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Best Doctorates in Mathematics: Top PhD Programs, Career Paths, and Salaries

Hristijan Josifovski - June 21, 2022

Given that only a small proportion of the general population holds a PhD in Mathematics, there aren’t many people pursuing doctoral studies in the math field. It requires a high level of intelligence and mathematical ability which a typical person doesn’t possess. It also requires a decent work ethic and the ability to commit five to seven years to research and study.

However, PhD in Mathematics salaries are high. If you’re interested in pursuing a PhD in Mathematics, check out our article to find the best mathematics PhDs and what mathematics jobs you can get. First, let’s find out what a PhD in Mathematics is.

What Is a PhD in Mathematics?

A PhD in Mathematics is a doctoral degree obtained by a graduate student in mathematics. This kind of mathematics graduate program allows students to develop their research capabilities in mathematics and its potential applications.

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PhD in Mathematics can be a Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Science, or Doctor of Applied Mathematics degree. Students need to submit their PhD thesis in order to complete the math degree program they are pursuing. Math doctorate programs can take between three and six years to complete, depending on how much time is dedicated to the thesis and its required research.

How to Get Into a Mathematics PhD Program: Admission Requirements

The requirements to get into a mathematics PhD program typically include application fees, school transcripts, a professional resume, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of academic purpose. The admission process for most mathematical PhD programs is similar.

Some schools also require that students have mastered the material roughly equivalent to the undergraduate mathematics major, such as several semesters of calculus and experience with differential equations. Other doctoral math programs require applicants to submit essays or a minimum GPA score as entrance requirements.

PhD in Mathematics Admission Requirements

  • Professional CV or resume
  • Statement of academic purpose
  • Application fee
  • At least three recommendation letters
  • Undergraduate and graduate school transcripts

Mathematics PhD Acceptance Rates: How Hard Is It to Get Into a PhD Program in Mathematics?

It is extremely hard to get into a PhD program in Mathematics. For example, the Harvard PhD acceptance rate is 4.59 percent and the University of Wisconsin has a zero percent PhD acceptance rate over a five-year median. Doctoral studies in mathematics are rigorous and have a low acceptance rate, making it difficult to get into and obtain a Doctorate in Mathematics.

How to Get Into the Best Universities

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Best PhDs in Mathematics: In Brief

School Program Online Option
Columbia University Mathematics PhD No
Harvard University Mathematics PhD No
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Science Mathematics Degree No
Princeton University Applied and Computational Math PhD No
Rochester Institute of Technology Mathematical Modeling PhD No
Stanford University Mathematics PhD Program No
University of California, Berkeley PhD Program in Applied Mathematics No
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor Applied & Interdisciplinary Mathematics PhD No
University Of Wisconsin Mathematics, PhD No
Yale University PhD in Applied Mathematics No

Best Universities for Mathematics PhDs: Where to Get a PhD in Mathematics

The best universities for mathematics PhDs are Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, and Yale University.

Other universities also have excellent PhD in Mathematics programs that we haven’t mentioned in our list, like Johns Hopkins University, Colorado State University, University of California, Los Angeles, and University of Chicago.


Columbia University

New York, NY

Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university founded in 1754 as King's College. It is among the top five national universities and is known as the oldest institution of higher education in New York. At Columbia University, students can find doctoral studies in biological sciences, astronomy, chemistry, economics, music, psychology, and religion.

Mathematics PhD

The PhD mathematics program is designed for full-time students interested in research and teaching at the university level. It is an intense course also meant for students that seek careers in quantitative research and development in business or government. It covers subjects like analysis and probability, Riemann surfaces, cumulative algebra, and modern geometry.

Mathematics PhD Overview

  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 6%
  • Tuition and Fees: $25,248/semester
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Department of Defense Funding, NIH Fellowship Parent Funding

Mathematics PhD Admission Requirements

  • A completed online application form at the Online Application System
  • $120 application fee
  • Statement of purpose
  • A video essay (to be completed in the Online Application System)
  • A current resume or CV
  • Official transcripts from each university you attended
  • Two letters of reference


Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Harvard University was established in 1636 by the Puritan clergyman John Harvard. It is known as the oldest institution of higher learning in the US and as one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It offers many PhD programs in subjects such as anthropology, statistics, virology, physics, neuroscience, mathematics, immunology, and history of science.

