Best Bachelor's in Math Degree Programs

Oct 20, 2021

What is a Math Bachelor Degree?

The field of mathematics often brings to mind numbers and calculations. However, it is also a more expansive field. Math may be the study of quantity, but it's also the study of how those numbers relate, change, and impact both theoretical and practical landscapes.

Math is an essential tool in a variety of other fields as well. It supports scientific endeavors such as chemistry and physics. It can also be used for less obvious pursuits, such as the application in literature and jobs involving art.

It's also a field that is constantly evolving. Research is being done every day to advance the many subfields: experts in technological fields are finding new ways to apply math for problem-solving and software creation. Healthcare experts are doing the same. As such, students who are interested in the field of mathematics will find a variety of options for its application.

The Top Bachelor's Degree Programs in Math

1. University of California-San Diego

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$14415 31% 87% 63% Yes Yes AP Credits

2. Stony Brook University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10175 44% 76% 79% Yes Yes AP Credits

3. Indiana University-East

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7527 63% 40% 92% Yes Yes AP Credits

4. St. Mary's College of Maryland

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$15124 84% 77% 95% Yes Yes AP Credits

5. Birmingham-Southern College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$18241 54% 69% 97% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

6. SUNY College at Geneseo

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8927 65% 80% 84% Yes Yes AP Credits

7. Mayville State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7049 70% 34% 94% Yes Yes AP Credits

8. The Master's University and Seminary

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$25390 67% 70% 62% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

9. University of Minnesota-Morris

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$13578 57% 58% 98% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

10. University of North Carolina at Asheville

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7231 84% 59% 94% Yes Yes AP Credits

11. Binghamton University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10201 41% 82% 75% Yes Yes AP Credits

12. Oakwood University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$19990 65% 51% 100% No Yes AP Credits

13. University of Maine at Farmington

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9344 91% 58% 97% Yes Yes AP Credits

14. University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$16389 64% 82% 90% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

15. The College of New Jersey

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$16923 49% 86% 81% Yes Yes AP Credits

16. Spelman College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$29972 43% 75% 97% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

17. University of Mary Washington

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$13270 75% 65% 92% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

18. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8840 82% 67% 81% Yes Yes AP Credits

19. University of California-Los Angeles

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$13240 12% 92% 61% Yes Yes AP Credits

20. Waynesburg University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$25570 93% 66% 100% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

21. Purdue University-Main Campus

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9992 60% 82% 65% Yes Yes AP Credits

22. Bridgewater State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10732 88% 61% 91% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

23. Converse College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$19890 89% 58% 99% Yes Yes AP Credits

24. Eastern Connecticut State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11846 64% 57% 95% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

25. University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$14156 79% 57% 97% Yes Yes AP Credits

26. University of California-Santa Barbara

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$14391 30% 83% 63% Yes Yes AP Credits

27. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8980 23% 91% 65% No Yes AP Credits

28. Mansfield University of Pennsylvania

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10596 96% 51% 98% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

29. Christopher Newport University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$14924 72% 78% 75% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

30. University of Maryland-Baltimore County

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12028 61% 71% 90% Yes Yes AP Credits

31. Western Washington University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8343 90% 68% 86% Yes Yes AP Credits

32. University of California-Riverside

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$13853 57% 76% 85% Yes Yes AP Credits

33. University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10725 54% 88% 61% Yes Yes AP Credits

34. Dakota State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9536 77% 43% 93% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

35. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8156 80% 50% 98% Yes Yes AP Credits

36. California State University-Channel Islands

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$6802 86% 54% 83% Yes Yes AP Credits

37. Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12744 91% 58% 91% Yes Yes AP Credits

38. SUNY Oneonta

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8740 56% 76% 85% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

39. James Madison University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12206 77% 84% 62% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

40. University of Minnesota-Duluth

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$13680 75% 62% 90% Yes Yes AP Credits

41. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$13691 70% 86% 65% Yes Yes AP Credits

