The Best Universities for
Applied Math in 2021

The applied mathematics field is very popular among people who love numbers. Having a degree in applied math allows you to pursue careers in the public and private sectors.

Today, there are many learning options for you to choose from. The best schools for applied math are spread throughout the United States, and in 2021, you can take courses online or in person.

This article lists the 10 best colleges for applied math in 2021. It is meant for anyone looking to enroll in an undergraduate or graduate program.

Overview: The Top 10 Applied Math Colleges in 2021

Searching for the perfect course can be overwhelming. This is why we’ve created a list of the 10 best colleges with all the information you need. There is more detailed information about each program below. The tuition has been sourced from the schools’ official websites. Unless otherwise noted, each tuition figure refers to the estimated annual cost.

School State Degrees and Tuition Online Options
Brown University RI Bachelor of Science (BS) or
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Applied Math
$60,944
Master of Science (MS) in Applied Math
$7,618 per course
PhD in Applied Math
$7,618 per course
No
Bryant University RI BS in Applied Math
and Statistics
$46,885
No
Harvard University MA BS in Applied Math
$51,143
MS in Applied Math
$50,928
PhD in Applied Math
$50,928
Due to COVID-19, remote instruction is available
Northwestern University IL BS in Applied Math
$60,276
MS in Applied Math
$58,029
PhD in Applied Math
$56,067
Yes
Stony Brook University NY BS in Applied Math
and Statistics
In-state: $5,070 per term*
Out-of-state: $13,905
per term*
MS in Applied Math
and Statistics
In-state: $6,844 per term*
Out-of-state: $12,739
per term*
PhD in Applied Math
and Statistics
In-state: $6,844 per term*
Out-of-state: $12,739
per term*
Individual short courses
available online
University of California, Los Angeles CA BS in Mathematics
In-state: $13,258*
Out-of-state: $43,012*
MS in Mathematics
In-state: $17,486*
Out-of-state: $32,588*
No
University of Connecticut CT BS in Applied Math
In-state: $15,406
Out-of-state: $37,074
MS in Applied Math
In-state: $940 per credit
Out-of-state: $2,157 per credit
PhD in Applied Math
In-state: $940 per credit
Out-of-state: $2,157 per credit
No
University of North Carolina NC BS in Applied and
Computational Mathematics
In-state: $7,020
Out-of-state: $34,198
MS in Applied and
Computational Mathematics
In-state: $10,552
Out-of-state: $28,278
PhD in Applied Math
In-state: $10,552
Out-of-state: $28,278
No
University of Southern California CA BA or BS in Applied Math
$60,446
MA or MS in Applied Math
$59,260
PhD in Applied Math
$59,260
Yes
University of Washington WA BA or BS in Applied Math
In-state: $12,076*
Out-of-state: $39,906*
MS in Applied Math
In-state: $17,754*
Out-of-state: $30,912*
Master’s only

*Includes mandatory fees

Applied Math Degree Levels Explained

Below is a brief outline of what to expect from the various degrees you can get at the best schools for applied math. Keep in mind that data science is one of the most popular applied math subjects, and an Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral Degree in Data Science often amounts to the same thing as their applied math counterparts.

Applied Math Associate Degree

An applied math associate degree is the first step in your higher education. It is often seen as a two-year steppingstone to a bachelor’s degree.

You can start an Associate Degree in Data Science or Applied Math after high school. This is a great option if you have a career in mind that doesn’t necessarily require a bachelor’s degree.

Applied Math Bachelor’s Degree

A typical bachelor’s degree lasts four years. Most working professionals have a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree program gives you a strong practical and theoretical foundation in your field of interest. With an applied math bachelor’s degree in the bag, you can apply to work for most companies.

Applied Math Master’s Degree

A master’s degree program provides in-depth education on a particular topic. If you loved studying data science during your applied math bachelor’s degree program, for example, then pursuing a Master’s Degree in Data Science might be for you. Master’s degree programs can be completed online or on campus, and can take up to three years to finish.

Applied Math Doctorate

Doctorate degrees in applied math are for passionate students who see themselves devoting their professional lives to research. A PhD can take up to six years to obtain. PhD students often work as teaching assistants to subsidize their research. Students are expected to turn their research into a dissertation, which could be several hundred pages long.

In Detail: The Best Applied Math Schools of 2021

In Detail: The Best Applied Math Schools of 2021

We have covered the different degree options, now let’s have a more detailed look at each university.