Mathematics PhD

This doctoral program is intended for students who aspire to be research mathematicians and have demonstrated a strong interest in this field. The math graduate courses cover topics like commutative algebra, advanced real analysis, differential geometry evolution dynamics, Riemann surfaces, and Hodge theory.

Mathematics PhD Overview

  • Program Length: 4-5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 7%
  • Tuition and Fees: $50,928/first two years of study; $13,240/second two years of study
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Hertz Foundation, National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program, National Physical Science Consortium for Minorities and Women, National Science Foundation

Mathematics PhD Admission Requirements

  • Application
  • $105 application fee
  • Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • GRE scores
  • Demonstration of English proficiency (for non-native speakers)


Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a land-grant research university in Cambridge. Founded in 1861, MIT is best known for its programs in physical science and engineering. It offers a wide array of doctoral studies in aeronautics and astronautics, physics, political science, economics, chemical engineering, biology, brain, and cognitive sciences.

Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Science Mathematics Degree

In addition to choosing between a Doctor of Philosophy and a Doctor of Science program, students can choose to apply to the Pure or Applied Mathematics programs. Geometry, number theory, algebra, logic, statistics, topology, astrophysics, combinatorics, analysis, probability, numerical analysis, and theoretical physics, are covered in the Pure and Applied Mathematics curricula.

Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Science Mathematics Degree Overview

  • Program Length: 4-5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $27,755/term
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Postdoctoral and Senior Research Awards, Faculty Early Career Development Program, Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (MSPRF)

Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Science Mathematics Degree Admission Requirements

  • Fill out the online application
  • Transcripts including grades in math/science/engineering courses
  • At least three names and email addresses of recommendation letter writers
  • Educational and work history
  • Statement of objectives
  • Outside financial support and potential outside support
  • Credit/debit card payment of the $75 application fee
  • Self-reported grades
  • Arrange for submission of official transcripts and letters of recommendation


Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university that was founded in 1746. It is known as the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the US. Princeton University has many PhD programs in subjects like philosophy, mechanical and aerospace engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and neuroscience.

Applied and Computational Math PhD

In this program, students gain a thorough understanding of areas of mathematics critical to scientific and engineering applications, such as numerical analysis and other computational approaches. In the first year, students choose three topics from six applied mathematics categories. At the end of the first year, students need to take a preliminary exam.

Before the third year, students need to pass the general examination which culminates in a seminar on a research topic. The final requirement for this program is the doctoral dissertation which can be a mathematical contribution to one field of science or engineering.

Applied and Computational Math PhD Overview

  • Program Length: 4-5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 6%
  • Tuition and Fees : $58,790/year
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: University, departmental, and program fellowships, research and teaching assistantships, external financial support

Applied and Computational Math PhD Admission Requirements

  • $75 application fee
  • Statement of academic purpose
  • Resume/CV
  • Recommendation letters
  • Transcripts
  • Fall semester grades (for students currently enrolled in master’s degree programs)
  • English language tests (for international students)


Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester, NY

Established in 1829, Rochester Institute of Technology is known for its excellent technology, engineering, and computing programs. It offers PhDs in Astrophysical Sciences and Technology, Biomedical and Chemical Engineering, Color Science, Imaging Science Sustainability, and many more disciplines.

Mathematical Modeling PhD

Students in this program plan their own trajectory based on required coursework, research, and their selected concentration. They can select from concentrations in the areas of applied inverse problems, biomedical, and discrete mathematics, among others. Some of the program’s courses cover subjects like numerical analysis and computing for mathematical modeling.

