Most Affordable Online Mathematics Degree Programs

Want to earn a math degree at a reasonable price? BestColleges spotlights the most affordable online mathematics degrees.

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Published on July 28, 2022

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A bachelor's in mathematics provides students with an analytical and problem-solving foundation. This is suitable for many career pursuits, including the fields of finance, medicine, science, and technology. The discipline comprises programs in actuarial science, statistics, and data science.

The professional outlook bodes very well for mathematics graduates, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting 28% growth for math occupations between 2020 and 2030. The median annual salary in the field was $98,680 in May 2021. Both of these numbers more than double the respective averages for all occupations.

With the average annual undergraduate tuition rate at $13,677 in 2020-21 and rising steadily, as per the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a degree with a strong outlook can have great value. Here, we outline what students might encounter in the program and the career paths. We also provide a ranking of the most affordable online bachelor's in mathematics from the top online schools.

How Much Does an Online Bachelor's in Mathematics Degree Program Cost?

According to NCES, full-time students paid an average annual tuition of about $9,400 at public schools and $37,600 at private nonprofit schools in 2020-21. Depending on their school and program choice, students could pay less than $200 per credit or about $2,000 per credit.

Prospective students need to consider additional costs as well, such as room and board, books, and travel. In an online bachelor's in mathematics, learners can reduce their travel costs or eliminate them altogether. To find the true program cost, they should also incorporate how their income changes during their studies.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Mathematics Degree Program?

An online bachelor's degree in mathematics provides students with the skills and processes to find definitive solutions to complex and abstract problems. Learners may study theoretical and applied mathematics, developing creative thinking and problem-solving capabilities along the way. Most programs run about four years and feature close to 120 credits.

A bachelor's in mathematics may provide one or two track options — a BA or BS track. These programs differ mostly by the elective choices and focus. BA programs typically offer more elective flexibility, and BS programs focus more on analytical training. A BS is often the more common of the two.

The concentration is perhaps the most important choice provided to prospective math students. Learners may encounter several specialization options, which can influence the direction of their senior-level studies and future careers. Popular options include computation, applied, financial actuarial mathematics, and mathematics for teaching.

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Popular Online Mathematics Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Mathematics Degree Program?

Abstract Mathematics

In this course, students learn the techniques and logical reasoning and communication methods for developing mathematical proofs. The course covers abstract algebra and the formulation of mathematical statements.

Statistics

Students in this course learn the basics of descriptive statistics, probabilities, and statistical inferences. They may study curves, regressions, and samplings, plus hypothesis testing and identifying applications.

Linear Algebra

This course explores linear equations and transformations. Students learn to work with vectors and matrices as well. They also learn to use matrix theory for linear models and other applications.

Complex Analysis

In this course, students look at analytic functions, including those with complex arguments and outputs. They may study differentiation, Cauchy's theorem, and calculus of residues.

Data Structures and Algorithms

Students in this course learn to design and develop algorithms for data analysis. They analyze and compare algorithms for various purposes, such as sorting, operations, and graphs.

What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Mathematics Degree Program?

Most bachelor's in mathematics programs require prospective students to have a high school or GED diploma at a minimum. For entry into a competitive program or school, applicants may need to demonstrate higher qualifications. This could include a minimum 3.0 GPA and prerequisite courses in mathematics.

Online students also need the appropriate technology to attend virtual classes and use their school's online learning platform.

Application

While the components in an undergraduate application vary, they usually have the same core requirements. Applicants at this level typically upload their documents to a school's online portal system or use a college application system to manage multiple applications at once.

Test Scores

Many schools have introduced waivers for college entrance exams to make the application process more balanced and accommodating. Prospective students may still need to submit scores for consideration in some cases. Undergraduate tests include the SAT and ACT, plus various other placement tests.

Letters of Recommendation

The best applications include 1-3 letters of recommendation from professionals in relevant fields. In an application for a bachelor's in mathematics, for example, prospective students may submit letters from high school math teachers or school counselors. These letters usually address the student's readiness for college and academic strengths.

