Mathematics is a cornerstone of the U.S. education system. Exposure to math begins in preschool and kindergarten, when children are taught the basics of arithmetic and geometry. As they grow and progress in their education, students also introduced to increasingly complex concepts related to algebra, trigonometry and calculus. College and university students who pursue degrees in math will master advanced algorithms and theories that prepare them for careers in physics, information technology and other cutting-edge fields. Throughout this learning process, math teachers will serve as the guiding voices.
What are the best math education programs of 2020? Here are our top 5:
|1||Western Governors University||Salt Lake City, UT|
|2||Bellevue University||Bellevue, NE|
|3||University of Illinois Springfield||Springfield, IL|
|4||National University||La Jolla, CA|
|5||Ottawa University||Overland Park, KS|
The majority of these teaching professionals begin their careers at the undergraduate level by earning a bachelor's degree in math education. In addition to four years of comprehensive coursework, another key component of bachelor's math education degree programs is student-teaching; this involves visiting a working school classroom and assisting teachers with various classroom needs, while also receiving supervised training from experienced educators and administrators. Bachelor's in math education programs also prepare students to earn a teaching license, which is required at all public schools ― as well as many private schools ― in the United States. Many of today's students are choosing to earn their bachelor's degree in math education online, rather than in a classroom. Web-based students follow the same rigorous curriculum as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, often leading to the same number of post-degree job opportunities. The asynchronous (or self-paced) format and flexible, study-from-home schedule are ideal for students with part-time jobs, childcare duties and other important commitments.
Learn more about what you can do with an online bachelor's degree in math education and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to with this comprehensive guide.
Choosing a Program
WILL AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN MATH EDUCATION PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?
A bachelor's degree is considered the minimum educational level for most math teaching positions at elementary, middle and high schools in the U.S. As such, the curricula of these programs will emphasize three focal points: mastery of various mathematical schools, modern curriculum standards and a clear understanding of the classroom dynamic. Student-teaching experiences also give students the chance to apply the skills, knowledge and insights they have gained to real-world classroom issues. Most bachelor's in math education programs include preparatory coursework for licensing exams, as well.
WILL AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN MATH EDUCATION PROGRAM WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?
Online bachelor's degree programs offer a flexible, easily accessible alternative to traditional higher learning. Students are able to download course lectures and readings, participate in virtual discussions with other students, submit written assignments, take exams and communicate with their professors from the comfort of their home computer. Current technology also enables them to study on the go using a laptop, tablet, smartphone and other portable devices with Wi-Fi capabilities. For added convenience, students can usually coordinate student-teaching opportunities at schools that are reasonably close to their current residence.
WHAT JOBS CAN I GET WITH MY BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN MATH EDUCATION?
Students who leave school with a bachelor's degree in math education and obtain a teaching license will be well-positioned to compete for jobs. Most bachelor's programs allow students to focus on teaching older students, which enables them to seek jobs at middle and/or high schools. Math teachers at the university level must have a master's degree or higher, but the bachelor's pathway can serve as a stepping-stone for students who plan to advance to a graduate program.
WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN MATH EDUCATION PROGRAMS?
Choosing a program is an incredibly personal decision, and only you can properly evaluate whether a target school's strengths match your educational needs. The following ranked list of schools should serve as a helpful starting point in your search for the best online bachelor's degree in math education programs in the United States. Our ranking is based on the courses schools offer, available specializations, student outcomes, career support services, and other criteria used to determine academic excellence. If you are considering an online bachelor's in math education, be sure to contact admissions specialists at different colleges and universities to learn more their about specific requirements and offerings.
Accredited Online Bachelor's in Math Education Programs
Western Governors University
|Salt Lake City, UT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 29%||
Western Governors University is an online institution offering bachelor's and master's degrees in business, education, information technology, and health sciences. WGU's competency-based learning model allows students to progress through programs at their own pace. More than 70% of graduates finish their bachelor's in math education in 3.5 years.
This primarily online program requires completion of asynchronous online courses, a minimum of 75 hours of in-person classroom observation, and 12-20 weeks of full-time, supervised teaching experience at a host school. Courses cover concepts in teaching foundations, instructional planning, and mathematics content.
