Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Math Degrees

The best mathematics liberal arts colleges are those with rich histories of influence, proven through the work produced by the program’s faculty and alumni. Beyond demonstrating scholarly impact in the field, the best math degree programs maximize your opportunities to interact with outstanding math faculty.

Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Math Degrees

A bachelor’s degree in mathematics is an excellent starting point for a career in engineering, public health, economics, and much more. As a mathematics major, you’ll learn statistical analysis, linear algebra, differential equations, and a host of other foundational math subjects. Your mathematics degree will incorporate both theoretical concepts and practical applications in the full array of math sciences, including calculus, geometry, algorithms, and more. The best schools for mathematics are those which are regionally accredited, which offer a full array of mathematics concentrations, and which give you the chance to work with the best and most influential professors and classmates.

Degree popularity: Mathematics bachelor’s degrees are the 41st most popular undergraduate degrees across all student demographics, ranking much higher for men at 27th versus 48th for women. For white and Hispanic men it ranks 28th, but for black people, the degree doesn’t enter the top 50 for neither men nor women. It’s most popular among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, for whom it ranks the 16th most sought after degree, according to the number of degree earners reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics

Frequently Asked Questions About Math Bachelor’s Degrees

Earning a bachelor’s degree in math can open numerous professional doors. Majoring in mathematics prepares you for a variety of careers analyzing and interpreting numbers and data, whether real or hypothetical. With a mathematics major, you hone your skills of logic and analysis to organize numbers, find patterns, and predict outcomes. This could suit you to work as a financial planning consultant for private clients, a cost analyst for a major firm, or a statistician for an important public health campaign.

Today, top influencers in mathematics are bringing new light to areas like Digital signal processing, Stochastic analysis, Mathematical digital art, Catastrophe theory, and much more.

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Mathematics is a great major because of its versatility. Math majors can work in virtually any sector. Whether your interest is in finance, immigration, or transportation, there’s a math career for you. Mathematics professionals get to dig deep into data and apply their findings to challenges in healthcare, military strategy, space exploration, supply chain management, and so much more. Some math majors work in completely theoretical areas, solving centuries-old problems. Others teach teenagers and adults practical mathematics and advanced ideas. If you’re fascinated by numbers, patterns and shapes, you will likely have many career paths from which to choose.

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Once you’ve declared your major in mathematics, you will likely be required to complete a set of core courses in a number of math- and STEM-related subject areas. While your concentration will give you a chance to choose from a wide range of highly-specialized mathematics electives, there are several common courses that most math majors will be required to take, including:

  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Differential Equations
  • Calculus
  • Algorithms
  • Linear Algebra
  • Statistics
  • Applied Partial Differential Equations
  • Vector Calculus
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Differential Geometry

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Earning a degree in mathematics can qualify you for a number of well-paying jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs for mathematics majors is expected to grow at a dramatic rate of 33% by 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. And earnings are also significantly higher than the average for all occupations, with mathematicians and statisticians earning a median annual wage of $92,030 per year in 2019.

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Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Math Degree Programs

Frequently Asked Questions About Research Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Online Colleges

In pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you will need to choose between three kinds of schools: research universities, liberal arts colleges, and online colleges.

Research universities are colleges and universities whose faculty are active in research and publishing. These schools offer a wide array of doctoral programs, especially in the sciences. They tend to be big, with tens of thousands of students.

Do you prefer a larger university setting, such as largest public university in your state? Research universities are typically big, offering degrees in many different disciplines. Is a big high-powered research environment the thing for you. If not, you should think about a liberal arts college. In deciding on an undergraduate institution, ask yourself what sort of environment will best help you to be happy and excel.

  • Consider whether you are self motivated enough to be a face in the crowd for some classes and largely unknown on campus at a large university. Of course you can find clubs and friends at a large university, but often liberal arts colleges have a more personal quality to them. If you want the community feel, a research university may not fit you well.
  • Are you interested in STEM fields? Research universities have that name for a reason – real research is happening there. This can create an exciting atmosphere for students interested in STEM. Attending a research university can give you a better chance of getting into better programs for graduate degrees, although a lot of that depends on your performance.
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Often referred to as “teaching colleges” liberal arts colleges put a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree.

