunities are also available as consultants within businesses, government agencies, universities, insurance companies, and pharmaceuticals. Students work closely with advisers to meet Ph.D. program requirements. The curriculum may include abstract algebra and the following:

  • Complex variables
  • Geometric analysis
  • Mathematical logic
  • Linear Algebra
  • Technology in mathematics
  • Applied statistics

Ph.D. in Statistics

Statistics deals with the application and formulation of scientific methods. A Ph.D. program in statistics allows students to specialize in either applied or theoretical statistics. Each of these programs emphasizes theoretical and computational statistics. Full-time students may be able to complete this Ph.D. degree program in three years. The coursework in a statistics program focuses on the interrelationships between theory and observation. The curriculum includes courses in:

  • Genetic data analysis
  • Statistical quality control
  • Applied statistics
  • Statistical analysis
  • Statistical computing
  • Nonparametric statistics

Popular Career Options

The completion of the Associate's Degree in Math program gives students a strong foundation in mathematics and offers opportunities in research, scientific and technological areas. An associate's degree offers careers as:

  • Appraisers
  • Programmers
  • Surveyors
  • Technical writers

While most careers in the mathematics and statistics field require a graduate degree, many opportunities are available within government agencies. Every agency uses data to measure population growth, unemployment, consumer prices and medical issues within a community. Other opportunities are available in:

  • Business
  • Computer science
  • Engineering
  • Economics
  • Biological science

The field of statistics makes important contributions in engineering, business, medicine, defense and economics. Opportunities are available as:

  • Professors
  • Researchers
  • Consultants

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for math teachers will depend on the grade level. Middle school teachers can expect 6% growth in job opportunities between 2014 and 2024. High school teachers will see the same. As of 2015, the BLS reports that the median annual salary for middle school teachers was $55,860. High school teachers had a median salary of $57,200.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment for statisticians is projected to grow 34% from 2014 through 2024. As technology grows, opportunities in statistics are expected to increase because data will be much more accessible and available for analysis. As of 2015, the BLS shows the median salary for statisticians at $80,110 per year.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, career opportunities for graduates with a mathematics degree should increase between 2014 and 2024. During this time, college professors were expected to see 13% job growth, while mathematicians were expected to see 21% job growth. As technology advances, it is likely to expand the applications of mathematics and create more jobs in this field. As of 2015, mathematical science professors earned a median salary of $67,170 per year, and mathematicians had a median salary of $111,110, reported the BLS.

All math and statistics degree programs teach students to examine and solve problems by use of mathematical and computational techniques. Graduates have numerous options to find employment in many fields for good pay.

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