Applicants must submit official transcripts and complete an intake interview. WGU charges a flat tuition rate per term, regardless of the number of credits students complete. Learners must complete a state-specific skills test as a prerequisite to demonstration teaching.
|Bellevue, NE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 0%||
Bellevue University is a private, open access institution offering higher education opportunities at four campus locations and online. More than 9,000 students attend each year, approximately 80% of whom enroll exclusively in distance courses. Aspiring secondary educators can pursue a bachelor's in math education with a teacher endorsement option.
Requiring a total of 127 credits, BU's undergraduate mathematics program includes core courses in calculus, applied statistics, and algebra. To prepare for secondary education endorsement, students must also complete the professional education core, culminating in at least 170 hours of field experience and a semester of clinical practice teaching.
First-time college students seeking admission to Bellevue must provide official documentation of high school completion. Transfer students must supply official transcripts from prior institutions.
University of Illinois Springfield
|Springfield, IL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 51%||
The University of Illinois at Springfield is a public institution with approximately 4,300 students. The department of mathematical sciences at UIS offers both online and on-campus undergraduate programs in mathematics.
The online bachelor's degree in math education consists of courses in linear algebra, advanced calculus, and statistics. All classes have varying prerequisites and/or placement testing procedures. Students interested in an education career must also pursue a teaching certificate, which requires on-site field experience and student teaching.
The online mathematics program is open to transfer students only. Applicants must hold or be in the process of earning a minimum of 30 transferable credits from an accredited institution. A cumulative 2.0 GPA or higher is required.
|La Jolla, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 36%||
National University is the largest private university in San Diego, offering online, on-site, evening, and weekend classes to meet the diverse scheduling needs of nearly 17,000 students. More than 75 certificate, credential, and degree programs are available at NU, including a bachelor's in math education.
The 180-credit degree provides rigorous preparation for middle and secondary educators, with courses in discrete mathematics, technology in math education, and algebraic structures. A single-subject teaching credential requires completion of educational skills tests, 14 courses, and student teaching. At NU, each class lasts four weeks, allowing students to focus on one subject at a time.
All incoming freshmen without prior college-level English and/or math courses must complete an ACCUPLACER exam. Applicants should have a minimum 2.0 high school GPA.
|Overland Park, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 36%||
Ottawa University is a private Christian institution offering professional and liberal arts classes at two residential campuses and several sites across the Midwest and Southwest. Distance learners can complete nearly 25 of OU's programs online, including a bachelor's in mathematics with a secondary education concentration.
The online bachelor's degree in math education includes courses in calculus, probability, statistics, and algebra. Students gain hands-on classroom experience through the secondary education concentration, which covers the teaching profession, educational psychology, and instruction methods. OU's teacher education program is approved in Arizona and Kansas and does not guarantee licensure in other states.
Applicants must submit all of their official transcripts. OU accepts up to 80 transfer credits. Undergraduates must earn a minimum of 124 credits to graduate.
WHAT ELSE CAN I EXPECT FROM AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN MATH EDUCATION?
The coursework of a bachelor's degree in math education program will be divided between two core areas: mathematics and fundamentals of teaching. For math subjects, students should expect courses in geometry, trigonometry, calculus, linear algebra, math theory, discrete math, statistics and probability. Teaching courses will focus on niche topics like special education and education of gifted students, classroom management, curriculum and development, educational laws and ethics, child psychology and behavioral studies. Student-teaching courses will also fall under this category.
A large number of these bachelor's programs allow students to specialize in middle or high school instruction, since these institutions typically have dedicated math teachers who exclusively lead classes in math-related subjects. Those who plan to teach at the elementary level typically do not need to follow a specialized math education pathway, since elementary teachers are responsible for instructing all subjects (including math) and most elementary students are not mentally ready for advanced math lessons.
It's important to research the accreditation status of a bachelor's in math education degree program before fully committing to it. In the U.S., online math education bachelor's programs receive accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). In addition to programmatic accreditation, make sure that the college or university has received regional or national accreditation.
EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK FOR BACHELORS IN MATH EDUCATION GRADUATES
JOB PLACEMENT: BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN MATH EDUCATION
Due to a widespread need for qualified teachers and steady job growth across the education system, the job outlook is quite favorable for students who graduate with a bachelor's degree in math education. Unemployment rates for math educators will largely depend on which grade level they teach. The table below looks at unemployment estimates for three school types.
|Occupation||Unemployment Rate (2017)|
|High School Teacher||2.0%|
|Elementary School Teacher||3.0%|
|Middle School Teacher||3.0%|
Source: U.S. News & World Report
As the table indicates, high school teachers face better unemployment odds than their counterparts at elementary and middle schools. However, the unemployment rates for all three occupations fall well below the national unemployment average for all industries, which is currently set at 4.7%.