42. Western Colorado University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10437 84% 51% 95% Yes Yes AP Credits

43. William & Mary

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$22922 38% 90% 56% Yes Yes AP Credits

44. University of California-Berkeley

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$14253 16% 93% 63% Yes Yes AP Credits

45. University of Colorado Boulder

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12500 78% 69% 66% Yes Yes AP Credits

46. University of Iowa

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9606 83% 72% 85% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

47. Texas A&M University-Texarkana

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7539 94% 34% 91% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

48. Central Methodist University-College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$25070 93% 47% 100% No Yes AP Credits

49. University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8037 79% 58% 89% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

50. Morehouse College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$28847 100% 54% 95% Yes Yes AP Credits

To get a more in-depth look at our school ranking methodology, please visit Study.com's ranking methodology page.

Tuition information is based on published tuition and required fees, per data by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

What Kinds of Math Degrees Are There?

There are several different kinds of math degrees for students interested in the field. Different educational levels may prepare students for different kinds of jobs. Also, some are prerequisites for others. A master's degree, for example, typically requires applicants to possess a bachelor's degree to be considered. When deciding on a degree to pursue, students may want to consider what career appeals to them and consult the degree requirements for those jobs. Additionally, students should be aware that coursework typically gets more sophisticated and difficult as degree levels increase.

Associate Degrees in Math

An Associate Degree in Math can be either an Associate of Arts (AA) or an Associate of Science (AS). These are usually around 60 credits that can be completed over a period of two years, if undertaken full-time. Courses are typically math-centric and may not include any electives or general education requirements. These degrees can be a good introduction into the field for those who already have a high school diploma or equivalent GED.

Additionally, some programs offer an Associate of Science in Mathematics for Transfer (AS-T). These degrees have comparable credit counts to the typical AA and AS paths, but are specifically designed to be transferred to a four-year institution. Students who intend to continue their education with a Bachelor of Science or Arts in Mathematics may want to consider this transfer-ready degree.

Bachelor's Degrees in Math

A bachelor's degree in math can either be a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS). The difference typically relates to the types of courses that students will be able to take: a BA will require more arts and humanities classes, and a BS will focus on more science classes. Both degrees typically require around 120 credits and can be completed in about four years if taken full time.

Included in these 120 credits is typically a large number of mathematics courses. There are also typically additional general education requirements in non-mathematics courses, such as fine arts or a foreign language. Additionally, there may also be a certain number of electives included in the total credit count that students can choose from. Some programs also require a capstone project, such as a thesis, for students who want to graduate from their bachelor's programs with honors in the field.

Master's Degrees in Math

This advanced degree can either be a Master of Arts in Math or a Master of Science in Math. As with a bachelor's degree, these typically only differ in types of mathematical courses offered, and as such, students who are curious about jobs that involve both science and math might want to consider the Master of Science option.

Both program options typically require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree for admittance. Students can expect these programs to require around 30 credits and to be completed in one to two years depending on if the student attends full or part-time.

This degree tends to be a rigorous undertaking, with sophisticated coursework and independent research. Some programs even have a teaching requirement. Most of these programs culminate in a thesis or dissertation composed of their independent research. This may or may not require a defense of their work as well.

Doctoral Degrees in Math

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Math can take anywhere from four to six years. It usually requires a bachelor's degree to be considered for admission, and a master's degree may be useful to demonstrate capability during the application stage.

It is made up of highly advanced courses and a large amount of independent research. This degree typically requires a dissertation, which is a graduate project based on large amounts of independent research. Additionally, students might have to defend their work by answering questions posed by members of their thesis committee. Graduates of these programs may find many opportunities for what they can do with a Ph.D. in mathematics.

Certificates in Math

A Certificate in Mathematics is usually meant to give students a specialized understanding of a certain area of the field. These can either be undergraduate degrees, meant to be taken along with a bachelor's degree, or graduate degrees, meant to be taken afterward. Some may also branch slightly out from mathematics, as with Cambridge College's certificate program that offers a Mathematics Specialist Certificate to educate students on how to educate elementary students in the field. This degree may be a good idea for students who have a specific interest in an area of mathematics and would like to focus their studies.