Brown University

Degree Levels: Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD

Graduation Rate: 95.5%

Regional Accreditation: New England Commission on Higher Education

Brown University encourages applied math majors to specialize in one or two concentrations. These include biology, computer science, and economics. You can get a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Applied Math at Brown. Graduate and postgraduate options are also available in the subject.

Brown Applied Math Pros

  • The university has exciting summer research projects for math students.
  • The student body is diverse.
  • Class sizes are small, so lessons are intimate and interactive.

Brown Applied Math Cons

  • Tuition is expensive.
  • The admissions process is very selective.
  • Some concentrations have a lot of requirements.

Bryant University

Degree Levels: Bachelor’s

Graduation Rate: 77.2%

Regional Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Bryant University has a fantastic math department. Throughout the applied math and statistics bachelor’s program, you will develop competencies in quantitative problem-solving and critical thinking. If you want to further your education beyond the undergraduate level, Bryant University offers exciting master’s programs in business.

Bryant University Applied Math Pros

  • The university provides a strong foundation in liberal arts.
  • As an applied math major with a minor in business, you will have a competitive edge.
  • The university helps students land exciting internships.

Bryant University Applied Math Cons

  • There are not many options for concentrations.
  • There is a big gender imbalance.
  • Tuition is expensive.

Harvard University

Degree Levels: Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD

Graduation Rate: 97.3%

Regional Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges

Harvard University is the most famous and prestigious university on this list. Applied mathematics is currently among Harvard’s top five fields of study. The math department at the school lays a huge emphasis on creativity and interdisciplinary research. Some of the world’s most prominent mathematics and engineering researchers teach at Harvard.

Harvard Applied Math Pros

  • The curriculum is research-focused.
  • Harvard has many clubs and organizations for math students. These include the Harvard Applied Math Society (HAMS) and Harvard Data Ventures (DV).
  • It is one of the best grad schools for applied math.

Harvard Applied Math Cons

  • The tuition is expensive
  • The selection process is competitive.
  • The workload is demanding and challenging.

Northwestern University

Degree Levels: Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD

Graduation Rate: 93.5%

Regional Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Northwestern University has an exciting math department. Applied math programs encourage collaborative work between mathematicians, scientists, and engineers. Northwestern produces innovative research in many topics, such as asymptotic analysis, biological systems, diffusive processes, and fluid dynamics.

Northwestern Applied Math Pros

  • The math curricula are research-focused.
  • The university encourages interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • The university offers a combined bachelor’s/master’s program in applied math.

Northwestern Applied Math Cons

  • The admissions process is selective.
  • The university is expensive.
  • Class sizes are large.

Stony Brook University

Degree Levels: Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD

Graduation Rate: 72.4%

Regional Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Stony Brook is one of the best schools for math and statistics. Students enrolled in math graduate programs can choose from five different concentrations. These include computational applied math, biology, operations research, quantitative finance, and statistics. The BS in Applied Math also equips students with business and industry toolkits.

Stony Brook Applied Math Pros

  • It has a business-focused curriculum
  • There are many concentrations to choose from.
  • The university boasts a huge research department in computational applied mathematics.

Stony Brook Applied Math Cons

  • The university is primarily geared toward medicine.
  • Classes and lecture rooms can be crowded.
  • The school doesn’t offer many extra-curricular activities.

University of California, Los Angeles

Degree Levels: Bachelor’s, Master’s

Graduation Rate: 91.4%

Regional Accreditation: Senior College and University Commission

UCLA was founded in 1919 and remains one of the leading research institutions in biology, business, and economics in the US. The school offers fantastic applied math programs. At the undergraduate level, students have eight major options and three specialization options available.

UCLA Applied Math Pros

  • The applied math curriculum is focused on economics and computational science.
  • UCLA has a big math research department.
  • There are many student groups and societies at UCLA for math students.

UCLA Applied Math Cons

  • The admissions process is very selective, with a rate of acceptance of about 14 percent.
  • The math department doesn’t have many opportunities for cross-disciplinary learning.
  • Math at UCLA is principally geared towards pure math rather than applied math.

University of Connecticut

Degree Levels: Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD

Graduation Rate: 81.9%

Regional Accreditation: New England Commission on Higher Education

The University of Connecticut makes a lot of moves on mathematics research. Its undergraduate and graduate programs are taught by top experts. Students are actively encouraged to take part in the school’s exciting research projects.

UConn Applied Math Pros

  • The curriculum is research-oriented.
  • The university collaborates with over 190 schools in Connecticut to provide an early college experience.
  • The curriculum is constantly updated, making for an exciting learning experience.

