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After all, mathematics is so much more than one plus one equals two.
Are you someone who is drawn to the field of mathematics? Options range in terms of career possibilities. For the analytical and the statisticians, there’s the arena of data and research.
Those who are more academic-minded can pursue academia all the way from lower grades to university-level professorships.
Mathematicians can even find work in government, the non-profit or private sector, and a myriad of other places.
All of these factors combine. They make the online master’s degree in mathematics one of the most popular online degree programs available.
And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a degree in mathematics is one of the most lucrative you can choose if you’re interested in working at the senior level of an industry. And an online degree is perfect if you have other responsibilities you are juggling, like working in a related field or teaching high school.
What Do Math Majors Study in a Degree in Mathematics?
You might be wondering what you will learn if you decide to pursue a degree in mathematics. Math majors study all sorts of subjects, with common topics for an online master’s including:
- Linear algebra
- Advanced calculus
- Linear models
- Number theory
- Partial differential equations
- Discrete mathematics
- Abstract algebra
- Axiomatic geometry
- Numerical analysis
- Probability statistics
- Abstract algebra
- Vector spaces
- History of mathematics
- Scientific computing
- Data analysis
- Euclidean geometry
- Rings and fields
- Group theory
- Complex analysis
- Ordinary differential equations
You can even take elective classes in other areas, like software engineering (software engineers tend to have a strong mathematics background!). There are all kinds of customization options out there so you can pursue your interests in a related field.
Most students take at least one introductory course in research as part of an MS in mathematics as well. These programs will help you solve real world problems that you might encounter in the mathematics world. A degree in this field will prepare you for all kinds of work, including in secondary education, graduate teaching, or even for the federal government.
That’s true of both online and on campus students. This variability in required courses is fantastic, allowing students to choose the courses they need for in-demand careers.
We’ve narrowed down some of the best online graduate programs we could find to give math majors a good look at the top 35. We culled through many schools to find the best master’s degree. We used criteria points to develop the ranking as follows (any schools that received the same point value were ranked based on lowest out-of-state tuition as the tiebreaker):
- Format: 100% online, residencies required, hybrid program
- Support: Dedicated mathematics resources, online student services, career advancement
- Commendation: Recognition by impartial and well- regarded sources (such as U.S. News and World Report) and
- Program extras: Other impressive elements
You will find one of the best online masters degree programs in mathematics at Columbia University. The Columbia University Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has an online MS in Applied Mathematics program. This master’s degree is through the Columbia Video Network (CVN).
The 30-credit hour MS in Applied Mathematics program includes an equal fifteen credits of core mathematical concepts classes and fifteen credits of electives. A student can choose a selection of electives across several fields. Or math majors can focus in the areas of:
- computer science
- industrial engineering/operations research,
- mechanical engineering.
Three start dates allow for flexibility. Students have up to five years to complete the degree based on their schedules.
The UW online Master of Science in Applied Mathematics program is an interdisciplinary program. It contains 36 credits hours (students take an average of 42). The program is comprised of courses such as:
- Introduction to Dynamical Systems & Chaos
- Vector Calculus & Complex Variables
- High-Performance Scientific Computing
- Numerical Analysis of Time Dependent Problems
- Abstract Algebra
Most math majors can complete the online master’s in a year. Many students finish in three years but have up to six.
The online Master of Statistics program at NCSU is in the Department of Statistics. It has a Coordinator of Advising to assure the timeliness of all program materials
The master’s degree is the exact same program that is offered on-campus. It has a minimum 30 semester hours. Core coursework in the master’s degree is comprised of 21-semester hours of courses. Examples of courses in the online master’s (all offered online at the graduate level) include:
- Fundamentals of Linear Models and Regression
- Statistical Practice
- Financial Mathematics
- Linear Algebra
- Discrete Mathematics
- Number Theory
- Advanced Calculus
- Axiomatic Geometry
- Teaching and Learning Statistical Thinking.
