Does anyone know of any graduate math courses that are self-paced, for independent study?

I am a high school math teacher at a charter school in Texas. While I am quite happy with where I am right now, but my goal is to earn at least 18 graduate credits on math subjects so that I can teach higher-level math, and be certified as dual-credit math teacher. (HS class where students earn high school as well as college credits at the same time.) I am aware of many online graduate classes offered by some respectable universities, but all of them are semester-based, which may not be very feasible since my full-time teaching is extremely demanding, not to mention that math is anything but a casual subject.

I welcome any suggestions even for programs from outside of US, as long as they are accredited and conducted in English. (For example, I was told that the college system in the Philippine is an exact "copy cat" of the US.) For your information, I am quite comfortable studying independently, in fact, I took lots of prerequisite math classes successfully under this study mode. By the way, last year I took GRE for this purpose, my verbal + quantitative score is a decent 1200 under old scoring scale.

Thank you very much for your time and help.

  • $\begingroup$ Options for online math programs are very limited. I haven't personally heard of an online, accredited, graduate-level math program of any sort. Where have you seen such? $\endgroup$ – dfeuer May 30 '13 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ I suppose you have seen this but just in case Online Masters Program in Mathematics in TAMU. Talk to them see if they can prescribe a solution. Like you study on your own until ready to take the course and then register for just that semester. I know organizing such programs is not easy not for students and not for universities but talking directly to whatever university is available to you will be best. And good luck, stay on course until you get there! $\endgroup$ – Maesumi May 30 '13 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much to MAESUMI, I will definitely consider that option. By the way, it seems like you are the few in the crowd who knows the difference between online program and self-paced/independent study program. They are different, but people get mixed up. $\endgroup$ – Amanda.M May 31 '13 at 12:44

I would sincerely stay away from online programs. Period. Doing one online class for your own benefit is fine, but an entire degree program? No way! I have served on several search committees for new hirees and believe me, an online degree on the resume is NOT a good thing. This is what I did. When I got the opportunity to teach higher level math classes, I went to an accredited intitution that offers all graduate classes in the evening and in summer. This was not conflicting with my work schedule, just have to allocate time for study with respect to your duties at home, if any. It took me about 5 years (parttime of course) Your employer may even fincancially sponsor you up to some amount. Aren't there any universities somewhere where you live? You want to study abroad? How about your job then?

  • $\begingroup$ Why is an online degree not a good thing? If you complete an online degree while holding a full-time job, shouldn't that show an incredible level of dedication and self-motivation? $\endgroup$ – tilper May 7 '16 at 4:45
  • $\begingroup$ It is not the motivation of the student that is in question here, it is the quality of online program. We are still social creatures that generally learn best face to face. Nothing wrong with a few online courses to get the prereqs done for an actual face to face degree program. There have been several for profit institutions in North America offering tons of online degree programs, and some of those institutions have been shut down exactly for the reasons I stated. I have been on several hiring committees at our institution and learned this from HR who do the initial screening. $\endgroup$ – imranfat May 7 '16 at 18:53
  • $\begingroup$ I agree that the unaccredited/for-profit/online-only institutions should be avoided. But places like JHU, Columbia, USC, Stanford, etc. offer degrees that can be completed entirely online and I believe those should be taken more seriously. $\endgroup$ – tilper May 7 '16 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ I agree, that those institutions are more reputable. I also believe that online programs are getting better. But I remain of the opinion that for a job interview, somebody who has a terminal degree that is not an online program, still has a better chance of getting hired. I know couple of people in IT who have taken online courses taylored to their needs, but they are self employed. They were quite content with it. On a side note, if you have a full time job, say 40hrs/week, why couldn't you take face to face evening classes provided that the commute isn't to far... $\endgroup$ – imranfat May 8 '16 at 18:03
  • $\begingroup$ Eh, I dunno, I don't feel like F2F should automatically be regarded as better than online. Maybe a few years ago but the landscape is changing more rapidly now. Re: why not take F2F in the evening, a lot of people don't have that option. Even ones who live in college towns might not be able to do that. I live in a city with and near several universities and colleges but the evening programs are few and far between. There are a lot of evening courses but if I wanted to complete an entire degree I'd have to change my work schedule around more than I'd like or do an online program. $\endgroup$ – tilper May 8 '16 at 18:16

Texas Tech has an online graduate math certificate which is not a degree, but it's purpose is to give you the 18 hours of graduate level math that is required to teach college level math courses.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! Sorry for delay in responding. $\endgroup$ – Amanda.M Feb 12 '14 at 14:31

This posting is in response to DFEUER who wrote: "Options for online math programs are very limited. I haven't personally heard of an online, accredited, graduate-level math program of any sort. Where have you seen such? – dfeuer 16 hours ago"

Hi dfeure, here is the list I gather so far up to early last year. I suspect the landscape is very different this year since more and more schools are jumping in. Note the first two in the list are top universities, at least in Texas. UTB has the lowest tuition; UH has the least credit hours (33) to graduate from its MA Teaching program.

(1) Texas AM - College Station: http://distance-ed.math.tamu.edu/FAQ.html

(2) University of Houston: http://www.mathematics.uh.edu/graduate/master-programs/master-of-arts/index.php

(3) University of Texas - Pan America: http://portal.utpa.edu/utpa_main/daa_home/ogs_home/ogs_imagesfiles/forms/domestic/grad/master_of_science_in_mathematics.pdf

(4) University of Texas - Brownsville: http://www.utb.edu/its/olt/Pages/pMSM.aspx

(5) Emporia State University, Kansas: http://www.emporia.edu/mathcsecon/programs/master-of-science-mathematics.html

Keep in mind those above are only a short list with the most affordable tuition, there may be some other schools that have higher recognition but also charge higher tuition. If you don't mind going online to foreign schools, you may also want to check out the University of London (the oldest, century-old independent study program) or the University of Philippines - Open University. (The UP is the flag-ship university in the Philippines, at the fraction of the cost of US schools.) They do have master programs but unfortunately not in math.

Hope these info will help and thanks for responding.


I taught high school and now I teach at a college. The college demanded that I take graduate level classes. So I took graduate level Math classes online from 3 different universities. The best one is Indiana Wesleyan University. It was an independent study.They used the same text MIT uses. It was stress free and I worked at my own pace but I had to complete all assignments within a certain time period. My prof.Dr.Morse corrected the home work,made comments and gave me another chance to do them. I enjoyed that type of learning. If you are looking for a university, that is the best.Their tuition fee is not too high either.


For a decent selection of grad courses and to whet your appetite, ocw.mit.edu : MIT open course ware.

  • $\begingroup$ Did you mean the MOOC, the Massive Open Online Course? But they do not give you any credit, undergraduate or graduate. Thanks anyway. $\endgroup$ – Amanda.M May 31 '13 at 14:27
  • $\begingroup$ "Open courseware" is not the same as a MOOC. Open course ware means they make their course materials available to the public - the syllabus, handouts, required reading, homeworks, tests, etc. Then, with motivation, you can recreate much of the course on your own. $\endgroup$ – MPitts Oct 20 '16 at 14:39

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