When math is one of your favorite subjects, it can be natural to major in it when you go to college. Obtaining a Master’s degree in Mathematics can lead to a number of career opportunities including being a professor of mathematics, a statistician, and even an analyst.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a Mathematician or Statistician has a median pay of $92,030 per year. The job outlook is increasing by 33 percent over the next 10 years, which is a faster rate than many other careers available. It’s common for mathematicians and statisticians to work in private science sectors as well as within the federal government.
Top 5 Master’s in Mathematics Programs
|1||California Institute of Technology||Pasadena, California|
|2||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Cambridge, Massachusetts|
|3||Stanford University||Stanford, California|
|4||Princeton University||Princeton, New Jersey|
|5||University of Chicago||Chicago, Illinois|
In order to apply for an online Masters in Mathematics program, the requirements will vary by school. Most colleges and universities will look at your grades in math-related subjects, the courses you took, as well as your GRE scores. Even before you apply for a master’s program, you should sit with a guidance counselor to ensure your bachelor’s program course load is stacked in such a way that it will help you get accepted into the graduate school of your choice.
Top 25 Schools in the US for a Masters in Mathematics
California Institute of Technology
The Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy (PMA) at California Institute of Technology offers a program that can help with obtaining careers in research. Doctorates in mathematics have been awarded by Caltech for the past 15 years. Creative research work is encouraged by all graduate students once qualifying exams have been passed. Caltech has a mathematics library featuring access to a wide array of computing equipment as well as over 20,000 volumes spread across 250 different mathematical journals.
Courses available for students focus on three core areas including real and complex analysis, abstract algebra, and topology and geometry. Passing the exams is vital to one’s success in the program and proves mastery. The exams are one-hour oral exams, with the list of problems being provided to the students a week ahead of time.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers two different programs that focus on mathematics – Pure Mathematics and Applied Mathematics. Approximately two-thirds of the students focus on Pure Mathematics. Basic and advanced courses are available, ranging from analysis, geometry, algebra, lie theory, probability, fluid dynamics, and more. Students who choose to focus on Applied Mathematics are also encouraged to take courses in science and engineering to further their research.
The degree requirements for MIT students include not only completing coursework but also passing the oral qualifying exam, classroom teaching, and completing an original thesis (complete with defense).
There are a few different graduate programs for Mathematics at Stanford University. For non-Stanford applicants, the Mathematics Department will only offer admission into the Ph.D. program. However, there is a Coterminal Master’s program available for current Stanford undergraduate students.
The Coterminal Master’s Degree program is one of the smaller programs offered at the university. There will be a requirement of taking at least five to six of the graduate-level courses. Additionally, it can be an effective way to prepare for the Ph.D. program. The School of Humanities and Sciences offers a Mathematics Ph.D. program that offers pure and applied mathematics fields of study. Additionally, the School of Engineering offers a Computational and Mathematical Engineering program, which is available as a master’s program as well as a doctorate.
The Department of Mathematics at Princeton University offers a graduate program that focuses on independent research. The university offers a strong relationship with the Institute for Advanced Study. The program is unique as it has very few requirements while providing a large array of educational and research opportunities. Advanced research topics are available along with intro-level courses that focus on such things as geometry, algebra, and analysis. Reading and working seminars are organized each year by graduate students as well.
Princeton’s graduate students will also have access to a variety of informal seminars, including the Graduate Student Seminar and the Colloquium Lunch Talk. Beyond achieving a master’s degree, Ph.D. programs are also available, which will require a thesis to be written as one of the graduation requirements.
University of Chicago
Several graduate programs are available at the University of Chicago for those who want to major in Mathematics. While the graduate program is small, it allows students to work closely with faculty. Research and student-run seminars are available. U of C found in the historic Hide Park of downtown Chicago offers a variety of activities across the campus.
Students who are seeking a graduate degree for mathematics will be able to explore a variety of programs. This includes Financial Mathematics as a master’s program. The Financial Mathematics program focuses on theoretical and applied mathematics as it pertains to the world of finance. The university also offers two PhD programs – mathematics and Joint Math/CS. Accelerated programs are also available, allowing students to work at their own pace.
