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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Mathematics

Majors Overview February 26, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in mathematics and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Mathematics

Students enrolled in introductory undergraduate math courses can complete coursework structured to conform to the needs of those wishing to concentrate in math as a major, in addition to earning general education credits.
Coursework in a bachelor’s degree program in mathematics covers more advanced mathematical theories. A number of concentrations are traditionally offered to math majors; these include mathematics education, applied mathematics, and computer science.

While schools offer both Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) programs with a major in math, these programs mainly differ in the nature of elective courses chosen by enrolled students. Selected courses keep up with a student’s proposed career path and usually relate to, but exist outside of, the field of mathematics.

Coursework in a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program typically has a greater number of courses in humanities subjects, such as philosophy, history, social sciences, or foreign languages. Classes in business administration, computer science, or physics are often required in Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs.

Education Requirements

Schools don’t specify any education requirements to be fulfilled by incoming students to most bachelor’s degree programs in mathematics other than regular admission and testing processes.

Incoming students to some programs are required to register a minimum grade point average and complete specific courses in college-level mathematics. Higher mathematics SAT scores may also be required.

Coursework

Students enrolled in a bachelor’s mathematics program are taught critical thinking methods, basic problem-solving skills, and the manipulation of numbers. Core coursework may commonly include topic areas such as:

•Mathematical logic
•Computational numbers theory
•Algebra, calculus, trigonometry, and statistics
•Essential mathematics
•Abstract algebra

Career Choices

A bachelor’s degree in a diverse field of study such as mathematics can help graduates seek numerous job opportunities, such as those in academia, government, technology, industry, and business. Those seeking a career as a mathematician can enhance their career opportunities by earning a graduate degree.

Job and Wage Outlook

Math majors can seek occupations as actuaries working with pension plans and insurance policies for insurance companies and as statisticians. Over the 2010 – 2020 decade, growth rates of 26% have been predicted for actuary jobs.

During the same period, statisticians are expected to see growth of 27% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, actuaries brought home an average annual wage of $93,680, while statisticians earned $75,560.

Continuing Education Choices

Those that complete a mathematics bachelor’s degree program can choose from numerous continuing education options. A master’s or education specialist degree focused on teaching techniques and methods would benefit those seeking teaching jobs.

Also, the holder of a bachelor’s degree in math can pursue continuing education by earning a master’s degree in a related field, such as physics, engineering, or computer science. They may also pursue a graduate certificate program in science or math education. Those that wish to focus on research in a field specialty, such as complex algorithms or statistics, may enroll in a doctoral program.

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