Students can opt between four concentration options. There is also a Graduate Certificate in Mathematics. After graduating from this MS in mathematics, you’ll be equipped to pursue a variety of career paths, including working for the federal government. You’ll learn how to analyze risk and solve problems, skills that are useful in all kinds of workplaces.
Another top online math masters can be found at Johns Hopkins University. The Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals Applied and Computational Mathematics program has an online MS in Applied and Computational Mathematics. It is housed within the renowned Whiting School of Engineering. The 30-credit hour online master’s program is stellar. The MS in mathematics at the graduate level provides students with five focus areas to build upon the bachelor’s degree:
- Applied Analysis
- Information Technology and Computation
- Operations Research
- Simulation and Modeling.
Four key online courses are required. Students can choose from an array of electives such as:
- Matrix Theory
- Optimization in Finance
- Linear Algebra
- Abstract Algebra
- Complex Analysis
- Group Theory
- Mathematics of Risk, Options, and Financial Derivatives
Financial aid is available.
The Master of Statistics (MAS) program is in Penn State’s World Campus. The 30-credit hour program can be completed in two to five years. This master’s degree is ideal for online students. It includes required graduate level coursework such as:
- Introduction to Probability Theory
- Analysis of Variance and Design of Experiments
- Regression Methods
- Data Analysis
- Linear Algebra
- Applied Nonparametric Statistics
- Analysis of Discrete Data
Texas A&M University College Station offers an online degree, a Master of Science in Mathematics program. It is accessible 100% online. It is a 36-credit hour program housed within the Department of Mathematics in the College of Science. It builds upon what you learned in your bachelor’s degree.
It is a Master of Science degree (as opposed to a Master of Education or a Master of Mathematics). Students can format their curriculum choices to follow various career paths. In addition, students can choose from a teaching option or a computation option. Coursework covers an array of mathematics subjects, as well as history and analysis. Students pursuing this degree will have course choices such as:
- Dynamical Systems and Chaos
- Iterative Methods
- Vector Spaces
- Information, Secrecy, and Authentication
- Mathematical Communications and Technology
Financial aid is available.
Six start dates offer flexibility for students beginning the online MS in STEM Education degree program at the University of Iowa. There is a mindful arrangement of five sessions in relation to the PreK-12 academic calendar). The program is located in the Department of Teaching and Learning within the College of Education. The 36-credit hour program has coursework in mathematics, science, and education pedagogy. There is also independent research (with guidance from an academic advisor).
This program builds upon what you learned in your bachelor’s degree. Students pursuing a degree can choose from mathematics courses like:
- STEM Through Mathematical Modeling
- STEM Experiential Learning
- Foundations of Mathematics Education
- Current Issues in Mathematics
- Technology Integration in 21st Century K12 Schools
The degree culminates with a STEM Extracurricular Experience and Capstone.
This program is designed for certified secondary teachers. The Iowa State University Master of School Mathematics (MSM) degree program is provided 100% online. It is located in the Department of Mathematics through the collaborative College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and College of Engineering (Engineering-LAS Online Learning). The program requires 32 credit hours to graduate.
The online Master of Arts (MA) in Mathematics program is offered by the Department of Mathematics of the University of Houston. It provides students with the skills to teach or administrate mathematics in upper level grades or community college settings.
It requires 33-semester hours. Students can complete the entire degree online by taking classes within the focus areas of Algebra, Analysis, Probability & Statistics, and Applied Mathematics. Students may choose from a variety of electives. Online courses math majors will study as part of the online master’s degrees include topics such as:
- History of Mathematics
- Introduction To Differential Geometry
- Linear Algebra
- Survey Of Mathematics
Another great mathematics masters online is at the University of Arkansas.
This is a unique program for students with an undergraduate degree in a mathematical science who desire to teach. The Master of Arts in Secondary Mathematics program at the University of Arkansas is offered 100% online through U of A Online. It is located in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Mathematical Sciences.
The 30-credit hour program requires core coursework in the expected:
- Abstract Algebra
- Linear Algebra
- Advanced Calculus
All online master’s majors will take “Connections to School Mathematics.”
Students may choose from a variety of electives. You’ll also take at least one course in research. Even part time students can thrive here and graduate with the ability to pursue in demand careers.
