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Best Online Degrees in: Mathematics

Editor’s Picks: Online Schools for Mathematics

Value
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is receiving the award for best value in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in mathematics. SNHU is a private, not-for-profit university that is accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. PayScale shows that graduates from SNHU see an average of 4.9% return on investment. Graduates who received financial aid to help pay for their education see an average of 5.8% return on investment.

Flexibility
University of Illinois Springfield is receiving the award for best flexibility in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Online students have 24-hour access to their classrooms and assignments. Students can download their assignments and work on them whenever they want, around their schedules.

Career Support
The winner of the award for best career support in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in mathematics is University of Illinois Springfield. The Career Development Center offers a variety of services to online students, including career counseling, interview advice, mock interviews, internship and job search strategies, business etiquette information, job offer evaluation, and salary negotiation techniques. Students can also use the variety of online tools provided by the university to help them write their resumes, search for job openings, and evaluate companies.

Financial Support
The award for best financial support in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in mathematics goes to University of Illinois Springfield. The National Center for Education Statistics shows that 98% of full-time beginning undergraduate students here are receiving financial aid. The majority of this aid is in the form of grants and scholarships, totalling just over $2 million, in addition to more than $1 million in student loan aid for 64% of new full-time students.

Technology Support
University of Illinois Springfield is receiving the award for best technology support in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in mathematics. They incorporate streaming videos, podcasts, and other forms of multimedia in their online courses, and have mobile apps that students can download to their smartphones or tablets. Their tech support team is available to help students with any technological problem. US News & World Report has ranked Universtiy of Illinois Springfield 34th in the nation for student services and technology.

Student Engagement
The winner of the award for best student engagement in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in mathematics is State University of New York Empire State College. The faculty members here are more than just instructors, they are also mentors, keeping students engaged with them and with the rest of the class. Students are encouraged to participate in class discussions and share their thoughts, ideas, opinions, and advice with one another.

Library and Research Support
State University of New York Empire State College is receiving the award for the best library and research support in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Their online library contains ebooks, journal and newspaper articles, videos, images, and audio files, all of which can be searched for based on subject area. There are also library workshops, dictionaries and encyclopedias, and formatting examples for citing sources. Librarians are available to offer assistance and can be contacted through email, over the phone, or by filling out the online question form.

Learning Support
The award for best learning support in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in mathematics goes to State University of New York Empire State College. Instructors offer guidance and are available to provide assistance for students in any way they can. Students also have access to online tutoring, writing resources, math resources, library search and research help, study skills workshops, and academic advisors. They also provide learning resources for each area of study.

Faculty Credentials
State University of New York Empire State College is receiving the award for best faculty credentials in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in mathematics. They make sure each faculty member is fully qualified and capable of educating and mentoring students in an online learning environment. According to the school’s website, 96% of their full-time faculty have doctoral degrees or other terminal degrees.

Faculty Accessibility
The award for most accessible faculty in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in mathematics goes to Mercy College. Students can have class discussions with their instructors through the discussion forums in the virtual classrooms. Instructors will also usually provide multiple email addresses, one for questions and concerns about the course, and one for more general communication.

Alumni Engagement
Mercy College wins the award for best alumni engagement in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in mathematics. They hold regular alumni events and provide volunteer opportunities for alumni. Alumni can connect through Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and expand their personal and professional networks. Alumni can also stay up to date on what’s happening with the college through Mercy’s monthly e-newsletter.

Prior Learning Options
The award for best prior learning options in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in mathematics goes to Ottawa University. Students who have earned college credits from other institutions may be able to transfer them toward a degree at Ottawa. The university also awards credits based on professional training, military experience, licensure and certifications, and by examination, such as College-Level Examination Program, DANTES, and Advanced Placement.

New Student Orientation
The winner of the award for best new student orientation in a school offering an online bachelor’s degree in mathematics is Mercy College. They have a general orientation for students new to online learning, as well as an orientation to familiarize students with the virtual classroom and online courses at Mercy College. They also help students become familiar with the online tools and resources available to them, the online bookstore and library, and downloading software.

Explore a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics

A degree in mathematics will enable students to become well-versed in the languages of calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, and number theory. A math major will breathe math, and the field is for those who have a passion for problem solving. Upon completion of the program, graduates will understand mathematical principles and the relationships between existing principles. They will also be able to apply these theories and principles to solve real-world problems. Some mathematics graduates become actuaries, economists, and businesspeople, while others pursue advanced math degrees to become professors. An bachelor's degree requires students to complete approximately 120 credit hours, but this will vary by program.

Class Curriculum

As you might expect, a mathematics degree is heavily weighted in mathematics, but students will also take classes in economics and finance. The undergraduate curriculum will consist of classes in calculus, differential equations, complex variables, mathematical statistics, and other high-level mathematics courses. A standard curriculum will include:

  • Calculus. Students will likely take multiple courses in this branch of mathematics, which has two major branches: differential and integral calculus. Students will learn about limits, derivatives, trigonometric functions, improper integrals, infinite series, and more.
  • Theory of Probability. This branch of mathematics is concerned with probability, with focus on random variables, stochastic processes, and events. Students will also learn about the laws of large numbers and central limit theorems and analyze topics such as conditioning and martingales.
  • Algebraic Geometry. This course combines aspects of abstract algebra with geometry. The class revolves around the study of solutions to algebraic equations.

Methods of evaluation will primarily involve examinations that test the individual's level of comprehension in various branches of mathematics. Students will be assigned problem sets in which they demonstrate their mastery of mathematic principles at increasing levels of complexity.

Building a Career

A math degree prepares students for a number of careers. Some of these careers include actuaries, auditors, mathematicians, and statisticians. At the same time, the degree can lead to opportunities in fields such as science and computer programming. Salaries earned will depend on the field an individual selects, as well as their level of experience and other factors.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), mathematicians earned median annual wages of $99,380 as of May 2010; many mathematicians hold a graduate degree, although there are positions for individuals with only a bachelor's degree. In another math-related field, actuaries earned median annual wages of $87,650. The median annual wage of accountants and auditors was $61,690, the BLS noted.

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