You have always loved numbers. You thrive at understanding mathematical theories and applying them to today's most important social problems. If this sounds like you, and you want to use mathematics to change how we live our lives, you might want to consider one of the 12 Best Bachelor's in Mathematics. Mathematicians have a role in business, health care, research, government, and academia. While many who plan careers in mathematics go on to complete a master's or doctoral degree, starting out with a bachelor's in mathematics can launch a successful career.
There are two types of mathematicians: applied or theoretical mathematics. As an applied mathematician, you use mathematical theories to solve real-world problems. You often interpret existing data and draw conclusions for a business based on that analysis. Mathematicians work with many other experts, most commonly with chemists, scientists, engineers, designers, and other scientific fields. Theoretical mathematicians, also referred to as pure mathematicians, study math for the sake of math. According to Bright Knowledge, pure mathematics "solves problems, finds facts, and answers questions that don't depend on the world around us, but on the rules of mathematics." For both types of mathematics, college courses usually include calculus, geometry, algebra, statistics, logistics, math modeling, and theory classes.
According to O-NET OnLine, you might be an ideal mathematician if you have strong skills in math, problem-solving, critical thinking, reasoning, and technical knowledge. While you explore options for careers that require a bachelor's in mathematics, you may want to check out information from one of these organizations: the American Academy of Actuaries, a professional organization of more than 19,500 members across a variety of industries; the American Mathematical Society, a professional organization that offers research, publications, advocacy, and networking for mathematicians; the American Statistical Association, an international community of statisticians, offering networking, education, and accreditation; the Casualty Actuarial Society which offers certification for those working in property and casualty risk, including insurance, finance, and risk management; the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, an international organization of about 14,000 individual members and another 500 institutional members that promotes research and advanced mathematics; and the Society of Actuaries which is the largest professional organization of actuaries, offering certification for those working in insurance, retirement, and financial planning
Mathematics students might want to consider applying for a Research Experiences for Undergraduates. REUs, funded by the National Science Foundation, support research during your undergraduate studies. These research grants and cooperative programs usually take place during the summer months. There are multiple programs through the Division of Mathematical Sciences.
Why Become a Mathematician?
Having the ability to analyze data and use mathematical skills to solve problems is in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for mathematicians is expected to grow by an astounding 33% in the next six years. According to PayScale, you can expect an average salary of $74,000 with a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics. Once you complete a master's degree in mathematics, your median salary will increase to $101,900 per year, according to the BLS. Many mathematics majors work as statisticians. While that requires a similar education, the median salary is about $87,800 per year.
With a mathematics degree, you can gain employment in a variety of industries. The highest wages are for those in management, scientific, and technical consulting. According to the ASA, statistics is the "science of learning from data." Another popular career if you plan a bachelor's degree in mathematics is as an actuary. An actuary analyzes risk using financial theory, combined with math and statistics. According to the BLS, jobs for actuaries will grow 22% in the next six years. You can expect an annual median salary of about $103,000. To become an actuary, you will need a bachelor's degree in mathematics with studies in actuarial science, statistics, and business. You will also need to complete certifications through either the Casualty Actuarial Society or the Society of Actuaries. CAS certification is for those in property and casualty risk management while SOA certification is for those specializing in insurance and retirement benefits.
Mathematicians can also expect high wages and demand in the finance industry, insurance, government, and research and development. According to CareerOneStop, mathematicians might find themselves working in the aerospace industry, programming video games, designing encryption systems for the military, working in robotics, exploring space, and conducting research.
Possible careers for students who receive a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics include: sn Actuary, a Biostatistician, a Consultant, a Data Scientist, an Educator, a Financial Analyst, an Information Technology Specialist, a Mathematician, a Statistician, and many more.
