BA in Mathematics: The Definitive Guide & Top Schools

Earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics improves logic and analytical skills.

Graduates with a mathematics degree can work in numerous growing fields ranging from computer programming to accountancy and analysis.

NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) found that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics degrees are some of the most popular majors.

In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that math careers pay an annual median salary of $99,000, which is more than double the median salary for other careers.

If you’re interested in pursuing a degree in mathematics, keep reading to learn more about the major!

What Will I Learn in a Mathematics Program?

Mathematics is a general field with countless subcategories that apply to other fields.

For this guide, the focus is specifically on a degree in mathematics, which requires the following introductory courses.

Additional courses in other related areas are typically taken along with the foundational math classes.

Actuarial Math

Actuarial math instructors teach students about actuarial science and financial mathematics.

The curriculum includes calculating accumulated values, using probability in insurance calculations, and calculating risk.

Students can earn an actuarial certification after passing the exam.

Actuarial math is beneficial to corporations when determining various risk types.

Applied Statistics

Various statistical techniques are taught during the applied statistics course.

Students learn how to apply statistics across a variety of disciplines.

Other fundamental course topics include random sampling, survey methodologies, probability, and data visualization.

Students also have the chance to work with different statistical software programs that industry professionals use.

Complex Variables

The course covers complex variable functions, including harmonic functions, derivatives, and numbers.

In addition, students learn about various formulas and theorems related to complex variables. 

Fundamental Concepts in Mathematics

The fundamental concepts in mathematics class are foundational, allowing math majors to explore core concepts, such as using basic logic, math theory, and analyzing proofs.

In addition, the course offers analytical skills and logic.

Mathematical Computing

Math and computing overlap in many areas.

Therefore, the mathematical computing course teaches students the techniques, including how programming languages relate to math.

The class also trains learners in math coding and how to use different algorithms.

How to Choose a Good Program

Choosing the right program gives learners an excellent education with solid name recognition.

However, finding the best means the program matches your career goals, schedule, and budget.

Factors to help you choose a suitable program include the following:


It’s always beneficial to select an accredited school to ensure you’re receiving the highest education standards, which surpasses standards for the academic mission, student learning outcomes, and faculty qualifications. 


On average, learners spend $19,000 on tuition and fees per year to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Online tuition is less expensive but can vary based on the school.

Also, public universities usually charge less for tuition for in-state students.

Therefore, when reviewing, ensure the total program cost is considered, which includes fees, supplies, and books.


Colleges and universities offer more learning formats than ever.

Students can enroll in part-time or full-time programs in-person or online.

Additionally, learners can choose from asynchronous and synchronous classes, which are live class sessions viewed via video.

Asynchronous courses don’t have set meeting times.


Applicants often consider location when comparing different schools.

However, distance learners may still prefer local colleges, which allows for the opportunity to meet classmates and faculty.

This also allows for increased networking opportunities.

Student Support

The best institutions offer student services like career counseling, academic advising, and tutoring.

In addition, many schools also offer online student support, mentorship programs, and internship experiences. 

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Bachelor’s in Mathematics?

A bachelor’s degree in mathematics can be achieved in four years.

However, this can take longer if internships are required to complete the program.

Also, many colleges offer accelerated programs that can be completed in as little as three years but require a significant time commitment over several years.

Also, for those planning to earn a master’s or advanced degree, many institutions offer combined bachelor’s and master’s degrees, which saves time and money.

Mathematics is such a diverse field that most schools have a combination degree that can be earned.

Students take several graduate-level classes in their junior and senior years, which are then transferred into the graduate program.

Before entering a program, a process must be followed, and it takes several months to complete.

Luckily, these early steps can be taken while in high school.

Admission requirements are set by the specific school, most of which are similar regardless of the institution.

Common requirements include:


Potential students must always submit an undergraduate application that accounts for work history and educational information.

Applicants must also note academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and volunteer experience.

Schools utilize different applications for entry-level college students and transfer students.


Some schools request incoming students write an essay on a specific topic, while others request a statement or purpose highlighting the candidate’s career plans and qualifications.

Sometimes applicants must submit a writing sample if an essay or statement of purpose is not required.

Letters of Recommendation

Potential students must provide one-to-three letters of recommendation from former mentors, supervisors, professors, or teachers.

Colleges utilize these letters to evaluate the applicant’s ability to succeed in a college environment.

Always request the letter several months before the deadline to give recommenders time to complete it.

Official Transcripts

Future math majors must also provide official transcripts from their previous school, which could be high school or college.

Those transferring from another college usually receive credit for past courses, which saves money and time.

Test Scores

Most colleges and universities require standardized test scores to be provided during the admission process.

As a result, potential students usually need ACT or SAT scores, but many institutions are moving toward test-optional admission.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Bachelor’s in Mathematics?

Like any bachelor’s degree program, the cost can vary greatly depending on the learning format, location, and school’s reputation.

When searching for a school, balancing a budget with a reputation is essential.

Also, many students who struggle with college costs can enroll in a two-year program at a community college to complete core classes.

Community colleges are significantly cheaper than four-year institutions. 

What Can I Do with a Bachelor’s in Mathematics?

Math majors have a growing career outlook with an excellent median annual salary.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 28% growth between 2020 and 2030, over three times the entire occupation growth rate of 8%.

In addition, a bachelor’s in mathematics leads to entry-level positions within numerous industries like the public sector, education, or business.

For instance, a bachelor’s degree in mathematics allows professionals to work as math teachers or for the U.S. government as an economist.

A mathematics degree also prepares graduates for financial or accounting roles.

Common career paths include:


Actuaries utilize statistical and mathematical techniques to assess the financial costs of specific activities or events.

They estimate the chance of certain occurrences like a natural disaster, death, or illness, which can be critical within the insurance industry, where policies are created to minimize risk.


Economists review data to find economic trends using mathematical models and statistical techniques to develop forecasts.

Also, these professionals conduct surveys to research economic issues.

Although some positions require a master’s degree, economists can find entry-level positions with a related bachelor’s degree.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts recommend investment strategies based on economic trends.

They regularly evaluate financial data to provide future performance forecasts.

Financial analysts review financial statements to recommend strategies to increase profits for companies or clients.

A mathematics background greatly assists financial analysts since data analysis is integral to success.


Statisticians and mathematicians solve specific problems by analyzing numerical data.

They apply various techniques to gather data and overcome engineering, business, and science challenges.

Also, these professionals interpret data and create visualizations to help others make decisions.

This is especially essential at major corporations.

Math Teacher

Math teachers are educators in basic concepts or advanced mathematics.

Their curriculum may cover calculus, geometry, algebra, and numerical literacy, depending on the level.

Math teachers develop lesson plans to grade assessments and teach concepts.

These professionals can work in public or private schools at the university, high school, or elementary school level. 

Should I Get a Bachelor’s in Mathematics?

Pursuing a bachelor’s in mathematics is the ideal career path if you have a passion for working with numbers, analyzing trends, and utilizing statical models for different activities.

Given the high median salary and endless career choices, mathematics is a great start. Best of all, math touches almost all aspects of life, so having a background in this area can open various doors for graduates that may not be available for other majors that focus on specific positions.