Math Bachelor's Degree Concentrations

As mathematics is a broad field, students have many options for where to concentrate their studies. Some common options include:

  • Applied Math, where students have the opportunity to learn practical applications of math in such fields as medical care, computer science, and government.
  • Pure Math, which focuses more on theoretical mathematical principles with less regard to real-world applications.
  • Statistics, where students have the opportunity to use their mathematical skills to organize and present certain data sets.
  • Math Teacher Education, where students learn the core curriculum for educating students in mathematical concepts.

Students might want to consider their career aspirations when selecting their math concentration.

Curriculum for a Bachelor's Degree in Math

Degrees in mathematics often require students to take a variety of courses to graduate. Some examples of common courses include:

  • Differential Equations, where students can examine how numbers relate to each other and their possible changes.
  • Linear Algebra, which examines mathematical concepts within a multi-dimensional setting.
  • Topology, where students have the opportunity to learn the mathematical principles relating to shapes and the changes they undergo.

There may also be general education requirements meant to expose students to classes outside of their math major. Additionally, there may also be electives from which students can choose courses.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Bachelor's in Math?

A typical bachelor's degree in math takes around 120 credits to complete. However, this can vary from program to program. Most students can complete these credits in four years if taken full time. Part-time students will take longer. While most of these credits will be focused on math courses, there will likely also be general education requirements and electives as well. For example, students with elective options who are interested in jobs that involve both chemistry and math might want to use those options to take chemistry courses. Students interested in this degree of flexibility should consider this aspect when selecting a program of study.

How to Choose a Math School & Bachelor's Program

Many schools offer quality math programs and bachelor's degrees. However, they typically differ in a variety of ways. As such, students who are interested in pursuing this course of study may want to consider different factors when choosing a program.

One consideration is whether the school offers a Bachelor's of Arts or a Bachelor's of Science in math. While the quality in courses may not differ, the topics covered might. Some schools only offer one of these options. Students who are specifically interested in a BA in math, for example, will want to make sure that their program offers that option.

Additionally, students may want to consider the quality of courses outside of the math department. General education requirements are typically intended to support the chosen major. As such, students should think about their education as a whole and how the entire program will support their career goals.

Finally, students might also want to consider their financial resources. Some programs might have more attractive scholarship options than others. Additionally, unaccredited schools are not eligible for governmental support, so this should be a consideration as well.

Accreditation for Bachelor's in Math Degrees

Students interested in pursuing a bachelor's degree should consider if that institution is accredited or not. Accreditation indicates that it has been officially approved by a private organization that has in turn been recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the Department of Education, or both. This process is meant to examine schools and verify that their educational offerings are of acceptable quality. As such, students who attend accredited institutions may be demonstrating to future employers or further educational institutions that they hold a quality degree. Additionally, governmental aid is only available to students attending accredited schools.

National accreditation only applies to the schools themselves, not the individual programs. Individual programs may have different accreditation processes. Mathematics, however, is such a broad field that there is currently no organizational accreditation process for math programs. Students might instead want to pay attention to the entire school's accreditation status and contact the schools they are interested in with any questions.

Math Licensure & Certification

Math is a broad field with many applications. It may be a part of healthcare professions, jobs that involve physics, or professorships at universities. As such, there is no general licensure or certification for mathematics.

However, there are some licensure requirements for careers that involve mathematics. For example, students who are interested in teaching mathematics will need to obtain a teaching license. This process generally requires a base education in math in addition to a degree from an education-based program. Students interested in becoming a math teacher after obtaining a bachelor's degree in math will need to also obtain an education and teaching license to do so.

As these license procedures vary from career to career, students who are curious about the licensure and certification needs should investigate their desired career path. This may give them some insight into what license they should prepare for after obtaining their bachelor's degree in math.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's Degree in Math?

