The Mathematics Education division has five faculty members and is in the process of hiring two others. Research specialties of the faculty include research on teaching and learning (at both the K-12 level and the undergraduate level), use of technology, and professional development for practicing teachers. All of the faculty are members of the Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education (CRMSE), which offers regular colloquia and research seminars.

At the undergraduate level, students wishing to teach secondary school mathematics should pursue the BA degree in mathematics in preparation for the Single Subject Teaching Credential. In order to become certified to teach in public schools in California, graduates with this major are required to enroll in a fifth-year credential program in mathematics.

At the master’s level, two master of mathematics programs (each with a teaching emphasis) are offered:

Master of Arts for Teaching Service (MATS) for community college teaching
Master of Arts for Teaching Service (MATS) for secondary teaching
At the doctoral level, the Joint Doctoral Program in Mathematics and Science Education is offered jointly with University of California at San Diego (UCSD) and through CRMSE.

The Master of Arts for Teaching Service has two specializations:

Community College Teaching
Secondary School Teaching

Admission

Students should meet the requirements for classified graduate standing (e.g., a degree with the equivalent of a mathematics major, appropriate GPA and GRE scores), as described in the Graduate Bulletin. At the discretion of the Graduate Adviser and the Graduate Division, students may be admitted with conditional or unclassified standing in order to complete necessary background courses.

Course and Exam Requirements

In addition to meeting the requirements for classified graduate standing and the basic requirements for the master’s degree as described in the Bulletin, students must complete an official program of 30 units, at least 24 of which must be from the Department of Mathematical Sciences. At least 15 of the 24 must be 600- and 700-level courses. An official program of study must be prepared with and approved by the graduate adviser before it is submitted to the Graduate Division.

All students are required to pass a department qualifying exam early in their program. Currently this qualifying exam is part of MTHED 603. With departmental approval and appropriate performance on the qualifying exam, students may select either Plan A which requires MATH 799A (Thesis) or Plan B which requires passing a comprehensive examination in mathematics education. Students must also select one of the specializations (Community College or Secondary Teaching) listed below.

Specialization in Mathematics for Community College Teaching

This specialization is designed for students with strong undergraduate preparation in mathematics and may be used to satisfy the requirements for teaching at the community college level. Students must have completed a bachelor’s degree in mathematics (or equivalent) before entering the program and must have completed at least two courses selected from MATH 521A (Abstract Algebra), MATH 524 (Linear Algebra), and MATH 534A (Advanced Calculus) or their equivalent; the third course may be part of the program. It is helpful if MATH 521B and/or MATH 534B are also taken during the undergraduate years.

Students interested in teaching mathematics in the community colleges should be aware of the American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges (AMATYC) and their Standards document.

Required mathematics courses for this specialization include a graduate course in

Geometry (MATH 600)
Algebra (MATH 601 or higher)
Analysis (MATH 602 or higher)

Students should take at least one mathematics course that is numbered 621 or higher, and their nine units of electives should be courses in advanced mathematics. If a student was admitted with only two of MATH 521A (Abstract Algebra), MATH 524 (Linear Algebra), and MATH 534A (Advanced Calculus) as part of their undergraduate work, the third course must be one of the electives.

Required courses in mathematics education include:

MTHED 603 and
three courses selected from MATH 509 and MTHED 604, 605, 606.

MATH 720 (Seminar) can also be used when the seminar topic deals with mathematics education.

Students who obtain the advisor’s approval to select Plan A will substitute MATH 799A (Thesis) for one of the mathematics education courses. Most students select Plan B and take a comprehensive examination on three of their mathematics education courses (normally 603 and two of 604, 605, 606, and 720). In preparation for this exam, see the adviser for instructions and then register for three units of MATH 798, Special Study, Research in Mathematics Education; these credits for MATH 798 are not included in the 30-unit program.

Specialization in Mathematics for Secondary Teaching

This specialization is designed to strengthen the mathematical background of secondary teachers, while providing course work to better understand the learning and teaching of mathematics in grades 7-12. Students should have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in mathematics before entering the program.

Students interested in teaching mathematics in the secondary schools should be aware of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and their Standards documents; see their web site at: http://www.nctm.org/

Required mathematics courses for this specialization include a course in

geometry (MATH 510, 511, 512, or 600)
algebra (MATH 521A, 601, or another algebra course)
analysis (MATH 534A, 602, or another analysis course), and
MATH 524 (Linear Algebra)

If MATH 524 or its equivalent was taken as part of the undergraduate major, see the adviser to substitute a different mathematics course.

Required courses in mathematics education include:

MTHED 603 and
three courses selected from MATH 509 and MTHED 604, 605, 606.

MATH 720 (Seminar) can also be used when the seminar topic deals with mathematics education.

The remaining 6 units of electives can be chosen from either mathematics or mathematics education courses, in consultation with the adviser.

Students who obtain the advisor’s approval to select Plan A will substitute MATH 799A (Thesis) for one of the mathematics education courses. Most students select Plan B and take a comprehensive examination on three of their mathematics education courses (normally 603 and two of 604, 605, 606, and 720). In preparation for this exam, see the adviser for instructions and then register for three units of MATH 798, Special Study, Research in Mathematics Education; these credits for MATH 798 are not included in the 30-unit program.

Student Support

A limited number of graduate teaching assistantships in mathematics are available to qualified students. Applications are available in the department office. Support for qualified candidates may also be available through the Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education, General Mathematics Studies, the School of Teacher Education, or through employment on faculty research grants. For further information, consult the Graduate Bulletin.

Advisor, Dr. Susan Nickerson snickerson@mail.sdsu.edu