2020 Applied Mathematics Degree Guide
Contrary to the popular belief of bored high school students, math is useful in the real world! Applied Mathematics is the study of mathematical formulas and statistics that are used in everyday life.
The broad groundwork of mathematical skills you obtain from this major will be useful for a variety of careers. In addition to math classes, students will take statistics, computer science and physics. Some of the material you learn can be applied to engineering. Classes that you may take will be numerical analysis, optimization theory, calculus, computer science, differential equations, linear algebra, physics, numerical analysis, and systems design.
Concentrations in this major include: Computational Mathematics; Computational and Applied Mathematics; Financial Mathematics; and Mathematical Biology.
A Spike in Applied Mathematics Degrees
In 20172018, applied mathematics was the 112th most popular major nationwide with 8,560 degrees awarded. This represents a 19.1% increase in applied math degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 6,928.
The United States has 189 different schools where you can get a degree in applied mathematics. Our 2020 Best Colleges for Applied Mathematics ranking analyzes 55 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for applied mathematics students. Explore this or one of our many other custom applied math rankings further below.
What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Applied Mathematics
This is a great major for students who are passionate about math and ready to create mathematical models to answer difficult questions. Your courses will include lectures along with labs and computerbased classes. In order to be successful, you will need to think logically and critically. In labs, cooperative learning will take place. Working with your peers, listening to their perspectives and then adding your own input will be critical. You will develop your skills through collaborating with others.
Although math is your primary focus, writing skills will also be helpful. You will need to write clearly as you complete lab report and develop proofs. Students will learn to make connections between their classes as they use mathematical formulas and abstract concepts to form realworld solutions.
Applied Math Degree Program Entry Requirements
A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most applied math degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Once you obtain your degree, additional applied math certifications required to pursue a career in this field.
Applied Mathematics Degree Types
There are various different levels of applied math degrees. You can spend many years getting as high as a research / scholarship based doctorate's in applied mathematics to something that takes less time like a first year certificate. How long it takes to complete some common applied math degree levels is shown below.
Degree  Credit Requirements  Typical Program Length 

Associate Degree  6070 credits  2 years 
Bachelor’s Degree  120 credits  4 years 
Master’s Degree  5070 credits  13 years 
Doctorate  Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation  At least 4 years 
A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to applied math, with approximately 36.4% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for applied math workers below.
Level of Education  Percentage of Workers 

Bachelor’s Degree  35.2% 
Master’s Degree  29.0% 
Doctoral Degree  20.8% 
PostDoctoral Training  6.3% 
PostBaccalaureate Certificate  5.5% 
57.2% of applied math workers have at least a master's. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in applied mathematics careers have.
This of course varies depending on which applied math career you choose.
Applied Math Careers
With strong mathematical skills, you will be prepared to work in a multitude of careers. Many graduates go into computer science and software development. Other career options are statistician, auditor, mathematician or actuary. You could also go into physics or engineering. Due to their practical knowledge, many graduates find work in the financial field as bankers, financial analysts or advisors. Some of these career options may require additional education.
Solid Growth Projected for Applied Math Careers
Want a job when you graduate with your applied math degree? Applied Mathematics careers are expected to grow 11.8% between 2016 and 2026.
The following options are some of the most indemand careers related to applied mathematics.
Occupation Name  Projected Jobs  Expected Growth 

Financial Analysts  328,200  10.8% 
Financial Specialists  149,000  9.6% 
Mathematical Science Professors  66,600  9.4% 
Natural Sciences Managers  62,300  9.9% 
Statisticians  49,800  33.9% 
How Much Money Do Applied Math Grads Make?
Applied Mathematics graduates between 20152017 reported earning an average of $55,528 in the 20172018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $29,100 to as high as $91,700. As you might expect, salaries for applied math graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.
Highest Paid Applied Math Careers
Salaries for applied mathematics graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers applied math grads often go into.
Occupation Name  Median Average Salary 

Natural Sciences Managers  $139,680 
Actuaries  $116,250 
Economists  $116,020 
Mathematicians  $104,870 
Financial Analysts  $100,990 
Getting Your Applied Mathematics Degree
With over 651 different applied math degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased applied math school rankings to help you with this.
Top Ranking Lists for Applied Mathematics
Study Areas in Applied Mathematics
Applied Mathematics is one of 3 different types of Mathematics & Statistics programs to choose from.
Most Popular Majors Related to Applied Math
Related Major  Annual Graduates 

Mathematics  29,945 
Statistics  8,180 
Other Statistics  453 
View All Applied Math Related Majors >
References

Image Credit: By Steven G. Johnson under License
Featured Mathematics Schools
Request Info  Southern New Hampshire University You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs. Learn More > 
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Request Info  Grand Canyon University (GCU) With a spotlight on intellectual creativity and innovation for the 21stcentury, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education. It blends the study of traditional humanities in a modern context. Through academic inquiry and beyond the box thinking, the college advances our society and its accomplishments. Learn More > 
Request Info  Northcentral University Northcentral University (NCU) was founded to provide accessible, highquality, online graduate degrees to working professionals. As a regionally accredited, online university, NCU serves students worldwide, focusing on Doctoral and Master's degree programs in the Schools of Business and Technology Management, Education, Psychology, and Marriage and Family Sciences. Learn More > 
Request Info  Colorado Technical University (CTU) CTU could help you connect to what matters most: a powerful professional community, faculty who are realworld professionals, and innovative technology. Learn More > 