Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Are there any real online mathematics (applied math, statistics, ...) degree programs out there?

I'm full-time employed, thus not having the flexibility of attending an on campus program. I also already have a MSc in Computer Science. My motivation for a math degree is that I like learning and am interested in the subject. I've studied through number of OCW courses on my own, but it would be nice if I could actually be able to have my studying count towards something.

I've done my share of Googling for this, but searching for online degrees seems to bring up a lot of institutions that (at least superficially) seem a bit shady (diploma mills?).

share|improve this question
2  
Community wiki? –  Akhil Mathew Jul 26 '10 at 22:28
4  
Do you have an Open University in your country? It's not online, but you can keep studying at home and only show up for tests, at least over here (that's how I got my B.A. in Computer Science). –  Edan Maor Jul 26 '10 at 22:49
1  
This topic (non-math specific) was also discussed on Slashdot today. –  Larry Wang Jul 27 '10 at 11:00
2  
Why do you say that OCW courses don't count? Your stated motivation is to learn and that you enjoy it. –  isomorphismes Jul 1 '11 at 22:58
1  
Do you live in an area that has good community or state colleges? Oftentimes they hold classes in the evenings for students that work full-time. –  Michael Chen Jul 1 '11 at 23:51

7 Answers 7

For my experience, the Open University is well-respected internationally.

[Note this is different to Open Universities, such as this in Australia, which is a collaboration of several universities.]

share|improve this answer
    
I agree. Some of my foreign friends are aware of it and one, an Italian, even considered doing an Engineering degree with the OU but decided the cost was too prohibitive and is now doing the degree at his local university in Italy. –  Derek Jennings Oct 24 '10 at 9:53
    
I know several friends who have done OU degrees and, while not as well respected as the top 50 or so universities in the UK, it is certainly the best of the online universities. –  Chris Taylor Sep 8 '11 at 14:19
1  
Open university will only allow individuals who live in the UK. Any other suggestions, as that is the place one of my old university professors suggested? –  user38691 Aug 25 '12 at 7:18
    
I'd rate anyone doing an OU degree while holding down a job as a remarkable, resilient person with a unique work ethic –  user10389 Dec 15 '12 at 3:25
    
There is a PhD student in my uni who got her undergrad maths degree at the Open University while working in Spain. They then did a Masters in Oxford and are now, as I said, doing a PhD. –  user1729 Aug 1 '13 at 18:54

I would recommend against getting a degree from any online-only university. Even if you happen to find one that's not shady, everyone else who hasn't heard of it will assume it is some kind of diploma mill without bothering to do much research. Instead, I think you'd be better off going to a nearby university you're interested in, and ask them if they would be willing to make some kind of special arrangement for you. Many universities allow reduced course loads for students that have families or work full time, and aren't very good about advertising it.

share|improve this answer

The University of Washington offers an online masters degree. Their brick-and-mortar programme might make the online diploma more credible.

share|improve this answer

The Rochester Institute of Technology offers a MS in applied statistics that is completely online (I think, I'm not enrolled yet.)

http://www.rit.edu/emcs/ptgrad/_program_detail.php?id=441

It's pretty expensive, since it combines the increased out-of-state tuition with the extra online cost. However an online degree such as this is good for working professionals who

1) Can't take classes during the day and 2) Can get their employer to pay for most of the degree.

share|improve this answer

I don't know if you're still looking, but I found this page in my own search for an online math program.

http://www.onlinecollege.org/bachelors/mathematics/

share|improve this answer

From what I've read, many universities will not make a distinction on the degree stating whether it was earned online or not.

share|improve this answer

'Are there any real online mathematics (applied math, statistics, ...) degree programs out there?' That's real as opposed to imaginary, right? Heh, heh. :)

No, but seriously, I think you should just pursue your interests privately, without worrying about getting more pieces of paper than you need- your MSc is already proof of your academic proficiency and ability to complete challenging assignments correctly.

I reckon most employers, and other people, would be convinced that you take your maths hobby seriously and study it as carefully as you studied for your MSc.

I am also studying mathematics as a solo enthusiast and I just show people some of the proofs I am studying that week, if they are interested in finding out more. I am sure that's what the likes of Ramanujan would have done, so that'll do for me too!

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.