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania offers a variety of graduate programs in Mathematics. It is possible to obtain a master’s in philosophy as well as a Maters in Applied Mathematics and Computational Science. The University also offers a bridge to a PhD program, allowing students to make a seamless transition toward their doctorate. It is possible to combine mathematics with a number of other subjects including computer science, statistics, and sub matriculation.
The University of has an eclectic course catalog, making it easy for students to broaden their education. For those focusing on mathematics, they can choose to minor in a number of subjects to make it easier to move into one industry over another. There are also various colloquia, seminars, and lectures available to graduate students.
The Department of Mathematics at Yale University offers a graduate program that is based on hard work, independence, and community. Students will have the option of choosing a master’s program in mathematics or going the additional two years to pursue their doctorate. The master’s program can also continue in order to obtain a Doctor of Philosophy degree. The University stands apart from other math programs by offering study groups, seminars, and the benefit of Gibbs Assistant Professors and postdoctoral fellows, all who offer a fresh perspective of mathematics.
The mathematical fields of study available at Yale University include functional analysis, complex analysis, low dimensional topology and geometry, finite and infinite groups, and much more. Students will also have the ability to meet the requirements for the graduate school’s honor program.
At Harvard University, there is the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The Mathematics Program at Harvard has always been one of the top in the nation. The University is host to a number of seminars, workshops, and conferences throughout the year. Courses are available in a wide array of mathematical topics including algebraic topology, symplectic geometry, dynamics, arithmetic dynamics, and much more.
Students with advanced standing are capable of achieving a one-year master’s degree in mathematics. It is also possible to pursue the degree of Dr. of philosophy for those who want to master basic techniques of mathematics and prove they are capable of independent research. Further, students will have access to various teaching opportunities, professional development, and job search sites to enhance career opportunities following graduation.
John Hopkins University
Students who attend John Hopkins University will have the ability to choose from a variety of Masters programs in mathematics. This includes applied mathematics and statistics, applied and computational mathematics and more. Much of it will depend upon what a student wants to do with their degree. Within the Whiting School of Engineering, there are a variety of master’s programs and courses that can be of significant benefit. Students can apply to seek a Master of Arts, a Master of Science, or an MSE. It all depends on the specific mathematics degree desired, such as the MSE in Data Science.
John Hopkins University has a long history of teaching mathematics, including mathematical reasoning, modeling, and computation. Innovative applications are offered, allowing students to apply the discrete mathematics toward network programming, game theory, and much more.
Obtaining a master’s degree at Columbia University involves attending the Mathematics Department on the Morningside campus in New York City. Students will have the ability to seek a master’s degree or continue on to pursue a PhD. A comprehensive mathematics library on the campus, providing access to over 37,400 volumes of journals that focus on everything from algebra to number theory to statistics and probability. Additionally, there are math websites, resources, and e-journals made available to students.
The course catalog at Columbia University offers students access to algebra, calculus, number theory and cryptography, and more. Students are able to learn about math in a number of unique ways so that can be applied to other careers beyond general mathematics. Seminars, conferences, and special lectures are available throughout the year, too, allowing students to take a more intimate look at mathematical relations and how they pertain to the real world.
It’s possible for you to explore a master’s program in Mathematics at Northwestern University. The Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences offers internationally-renowned faculty members along with the collegiality of a small department. The university prides itself on small class sizes and a low student to faculty ratio. Research is one of their strong suits, too, focusing on areas of mathematics that includes differential equations, algebraic topology, dynamical systems and ergodic theory, and mathematical physics.
Students will have the opportunity to dive into more specific interests through research interests. It is possible to pair with faculty on research opportunities. Beyond the master’s degree, students will have the opportunity to pursue a Ph.D. and pursue postdoctorate research positions.
The Department of Mathematics at Brown University offers a graduate program to help students obtain a solid foundation in mathematics while also exploring research. By the second year, it is expected that students will begin working as teaching assistants. Ph.D. students have the opportunity to qualify for a “terminal master’s degree) after two years.
There are typically about 40 graduate students in the mathematics program at Brown. Both a master’s and a Ph.D. can be pursued. Beyond the traditional courses, there are also weekly seminars that focus on such areas as analysis, algebraic geometry, and discrete mathematics. A separate department, the Division of Applied Mathematics, provides another degree program, ideal for students who want to use math alongside of engineering or computer science.