Mathematics is a wide field. Students who earn a Bachelor of Arts or Science in Mathematics can expect to gain skills such as logical thinking, problem-solving, and complex analysis. As such, they can also expect to find job opportunities in a variety of industries.

Perhaps most directly, students with this degree can become a mathematician. Another example is teaching math to high school-aged children or becoming a cryptographer. Individuals with bachelor's degrees in math can even find employment with the department of justice as a special agent.

Additionally, students can also pursue higher levels of education, such as a master's degree or a doctorate, once they have earned their bachelor's. This might be a good path for students who are interested in conducting their own research at a graduate level.

How to Become a High School Math Teacher

A high school math teacher works to educate teenagers on mathematical principles. They are expected to imbue students with skills that will serve them into college or employment. Not only do math teachers impart lessons, but they are also expected to help struggling students and grade their coursework. The job setting is typically inside a classroom, however, it may also be virtual.

Teaching certification is required for this job, as assigned by the state in which the teacher intends to work. Additionally, depending on the job and state, there may also be a requirement to obtain a license that shows their proficiency in mathematics specifically. In addition to this license, math teachers must also be patient, logical, and helpful.

To become a high school math teacher, students should first obtain a bachelor's degree in mathematics. It can be a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. Afterwards, they may want to consider obtaining additional education to build their teaching skills and credentials. They should then get licensed to teach by the state in which they would like to work. Examples of state licensure exams include the TExES exam (Texas), and the CBEST/CSET exams (California).

The current salary statistics for all high school teachers as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate a yearly salary of $61,660. Rising student enrollment projections indicate a growth statistic of 4% for that career between 2019-2029. The highest paying states for high school teachers are New York, California, and Massachusetts.

How to Become a Cryptographer

Cryptographers work with complex algorithms to conceal important data and prevent security breaches. They may also work to un-encrypt vital data depending on the needs of their employer. This is commonly a job that takes place in an office setting and usually involves working with computers.

This job typically requires at least a bachelor's degree, either in math or a computer-related field, such as software engineering. Regardless of the major, sophisticated math skills are generally a prerequisite for this job. Additionally, it is not uncommon for some jobs to prefer that candidates hold a graduate level degree or require a few years as a software engineer or other computer work before moving into cryptography tasks.

The BLS reports the current salary statistics for information security analysts, a job category under which cryptographers fall, is around $99,730. The growth rate for this job category between 2019-2029 is an astounding 31%, owing to an anticipated rise of hackers attempting to steal information in the coming years. The highest paying states are New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. in that order.

Professional Organizations in Math

There are a variety of organizations that students who earn a bachelor's degree in math can look into. These can be helpful for professional development as well as continuing education.

One example is the American Mathematical Society (AMS). This organization strives to connect professionals working in the mathematics field regardless of their specific employment. They promote communication and networking as a way to progress the overall field of math. Applicants need only pay a fee and submit an application indicating their area of interest to be considered.

Another more specific example is the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM). This organization strives to make the field of mathematics a welcoming place for people who identify as women. Dues go towards working against societal constraints against women working in mathematics, and entitles the members to networking opportunities as well as resources and publications.

Financial Aid & Scholarship Information for Bachelor's in Math Degrees

Students who have opted to attend an accredited school will have the opportunity to earn governmental support through the submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application can help students discover their eligibility for such support as loans, work-study opportunities, and scholarships. This aid is given based on financial need. Additionally, the application process tends to be long and complex. As such, students should consider completing it at their earliest convenience.

Another option for financial aid is specific math scholarships. One example of this is the Noyce Scholarship at Boston University. Students who earn this scholarship can not only expect fully paid tuition, but they can also expect to earn a master's degree, teaching licensure, and help with finding a job. This is a scholarship meant to encourage quality math teachers to enter the workforce, and as such, students who apply for it should expect stiff competition and intend on becoming a career educator.

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