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#1. OHIO WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY
There is a sense of community in the small town of Delaware, OH. It sits about 30 miles north of Columbus and embraces its traditions. The setting is also home to Ohio Wesleyan University. Community support helped found OWU in 1842. It began with close ties to the Methodist church and maintains those ties today. It is a small liberal arts college with about 1,600 students and a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio. OWU is one of the top Best National Liberal Arts Colleges according to U.S. News & World Report. You can complete a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics through OWU's Department of Mathematics & Computer Science. The advantage of getting your BA in Mathematics from OWU is a blend of a liberal arts foundation with technical skills. The BA in Math requires courses in Calculus, Linear Algebra, Abstract Algebra, and Computer Programming. You can also complete a Statistics Concentration within the major. If you select this concentration, you must take courses in Applied Statistics, Analysis, Probability, along with an advanced statistics course. OWU also offers hands-on experiences during your program. You can get research experience through the Summer Science Research Program or the NSF-funded REUs. There are also study-abroad programs through OWU.
Net Price: $28,005
#2. LAKELAND UNIVERSITY
The shores of Lake Michigan are a summer playground for Wisconsonites. The town of Sheboygan is a popular beach destination, only about an hour north of Milwaukee. If you travel 15 miles inland from Sheboygan, you find the small town of Plymouth. Plymouth is home to Lakeland University, a small liberal arts school founded by the United Church of Christ in 1862. It has grown into a university with more than 3,400 students. Lakeland values small class settings, with a 15:1 student-to-teacher ratio. You can complete a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics at Lakeland. The major requires 42 semester hours. Your courses include Probability and Statistics, Calculus, Mathematical Statistics, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra. If you plan to teach in grades 6-12, Lakeland offers a BA in Mathematics for Early Adolescence through Adolescence Education Certification. Along with the mathematics courses, you will complete the Early Adolescence through Adolescence Professional Sequence. You must also meet requirements for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
Net Price: $20,551
#3. NORTHWEST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY
Maryville, MO is a small town of about 12,000 people in northwestern Missouri. It offers great small town living but is only 90 minutes north of Kansas City. Maryville is home to Northwest Missouri State University. SafeWise ranks Maryville as one of the Safest College Towns in the U.S. The four-year state school began in 1905. Today, the 370-acre campus is home to the Missouri Arboretum, equally popular for relaxation and research. NMSU has more than 12,500 students across 127 undergraduate and 40 graduate programs. As a full-time student, you receive a laptop computer to use throughout the school year. Tuition also includes all of your textbooks. You can complete either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. Both 124-hour programs require courses in Calculus, Linear Algebra, Probability & Statistics, and Discrete Mathematics. If you seek a BA, you will need to take a foreign language. The BS requires extra coursework in Mathematics.
Net Price: $11,778
#4. HOPE COLLEGE
The town of Holland, MI is picturesque, sitting on the shores of Lake Macatawa. It is about six miles east of Lake Michigan. The town ranked second in the U.S. for well-being by a Gallup and Healthways poll. Holland is home to the Christian liberal arts Hope College. Founded 1862 with assistance from the Reformed Church in America, this school was ranked highly as one of the Best Liberal Arts Colleges in the United States by the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. Hope's Mathematics Department offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. There is also a Mathematics Secondary Education or Elementary Education major for future teachers. All students must complete Real Analysis and Algebraic Structures. The BA in Mathematics requires 34 credits in Mathematics. For the BS degree, you complete 60 credits in natural sciences. Of those 60 credits, 39 must be in Mathematics. The teaching majors are in partnership with Hope's Department of Education. For both teaching majors, you complete 34 credits in Mathematics. Both teaching majors lead to certification in Michigan. Hope offers opportunities to work with faculty in research projects, take part in lecture series, and to join the Math Club.