The online degree, Master of Applied Statistics (MAS) program, is in the UK College of Arts & Science’s Department of Statistics. Students can finish this online master’s in just a year. Two-, three-, and four-year online master’s programs of study are also available.
It is a 30-credit hour program with eleven online courses, similar to many other online master’s degrees. The MAS is like other online programs in that it offers a curriculum with classes such as:
- Foundations of Probability and Inference
- Regression Modeling
- Design of Experiments
You will also take at least one course in research. Financial aid is available.
Western Kentucky University offers an online master’s in Mathematics. It is ideal for certified secondary teachers. WKU provides a master’s program to lead to a rank change. It builds upon what you learned in your bachelor’s degree to prepare you to become effective school teachers.
The 30-34 credit hour graduate program requires eighteen hours of core coursework. There are classes such as:
- Algebra from an Advanced Perspective
- Foundations of Teacher Leadership
- Classroom Instructional Strategies and Management
- Action Research Design
CSU offers a 100% online MAS program. This degree in mathematics is through the Department of Statistics. A Student Success Coach is available to guide students in choosing the customized format for how they pursue the degree. There is full-time accelerated pursuit that lasts less than a year. There’s also a four-year experience. Students receive the same curriculum and education, just in the time that suits their needs best. Financial aid is available.
The MS in Mathematical Sciences program is in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. This degree in mathematics is at the UWF Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering.
Students complete a minimum of 30 semester hours. They can choose a thesis or non-thesis track. Students choose between a Proseminar or a research project. The research project spans spans two semesters. Students are guided with the assistance of an advisor throughout every step of the graduate program.
Regardless of track chosen, all students take the two core online mathematics courses “Matrix Theory” and “Statistical Inference.” They must pass the subsequent comprehensive exams. The faculty is well-versed in their particular subject focus and are true teacher leaders. They provide students with the benefit of their expertise even in an online format.
#15. Drexel University
Drexel University’s School of Education presents an online MS in Mathematics Learning and Mathematics Teaching program. The online program requires a minimum of 45 credit hours. Students participate in education courses, online mathematics courses, and capstone courses.
The curriculum utilizes two comprehensive approaches to education: Japanese Lesson Study and Math Forum. This mathematics degree includes classes such as:
- Current Research in Curriculum & Instruction
- Diagnosing Student Mathematical Thinking
- a selection of Capstone online mathematics courses depending on which Capstone Track is chosen (tracks are available in Practitioner, Thesis, or Lesson Study).
A concentration is possible. There are many options, including
- Predictive Analytics
- Data Mining/Machine Learning
- Industrial Statistics
Or students can “design their own sequence” to customize the mathematics degree.
The terminal MS in Statistics degree is online through the OSU Department of Statistics. It requires 36-credit hours to graduate. The program does not include a thesis requirement or comprehensive exams.
Core coursework prospective students might take includes:
- Statistics for Experimenters
- Mathematical Statistics
- Applied Regression Analysis
- Ordinary Differential Equations
- Nonparametric Methods
- Sample Survey Designs
#18. University of Idaho
The UI College of Science provides a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Mathematics. It is all online through Idaho Engineering Outreach. It is a 30-credit hour, non-thesis program for teachers who are already certified. Coursework in this degree in mathematics strengthens existing mathematical knowledge and lesson-planning abilities.
If you want to teach mathematics or are one of the country’s many high school teachers, this advanced mathematics degree is a good choice for you. It prepares you for secondary education (K-12) as well as for teaching advanced mathematics in higher education settings. Students choose the courses they need to customize the degree.
This program has a minimum of 24 credits. It allows students to choose a thesis or a non-thesis track. Students of both online master’s programs are able to access College of Science Student Services for assistance and support.