Essays

College application essays may have different functions depending on the school and the essay prompt. Some applications allow learners to write personal statements that discuss their personal and academic histories. Others may pose specific questions or ask applicants to write about their study and career interests.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts provide details on an applicant's previous training, including grades received and GPA calculations. These records are typically the most influential component in an application. College transfer students need to submit these documents for transfer credits and prerequisite course information as well.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Mathematics Degree?

Career Outlook

The increasing use of big data and mathematical analysis within organizations has created a large demand for math specialists. A bachelor's in mathematics helps students develop analytical skills that can support businesses and governments. The training also overlaps with several of the most popular college majors, including business, engineering, science, and information technology.

The BLS projects 28% growth in math occupations between 2020 and 2030, more than three times faster than the projected growth of 8% for all occupations. The profession's median annual salary of $98,680 in May 2021 is more than $50,000 higher than the median annual wage of $45,760 for all occupations in that same period.

Find out where an online bachelor's in mathematics leads. Learn more about STEM careers.

Career Paths

Operations Research Analysts

Operations research analysts collect and analyze information from various sources to help organizations improve their operations and make sound decisions. They may analyze budgets, supply chains, and production outputs using models and analytical tools to find opportunities for improvement. They may specialize in certain industries or in specific departments.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $82,360

Actuaries

Actuaries use statistical models and analysis to determine the risk of events and decisions. They may provide analysis for insurance or investment purposes, helping organizations identify optimal policy premiums and retiree plans. These professionals may need to present their findings to management and stakeholders and explain their work with visualizations.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $105,900

Budget Analysts

Budget analysts help organizations develop and refine budgets. They collect and analyze financial information, provide cost-benefit analyses, and identify opportunities that can save organizations money. These professionals create and present budget reports, develop funding proposals, and monitor organizational spending as well.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $79,940

Financial Analysts

Financial analysts help individuals and organizations manage their finances more effectively and put their money to work for them. They typically specialize in investments, managing portfolios and conducting risk assessments. They research market and economic trends for information, analyze financial statements and other data, and report on their findings.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $81,410

Mathematicians and Statisticians

Mathematicians and statisticians use mathematical equations and theories to solve complex problems for various organizations. They collect and interpret data, analyze the information using models and software, and use visualizations to present their findings. They may specialize in aiding healthcare, government, and education organizations.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $96,280

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Continuing Education

The many applications of mathematics training work just as well for continuing education purposes as they do for professional purposes. A bachelor's in mathematics equips graduates with a foundation that can qualify them for many master's programs, including providing direct paths to a master's in mathematics or a master's in math education.

Other possible paths available include a master's in data science, a master's in economics, or a master's in finance. Each of these disciplines rely on mathematics, though additional training may be required for entry into some programs.

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Mathematics Degree Program?

Cost

Using cost as a deciding factor for schools and programs can be effective. When comparing online and on-campus costs, prospective students should also evaluate how the different program types impact travel costs and employment capabilities. Other cost comparisons might include in-state vs. out-of-state schools and public vs. private school costs.

Program Format

Every person has their ideal program format according to their learning style and scheduling needs. To find the right blend in their training, prospective learners should compare synchronous and asynchronous training and full-time and part-time studies. If they have an open schedule and a desire to fast-track their training, accelerated bachelor's programs may be a suitable option.

Location

No matter how you choose between online or on-campus programs, you should consider how the program location will impact your studies and your experience. Some online programs have residency requirements that distance learners might struggle to complete. Online learners who are within driving distance from their school might make use of the facilities or attend special events.

Accreditation

Finding a school with online college accreditation should be a requirement for all prospective students. While programmatic accreditation is not usually required or even available for undergraduate mathematics programs, institutional accreditation is essential for several reasons. Accredited institutions have access to federal financial aid programs and provide students with credentials accepted by most employers, colleges, and universities.

