Online associate's degree programs in mathematics are not common, but the schools that do offer them tend to be public community colleges. Like on-campus programs in this field, distance learning options prepare students for further study in a math-related area such as engineering, statistics, actuarial science or education. These programs are designed to be completed in two years.
Some schools offer distance learning programs that lead to an associate's degree in both math and science. In these cases, students may be able to tailor their math and science elective coursework to fit their interests.
Associate's Degree in Mathematics
There are two types of associate's programs in mathematics: the Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (A.S.). The Associate of Arts is more liberal arts-based than the Associate of Science, which focuses more on technical courses in mathematics and science. Either degree will prepare students for transfer to four-year universities to complete the requirements of bachelor's degree programs in mathematics.
Students completing an online degree program in mathematics typically log into their school's virtual classroom environment to get study materials, complete assignments, take assessments or participate in discussions with classmates and instructors. Programs that offer online math associate's degrees do not usually have any on-site requirements, but some programs are offered in hybrid formats.
Online associate's degree programs in this field include general education coursework as well as a variety of courses in mathematics and relevant subjects such as economics. The following courses are commonly offered.
Pre-Calculus with Trigonometry
After the successful completion of this course, students will be prepared to enroll in standard calculus courses. Usually, graphing calculators are required to complete the assignments. Some of the topics covered in this class include trigonometric functions, right triangle trigonometry, functions and their equations, the law of sines and cosines, absolute value and quadratic inequalities.
This beginning calculus course is designed for students entering into the fields of mathematics, engineering, computer science and science. Some class topics include functions, limits, the chain rule, implicit differentiation, definite integrals, the fundamental theorem of calculus and basic analytic geometry.
A continuation of basic calculus, this course focuses on more advanced calculus topics. Some of the areas that are covered include the applications of integrals, inverse trigonometric functions, infinite series, improper integrals, techniques of integration, polar graphs and indeterminate forms and L'Hopital's rule. Students must successfully pass Calculus I before enrolling in this course.
Students enrolled in this course will learn about a variety of statistical concepts. Graphing calculators with statistical functions are required to complete assignments. Common course topics include sampling theory, estimation theory, frequency distribution, hypothesis testing, probability, graphs and measures of dispersion and central tendency.
In an online associate's degree program in mathematics, a student can take college-level math courses from the comfort of their own home.