The online Master of Science in Mathematics degree exists in a synchronous format. No visits to Terre Haute required! This is through Indiana State University’s College of Graduate and Professional Studies. The 33-credit hour program can be completed in as little as 24 months of full-time study. Many students finish in three to five years. Students have customization options throughout the degree. There are four core courses needed. There are eight classes from which to choose, with titles such as:
- Mathematical Modeling
- Commutative Algebra
- Linear Programming and Optimization
#20. Aurora University
The online MA in Mathematics Education degree offered by Aurora University (through AU Online) is ideal for aspiring teachers. It is a 37-credit hour program. It can be completed in just one year on a full-time basis. It includes core mathematics courses such as:
- Applications in STEM
- Numbers and Mathematical Thinking
- Curriculum Development and Assessment in Mathematics and Science
- Mathematical Connections” “Technology in Mathematics Classrooms
NAU provides an online Master of Science in Mathematics Education through the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The 37-unit program requires five mathematics content courses. There are also seven mathematics education courses. Topics include:
- Problem Solving: Theory and Practice
- History and Philosophy of Mathematics Education
- Differential Equations
The Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education (MSITE) in ECU’s College of Education provides an online Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) in Mathematics Education. There are two online concentration options. The Middle Grades Mathematics concentration and the Elementary Mathematics concentration are both accessible online. The K-12 High School Mathematics concentration is offered in collaboration with the Department of Mathematics. It requires some on-campus coursework in addition to online classes. For the most part, you can take classes on your own schedule.
This is a 36-credit hour program that can be completed in two years. The core curriculum for both concentrations share mathematics courses like:
- Introduction to Differences in Human Learning in Schools
- Differential Equations
- Research in Mathematics Education
- a Capstone Project in Mathematics Education course
The Shawnee State online Master of Mathematical Sciences program allows students to pursue their advanced degree in just over two years. Small cohorts of students (between fifteen and twenty) enter the 36-credit hour program together to study mathematics, statistics, and probability. There are fifteen credits of core requirements. These are followed by the student’s selection of mathematics electives (such as “Complex Variables” and “Number Theory”) and applied research. Financial aid is available.
University of North Alabama has another great masters in mathematics online. This online Master of Science in Mathematics program offers students three distinct tracks of elective coursework. This helps to customize the degree towards their interests. The online program is housed within the Department of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences.
All students participate in the five core curriculum classes:
- Topics in Advanced Mathematics
- Group Theory
- Rings and Fields
- Advanced Calculus I and II
Their elective choices are guided by their chosen concentration track. Students desiring “expertise in advanced topics in applied and/or pure mathematics” can follow the Pure Mathematics track. Educators can opt for the Mathematics Teaching concentration and even pursue math certification.
The collaboration between the College of Education and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at James Madison University has been outstanding. It produced an exceptional online Master of Education (MEd) in Mathematics program. The Department is housed within the College of Science and Mathematics. It provides the 34-credit hour MEd program 100% online. It has 21 hours of mathematics and thirteen of education. Students are well-rounded with both disciplines.
Coursework includes classes such as:
- “Inquiry in Education”
- “History of Mathematics”
- “Curriculum Theory and Issues”
- “Modern Analysis.”
This program is a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree. The online PSM in Applied Mathematics at California University of Pennsylvania is approved by the PSM National Office. It is one of just 365 programs nationwide.
The program focuses on “big data” and analysis. It also includes the components of a PSM program. It integrates “science and mathematics with management, law or other professional areas.” The 30-credit hour program includes classes such as:
- “Advanced Numerical Analysis and Empirical Modeling”
- “Leadership and Professional Development”
- “Differential Equations”
- “Data Mining and Simulation Modeling.”
#27. Lesley University
The Lesley University online MEd in Mathematics Education can be pursued as a professional licensure or a non-licensure program. The supportive “virtual community” provides resources and opportunities to learn together.
The experienced faculty have many years of teaching and administrating. They also serve as educators and presenters on current educational topics. The MEd program is housed within the CAEP-accredited Graduate School of Education. The 33 required credit hours are provided in accelerated eight-week terms.
The University of Tennessee’s Master of Mathematics (MM) program was developed with funding from the National Science Foundation in the 1960’s. It is housed within the Department of Mathematics in the College of Arts & Sciences. The 30-credit hour program was first designed for high school teachers but is now open to all certified teachers.