Student Support

Schools that provide high-quality student services can enhance student performances and outcomes. Valuable online student services include tutoring, wellness services, and career support, plus mentorship programs and college internships. Prospective students should look for programs that support them in areas they need the most help.

How Do I Pay for an Online Bachelor's in Mathematics Degree Program?

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Most students have access to several valuable financial aid options, not least of which is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA not only qualifies students for federal loans and grants, but many schools and programs also rely on FAFSA information when awarding scholarships.

Loans

A large percentage of students receive federal college loans each year, benefitting from the zero-interest funds while they study. According to a BestColleges data report, the average federal student loan debt was $37,358 in 2022. Math students who become math teachers at the secondary school level may qualify for up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness, as per the Federal Student Aid website.

Grants

Grants and scholarships offer some of the most appealing funding for students because they do not require repayment. Unlike scholarships, which tend to reward academic merit, grants focus on financial need. Federal Pell grants are some of the most common and accessible funding programs available.

Work-Study Programs

Work-study programs set students up with job placements while they study. Work-study jobs provide a wage in return for labor, but they also tend to accommodate student schedules. Wherever possible, schools try to align these appointments with the student's chosen discipline.

Scholarships

Scholarship programs come from many sources, including the government, schools, and private organizations. Prospective students can find scholarships via online databases or through individual schools and organizations. As a desirable STEM discipline, mathematics programs qualify students for many scholarship programs.

Most Affordable Accredited Online Bachelor's in Mathematics Degree Programs

Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team

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How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

#1

Bellevue University

School Information
Location Bellevue, Nebraska
Graduation Rate 24%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 95% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $440
Out of State | $440

Credits to Graduate
127

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

Nebraska's Bellevue University is home to a 100% online bachelor's in mathematics program that takes a project-based approach to prepare students for a wide variety of careers. Alongside 36-credits of core academic requirements, students can take on specializations in secondary education, data science, and business analytics. 

Applicants to this flexible and affordable online math degree program must submit an online application with official transcripts and all relevant fees. Prospective students must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate.

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#2

Indiana University-East

School Information
Location Richmond, Indiana
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 40%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 79% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $239
Out of State | $347

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Located in Richmond, Indiana, Indiana University East offers a bachelor's in mathematics program that allows degree-seekers to complete coursework entirely online and at their own pace. Throughout this 120-credit program, students complete foundational mathematics courses in topics such as the bridge to abstract mathematics, modern algebra, and multiple sections of calculus.

Those with associate degrees can transfer up to 64 credits. Prospective students must submit an online application with official high school transcripts.

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#3

University of Massachusetts-Lowell

School Information
Location Lowell, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 66%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Hybrid | Self-Paced Classes and Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $380
Out of State | $380

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

Established in 1894, UMass Lowell offers an affordable online bachelor's in mathematics program that allows students with applicable credits to complete the program in 12-36 months. During the program, students complete 50 credits of math requirements through classes such as calculus, applied statistics, and engineering differential equations.

During this hybrid math program, students complete core requirements in person and general education classes online. Interested learners must have a high school diploma or GED certificate.

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#4

Louisiana State University-Alexandria

School Information
Location Alexandria, Louisiana
Admission Rate 56%
Graduation Rate 28%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes and Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $250
Out of State | $250

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Louisiana State University, Alexandria (LSUA), is a public institution that provides online learners access to an online bachelor's in mathematics. In addition to general education and elective credits, degree-seekers complete 27 credits of foundational mathematics coursework. Core classes include topics such as abstract algebra, calculus, and fundamentals of mathematics.

Applicants can submit an online application and must have a high school GPA of at least 2.0 or a composite ACT score of 20. 

