Fastest Online Mathematics Degree Programs

Explore the fastest online bachelor's programs in mathematics and learn about accelerated degrees in math.

portrait of Staff Writers
by Staff Writers

Published on August 3, 2022

Edited by Kristina Beek
Share this Article

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.

Ready to start your journey?

Accelerated online bachelor's programs allow students to earn an undergraduate degree in less time than the typical four years. Many students decide to pursue accelerated math programs because of the flexibility, the quick entry to the workforce, and the wealth of career possibilities.

In most cases, accelerated bachelor's in mathematics programs eliminate a year of study, allowing learners to graduate in three years by taking summer courses. The quickest programs permit learners to graduate within two years.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average tuition for an undergraduate program was $16,618 in the 2020-21 academic year. However, the cost of an online bachelor's degree can vary significantly by school and program. That isn't an investment to make lightly, so read on to learn more about common coursework, potential careers, and admission requirements for online bachelor's programs in mathematics.

How Fast Can I Get an Online Bachelor's in Mathematics Degree?

Completion times vary by program and by school. Most accelerated bachelor's degrees in mathematics require three years of full-time study, including summers, to complete. In some fast-paced accelerated programs, students can earn their degrees in two years.

Like traditional bachelor's programs, most accelerated online bachelor's in mathematics programs require approximately 120 credits of coursework. However, an accelerated program requires a more significant weekly commitment and a heavier course load than a traditional program. This increased rigor and pace allows learners to earn their degrees and enter the workforce more quickly.

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

Detail-oriented, logical, analytical thinkers often thrive in undergraduate mathematics programs. To succeed in an accelerated math program, you must also be able to master complicated concepts quickly, as foundational knowledge in mathematics builds on itself. In most cases, you must limit other commitments to succeed in accelerated programs, since they require a significant amount of coursework each week.

Like other online programs, accelerated online bachelor's in mathematics programs might deliver coursework synchronously or asynchronously. Synchronous learning involves live, scheduled online sessions, while asynchronous learning does not. Some programs may also offer concentrations in fields like applied mathematics, financial mathematics, pure mathematics, statistics, or even computer science.

Mathematics programs often culminate in a senior seminar, capstone project, or thesis requirement. Students usually tackle this requirement during their final semester in the program.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Degree Programs.

Best Online Bachelor's in Computer Programming Programs Best Online Finance Programs Best Online Accounting Programs

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

Linear Algebra

Students often take this course early in the curriculum as a prerequisite to the major. Topics include diagonalization, vector spaces, matrices, and linear equations.

Advanced Calculus

Most students who decide to become math majors have taken some calculus coursework in high school, but this course provides a more thorough foundation. This course often delves into various derivatives, integrals, and theorems.

Mathematical Statistics

This course introduces students to probability models, delving into topics like random variables and Chebyshev's inequality. Some undergraduate math programs offer a full concentration in statistics.

Operations Research

Operations research is a possible concentration in some bachelor's in mathematics programs. This course often covers linear and nonlinear programming, game theory, and other decision-making models.

Abstract Algebra

Most incoming math students have taken 1-2 algebra classes during high school. This course covers advanced algebra topics like fields, rings, and group theory.

Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

Scholarships and Financial Aid for Online College Students Your Guide to College Loans The Student's Guide to Financial Aid and the FAFSA

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

Admission requirements are often very similar, and sometimes the exact same, for on-campus and online bachelor's in mathematics programs. In addition to the materials listed below, accelerated programs may maintain unique requirements, such as a personal interview with a member of the admissions department.

Application

All online bachelor's programs, no matter the field, require prospective students to fill out an application form. Some schools require applicants to fill out a unique form through their website; however, prospective undergraduate students can often apply to multiple schools at once through application systems like the Common App and Coalition App.

Test Scores

Many undergraduate programs require applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores to provide another data point to help them decide whom to admit. Other schools maintain test-optional policies, allowing applicants to only submit test scores if they strengthen their overall applications.

Letters of Recommendation

Most undergraduate math programs require applicants to submit 2-3 letters of recommendation. If you are a recent high school graduate, you can ask former high school teachers to write these letters for you. If it has been several years since you graduated high school, you can ask professional supervisors.

