Mathematics Universities and Colleges in the U.S.

Postsecondary education in mathematics is available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Read on to learn more about studying math at a college or university.

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
$38,139 out-of-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
$37,471 out-of-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.

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