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#5

Maryville University of Saint Louis

School Information
Location Saint Louis, Missouri
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 71%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $500
Out of State | $500

Credits to Graduate
128

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Maryville University has a 150-year history and offers a bachelor's program in mathematics that students can complete entirely online. Through a flexible platform that utilizes an asynchronous format, degree-seekers tackle core classes that include topics like calculus, number theory, and the history of mathematics.

Alongside core academic requirements, online learners can supplement their math degree with an 18-credit data science minor. Prospective students must hold either a high school diploma or GED certificate and submit an application with official transcripts.

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#6

Ottawa University-Online

School Information
Location Ottawa, Kansas
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $499
Out of State | $499

Credits to Graduate
124

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

Established in 1865, Ottawa University is a private, Kansas-based institution that offers an online bachelor's degree program in mathematics. Students enrolling in this flexible and affordable online program tackle core classes that cover topics such as calculus, differential equations, and discrete mathematics. Ottawa University also offers an accelerated path that allows students to fast-track their academic experience.

Prospective degree-seekers should hold a high school diploma, and admitted students can transfer up to 80 credits of prior college-level coursework.

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#7

Southern New Hampshire University

School Information
Location Manchester, New Hampshire
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 44%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $320
Out of State | $320

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Home to 135,000 online learners, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) offers one of the most affordable online bachelor's in mathematics programs. SNHU students pursuing this online degree tackle a 120-credit curriculum covering general education, major, and elective courses. Core math classes include topics such as applied linear algebra, calculus, and mathematical proof and problem-solving.

Prospective online learners must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate, and admitted degree-seekers can transfer up to 90 credits of college-level coursework. SNHU is currently a standardized test-optional and waives application fees.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Mathematics Degree Programs

Is a bachelor's in mathematics worth it?

Yes. While a bachelor's in mathematics appeals to students with a passion for math, the discipline can be very rewarding as well. Mathematics is an effective foundation for many careers, industries, and advanced degrees. The BLS projects the addition of about 67,200 new math jobs between 2020 and 2030.

Students also gain additional online degree value, which can make their training more accessible and accommodating, particularly for busy schedules. Online students can reach more programs and study while they work, which is a valuable option for those who need to maintain an income to afford their education.

What can I do with a bachelor's in mathematics?

After completing a bachelor's in mathematics, graduates can enter the workforce aiding businesses, financial organizations, or government agencies. They can apply their analytical skills to develop solutions or provide valuable insight for these institutions.

Graduates can also pursue a master's degree in several disciplines, such as mathematics, computer science, economics, or business. With these advanced and specialized credentials, they can access many more fields and senior-level positions.

Are mathematics majors in demand?

Yes. There is a very strong demand for math majors. The BLS projects 33% growth for mathematicians and statisticians between 2020 and 2030, more than four times the projected growth rate of 8% for all occupations. The rise in data usage and statistical analysis for business, healthcare, and government purposes drives this demand.

The BLS also projects 24% growth for actuaries and 25% growth for operations research analysts between 2020 and 2030. These projections work out to additions of about 15,000 mathematicians and statisticians, nearly 7,000 actuaries, and over 25,000 operations research analysts over the decade.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in mathematics?

The wages available to professionals with a bachelor's in mathematics depend on many variables. The median annual salary for math occupations was $98,680 in May 2021, per the BLS. That number fluctuates by employer, industry, location, and professional experience.

Mathematicians and statisticians made median annual wages of $96,280 in May 2021, with mathematicians earning $108,100 and statisticians earning $95,570. Operations research analysts made median annual wages of $82,360 in May 2021, while the top 10% made over $160,850.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in mathematics?

The highest-paying job for graduates with a bachelor's in mathematics belongs to actuaries. According to the BLS, these professionals made median annual salaries of $105,900 in May 2021. The top 10% of professionals made more than $206,820.

Among the major employment sectors, the top-paying industry was the government, paying median annual wages of $110,590 in May 2021. The finance and insurance industry paid $110,000, professional and technical services paid $101,600, and enterprise management paid $101,510.

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BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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