EARNING A LIVING
Much like their job outlook, the salary potential of degree-holding math teachers will vary by the type of institution where they work. Their employment destination is often tied to their undergraduate major. Using data from the 2016-17 PayScale College Salary Report, the following table looks at earning expectations for different education majors at two early career benchmarks.
|Bachelor's Degree Field||Median Entry-Level Salary
(Less than 5 Years)
|Median Mid-Career Salary
|Early Childhood Education||$30,700||$37,500|
In addition to bachelor's degree major, the salary potential of a math teacher will also depend on the type of school where they teach. Other important factors include licensure status, experience level and city/state of employment. The next table looks at career salary growth expectations for four common career paths for math education master's recipients.
|Occupation||Median Annual Salary for
Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years)
|Median Annual Salary for
Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years)
|Median Annual Salary for
Experienced Employees (10-20 years)
|Median Annual Salary for
Late-Career Employees (20+ years)
|Mathematics Teacher (Middle and High School)||$40,569||$46,161||$51,147||$59,523|
|Middle School Teacher||$40,201||$45,194||$51,137||$59,985|
|High School Teacher||$41,010||$46,689||$53,566||$59,875|
All four occupations experience similar rates of salary growth after 20 years on the job. Middle school teachers reported the highest growth rate: a 49.2% increase in earnings between the entry-level and late-career stages. Elementary school teachers ranked second (despite having the lowest salaries) with 47.4% salary growth, followed closely by mathematics teachers with 46.7% growth.
Those who earn a bachelor's in math education and obtain a teaching license will be qualified to work at public and private schools across the country. Three popular career pathways among math education bachelor's recipients are highlighted below.
High School Teachers: At the high school level, math teachers typically lead dedicated classes in subjects like algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus. They may also oversee math-related clubs, activities and events on school grounds.
Middle School Teachers: Middle school math teachers typically lead lessons in fractions and decimals, calculating percentage, measuring area and volume, and other intermediate math subjects. They may also teach low-level and advanced classes for special education and gifted students, respectively.
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers: Basic mathematics are taught beginning in kindergarten or preschool, and teachers help students grasp these concepts throughout their elementary education. Common class subjects include addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and shape identification.
|Profession||Median Annual Salary||Projected Job Growth
|High School Teachers||$57,200||6% (+55,900 jobs)|
|Middle School Teachers||$55,860||6% (+36,800 jobs)|
|Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers||$54,550||6% (+87,800 jobs)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Making professional connections and learning about different approaches to math education is crucial to your success. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you'll find three of the country's most prominent organizations established for math teachers and other education professionals. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates. Resources like these often prove invaluable as you complete your degree requirements and prepare to enter the job market.
- The National Council on Teacher Quality: This organization works to create policies that improve the quality of classroom education and the work environments for professional educators. The council's website features an extensive policy library, as well as information about various NCTQ projects in all 50 states.
- Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators: The AMTE currently boasts more than 1,000 members working at all grade levels. Membership rates are offered for working and retired teachers, as well as students pursuing math education degrees at the graduate level.
- National Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Considered the world's largest organization for math educators, the NCTM was founded in 1920 and today boasts more than 60,000 members across the globe. The council awards grants and awards to qualified recipients, hosts an annual conference and offers professional development courses for aspiring and working math teachers.
Financing Your Online Bachelor's Degree in Math Education
Despite the relative affordability of online bachelor's degree programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.
Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.
Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.
Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We've curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.
Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.
Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.
Students who pursue online degrees will be eligible for scholarships, grants and other financial aid that is unavailable to their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Learn more about these financial opportunities for web-based learners.
Finance — the study of money and asset management — is one of the most popular degree concentrations for MBA students. Learn about the best schools for this area of study with our comprehensive degree guide.
Another popular specialization field for MBA students, human resources (or HR) focuses on hiring, new employee orientation and other administrative needs. Visit our guide to master's degrees in HR for more information.
Our page dedicated to resources for business students includes links to professional organizations, open courseware, industry publications, books and business-minded users to follow on Twitter.
Our career page for business degree graduates includes a state-by-state breakdown of business careers and academic options for business students, as well as popular job sites, professional organizations and continuing education opportunities for established professionals.