Net Price: $27,795
#5. WABASH COLLEGE
Wabash College is one of the few colleges in the country that is only for men. It is a private, four-year liberal arts school in Crawfordsville, IN, about 45 miles north of Indianapolis. Wabash began in 1832, modeled after New England's liberal arts schools. Today, the wooded campus is home to 882 male students with a low 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio. You can complete a Bachelor of Mathematics at Wabash. The degree requires nine mathematics courses. You complete core courses in Calculus I and II, Elementary Linear Algebra, and Abstract Algebra. You then select one of three tracks: Pure Mathematics, Computational Mathematics, or Financial Mathematics. The Pure Mathematics track requires Functional Real Variable or Topology and four elective math courses. The Computational Mathematics track requires Intro to Programming and either Numerical Analysis or Computational Math along with four math electives. The Financial Mathematics track requires Mathematical Finance, Interest Theory, Probability Models, Statistical Models, and either Mathematical Statistics or Regression Models plus you will also complete two more math electives. Wabash's Department of Mathematics and Computer Science offers a bi-weekly Problem of the Fortnight contest that gives you a chance to compete with fellow students. Wabash offers internships through the NSF-funded REUs.
Net Price: $24,603
#6. BLOOMSBURG UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
The town of Bloomsburg, PA is a scenic small community on the banks of the Susquehanna River. It is 40 miles southeast of Wilkes-Barre. The town's down-home charm and 14,000 residents is a fitting home for Bloomsburg University. What began as Bloomsburg Academy in 1839 now offers degrees to about 10,000 students. Bloom is one of 14 public universities in the Pennsylvania State System. It is a designated Military Friendly School according to GI Jobs magazine. You can complete either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics at Bloom. The BA degree requires 45 to 47 credits. That includes core Mathematics classes that makeup 30 credits. Those courses include three Calculus classes, Discrete Mathematics, Probability and Statistics, Linear Algebra, and Math Modeling. All BA students must also take six to eight credits in computer science courses and six credits from a discipline in which you apply math. The BS in Mathematics requires 54 to 56 credits. Along with the 30 credits in core Math courses and six to eight credits in Computer Science, you must also take eight credits in science courses. You will also need 18 upper-level math electives.
Net Price: $16,501
#7. FERRUM COLLEGE
Ferrum, VA is a small town of about 2,000 residents. It sits in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, about 35 miles south of Roanoke. The majestic setting provides great outdoor recreation activities. The town is also home to Ferrum College. Founded in 1913 by the United Methodist Church, it remains a private liberal arts college based on Christian principles. Each October, Ferrum hosts the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival. It is a major venue on Virginia's Heritage Music Trail. Along with its great recreational opportunities, Ferrum College has a progressive Mathematical Science program. You can complete a Bachelor's in Mathematical Science at Ferrum. The program includes coursework in Calculus, Linear Algebra, Discrete Mathematics, Number Theory and Geometry, and Differential Equations. The School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics sponsors a variety of projects. These give you a chance to apply mathematical theory in the real world. There are also research opportunities with Ferrum professors and internship opportunities. The school hosts weekly Friday seminars that relate to various science and math topics.
Net Price: $23,184
#8. MUSKINGUM UNIVERSITY
New Concord is a small town of about 3,000 people in central Ohio. It sits on Interstate 70, about an hour east of Columbus. It is also home to Muskingum University. The school began in 1837 and became affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in 1877. Today, the university maintains its church affiliation. Over the years, many Muskies went on to become household names. Graduates include astronaut John Glenn, famed zoologist Jack Hanna, former Ford CEO Philip Caldwell, and retired NFL coach Darrell Hazell. You can join the ranks as a Muskie and receive a Bachelor's in Mathematics. The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science blends theory with real-world applications. The program requires three calculus courses: Discrete Math, Linear Algebra, and Analysis. You will also take Introduction to Computer Science and a final Math Seminar. During the seminar, you complete a research paper and take an oral exam. There are also six more upper-level math courses required for the major. Muskingum offers several opportunities for you to gain real-world experience in mathematics. Along with the research you can conduct during the Math Seminar, you have a chance to join the Kappa Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honorary.
