Best Mathematics Online PhD programs

A PhD in Mathematics is the highest academic degree that one can earn in the field of mathematics. The program normally takes four to five years on average, and it includes both coursework and research components. Students who earn a PhD in Mathematics typically go to excel at the highest level of careers such as professors or researchers at universities or other research institutes. The degree can also be beneficial for those who wish to work in the private sector, as many businesses value employees with advanced mathematical skills.

The quality of an online PhD in Mathematics is largely the same as a traditional on-campus PhD mathematics program, only that the online version can be completed entirely online. Students in the program complete most of the coursework and research with no need to attend on-campus classes, safe for a few meetings here and there depending on the university’s planning. The mathematics online PhD program is designed for those who want to earn their doctorate while continuing with their full-time commitments.

Is a Mathematics PhD lucrative in the job market?

Yes. A PhD in Mathematics can be very lucrative in the job market today as many businesses and organizations value individuals with this type of advanced training and education. Professionals with a PhD in Mathematics often find employment in academia, research, or government. They may also work as consultants or private tutors. The earning potential for achievers with a PhD in Mathematics is very high. In fact, many individuals with this type of doctorate degree earn six-figure salaries these days.

This program will essentially widen your career opportunities, both in academics, public and private sectors. In the case of academia, you will spend your career first as a student and then as a professor teaching about your passion. Government organizations and private companies also offer plenty of opportunities for math PhD holders.

According to Glassdoor, the base annual pay for Math PhD holders in the USA, for example, is around 72,568 US dollars, with additional compensation of 23,614 US dollars, totaling 96,182 US dollars. However, the pay varies depending on several factors, including industry, years of experience, and location.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for statisticians and mathematicians will increase by 31 percent over the next decade. The bureau predicts about 4,100 openings each year during this period.

Examples of positions you can hold with a PhD in Mathematics

One valuable benefit of a PhD mathematics program is that it allows you to pursue a very wide range of career options. This can be attributed to the fact that the core principles of mathematics, to a large extent, support all sciences.

The most common career paths for PhD in Mathematics holders are education, finance, scientific research, information and communication, government, and manufacturing.

Graduates of this program can easily thrive in following positions which also happen to be the most common.

  • University tutor or professor: Most PhD in math holders end up teaching undergraduate students in the university. PhD students gain connections while studying and researching, and end up teaching in the same university. This path is also ideal for maths PhD online students that prefer to continue focusing on mathematical concepts and theories as part of their career. As a tutor or professor, one is responsible for imparting mathematical knowledge to students and conducting research in the field.
  • Researchers: Some pursue careers as postdoctoral researchers at universities, private companies, or government agencies. This is a popular route because it provides opportunities for undertaking research, supervising others, collaborative work, and attending conferences.
  • Finance: An online PhD in math program equips you with excellent analytical skills; hence, most mathematics PostDocs find a career in finance. This career path involves working with significant players in the financial world with specific job titles such as Risk Modeler, Investment Analyst, or Actuarial Analyst.

The table below shows a list of some of the top positions in this field alongside the corresponding median salaries.

Job Title Description Median Salary
Actuaries A professional who uses mathematics to assess risk and its financial impact on businesses and individuals. Actuaries are employed by insurance companies, banks, and other businesses to help them make sound decisions about risk management. $110,000
Operations Research Analysts An operations research analyst uses mathematical and analytical methods to help businesses improve their efficiency and effectiveness. Operations research analysts are employed in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, and transportation. $86,000
Mathematicians A mathematician uses mathematical theories and methods to solve problems in various fields, such as physics, engineering, and business. Mathematicians usually work in research and development positions, and they often teach at universities. $93,000
Statisticians A statistician uses statistical methods to collect and analyze data. Statisticians are employed in a variety of fields, such as market research, medicine, and sports. $90,000
Data Scientists A data scientist uses scientific methods to collect and analyze data from sources such as social media, Internet of Things (IoT), and transactions. $100,000

Please note that these median salaries are not cast in stone. They keep changing from time to time, mostly upwards.

The best Mathematics Online PhD programs

Not all universities that offer a PhD in Mathematics have brought this program online. So this selection is only based on a comprehensive analysis of the universities that are already offering PhD mathematics programs online. Most importantly, e-learning is now embraced widely and any university that is yet to roll-out this new normal will comply sooner or later.

There is even more good news: It’s emerging that the number of students pursuing online learning programs is on the rise. In fact, the United States e-Learning market alone is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12 percent and reach 21.64 billion US dollars in the next few years. This growth plays a revolutionary role that will eventually tilt the higher learning ecosystem and influence many if not all universities and colleges to bring their courses online. Given the way the digital shift has already disrupted even the most rigid industries like manufacturing, it’s only a matter of time before we see a complete disruption across the education sector.

It’s important to note that some online mathematics PhD programs may offer limited topics, research, and dissertation scopes compared to campus-based programs. However, this does not make such programs inferior to the on-campus alternatives. All you need to do is find a program that meets your desires in terms of the career path you would like to pursue.

Here now are the best programs for an online PhD in Mathematics:

1. University of Wyoming: Online PhD in Mathematics Education

The University of Wyoming is a reputable institution that is ranked highly among the best universities by the US News and World Report. It offers online and on-campus bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs.