  • Do you want your professors to know you? Liberal arts colleges strive to cultivate campus cultures that encourage tight bonds between professors and students. Professors at these schools will typically conduct original research. Yet the best of these schools offer their faculty reduced teaching loads so that they can both be productive researchers and still have plenty of time for students (both in and outside the classroom).
  • Do you want to feel like you know everybody? One of the most enticing features of a liberal arts college is that in very little time, you can feel like you know who’s who, which can create strong friendships, but also more pleasurable walks across campus. While your sports teams may never be on ESPN, it’s more likely that you’ll know the athletes as your peers. Beyond student and faculty relationships, it’s not unusual for the school president and other administrators to learn who you are. When faced with problems with your student account or the need to switch classes, this can be comforting during a stressful moment.
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Online colleges are typically the same colleges and universities you could attend in-person, but for certain degree programs the college or unviersity has made the degree programs available to be completed online. For over 5 million students, online degree programs allow students to earn their degrees in the most flexible format available. Online degrees are as respected as the on-campus degress you could earn from the same schools. There’s usually no disctinction between the two degrees, and your degree and transcript will not say that the degree was earned online. Online degree programs are offered by a vast majority of colleges and universities, and the number of offering continues to grow. Whehter you are searching for an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate, there’s a good chance you can earn your degree online from a respectable online college.

  • Are you a self-driven student? Perhaps the hardest aspect of obtaining an online degree is whether you will be disciplined enough to manage your time and course demands. Many online students report that online college made them more disciplined in all areas of their lives, but the flexible, self-paced learning that makes online colleges attractive can often be the same qualities that make it difficult. If you tend to be a procrastinator, you need to be honest with yourself. You can change your habits and propensities, or you can throw money down the drain.
  • Do you need the flexibility of an online degree program? Most online students study online because of time demands balancing work and life, or becuase the online colleges afford them the chance to attend a better school without moving. If you are serious about earning your degree for career advancement, online colleges make it possible. The most flexible options among online degrees are those that are aynchronous, meaning you don’t have scheduled times to meet with your class online. However, many students seek synchronous online degree programs so that they have some structure – set meeting times, scheduled exams, etc.
  • The good news is that attending an online college doesn’t mean you will miss out on getting to know your professors and classmates. In fact, many online students who have experienced both online and on-campus courses report having easier access to their professors. Since most communication with your professor is expected to be in text – via email or your class learning management system – it makes asking your questions easier. The same students also report that they got to better know the thoughts of their classmates. While in-person course conversations can be dominated by a few extroverts, online courses that require online discussions make it so that you see all of your classmates’ thoughts and questions.

If you interested in an online bachelor’s degree, check out what the best online colleges offer, or search our online degrees for the exact program that interests you. In either case, you will find well respected colleges and universities that offer online degrees.

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If you think a research university may be a better fit for you, see our ranking of the best research universities for a bachelor’s in mathematics.

How do we determine the best mathematics liberal arts colleges?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Influence”.

The influence of a college or university is based on the schools’ top academic influencers related to the discipline in this ranking. We track the influence of faculty and alumni affialiate with these school counting not only the publicaitons and citations of the school’s affiliated people, but we also consider the overall web presense of the faculty and alumni. The greater the citations, authority of web links, web searches, and pageviews, the greater the individuals’ influence. Those combined make up the departments’ influence in the field of study. We believe tracking the academic influence of the people affiliated with a school is the best indicator of academic excellence.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and misuesed performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is more insulated from manipulation, and more reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Math Degrees

  1. #1

    Williams College

    Williamstown , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    15%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1480/33

    What is Williams College known for?

    Williams College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Economics
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Anthropology
    • Chemistry
    • Religious Studies
    • Physics
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    Williams College Mathematics Majors:

    • Mathematics
    • Applied Mathematics Pathway
    Source
  2. #2

    Harvey Mudd College

    Claremont , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    18%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1530/34

    What is Harvey Mudd College known for?

    Harvey Mudd College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Sociology
    • Biology
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    HMC Mathematics Majors:

    • Mathematics
    • Joint Major in Computer Science and Mathematics
    • Joint Major in Mathematics and Physics
    • Mathematical and Computational Biology Major
    Source
  3. #3

    Swarthmore College

    Swarthmore , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    97%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

    What is Swarthmore College known for?

    Swarthmore College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Anthropology
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

    Swarthmore College Mathematics Major Concentrations:

    • Applied Mathematics Emphasis
    Source
    REQUEST INFO
  4. #4

    Pomona College

    Claremont , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1465/33

    What is Pomona College known for?

    Pomona College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Religious Studies
    • Communications
    • Anthropology
    • Philosophy
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    Pomona College Mathematics Major:

    • BA in Mathematics
    Source
  5. #5

    Amherst College

    Amherst , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    12%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

    What is Amherst College known for?

    Amherst College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Economics
    • Literature
    • Law
    • Sociology
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

    Amherst College Mathematics Major:

    • Mathematics
    Source
  6. #6

    Wesleyan University

    Middletown , CT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Wesleyan University known for?