New York University
Obtaining an M.S. in Mathematics at New York University will involve following a basic graduate curriculum. Students will focus on courses such as real analysis, complex analysis, and linear algebra. It is, then, possible to focus on specialized areas of interest that can range from scientific computing to probability. There are three exams that must be taken in order to obtain a master’s degree. This includes exams in Advanced Calculus, Complex Variables, and Linear Algebra.
The Tardon School of Engineering also offers master’s degrees that can incorporate various aspects of applied mathematics, including Applied Physics, Computing in Finance, and Data Science. It is common for students to take courses across both schools at NYU in order to diversify their workload and obtain knowledge that can be applied in the real world.
The Graduate School at Cornell University offers master’s programs in a variety of fields for mathematics. This includes applied mathematics, statistics, operations research, and computer science. The faculty has a broad range of interests, allowing students to learn beyond the basics. A minor in mathematics can also be achieved by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies.
The coursework will focus on everything from advanced calculus to real variable theory. In order to study at Cornell, a second language is required. Students will need to show that they have the language capacity to comprehend basic mathematical reading in one other language beyond English. Additionally, it will be necessary to submit a GRE in order to get approved into the program. Coursework can also be used to move into the Ph.D. program – and a master’s in computer science can also be used for the Ph.D. program in mathematics.
At Duke University, students can choose from a variety of master’s degrees in mathematics. Many students will start off with a master’s degree in an area related to mathematics, such as Computer Science, Quantitative Financial Economics, or Statistical Science. Then, that coursework can be used to move into the Ph.D. program for mathematics.
Many of the student groups at Duke University are presented by graduate students or members of the faculty. There are groups focusing on harmonic analysis, mathematical biology, and more. Research will often feature collaborations with researchers found within the medical school as well as other departments. There are nine other schools across Duke University, making it easy for students to educate themselves in a number of related topics to prepare for careers in and out of academia upon graduation.
The Department of Mathematics at Purdue University offers programs that include a Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy. In addition to the traditional focus on mathematics, there are also interdisciplinary programs. Students can explore computational science and engineering as well as computational life sciences. A math alliance is present on campus to bring the community of math and statistical sciences together. Additionally, the university offers a broad range of seminars, colloquia, talks, conferences, and workshops for students to attend. It provides opportunities to explore mathematical topics in-depth and learn from faculty members across the campus and beyond.
Purdue University cautions students that it is rare for them to accept outside students into the MS program. Therefore, students should complete their undergraduate degree at Purdue or apply to the Ph.D. program.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan, located in Ann Arbor, offers a Mathematics Department featuring a few different master’s degrees. It’s possible to choose an Applied & Interdisciplinary Mathematics (AIM) degree or a Mathematics Master’s Degree. Additionally, there is an enhanced degree program through the Marjorie Lee Browne program for students who are eligible. Additionally, students outside of the master’s program can seek a master’s in mathematics as part of a dual degree. Outside of the Mathematics Department, there is also a Master’s degree available in Quantitative Finance & Risk Management.
The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor is committed to helping graduate students explore career opportunities. Each year, they hold a “Career & Graduate Programs Conference” with representatives from top employers in attendance. The Centers & Outreach also offers programs, teaching opportunities, and summer programs for those who want to extend their learning outside of the classroom.
Rutgers University – Camden
The Department of Mathematical Sciences at Rutgers University offers two different master’s degrees. Students can choose from Pure Mathematics and Applied and Computational Mathematics. Career options can vary, including obtaining a career teaching at the college level or working in research and industry. The campus in Camden, New Jersey holds lectures regularly from faculty and visitors.
Students who wish to apply for a master’s in mathematics program will need to submit GRE scores, have a bachelor’s degree in science or mathematics, and provide two letters of recommendation. Throughout the master’s degree program, there will be the need to pass three comprehensive exams and complete all of the credit work. Further, some students will have the opportunity to teach lower-level mathematics courses.
University of Wisconsin – Madison
It is possible to earn an MA degree in Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin. The master’s program is only available to Ph.D. students who are enrolled in math and other programs at the university. The degree is available with an option known as Foundations of Advanced Studies (FAS), allowing students to strengthen their background in mathematics. It also prepares students for nonacademic environments as well as to become employed as a mathematician.
Students at the University of Wisconsin – Madison will also have the ability to pursue a Ph.D. in Mathematics. This focuses on a number of areas including applied mathematics, probability, mathematical biology, and more. Faculty members span a number of areas of expertise, and students will need to complete a dissertation in one area as a Ph.D. graduation requirement.