Mathematical Modeling PhD Overview

  • Program Length: 4-5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
  • Tuition: $54,176/year
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Federal loans, Outside Scholarships, Yellow Ribbon Program, employment through co-ops, internships, or assistantships

Mathematical Modeling PhD Admission Requirements

  • Online graduate application
  • Copies of official transcripts of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate courses
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college
  • GPA of 3.0
  • Current resume/CV
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement of educational objectives
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score (international students)
  • $65 application fee


Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Stanford University is well-known for its enterprising student population and high return on investment. Founded in 1885 by California senator Leland Stanford, Stanford University is consistently ranking in the top 10 national universities. Stanford offers many PhD programs in its Graduate School of Engineering, including programs in engineering, medicine, and education.

Mathematics PhD Program

Students in this PhD program take courses in algebraic topology, differential topology, differential geometry, algebraic geometry, theory of probability, real analysis, modern algebra, and mathematical methods of imaging. In the first year, the coursework prepares the students for the qualifying examinations which test them on their skills in algebra and real-world analysis.

Students must have a dissertation advisor and seek candidacy in their second year. Students will take their Area Examination during their third year, which must be completed by the conclusion of the Winter Quarter. In the fourth and fifth years, students are expected to finish their dissertation research.

Mathematics PhD Program Overview

  • Program Length: 4-5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 5.7%
  • Tuition and Fees: $56,487
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Federal programs, university fellowships, research assistantships, teaching assistantships

Mathematics PhD Program Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited US college or university
  • Statement of purpose
  • Unofficial transcripts/academic records
  • Names and contact information of those who can provide between three and six letters of recommendation
  • Online application
  • $125 application fee or fee waiver


University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

University of California, Berkeley was founded in 1868. UC Berkeley is known for strict academic criteria for its undergraduate programs. The school has more than 130 academic departments and 80 multidisciplinary research areas. UC Berkeley is among the top universities in the world.

PhD Program in Applied Mathematics

The applied mathematics program requires doctoral students with previous graduate study in mathematics must demonstrate exceptional mathematical research skills. Students in this course can learn about linear algebra and differential equations, multivariable calculus, and discrete mathematics. There are also major electives like mathematical biology and statistics.

PhD Program in Applied Mathematics Overview

  • Program Length: 5-6 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 18%
  • Tuition and Fees: $10,248.75/semester (resident); $17,799.75/semester (non-resident)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities : Berkeley Fellowships, Chancellor’s Fellowships, Cota-Robles Fellowships, Mentored Research Awards, UC Dissertation-Year Fellowships, Conference Travel Grants, Parent and Caregiver Grants

PhD Program in Applied Mathematics Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Enough experience in your undergraduate program to complete the program
  • At least three letters of recommendation
  • Online application
  • $120 application fee (California residents); $140 application fee (all other applicants)


University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI

The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor is among the top 30 national universities. It was founded in 1817 in Ann Arbor. Some of the most popular majors from this university are business administration, experimental psychology, and economics. It also has good PhD level programs in education, electrical and computer engineering, and computer and information science.

Applied & Interdisciplinary Mathematics PhD

This PhD degree's purpose is to create graduates who are well-prepared to pursue successful careers in the mathematical sciences, whether in government or academia. Students in the applied and interdisciplinary mathematics course can learn about risk management and modeling of financial losses, mathematical theory of probability, and modern mathematics.

Applied & Interdisciplinary Mathematics PhD Overview

  • Program Length: 5-6 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 26%
  • Tuition and Fees: $25,230.38 (in state); $50,646.38 (out of state)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Graduate Student Instructorship (GSI): Mathematics Graduate Student Instructor Teacher Training Program, and Graduate Student Research Assistantship (GSRA)

Applied & Interdisciplinary Mathematics PhD Admission Requirements

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume/CV
  • Personal Statement (500-word limit)
  • TOEFL or IELTS Exam (non-native English speakers)
  • Three semesters of calculus
  • One or two semesters of differential equation courses
  • One semester course in modern algebra, linear algebra, geometry or topology
  • Advanced calculus of one and several variables
  • Online application
  • $75 application fee (US citizens); $90 application fee (international applicants)


University of Wisconsin

Madison, WI

Nelson Dewey, the first governor of Wisconsin, founded the University of Wisconsin in 1848. It has one of the best engineering and business majors. It also has several good graduate degrees from its Department of Mathematics like Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Arts – Foundations of Advanced Studies, and Master of Arts – Foundations for Research.