It allows for some interdisciplinary study. 21 credits must be from within the Department, but up to six may be taken outside of the Department. The core coursework is comprised of five classes:
- Discrete Math for Teachers
- Analysis for Teachers
- Algebra for Teachers
- two Seminar for Teachers
Financial aid is available.
The UTRGV online Master of Science in Mathematics degree program offers students a flexible and customizable experience. It is housed within the College of Science’s School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences. The online program is presented through the Division of Research, Graduate Studies & New Program Development in the Graduate College. The Master of Science offers a “cutting edge” curriculum and faculty who are dedicated and experienced. There are four dedicated concentration options:
- Mathematics Teaching
- Industrial and Applied Mathematics
The majority of the coursework can be found online. Students benefit from powerful and concentrated three-week on-campus summer sessions. Graduate students participate in at least two of these summer sessions during the course of their education. Financial aid is available.
Emporia State University has one of the best online masters degree programs mathematics majors can choose from. Emporia State University’s Master of Science in Mathematics degree program mirrors the on-campus program. Yet it can be completed 100% online.
It is a 34-credit hour, non-thesis MS. The degree program allows up to nine transfer credits. Most students complete the program in three years on a part-time basis. One course is required (“Mathematical Proofs”). Three content areas allow students to customize the degree. Nine credits of class choices must be selected. These are from within the areas of Analysis, Algebra, and Statistics/Applied Mathematics.
Elective choices include:
- “Game Theory”
- “Introduction to Mathematical Logic”
- “Non-Euclidean Geometry”
A Seminar in Mathematics presentation completes the degree. For students who are not sure if they want a full master’s degree, the online Graduate Certificate in Mathematics is available.
The University of Northern Iowa has another one of the top online math masters degrees. The Division of Continuing Education and Special Programs department of Continuing and Distance Education (UNI at a Distance) offers an online MA in Mathematics with a Community College Teaching Emphasis. There is also a Secondary Teaching Emphasis through the Department of Mathematics. Both programs require several two-week summer sessions on-campus. The credit hour requirements range from 32-34. This depends on the Emphasis chosen. Key mathematics courses are shared in this online mathematics masters degree.
The online master’s degree includes topics such as:
- New Developments in Mathematics Education
- Studies in Cognitive Demand and Classroom Discourse
Students move together through the curriculum as a cohort.
The online MA in Post-Secondary Foundational Mathematics Teaching degree at Ball State helps current teachers find success in the classroom. The 30-credit hour program is located in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. It offers all coursework in an asynchronous format.
The curriculum is divided into three subject areas:
- Content Knowledge for Teaching Mathematics
- Research and Pedagogical Knowledge for Teaching Mathematics
- Pedagogical Knowledge for Teaching Adults.
Classes are comprehensive and rich. They cover topics such as:
- Probability, Data Analysis, and Statistical Reasoning
- Teaching Mathematics through Problem Solving
- Technology for Mathematics Teachers
#34. Radford University
Another great master in mathematics online is at Radford University. Through the Radford University College of Graduate Studies and Research, students can pursue an online Master of Science in Education. It has an emphasis in Mathematics Education. This is a 36-credit hour program. Students engage in a common core.
Classes here include “Educational Research” and “Multicultural Perspectives.”
There are also mathematics courses in this master’s degree in mathematics such as “Foundations of the Number System” and “Algebraic Reasoning and Mathematical Structures.” There are even math education courses like “Issues of Equity and Diversity in Mathematics Education.” You might even take courses in other departments, like natural sciences.
The MS in Education with a specialization in Mathematics Education is an online program. It is offered through the NSU NCATE-accredited Abraham S. Fischler College of Education. It is ideal for students who wish to focus their study on content that is research-based and uses best practices for teaching in the classroom. The 36-credit hour program offers classes such as:
- “Diagnosis and Remediation of Learning Difficulties in Mathematics”
- “History, Current Trends, and Technology in Mathematics Education”
- “Teaching Probability and Statistics in the K -12 Classroom.”