UConn Applied Math Cons

  • There aren’t many opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • The tuition is expensive.
  • The application process is selective.

University of North Carolina

Degree Levels: Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD

Graduation Rate: 91.1%

Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Schools and Colleges Commission

UNC offers great courses in applied math across undergraduate and postgraduate levels. What makes this school special is the mind-boggling breadth of concentrations available. Specializations include stochastic analysis, climate modeling, and neuroscience, to name a few.

UNC Applied Math Pros

  • The math department revels in interdisciplinary research.
  • There are many options for concentrations and minors.
  • Fantastic labs are available for research in math, physics, and marine sciences.

UNC Applied Math Cons

  • The application process is very selective.
  • The university is expensive.
  • The acceptance rate is only 22 percent, making it very competitive.

University of Southern California

Degree Levels: Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD

Graduation Rate: 91.5%

Regional Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges

USC has an exciting math department. The school offers a BA and a BS in mathematics and applied math. Graduate and undergraduate programs are career-oriented and help students reach their professional potential. There are many minors and specializations to choose from. These include computational math, finance, and data analytics.

USC Applied Math Pros

  • You will have many concentration and minor options to choose from.
  • The department provides good career help and guidance.
  • USC offers many extra-curricular math clubs and public seminars.

USC Applied Math Cons

  • The USC math department doesn’t have many opportunities to engage in cross-disciplinary research.
  • The university is expensive.
  • USC is selective.

University of Washington

Degree Levels: Bachelor’s, Master’s

Graduation Rate: 83.9%

Regional Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

The University of Washington offers exciting applied math programs. Its Master’s Degree in Applied and Computational Mathematics is available online on a flexible basis. The undergraduate math programs offer different options. You can choose a math and philosophy option, a teacher preparation option, or a Bachelor of Science option.

University of Washington Applied Math Pros

  • The applied math curriculum offers interdisciplinary modules.
  • The University of Washington offers good teaching opportunities.
  • There are many math groups and societies at the University of Washington.

University of Washington Applied Math Cons

  • There are only about 15 graduate students accepted every year, making it a very selective school.
  • Tuition is expensive.
  • The PhD options aren’t very good.
How to Pick the Best Applied Math School for You

How to Pick the Best Applied Math School for You

With so many university options, it can be difficult to narrow down your search. It is important to consider many factors when choosing the right applied math school for you. Below are just a few examples of what to look out for in the best applied mathematics degrees.

Online vs In-Person Applied Math Degrees

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, many schools have moved their operations online. Students opt for online study for flexibility reasons, which is great for those who are working. Graduate degree programs offer the same course content online as they do on-campus. If you would like to enroll in an undergraduate course, it is better to opt for an in-person option.

Bachelor’s degree programs offer far more on-campus than online options. Attending a course on campus will allow you to make use of a university’s resources and facilities. Most universities in the United States also have math societies and events, which are only available to in-person attendees.

Graduation Rates

Graduation rates offer an insight into a university’s performance. The rate denotes the percentage of students who complete a program. This should give you a sense of how positive the average student experience is.

Tuition and Fees

Make sure that you compare and contrast university fees. Education in the United States is expensive, so you need to check your options. A lot of programs offer scholarships and funding help, so make sure you check these too.

Concentration Options

Applied math is a field that is compatible with many career prospects and job options. Make sure that your university of interest has minor and specialization options that excite you. Some math departments specialize in computational science or data analysis, which might not be for everyone.

How Much Can You Earn With an Applied Math Degree?

An applied math degree opens the door to a multitude of career options and opportunities. It is always a good idea to check possible career paths and the associated salaries. We’ve created a table that should give you an idea of what to expect. The information comes from PayScale.

The Best Applied Math Careers

Profession Required Education Approx. Average Salary
Data Scientist Bachelor’s degree $96,609
Astronomer Bachelor’s degree $89,364
Statistician Master’s degree $74,648
Financial Manager Master’s degree $74,512
Investment Analyst Bachelor’s degree $66,377
Quantity Surveyor Bachelor’s degree $64,973
Financial Analyst Bachelor’s degree $61,870
Mathematics Teacher Bachelor’s degree $51,010

Why You Should Attend an Applied Math School in 2021

Young professionals with a background in math are increasingly in demand. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many industries and businesses have shifted their operations online. This means more and more decisions rely on data analysis and data-driven strategies. Proficiency in applied math will secure your place in the world of tomorrow.

A degree in applied math covers cross-disciplinary topics, making it a fantastic way to gain crucial professional skills. Finally, a degree can offer great social and networking opportunities that you cannot get anywhere else.

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