Mathematics, PhD

The University of Wisconsin’s Doctor of Philosophy program offers a foundation in fundamental and advanced graduate mathematics. Students in this PhD program can learn about linear algebra, abstract algebra, differential equations, knot theory, and real analysis.

Mathematics, PhD Overview

  • Program Length: 5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 16%
  • Tuition and Fees: $12,176/year (in state); $25,504/year (out of state)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Graduate assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, student loans, student jobs, research and travel grants

Mathematics, PhD Admission Requirements

  • Application to the UW–Madison Graduate School
  • 3.0 GPA
  • Master’s degree in mathematics or a related field
  • Official transcripts
  • Supplementary information form
  • Three academic letters of recommendation and one additional letter
  • Proof of English proficiency (for non-native speakers)
  • One-page statement of purpose


Yale University

New Haven, CT

Yale University was founded in 1701 in New Haven, Connecticut. It is among the top 10 national universities and is known for its Ivy League reputation . Yale has many PhD programs like anthropology, applied physics, architecture, biomedical engineering, chemical, and environmental engineering.

PhD in Applied Mathematics

The applied mathematics program entails the study and application of mathematics to issues prompted by a diverse set of application fields. Students study and apply mathematics concepts to questions driven by a variety of applicable fields.

It covers topics such as discrete algorithms, linear and nonlinear partial differential equations, statistical theory and applications, information theory, econometrics, and classical and modern applied harmonic analysis. This program also covers topics like financial statistics, financial mathematics, econometrics probability theory, and information theory.

PhD in Applied Mathematics Overview

  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 6.2%
  • Tuition and Fees: $45,700/year
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Financial aid, university fellowships, dissertation fellowships, teaching fellowships

PhD in Applied Mathematics Admission Requirements

  • Statement of academic purpose
  • A list of all the prior colleges or universities you’ve attended
  • Unofficial transcripts from each school
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • $105 application fee
  • Resume/CV
  • TOEFL scores (non-native English-speaking applicants)

Can You Get a PhD in Mathematics Online?

Yes, you can get a PhD in Mathematics online. However, there aren’t many online PhD math programs out there because of two reasons. The first reason is that there isn’t a big demand for PhDs in Mathematics, so online universities are not inclined to find ways to make those programs more accessible.

The second reason is that in traditional doctoral studies graduate students in mathematics are used as research and teaching assistants. Usually, math doctoral studies take place within a community in which PhD students are apprentices learning alongside instructors and one another.

Best Online PhD Programs in Mathematics

School Program Length
Atlantic International University Doctorate in Mathematics Custom pace
Edith Cowan University Mathematics PhD 4 years

How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD in Mathematics?

It takes about five years to get a PhD in Mathematics. Depending on the academic institution and the specifications of the program, it can take between three and six years. Some students prefer to have a master’s degree before entering a doctoral program in mathematics, but most programs do not require students to have more than a bachelor’s degree .

Some doctoral mathematics academic programs offer two degrees called dual degree programs. You can begin pursuing a Master’s Degree in Mathematics and begin earning credits for a PhD at the same time.

Is a PhD in Mathematics Hard?

Yes, a PhD in Mathematics is hard. Doctoral studies that require advanced knowledge of mathematics would be extremely difficult for most people. Whether you choose to pursue a PhD in Applied Mathematics or Pure Mathematics, you will encounter complex theoretical concepts.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a PhD in Mathematics?

On average, it costs $12,171 per year to get a PhD in Mathematics . This data is based on the National Center for Educational Statistics’s (NCES) report for the average costs of postgraduate studies at public institutions from 2018 to 2019. According to this data, it would cost a total of $48,684 for four years of studies. The cost to get a PhD in Mathematics has likely risen since 2019.

