Mathematics is a broad field, encompassing areas such as statistics, applied mathematics, computer science and mathematics education. Programs are available at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels.
Top Ten Mathematics Schools
These schools offer mathematics programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Cambridge, MA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Doctoral||$46,704|
|Princeton University||Princeton, NJ||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Doctoral||$43,450|
|Harvard University||Cambridge, MA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Doctoral||$45,278|
|University of California-Berkeley||Berkeley, CA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$13,431 in-state
|Stanford University||Stanford, CA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Doctoral||$46,320|
|University of Chicago||Chicago, IL||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Doctoral||$51,351|
|California Institute of Technology||Pasadena, CA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$45,390|
|University of California-Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Doctoral||$12,763 in-state
|Columbia University||New York, NY||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$53,000|
|New York University||New York, NY||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$47,750|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
College Selection Criteria
Students should consider the following when deciding on a mathematics program:
- It can be helpful to find out if the school offers a specialization in a particular area of interest.
- Prospective undergraduates who are interested in research should find out if the school offers opportunities for bachelor's degree students.
- Prospective graduate students should find out if there are faculty members at the school with whom they share research interests who may act as thesis or dissertation advisors.
- Aspiring math teachers should look for programs that include teacher certification training within the curriculum.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
At the undergraduate level, students can earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) in Mathematics. Many schools also allow students to choose a minor in the field. Topics of study include calculus, discrete mathematics and real analysis. Students may also take courses in applied mathematics and statistics. For students who want to go on to teach mathematics, some schools offer programs that include teacher certification training.
Master's Degree Programs
There are a variety of master's-level options in mathematics. Students who are interested in advanced coursework and research in mathematics can pursue a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) degree that culminates in a thesis. Those who want to become math teachers may earn an MA, MS or Master of Education (EdM) degree in math education, and they may have the chance to specialize in elementary or secondary education. A third option is a professional master's degree in industrial mathematics, which focuses on the application of mathematics to finance, manufacturing and other industry-related areas.
Doctoral Degree Programs
At the doctoral level, students can earn either a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Education (EdD) in mathematics. PhD programs are designed for students who want to conduct advanced research in a particular topic of interest within the field of mathematics, leading to a publishable dissertation. Some schools also offer PhD programs in applied mathematics. In EdD programs, students take advanced mathematics courses and write a dissertation, but they also prepare for work as professional math teachers. Possible specializations include college teaching and teacher education.
Whether students are interested in mathematics research or teaching, it is important to consider future career possibilities when choosing between mathematics programs.