The Online PhD in Mathematics Education program focuses on mathematical modeling, qualitative research, quantitative reasoning, associated geometry, and differential equations. Students of this program must also complete a preliminary exam and dissertation research in order to be considered for graduation.

Once you complete this online math PhD program, you can pursue a career as a math doctorate advisor, mathematics professor, or elementary education specialist. You can also work in the corporate world or government.

This PhD maths online program takes three years and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The program’s admission requirements include:

  • Master’s degree
  • GRE scores: 151 (verbal), 144 (quantitative), and 4.0 for analytical writing
  • 3.0 GPA
  • Three years of P-12 teaching or equivalent relevant professional experience
  • Letter of intent, resume, scholarly writing sample, and three letters of recommendation.
  • Online application
  • Interview with program faculty

Intake dates are as follows:

Spring start

  • Applications are due by September 1st
  • Review of application completed on October 15th
  • Communication of admissions by November 15th

Summer/ Fall start

  • Applications are due by February 1st
  • Review of application completed on March 15th
  • Communication of admissions by April 15th

2. Bircham International University: Doctor – Mathematics

Bircham International University is committed to fulfilling the needs of students who prefer not to attend traditional on-campus classes. It offers online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs, as well as continuing professional and education diplomas.

The Doctor – Mathematics program evaluates the application of mathematics as a tool for scientists and engineers. It covers geometry, arithmetic, calculus, algebra, trigonometry, set theory, differential equations, and other mathematical topics.

This doctorate in mathematics program is divided into text book and thesis sections. The textbook portion is the largest and constitutes 70 percent whereas the thesis component contributes 30 percent of the program.

Admission requirements include:

  • A master’s degree or an international equivalent with five years of study
  • Copies of transcripts or relevant documents
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • ID card or passport
  • Filled-out application form
  • One ID-sized photo

Students can also transfer credits from other institutions as long as they are recognized by the university.

All the Bibliography books that students will need for the program are covered by the program fees and the University will send these books physically to the address given by the student. The books take anywhere between two to five weeks to arrive depending on your location.

Some of the sources and networks that students will be able to access include the American Mathematical Society, Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, European Mathematical Society, and the International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics among many others.  These are all credible bodies, demonstrating the extent to which the university goes to ensure that students get the very best of mathematical knowledge at the highest level.

3. The University of Wolverhampton: PhD Postgraduate research in Computing and Mathematics

The University of Wolverhampton is committed to helping graduates and students thrive locally and beyond. It works closely with businesses in supporting development and innovation with forward-thinking talent.

The PhD Program takes four years under the supervision of academics who are high achievers  in their area of expertise. The school of Computer Science and Mathematics prides itself on its unwavering support to research students in their PhD journey.

PhD research students have the opportunity to develop research skills by participating in training events organized by the faculty and the university’s doctoral college.

Here are the essential entry requirements:

  • First or upper second class degree
  • Masters degree
  • Evidence of learning or practice that is acceptable by the Dean of Research

The  program takes students through two important stages once the student is officially registered. The first stage is known as Progression, where students are required to prepare and submit a summary of their achievements through this period which takes 18 months. Additionally, they need to outline their research plans for the remaining part of the program. This paper should also be presented orally in a workshop format. The final stage is the Examination which is based on the thesis plus an oral examination.

4. Edith Cowan University: Online Mathematics PhD

Edith Cowan University (ECU) is a top public institution in Australia offering undergraduate and postgraduate programs. The university understands the different work arrangements, learning styles, locations, and family responsibilities and thus offers loads of online programs to help balance education and other commitments.

The Online Mathematics PhD concentrates on operations research, mathematical modeling, geostatistical modeling, bayesian statistics and modeling, and biostatistics.

The university offers state-of-the-art commuting facilities and emphasizes collaboration with government agencies, the private sector, and non-profit organizations. This program takes a duration of four years.

Entry requirements include:

  • Master’s degree in research
  • First class or upper second class bachelor’s degree
  • Demonstrated capacity to conduct original PhD-level research
  • English competency test

5. University of Sussex: Mathematics PhD

The University of Sussex is a top public research university in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1959 and received its royal charter in 1961. It offers high-class education to over 20,000 students representing more than 140 nationalities.

This Mathematics PhD program covers applied and theoretical mathematics, including geometry and topology, differential equations, mathematical biology, mathematical physics, probability and statistics, scientific computing, and numerical analysis.

The program takes four years for full-time and six years for part-time students. Applicants should submit their applications one month before the start date for UK students and three months before for international students.

Admission requirements:

  • Master’s degree with 60% merit overall
  • Upper second class undergraduate degree
  • English proficiency test for International students

The program’s alumni describe it as the most challenging and rewarding experience. The supervisors are exceptional, which makes a significant contribution to the overall quality of the program as supervisors will always be a key element of any PhD program.


Most professionals agree that mathematics is not just any other field of study, it’s among the most important subjects that in fact acts as a foundation for many other areas of study. A PhD in mathematics, therefore, takes your scholarly value to the pinnacle of this most respected subject.

While demanding,  a PhD in Mathematics is not just another degree to add to your resume. It’s a sign that you have mastered one of the most difficult and challenging fields of study.  And the fact that students can pursue this competitive program online has made it not only easily accessible but also reasonably affordable for all ambitious mathematicians no matter their geographical location in the world.