    Wesleyan University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Economics
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    Wesleyan University Mathematics Major:

    • BA in Mathematics
    Source
  7. #7

    Wellesley College

    Wellesley , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    What is Wellesley College known for?

    Wellesley College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Physics
    • History
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Anthropology

    Most Influential Alumni

    Wellesley College Mathematics Major:

    • Mathematics
    Source
  8. #8

    Bowdoin College

    Brunswick , ME
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Bowdoin College known for?

    Bowdoin College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Earth Sciences
    • Physics
    • Religious Studies
    • Economics
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

    Bowdoin College Mathematics Major:

    • Mathematics
    Source
  9. #9

    Claremont McKenna College

    Claremont , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    13%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1435/32

    What is Claremont McKenna College known for?

    Claremont McKenna College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Law
    • Philosophy
    • Sociology
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    CMC Mathematics Major Sequences:

    • Computer Science
    • Data Science
    Source
  10. #10

    United States Military Academy

    West Point , NY
    Other Rankings

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    85%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1270/27

    What is United States Military Academy known for?

    United States Military Academy’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Literature
    • Law
    • Business
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    USMA Mathematics Majors:

    • Mathematical Sciences
    • Operations Research
    • Applied Statistics & Data Science
    Source
  11. #11

    Middlebury College

    Middlebury , VT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    22%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/33

    What is Middlebury College known for?

    Middlebury College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Earth Sciences
    • Education
    • History
    • Economics
    • Anthropology
    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    Middlebury College Mathematics Major:

    • Mathematics
    Source
  12. #12

    Barnard College

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    14%

    Graduation

    90%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1430/32

    What is Barnard College known for?

    Barnard College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Anthropology
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Economics
    • Mathematics
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    Barnard College Mathematics Majors:

    • Mathematics
    • Applied Mathematics
    Source
  13. #13

    United States Naval Academy

    Annapolis , MD
    Other Rankings

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    90%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1350/29

    What is United States Naval Academy known for?

    United States Naval Academy’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Earth Sciences
    • Literature
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

    USNA Mathematics Tracks:

    • Mathematics
    • Applied Mathematics
    Source
  14. #14

    Reed College

    Portland , OR
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $63K

    Acceptance

    42%

    Graduation

    77%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1422/32

    What is Reed College known for?

    Reed College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Anthropology
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Economics
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

    Reed College Mathematics Major Concentrations:

    • Statistics

    Reed College Mathematics Interdisciplinary Major:

    • Computer Science-Mathematics
    • Mathematics-Physics
    • Mathematics-Economics
    Source
    REQUEST INFO
  15. #15

    Davidson College

    Davidson , NC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1397/31

    What is Davidson College known for?

    Davidson College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Anthropology
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • Economics
    • Mathematics
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    Davidson College Mathematics Major:

    • Mathematics
    Source
  16. #17

    Colgate University

    Hamilton , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    27%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

    What is Colgate University known for?

    Colgate University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • Anthropology
    • Literature
    • History
    • Biology
    • Earth Sciences
    • Education
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

    Colgate University Mathematics Majors:

    • Mathematics
    • Applied mathematics
    Source
  17. #18

    United States Air Force Academy

    USAF Academy , CO
    Other Rankings

    Acceptance

    13%

    Graduation

    87%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1335/30

    What is United States Air Force Academy known for?

    United States Air Force Academy’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Economics
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Law
    • Chemistry
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

    USAFA Mathematics Majors:

    • Mathematics
    • Applied Mathematics
    Source
  18. #20

    Vassar College

    Poughkeepsie , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $63K

    Acceptance

    25%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    What is Vassar College known for?

    Vassar College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Anthropology
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Physics
    • Philosophy
    • Earth Sciences

    Most Influential Alumni

    Vassar College Mathematics Major:

    • Mathematics
    Source
  19. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    38%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    21K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1340/29

    What is California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo known for?

    California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Economics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

    Cal Poly Mathematics Major:

    • BS in Mathematics
    Source
  20. #22

    Kenyon College

    Gambier , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $63K

    Acceptance

    37%

    Graduation

    89%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1365/31

    What is Kenyon College known for?

    Kenyon College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Chemistry
    • Anthropology
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Sociology
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    Kenyon College Mathematics Major:

    • Mathematics & Statistics
    Source
  21. #24

    Haverford College

    Haverford , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    18%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

    What is Haverford College known for?

    Haverford College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Anthropology
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    Haverford College Mathematics Major Concentrations:

    • Computer Science
    • Scientific Computing
    • Mathematical Economics
    • Mathematics Education
    Source
    REQUEST INFO

Go to all Liberal Arts Colleges for Mathematics programs

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