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
The School of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota offers two plans for earning a master’s degree. A Mathematics M.S. can involve completing a sequence of courses along with a thesis. A more flexible option including choosing courses and completing a comprehensive oral exam in place of the thesis. Students can also choose an emphasis on other areas. This includes an emphasis on Math Education or Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Both two-year programs will prepare a student for the real world. The Math Education will also offer licensure to teach high school math across Minnesota. The Industrial and Applied Mathematics will require a one-semester internship. A master’s of Financial Mathematics is also available at the school.
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities provides not only master’s programs for students but also Ph.D. programs and professional degrees. The campus offers state-of-the-art facilities, including research centers. The School of Mathematics has also been highly ranked nationally and internationally.
University of Maryland, College Park
At the University of Maryland, the Department of Mathematics runs two graduate programs. This includes the Mathematics Program and the Mathematical Statistics Program. Further, there is an Applied Mathematics & Statistics, and Scientific Computation (AMSC) Program. While a Ph.D. is available in all three, only an MA in Statistics and an MS in AMSC are available. The College of Education also offers a Mathematics Education Program.
Students will have the opportunity to take an array of courses ranging from Commutative Algebra to Algebraic Geometry to Functional Analysis. Further, the campus offers an array of lectures and research opportunities to further mathematical understanding among its students.
University of Texas at Austin
The College of Natural Sciences features the Department of Mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin. The MA in Mathematics with an Actuarial Focus. The professional program prepares students academically for entry-level actuarial jobs. The campus offers an array of teaching assistantships throughout the year, which covers tuition and a stipend. Students will have a comprehensive number of mathematics courses available to them, including ones that focus on applied mathematics, calculus, elementary statistical methods, geometry, probability, and more.
A variety of research opportunities are available across the Department of Mathematics. This includes research training groups, online videos, seminars, and even a UT Austin Portugal CoLab.
Georgia Institute of Technology
The Georgia Institute of Technology offers masters programs throughout the School of Math. Students will have the ability to choose from four different programs, including an MS in Mathematics, an MS in Computational Sciences and Engineering, an MS in Quantitative and Computational Finance, and an MS in Statistics. Graduate students can also choose to obtain a secondary MS degree from the School of Math.
Once enrolled in a Master’s degree program in mathematics, students can also choose to transfer to the Ph.D. program. It is highly encouraged for students to pass both the algebra and analysis comprehensive exams prior to requesting the transfer. A variety of research activities are available to all graduate students including seminars and colloquia. Students will have access to the various Georgia Tech groups and portals, too.
Ohio State University
The Department of Mathematics at Ohio State University offers both Ph.D. and Master’s degree programs. The Master’s degree that is available is known as the master of Actuarial Science and Quantitative Risk Management (MAQRM). Additionally, students can choose to seek the Master of Mathematical Sciences (MMS), which is considered a head start training.
There are over 60 faculty across the main campus in Columbus, Ohio. Additionally, there are more faculty across the other branches that are responsible for teaching graduate courses and who will direct graduate theses. Many faculty will represent the school at the International Congress of Mathematics, an annual conference.
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California at Berkeley offers a few different programs. Students who are part of the graduate program seeking a Ph.D. will be able to earn a master’s degree. Those outside of UC Berkeley will be unable to get a terminal master’s degree. The options for a degree include Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and the ability to major with a teaching concentration. Students will also have access to an interdisciplinary doctoral program that is shared between the departments of Mathematics and Philosophy. This program is known as the Graduate Group in Logic and the Methodology of Science.
Students will have access to 55 faculty members, over 800 undergraduate majors, and will share the campus with nearly 200 graduate students. UC Berkeley has a reputation for having one of the most distinguished departments of mathematics in the entire world.
How We Ranked the Schools
The top schools were first chosen based on how they were ranked by US News & World Report. From there, we ranked them based on student ratio, with the lower ratios at the top. In instances where the student ratio was the same, they were ranked in order of tuition, with the lower costs at the top.
For annual costs, they are based on the tuition and fees of a single academic year (fall and spring semesters). When applicable, the in-state price is listed. Out of state prices for state colleges will be higher than what is stated.
For more programs, check out our Master’s in Math Education page.
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