PhD in Mathematics and Statistics programs award graduate students the highest level of scholarship in their field. In addition they typically indicate they have made original research contributions. For students aspiring to an academic position or research-oriented role as an analyst, the Ph.D. is considered the academic requirement[i]. If you aspire to potential upward mobility in a current job, a math or statistics Ph.D. warrants consideration.
At the doctorate level, many Ph.D. in Mathematics and Statistics programs focus either on the pure or applied forms of their disciplines (e.g. applied statistics, pure statistics, applied mathematics, pure mathematics). Mathematics is a critical component of natural science, engineering, medicine, finance and social sciences[ii].
Prospective doctoral students may be required to have a bachelor’s degree, letters of recommendation, qualifying GRE scores, and any prerequisite math, statistics or computer science courses. Also, coursework in biology, chemistry or the health sciences may be useful if you plan on entering the pharmaceutical industry. [iii]The culmination of a doctorate degree is a student-submitted dissertation.
Ph.D. Math and Statistics Degrees are offered in different subjects, depending on your professional or academic interests. If you refer to the GradSchools.com directory these are simplified into:
Actuarial science became a formal mathematical discipline in the late 17th century[vi].
Ph.D. in Actuarial Science Programs might focus on
the application of mathematics and statistics to assess risk in insurance, finance and other industries. Financial Engineering is multidisciplinary in that it draws from applied mathematics (financial mathematics), computer science, statistics, and economic theory.[vii]
PhD in Mathematics Programs may focus on either pure mathematics or applied mathematics or may have components of both. Pure mathematics focuses on arithmetic, algebra, geometry and analysis.[viii] Applied mathematics is a branch of mathematics and deals with mathematical methods that are utilized in science, engineering, business, computer science, and industry. Applied mathematics refers in these cases to professional specialty.[ix]
PhD in Statistics & Data Analytics programs may focus on mathematical variances of collecting, analyzing, interpreting, presenting and organizing data; mathematical statistics is the application of mathematics to statistics (e.g. probability)[x].
Deciding on a doctorate program involves different aspects; the program itself and the learning delivery that aligns with your lifestyle. One is not necessarily better than the other; choosing between an online or on-campus program is likely part personal, and part availability of options.
Certainly, if you prefer in-person learning or live really close to your graduate school, an onsite program may be preferred. You can initiate a search on GradSchools.com to find graduate programs by city, state or country. On the other hand, if you are a busy working professional or live geographically too far from graduate school, you may decide an online math or statistics Ph.D. is the best option.
Some of the sponsored listings you can explore may include: Ph.D. in Pharmacology, Doctor of Computer Science – Big Data Analytics (Executive Format), Ph.D. in Statistics, Ph.D. in Mathematics. When you find a program that interests you, use the easy navigation to request more info or visit the school’s website.
There are two types of accreditation: program and institution. Program accrediting agencies vary depending on subject; ABET is the accrediting agency for programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology and are recognized as an accreditor by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.[xii] The CHEA has a database listing accredited programs and institutions.[xiii]
Whether you are seeking a new career such as teaching math at the university level, or interested in potentially taking on a more advanced or senior position in your current job setting, a PhD in Mathematics and Statistics program may be what takes you to that next step. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an extremely positive employment outlook for mathematical science and statistician occupations from 2014 to 2024[xiv], so now might be a really favorable time to consider a doctoral degree.
sources:[i] bls.gov/ooh/math/statisticians.htm |[ii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/math/statisticians.htm |[iv] onetonline.org/link/summary/15-2041.00 |[v] onetonline.org/link/summary/15-2021.00 |[vi] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actuarial_science |[vii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_engineering |[viii] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics |[ix] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Applied_mathematics[x] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistics |[xi] onetonline.org/link/summary/15-2021.0[xii] abet.org/accreditation/ |[xiii] chea.org/public_info/index.asp |[xiv] bls.gov/ooh/math/statisticians.htm