Often designed for students who wish to either augment or initiate studies in mathematics and statistics, Graduate Certificate Mathematics and Statistics programs are shorter in duration than a graduate degree. In some graduate schools, students are able to transfer the credits towards a master’s program. Typical admissions criteria include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (depending on the university).

Some programs are designed to strengthen the mathematical backgrounds of students so that they are positioned to potentially study other quantitative fields. For instance, if you took math during your undergraduate years and are now considering a master’s in economics or finance, a graduate math certificate might help to give you the required math skills.

Other programs may be geared to the teaching professional who has a master’s degree in a discipline other than mathematics who wish to obtain the qualification to teach Advanced Placement course, or who is currently a high school math teacher.

For the graduate student who learns best in a social learning atmosphere with hands-on instruction, demonstration, and

face-to-face contact, a campus-based graduate certificate mathematics and statistics program may be the best fit. Being on-campus means you get access to facilities on premises, whether in the form of a cafeteria, gymnasium, computer lab, library or tutoring. Plus, you get to meet fellow classmates and your faculty, establish relationships and new networks and participate in campus activities.

*FACT: Statistical techniques are used in a wide range of types of scientific and social research, including: biostatistics, computational biology, computational sociology, network biology, social science, sociology and social research*.[i]

## Types of On-Campus Graduate Certificate in Math and Statistics Programs

As a whole, mathematics encompasses topics such as quantity (arithmetic), structure (algebra), space (geometry) and change (analysis) with a distinction made between pure and applied mathematics[ii]. Applied math overlaps with the discipline of statistics (especially probability theory), which is considered a ‘discipline science’.[iii] GradSchools.com has a directory of sponsored listings in different categories of graduate certificates including:

**Actuarial Science and Financial Engineering**: For students interested in the application of mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in insurance and finance[iv], this might be a good fit.

**Mathematics:** This may be a good fit for students interested in pure or applied mathematics, computational mathematics, or mathematics for educators.

**Statistics and Data Analysis:** Statistics is applicable to a wide variety of academic disciplines, including the sciences, government, business, consulting, biostatistics and engineering.

## Initiating a Search

Once you know the type of Graduate Certificate Math and Statistics program you are interested in, initiate a location search to find math graduate schools by location; use the city, state and country tabs to generate a list. Browse through, request info from the graduate schools and start your in-depth decision-making process. Some listings you might find could include: Graduate Certificate in Statistics and Graduate Certificate in Data Visualization and Analysis.

## Accreditation for Math Grad Schools

Accreditation for institutions of higher learning is awarded regionally or nationally; colleges, universities, and programs are accredited in the U.S by one of 19 recognized institutional accrediting organizations. Programs are accredited by one of approximately 60 recognized programmatic accrediting organizations. If an accrediting organizations is “recognized” it has been reviewed for quality by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the United States Department of Education (USDE)[v].*(CHEA)*

## Potential Benefits to Earning a Graduate Certificate

For students who don’t have the funds or the time for a full master’s degree in mathematics or statistics, a graduate certificate mathematics and statistics program may be a viable alternative. Or, if you are in the position where you have a master’s degree already and want to continue your education or improve your knowledge within a specific area, a graduate certificate may enable you to do so without the commitment of earning another full master’s degree.

## Take the Next Step

Whether you are a major or non-major, earning a graduate certificate in mathematics and statistics may help you to define your abilities and improve your competencies. Make sure to take that next academic step soon!

sources: [i] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistics |[ii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics |[iii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics |[iv] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actuarial_science |[v] chea.org/public_info/index.asp |