How to Pay for a PhD in Mathematics: PhD Funding Options

The PhD funding options that students can use to pay for a PhD in Mathematics include research fellowships, teaching assistantships, and tuition waivers. In the previous section, we mentioned the cost of doctoral degrees , but this number is with a deduction in the tuition.

These funding options enable students to lower the cost of tuition. For example, domestic students receive lower tuitions. Without funding options or deductions, a PhD can cost from $20,000 to $30,000 per year.

Best Online Master’s Degrees

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What Is the Difference Between a Mathematics Master’s Degree and PhD?

The difference between a Master’s Degree in Mathematics and a PhD is the career opportunities they provide graduates. People who pursue a PhD in Mathematics usually seek jobs in research and academia, while people who pursue master’s degrees are more interested in advancing their professional careers.

A PhD in Math is more research-intensive and focused on historical and current perspectives within the mathematics field. Master’s degrees are a bit broader. Master’s degrees can take up to three years to complete, while PhD can take up to six years. Math PhD students also teach and engage in departmental activities, while master’s students do not.

Master’s vs PhD in Mathematics Job Outlook

It is usually required for postsecondary teachers to have PhDs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these professionals have a job outlook of 12 percent , four percent higher than the average for all occupations.

Mathematics and statisticians are usually required to hold a master’s degree and they have a job outlook of 33 percent , nearly three times the average for all occupations. According to these numbers, the job outlook for Master’s Degrees in Mathematics is higher than for PhDs in Mathematics. However, these are just two examples of careers available to master’s and PhD holders.

Difference in Salary for Mathematics Master’s vs PhD

According to PayScale, mathematicians with a master’s degree earn $85,000 per year, and mathematicians with a PhD degree earn $110,000 a year. This is a difference of $25,000 per year for mathematics master’s vs PhD holders.

Related Mathematics Degrees


Why You Should Get a PhD in Mathematics

You should get a PhD in Mathematics because it expands your academic career opportunities and salary options. With a PhD in Math, you can work for private businesses or government agencies. Many PhD grads work in engineering, medicine, and software development, where they apply the advanced mathematical knowledge they acquired from their doctoral programs.

Reasons for Getting a PhD in Mathematics

  • Specialized skills. A PhD in Mathematics equips you with highly valuable and marketable skills. Aside from subject-specific abilities, you can obtain several transferable skills that will be beneficial in practically any industry, such as exceptional numeracy, logical ability, holistic deduction, and reasoning skills.
  • Higher salary. A PhD is a terminal graduate degree, meaning it is the highest level of academic certification you can achieve in this field. So with a PhD you will gain the highest skills and knowledge in mathematics. High-level skills and knowledge often translate to a high salary.
  • Career opportunities. One of the best advantages math PhDs have is the option of following a variety of employment pathways. To some extent, all sciences are built on basic mathematical principles, so there are many career opportunities with a PhD in Mathematics. With this kind of degree, you can work in finance, academia, or IT.
  • Research opportunities. Doctoral Degrees in Mathematics cover theoretical mathematics which is one of the best areas for research and research methodology. During your doctoral studies in math, you will study and research with some of the smartest people in the world.

Getting a PhD in Mathematics: Mathematics PhD


a female PhD Student solving a mathematical test
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    There are numerous doctorate math programs at excellent US universities where you can find suitable PhD coursework.

    Getting a PhD in Mathematics is not an easy task. Students need to learn different math courses, some of which require advanced knowledge of mathematics. There is some standard mathematics PhD coursework, like classes in mathematical analysis or mathematical logic. Find out more details on common mathematics PhD courses below.

    Mathematical Analysis

    These kinds of courses explain the principles of mathematical analysis, including differentiability, continuity, sequence and series convergence, the Riemann integral, function sequences, and series. Students can also learn real applications of real-world analysis, including the estimation of indeterminate integrals, Laurent series, WKB theory, Cauchy theorem, and residual theorem.

