Getting Your Master’s Degree in Mathematics
Master’s Degree in Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of numbers, shapes, and patterns. The word “mathematics” comes from the Greek word μάθημα (máthēma), which means “that which is learnt.” The study of mathematics as a discipline began in the 6th century BC with the Pythagoreans.
Mathematics today can be a great field to get into. According to BLS, employment in Mathematician and Statistician occupations is projected to grow 33% from 2019-2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.
Online Master’s in Mathematics or In-person
When it comes to getting your master’s degree in mathematics, you can find an in-person program or an online program. The benefits of an online program may appeal to working professionals or those looking for a career transition. In-person programs may appeal more to those coming from undergraduate programs or those who simply want that in-person experience.
A Master’s in Mathematics
Going to get your master’s in mathematics can be a wise choice for those wanting to go further in their careers. There are options where you can get your master of science in mathematics or a master of arts in mathematics. The difference would be that getting your MA could require other non-mathematic-related courses and could include a teaching option. When you go to get your MS, you would take more advanced mathematics courses. Both can be stepping stones before you go on for a Ph.D.
Concentrations in Mathematics
Different concentrations will have different types of coursework. Here are some of the most common that you might find in a master’s of mathematics program:
Students will learn about the application of mathematical methods in different fields such as physics, engineering, biology, finance, and more.
Teaching of Mathematics
For students who want to go into the field of education with a focus on mathematics.
Where students focus on mathematical research in mathematics as well as in areas of science where computing is an important and essential part of the process.
Classes in Mathematics
The classes you take in a master’s of mathematics program will depend on your concentration. Here are a few examples of classes you might take while getting your master’s degree.
- Hot Topics in Mathematics – this class is where students will learn about the current research developments in mathematics.
- Algebra for Teachers – this class will prepare students to teach mathematical subjects such as integers, commutative rings, and other algebra topics.
- Mathematical Logic – this class would be an intro to the subject of logic.
Admission requirements differ based on the school and program, however, most will require students to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, to complete an application essay, and submit letters of recommendation. Students most likely will need to have a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics, or other related fields.
Some schools might also require professional experience, but even if the school doesn’t, it can help to have that work experience to put on the application. Schools usually also want students to have a 3.0 GPA or higher.
How to Choose a Program
There are many different factors when choosing the right mathematics master’s program. Students should look at the length of each program, the course format, available concentrations, and final project requirements. Most programs are two years long, but students might also be able to find an accelerated program and be done in a year. It also might depend on if the student goes full or part-time. Students should also consider the curriculum and the cost.
Accreditation status for each program can also make a difference and can affect future career opportunities. Departments often receive accreditation from field-specific accrediting bodies. Accreditation will indicate that the program meets set standards of quality for the profession.
Top Master’s in Mathematics Programs
There are many different master’s in mathematics programs, some are in-person, and some are online.
Here are 10 of the top master’s in mathematics programs:
- Stevens Institute of Technology
- Western Washington University
- California State University at Long Beach
- Roosevelt University
- The University of Massachusetts at Lowell
- Texas A&M University at College Station
- California State University at Los Angeles
- The University of Utah
- University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- University of Northern Iowa
Top Online Master’s in Mathematics Programs
Here are 10 of the top online master’s in mathematics programs:
- Ball State University
- Texas A&M University
- The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley
- Kansas State University
- Chadron State University
- Emporia State University
- The University of Texas at Arlington
- North Carolina State University
- The University of Missouri
- Marygrove College
Jobs With a Master’s Degree in Mathematics
Annual Median Pay: $50,988
Mathematics Teachers teach mathematics at the secondary or even college level.
Annual Median Pay: $56,626
Meteorologists study the earth’s atmosphere and its interactions with the earth’s surface, oceans, and biosphere.
Operations Research Analyst
Annual Median Pay: $78,219
Operations Research Analysts use mathematical models as well as techniques to help government agencies, organizations, as well as companies, operate more effectively.
Annual Median Pay: $96,609
Data Scientists use data to solve problems that can come up in business relying on techniques such as text and algorithm analysis.
There are also careers within the military for those that have a master’s degree in mathematics. You can work within the military as a chemist, weather officer, financial manager, human intelligence collector, oceanographer, and more.
Scholarships for Students Getting a Master’s in Mathematics
Here are a few scholarships for those getting their master’s in mathematics or a similar major. You can also find other scholarships on College Recon.
This scholarship is sponsored by the ASA Committee on Women in Statistics and Caucus for Women in Statistics to encourage more women to enter statistically oriented professions. There will be two recipients, one to a woman in or entering the early stages of graduate training at the master’s degree or Ph.D. level and one to a woman in a more advanced stage of training. There will also be honorable mentions. Students need to be women in the US or Canada, who are admitted to full-time study in a graduate statistics program. There are multiple awards in the amount of $1,000.
This fellowship program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions. The five-year fellowship includes three years of financial support including an annual stipend of $34,000 and a cost of education allowance of $12,000 to the institution.
This scholarship is designed to inspire and equip young adults to tackle the pressing issues affecting their communities. To be eligible students must have a desire for higher education with an emphasis in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, educating children, or the creative arts. Applicants must also be a part of an underrepresented minority. Students must also demonstrate high performance and self-drive as evidenced by outstanding achievement in school and community or work-related activities.
This scholarship program will award a $2,000 scholarship to students pursuing a STEM undergraduate or graduate degree. Students must be in good standing at an accredited college or university with a declared STEM major. There will only be one recipient of this award.
This is a merit-based scholarship available to military dependents of active duty, retired, or deceased military members that are living in the Monterey County area or military dependents of Naval Postgraduate school alumni living anywhere. Selection is based on academic achievement, extracurricular activities, community involvement, and essays. Students need to be seeking a degree in a STEM field. They also must be an MBSC member, an immediate family member of an MBOSC member, an immediate family member of any active duty, retired, or deceased military member in the Monetary Bay area, or be a dependent of someone in NSA Monterey, NPS, POM, DLFIC, FNMOC, the Coast Guard, or any alumni from a military post on the Monterey Peninsula. They can be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree, at a full-time or part-time level. The number of scholarships varies.
You can find more mathematics scholarships here.
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Mathematics Related Majors
Mathematics Related Master’s Degrees
About the author
Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.