The sooner you finish school, the sooner you can get out into the real world. Get started putting your extensive knowledge of mathematics to good use by choosing one of the fastest schools for earning a math degree. While an undergraduate degree program will require students to meet a minimum of 120 college credits, you can earn these credits more quickly than your peers by choosing the right school. Your options for earning the same well-respected mathematics degree in less time range from colleges with liberal transfer credit policies to those with a competency-based curriculum and even those that offer accelerated class terms.
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Fast Math Degree Programs for Transfer Students
If you started college but never completed your degree, you want to make sure every credit you completed still counts toward your degree. Some colleges have very strict and somewhat stingy transfer credit policies that may mean the classes you have already taken don’t count toward your new degree. However, other colleges have much more generous transfer policies that could have you graduating much faster.
For example, at St. Louis University, students can transfer an “unlimited” number of credits from an accredited four-year school. They only have to take 30 credits of their credits toward their bachelor’s degree at the school in order to graduate from it. That means undergraduate students can transfer up to 75 percent of the credits required for a bachelor’s degree – or 90 out of the 120 credits typically required for an undergraduate degree – from another school. If you have enough transfer credits and the courses you’ve already taken meet your mathematics degree requirements, you can finish your degree in as little as one year. Prospective students can check their course equivalencies to make sure their classes will count toward their degree before they enroll at St. Louis University.
St. Louis University offers both Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Bachelor of Science in Mathematics degree options, allowing students to choose whether a liberal arts perspective or a science perspective is right for their academic interests and career plans.
Competency-Based Degree Programs in Math
What matters more in terms of the quality of your education, the number of classes you sit through, or the extent of your knowledge? If you believe that what you know is more important than how you learned it, then a competency-based degree program, rather than a traditional credit-based program, might be the best choice for you. In schools with a competency-based curriculum, students can test out of modules and courses for which they already know the material and focus instead on covering the coursework that is actually new to them. That means no wasted time working on assignments that don’t add real value to your knowledge base.
It’s not easy to find competency-based programs in general mathematics, in part due to the academic nature of the field and in part because these programs often prepare students for further academic study. Even at schools that offer some form of competency-based credit through testing out of subject matter, like Southern New Hampshire University’s online Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics degree, the amount of courses you can test out of is limited. However, there are competency-based options for aspiring math teachers. Western Governors University’s bachelor’s degree program in mathematics education, for example, is an online competency-based program that leads to a teaching license at the high school or junior high level. It’s possible to graduate from this program in as little as 18 months. Some schools, such as Thomas Edison State University, offer college credit toward your degree for a variety of ways of learning, from military training to portfolio assessments.
A competency-based program can be an ideal option for students who have knowledge of their intended field, perhaps through work experience as a teacher assistant, but don’t have college credits to transfer.
Accelerated Courses for Math Majors
Another way to get your bachelor’s degree in math quicker is to find an accelerated program that covers the same coursework you would find in a traditional four-year program but condenses it into a shorter format. Due to the challenging nature of a mathematics degree program, it isn’t easy to find accelerated options in this field that will allow you to complete your bachelor’s degree in significantly less time than four years.
However, thanks to the demand for graduate degrees in the field, a number of schools now offer accelerated five-year programs that award both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. For example, Montclair State University offers half a dozen of these “4+1” programs that focus on math studies exclusively or combine mathematics coursework with classes in math education, statistics, finance or physics. In Villanova University’s five-year dual-degree programs, students earn their undergraduate degree in math but can choose from mathematics and applied statistics for their graduate education.
Students should realize that accelerated degree programs are intense. They require learning just as much material in a much shorter timeframe, which means that you must be especially committed to your studies.