    Differential Topology

    Courses in differential topology are a part of the theory of differential forms and De Rham’s theory. Somer differential topology courses teach about multilinear algebra, Stokes’ theorem, and an introduction to cohomology. But, in most cases, these courses teach about winding numbers, vector fields, index, smooth maps, transversality, and differential manifolds.

    Discrete Mathematics

    Courses in discrete mathematics usually cover finite geometry, finite groups, finite topology, finite fields, fundamental algebraic topology, combinatorics, and graph theory. Students can learn about the symmetry group of the regular icosahedron because it is a reoccurring subject throughout the course.

    Theory of Probability

    Theory of probability courses introduce students to discrete and continuous random variables, independent random variables, conditional probability, distribution functions, Poisson distributions, Bayes theorem, and joint distribution. Students in this course will learn how to use math principles in the analysis of random phenomena.

    Algebraic Geometry

    In most cases, algebraic geometry courses teach students about complex algebraic varieties, cohomology, affine, and projective algebraic geometry. They also cover the fundamental concepts of complex analytic varieties, Bezout’s theorem, algebraic curves, and surfaces, the language of schemes, and properties of morphisms.

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    How to Get a PhD in Mathematics: Doctoral Program Requirements

    Some of the most common doctoral program requirements to get a PhD in Mathematics are coursework, qualifying exams, research, classroom teaching, and thesis defense. Some doctoral program requirements may vary, but there are a few common steps for most math programs. Keep reading to find out more.



    PhD students must finish eight or nine-term courses at the graduate level, in most cases maintaining at least a C average grade. The time for completion of a PhD math coursework is four to five years.



    The residency requirement can vary from university to university. For most math PhD candidates, the usual residency requirement is around three years. The whole point of residency is to continue the education and training of students in a specialized field of mathematics.


    Oral Qualifying Exam

    A committee of three faculty members administers the Qualifying Examination, which is an oral test. Each student selects three qualifying test subjects and discusses them with appropriate examiners. Subjects must be in separate, reasonably broad mathematical fields.

    Typically, the primary topic is decided in cooperation with the potential thesis advisor. After completing the qualifying test, students must choose a thesis advisor, who is usually the primary topic examiner.


    Classroom Teaching

    In academic positions, teaching is important, especially in mathematical doctoral studies. Many people in math PhD programs aspire to academic positions, so teaching is one of the best ways to learn about the mathematics academic profession. It is an excellent way to learn public presentation skills by completing at least one semester of classroom teaching.


    Thesis for PhD in Mathematics

    Writing and defending a thesis for a PhD in Mathematics is the culmination of this graduate program. Usually, a thesis is anticipated to contain original research of a high enough quality to be published in a high-level research journal. The defense is usually held in the classroom of the Institute and is presented to the Thesis Examination Committee.

    Potential Careers With a Mathematics Degree

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    PhD in Mathematics Salary and Job Outlook

    People with a PhD in Mathematics earn above the average annual salaries and have careers with above the average job growth. For example, actuaries have a 24 percent job growth till 2030. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average job growth rate for all occupations is 7.7 percent .

    Earning a mathematics PhD is difficult but you will graduate with a wide range of job opportunities. People with a PhD in Math earn between $82,360 to $108,660 per year. Overall, people with PhDs in Mathematics have a good salary and job outlook.

    What Can You Do With a PhD in Mathematics?

    With a PhD in Mathematics, you can work in education or IT and for private, corporate, or government corporations. You can work as a postdoctoral research associate, a math professor in postsecondary or higher education, a director of analytics, a research scientist, a principal software engineer, or an asset manager.

    Best Jobs with a PhD in Mathematics

    • Data Scientist
    • Actuary
    • Economist
    • Mathematicians and Statistician
    • Operations Research Analyst

    What Is the Average Salary for a PhD in Mathematics?

