There are multiple graduate degree programs available in the field of mathematics education, including Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), Master of Education (EdM), Education Specialist (EdS), Doctor of Education (EdD) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree programs. Most of these programs are designed for students teaching at the secondary and postsecondary levels or interested in research and academia. Here, we examine 3 of the available degree programs in more detail.
Types of Graduate Programs in Mathematics Education
Master of Science in Mathematics Education
Master of Science (MS) in Mathematics Education are fairly common and are usually designed for grades 7 through 12 teachers or as advanced professional degrees for secondary teachers and community college educators. Programs for middle and high school teachers may require around 30 to 38 credits, while advanced programs may require around 60 semester hours. Some of these programs may offer additional areas of concentration, such as in algebra, analysis or statistics, and usually include hands-on learning through field placements and internship opportunities. Students may take courses that discuss topics in teaching methods for mathematics, technology in the field, research in mathematics education and specific mathematics courses.
Master of Education in Mathematics Education (EdM)
Master of Education in Mathematics Education (EdM) degree programs may also range from around 30 to 60 credits and can usually be completed in 2 years. These programs are usually designed for secondary teachers, college-level educators, researchers or supervisors and typically cover concepts from grades K through 16. Some programs may require a culminating paper and hands-on learning opportunities through internships, practicum experiences, group work and/or independent study. Coursework for these programs may cover topics in technology for mathematics teaching, problem solving processes, research and policy, algebra and other mathematics courses.
Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics Education
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Mathematics Education degree programs are usually research-based and may range from around 62 to 75 credits in length. Students in these programs must complete a dissertation and can usually specialize in various areas, such as mathematics, educational policy or history and philosophy of mathematics. Some of these programs may have a foreign language requirement where students are expected to demonstrate competency in 2 foreign languages, usually in German, French or Russian. Coursework for these programs vary based on a student's research and interests, but may include topics in research methods, curriculum, learning theory, teaching methods and problem solving.
Common Entrance Requirements
Students applying to master's degree programs in mathematics education need a bachelor's degree, while those applying to doctoral programs may also need a master's degree. Typically, degree programs in mathematics education at the master's level require the GRE and some may expect applicants to have a minimum GPA of a 3.0 and/or a set number of undergraduate credits in mathematics. Supplemental application materials vary by program, but may include transcripts, letters of recommendation and a personal statement. Some programs may have students include a personal essay of their perspective on student learning and/or other education-related topics.
Students can choose from a wide range of degree programs in mathematics education to further develop their knowledge and teaching abilities in the field. These programs usually require hands-on learning and allow students to focus their studies in various areas of mathematics.