Essays

While mathematics is not a writing-focused field, most programs still require applicants to send in 1-3 short essays in response to given prompts. Common prompts include a statement of purpose or ask you to describe a time that you overcame a challenge or difficult situation.

Official Transcripts

All undergraduate programs require applicants to submit official transcripts, no matter the major. You should send in transcripts from all prior secondary and postsecondary schools, as you might be able to place out of certain courses or earn transfer credits.

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

Career Outlook

Many students pursue bachelor's in mathematics programs for lucrative and in-demand postgraduate careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), math occupations paid a median annual salary of $98,680 as of May 2021, which was more than double the median annual wage for all careers ($45,760).

Furthermore, between 2020 and 2030, the BLS projects a 28% job growth for math occupations. This rate nearly quadruples the average projected growth rate (8%) for all careers during that period.

Many math graduates also find careers as software developers, operations research analysts, and data scientists both challenging and rewarding. Math careers generally present plenty of opportunities for problem-solving. Students who enjoy puzzles and working through complex issues often enjoy these occupations.

See where a bachelor's in mathematics can take you. Learn more about mathematics careers.

Career Paths

Data Scientist

Data scientists create models and use data to make predictions and solve real-world problems. They make sense of data and often have a solid foundation in statistics and machine learning. Most data scientist positions require a bachelor's degree in a relevant field like mathematics, although some jobs do require a master's degree.

Average Annual Salary: $97,360


Actuary

Actuaries assess economic risk by using applied mathematics and statistics. They generally work full time for insurance companies and businesses. They can also work as consultants. They need a bachelor's degree in a relevant field like math, business, or statistics and must pass several exams before they can practice.

Median Annual Salary: $105,900


Operations Research Analyst

Operations research analysts use math and logic to solve problems. They often work in office settings during regular office hours. Job candidates usually need a bachelor's degree, and a degree in math with a concentration in operations research can help you stand out from the crowd.

Median Annual Salary: $82,360


High School Math Teacher

High school math teachers teach courses in subjects like algebra, geometry, and calculus. They teach academic and study skills to their students and sometimes write letters of recommendation on their behalf. To work as an educator in a public school, you need a state-issued teaching license.

Median Annual Salary: $61,820


Software Developer

Software developers create applications and programs that run on computers. They must usually master multiple programming languages to create their code. Bachelor's degree-holders in math can pursue bootcamps or teach themselves programming languages to gain the skills they need for these positions.

Median Annual Salary: $110,140


Mathematics Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Accounting Careers STEM Careers Science and Engineering Careers

Continuing Education

While entry-level career options in math are strong, many bachelor's degree-holders in mathematics decide to pursue additional education. A master's degree or Ph.D. in the field can qualify graduates for positions as mathematicians or statisticians, who earned a median annual wage of $96,280 as of May 2021. Between 2020 and 2030, the BLS projects a 33% job growth for these professionals.

A Ph.D. in math can also qualify graduates for tenure-track professor positions. Many math graduates enjoy research, and professor positions allow them to break new ground in the field while also passing on their knowledge to the next generation of mathematicians.

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

Cost

The NCES reports that the average tuition for a bachelor's degree was $16,618 in the 2020-21 academic year. Online students can often save on costs like parking, transportation, and room and board. Distance learners can also sometimes pay in-state tuition rates regardless of their location.

Program Format

Distance learners should consider whether synchronous or asynchronous learning provides a better fit for them. Synchronous learning provides structure through live online courses, while asynchronous learning provides flexibility by eliminating live sessions. Prospective students should also consider whether they have the capacity to enroll full time or part time or in an accelerated program.

Location

Even online students should consider enrolling at a school that is close to them. While most online bachelor's in mathematics programs do not include in-person or on-campus requirements, it may be easier to get a job if you attend a nearby school. Your program may maintain relationships with local employers.

Accreditation

Accreditation is a seal of approval awarded by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. You should only enroll at schools that hold accreditation. Otherwise, you cannot receive federal financial aid, and many employers won't consider hiring you.

Student Support

Student support services can make all the difference in your college experience, especially if you are a distance learner. Before committing to any program, check to see if the school offers student services like internship placements, mentorship opportunities, career services, tutoring, and advising.