    The average salary for a PhD in Mathematics is $110,000 , according to PayScale. The salary range for doctorate-level degree mathematics jobs ranges from $48,690 to $167,040 per year. Lower-earning operations research analysts make an average of $48,690 , while top-earning data scientists earn $167,040 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Highest-Paying Mathematics Jobs for PhD Grads

    Mathematics PhD Jobs Average Salary
    Data Scientist $108,660
    Actuary $105,900
    Economist $105,630
    Mathematician or Statistician $96,280
    Operations Research Analyst $82,360

    Best Mathematics Jobs with a Doctorate

    There are many jobs you can find with a math PhD. The skills you will gain are applicable to almost any field. Find out more about the best PhD in Mathematics jobs below.


    Data Scientist

    PhD Salary: $108,660

    Data scientists are specialists who know how to extract and interpret data. They know how to use models and algorithms to analyze massive data repositories. They use various strategies to determine the optimal methods for developing a data model for a business. Data scientist is one of the most in-demand and highest-paid jobs in 2022.



    PhD Salary: $105,900

    Actuaries are more concerned with the financial implications of risk and uncertainty. Actuaries are financial analysts who analyze past and present financial data and forecast future risks. They assess risk using financial theory, statistics, and math and develop plans that reduce the cost of risk.



    PhD Salary: $105,630

    Some of the main responsibilities economists have are to predict the customer demand for the firm's products and the firm's product sales. They deal extensively with microeconomic issues while researching trends, collecting, evaluating, and analyzing data. Economists also investigate how to efficiently allocate resources like raw materials, labor, land, or machines.


    Mathematician or Statistician

    PhD Salary: $96,280

    In most cases mathematicians and statisticians work in academia and government. Usually, both of the positions require the use of analyzing data or applying statistical and mathematical techniques that help solve problems.

    Statisticians are increasingly involved in statistics and research methodology. Mathematicians are more involved in researching mathematical models or abstractly measuring values and creating results. Mathematics and statistics are the best duos that understand the principles of probability.


    Operations Research Analyst

    PhD Salary: $82,360

    Operations research analysts utilize mathematics and logic to assist businesses in making informed decisions and solving complex problems. They are high-level problem solvers that use sophisticated approaches such as mathematical modeling and statistical analysis to help companies operate more economically.

    Is a PhD in Mathematics Worth It?

    Yes, a PhD in Mathematics is worth it if you are interested in solving math problems and analytical thinking. You also have to be willing to commit to the long educational journey and research required to achieve this level of degree.

    Exploring the mathematical fields is challenging and demanding but with time it provides excellent career opportunities. Math positions are respected and well-paid with positive job outlooks. Other than its academic difficulty, there aren’t many downsides when it comes to doctoral math degrees because you can go on to work in many fields.

    Additional Reading About Mathematics


    PhD in Mathematics FAQ

    Is a math PhD useful?

    Yes, a math PhD is useful because it will help you acquire some transferable skills that will be useful in virtually any industry. It is also useful for those interested in mathematics research or academia. If you wonder what you can do with a math degree , a PhD will equip you with many valuable skills.

    Is PhD in Mathematics difficult to learn?

    Yes, a PhD in Mathematics is difficult to learn. It is difficult to be admitted to a doctoral program in mathematics, and it is also difficult and too abstract for most people to grasp advanced mathematical principles taught in PhD studies. Doctoral math studies are objectively difficult, even for those who are naturally strong at math and have excelled at it their whole life.

    What skills and abilities do mathematicians need?

    Mathematicians need several skills like active learning, complex problem-solving, critical thinking, and analytical skills. A good mathematician also needs information ordering and inductive and deductive reasoning abilities.

    What do mathematicians do?

    Mathematicians mainly explore mathematical principles or models and create their own mathematical theories and concepts. Most of the work they do is in the theoretical realm, that is why they mainly want to work in IT, social science, engineering, or financial fields.

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    Hristijan Josifovski

    About the author: Hristijan is an expert content writer who has worked extensively in tech and human resources. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Public Relations from St. Cyril and Methodius University. He has also completed a Fullstack Academy course at Code Academy as well as a digital marketing certificate at Google.

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