Net Price: $19,525
#9. UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, RENO
In 1874, Reno was a small dusty town at the foot of Nevada's Carson Mountains. The University of Nevada, Reno opened with 35 students in 1886. Today, the modern university has 22,000 students. Along with a world-class education, you can enjoy outdoor activities in nearby Lake Tahoe. Nevada offers a 120-credit Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. For each degree, you choose a specialization in Applied Mathematics, Discrete Mathematics/Operations Research, Statistics, or General Mathematics. The BA provides a liberal arts foundation while the BS requires more math, computing, and science. All math degrees need three calculus classes such as Differential Equations, Analysis, Linear Algebra, and Probability. You will also declare a minor. For the Applied Math specialization, you take a senior capstone in Mathematical Modeling. For the Discrete Math/Operations Research specialty, you take courses in Graph and Game Theory. Your capstone is in Deterministic Operations Research. For the Statistics specialization, you take courses in Regression & Linear Models and Statistical Theory. Your capstone is in Mathematical Modeling. The General math degree requires courses in Groups, Rings & Fields, Topology, and Statistics and either of the two capstones. If you choose the BS option, you must take two computer science courses.
Net Price: $16,230
#10. ROSEMONT COLLEGE
Rosemont is a small, upscale community on the Philadelphia Main Line. The town is about 11 miles west of Philadelphia and surrounded by college towns of Bryn Mawr and Villanova. It is home to Rosemont College, founded by the Society of the Holy Child Jesus in 1921. The small Catholic private university has fewer than 500 undergraduate students. It has an impressive student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. Rosemont offers a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. It encourages diverse students to apply for admission. There is a unique ROCO option for admission. With this option, ACT or SAT scores are optional, but you will meet for a personal interview. You can take courses during the regular fall or spring semesters. Rosemont also offers two six-week summer sessions. While you pursue your BA, you can choose a concentration in Secondary Education, Business, Accounting, or Science. While completing your degree at Rosemont, you have a chance to take an internship. Your internship might be with a government agency, state agency, bank, or other approved organization.
Net Price: $19,947
#11. PARK UNIVERSITY
Parkville, MO is a charming town of about 5,500 people. It sits on the banks of the Missouri River, ten miles northwest of Kansas City. The town has great art galleries, antique shops, boutiques, and historic buildings. It offers the best of small-town living, but with everything from the big city a few miles away. Parkville is home to Park University. Founded in 1875, Park's beautiful administrative building, Mackay Hall, sits on the National Register of Historic Places. Park also has 41 campus centers around the country and a new campus in Arizona. Park has a Military Credit Fast App that considers military training and experience in transfer credits. You can complete a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics at Park's main campus in Parkville. The 120-credit program requires 40 hours in the major and a 22-credit minor. The degree requires 31 core credits. Those courses include three calculus classes, Mathematical Thought, Ordinary Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Abstract Algebraic Structures, and Analysis. You take another 12 credits in upper-level math classes. These might include Probability, Modern Geometries, Number Theory, and Topology. You will also need to pass a comprehensive written exam before you receive your bachelor's degree.
Net Price: $16,048
#12. BUENA VISTA UNIVERSITY
Storm Lake is a small town in Iowa, about an hour east of Sioux City. The small town has about 10,000 residents and is well known for exceptional boating and outdoor activities on Storm Lake. The shores of Storm Lake are home to Buena Vista University. This private school, founded as Buena Vista College in 1891, has 1,800 students. There is an incredibly low 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio. You can complete a Bachelor's in Mathematics at Buena Vista. The major requires 38 to 39 credits in math courses. Those courses include Applied Regression Analysis, Modern Algebra, Numerical Analysis, along with Probability and Statistics. BVU suggests that you also take a computer science and physics course. There are two specialty degrees available. The Major in Mathematics with Teaching Licensure K-8 requires 33 credits. Courses including Computer Programming, Mathematical Ideas for the Liberal Arts, Statistics, Calculus, Geometry, a senior capstone, and education core courses. The Major in Mathematics with Teaching Licensure 5-12 requires 41 to 42 credits. You will complete extra calculus courses such as Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Geometry, Probability and Statistics, a senior capstone, and education courses. During your time at BVU, you can also arrange internships. This might be an REU through the University of Nebraska, working with a corporation, or time with a government agency.