Fastest Accredited Online Bachelor's in Mathematics Degree Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.

#1

Ottawa University-Online

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

100% Online | Accelerated, Scheduled Classes

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

Credits to Graduate
120 credits

Program Information
Program Accreditation | N/A

Focused on theoretical and applications-based mathematics, Ottawa University's online bachelor's in mathematics program offers accelerated eight-week classes fully online. Many courses are also offered at their in-person campuses. Math majors can choose a concentration in one of two areas: actuarial science or secondary education. 

Ottawa University also requires students to complete an integrative seminar or a capstone project that students present to demonstrate their mastery of mathematics skills and concepts.

Visit Site
#2

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 | Scheduled Classes

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

Credits to Graduate
120-126

Program Information
Program Accreditation | N/A

Students can earn a bachelor's of science in mathematics from the University of Massachusetts in as little as 12-36 months. Offering both online and in-person classes, the Lowell campus emphasizes theoretical and applicable mathematics.

The program is designed so students receive a well-rounded education with foundational knowledge and skills in a variety of subjects like writing and social sciences. The university also touts seven "essential learning outcomes" including diversity, social awareness, social responsibility, and ethics.

View School Profile

How We Rank Schools

In order to create the Fastest Online Program in Mathematics ranking, the BestColleges Rankings Team sourced the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics.

We identified two schools that qualify for our ranking list, and then applied our proprietary ranking methodology to identify the best schools offering this program in the nation. Each school is ranked based on a formula measuring academic factors (50%), affordability (25%), and the availability and popularity of online programs (25%).

Popular Online Mathematics Programs

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

Frequently Asked Questions About Fastest Online Mathematics Degree Programs

Can I get a bachelor's degree in one year?

In some cases, students can earn a bachelor's degree in one year; however, these students are usually enrolled in degree completion programs and already have significant college credit or credit for prior learning or life experience.

Most accelerated programs take three years of full-time study to complete, including summer semesters. Some fast-paced accelerated programs allow learners to graduate within two years. Check individual credit requirements and timelines for each program you are considering if you are looking to graduate as quickly as possible.

Are accelerated degree classes worth it?

An accelerated bachelor's program is worth it for the right type of student. If you do not have significant professional or personal commitments and want to enter the workforce as quickly as possible, an accelerated program could be a good fit for you. These programs are rigorous and fast-paced, but if you have the bandwidth, time, and energy, they often provide a significant return on investment.

Accelerated programs can prove tough to complete if you have a job or parenting responsibilities. Consider your current commitments and stress levels before enrolling in an accelerated bachelor's program.

Are accelerated bachelor's degrees as valuable as traditional degrees?

Accelerated bachelor's degrees are just as valuable as traditional degrees. In general, employers do not distinguish between accelerated bachelor's degrees and bachelor's degrees earned over the course of the typical four years. Some employers may even be impressed with the commitment and time management skills required to earn a bachelor's degree in 2-3 years.

Accelerated programs and their traditional counterparts often cover the same course material over a different time period. As long as you can learn quickly, you shouldn't miss out on any particular knowledge by choosing an accelerated degree.

Is an accelerated bachelor's degree in mathematics right for me?

An accelerated bachelor's degree in mathematics is a good fit for logical, detail-oriented students who enjoy problem-solving and complex thinking. These programs are also good for students who can commit a significant amount of time to their studies.

Students with professional or family commitments may find accelerated mathematics programs more challenging. Nevertheless, learners who do pursue and complete these programs can quickly enter an in-demand field, which usually leads to a high return on investment for the degree.

Are accelerated degree programs affordable?

It depends on the program. In most cases, the cost-per-credit for accelerated bachelor's programs is comparable to per-credit tuition rates for four-year bachelor's programs. If you consider a traditional bachelor's program affordable, you will probably consider an accelerated bachelor's program affordable.

You can find the most savings in accelerated bachelor's programs that charge tuition by semester instead of per credit. Since you should spend less time enrolled in an accelerated program, you should, in theory, pay for fewer semesters.

Feature Image: Peachaya Tanomsup / EyeEm Getty Images

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.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.