What You’ll Learn with a Online Math Education Degree and Career Potential
Online master’s math education programs focus on current challenges facing professionals who teach basic math, algebra, geometry and advanced specialties like calculus and trigonometry. Educators gain the skills to begin to diagnose learning difficulties and to develop remediation plans, including challenges handling abstract concepts, understanding sequential calculations and following numeric visual instruction. For those considering taking their career to the next level by earning a master’s in math education, online programs provide open access to the best colleges for educators and flexibility to learn at your own pace. Discover which colleges and universities are providing the top online master’s programs in math education, learn about different degree tracks and get insights on the career and salary potential earning an advanced degree can bring.
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What Can I Learn in an Online Master’s in Math Education Program?
There are different degree tracks online master’s students can take within the mathematics education specialization that will determine the skills learned. While the type of degree may sound all the same, it is important to understand the similarities and differences to choose the program that best fits your career aspirations.
Master of Arts, Mathematics Education (MA) – For in-service and pre-service teachers, focuses on subject-specific teaching competencies in mathematics.
Master of Science, Mathematics Education (MS) – Involves more extensive teacher preparation with an added focus on mathematical content.
Master of Education, Mathematics Education (EdM) – Prepares students for professional education and scholarly educational practice. Requires a dissertation that displays research learnings.
From there, students can focus in on coursework that applies to their career objectives. For example, students who specialize in elementary math complete coursework on the evolving methods of teaching basic math equations like addition, subtraction, geometry and measurement. More advanced specializations in middle school and secondary math hone algebra, calculus and trigonometry methods. Math programs designed with a leadership component prepare educators to enter math administration and management roles, including math administrators and faculty who design, measure and coordinate math learning programs for an entire school.
Even though students may take a master’s program in math education fully online, in-person work experience may be required, while other programs allow teaching online distance learning classes. Classes that focus on preparing teachers for online instruction include heavy emphasis on integrating technology, print materials and oral communication.
What Common Courses are Offered in a Master’s in Math Education Program?
Key courses delivered during online master’s in math education programs are based on the grade level specialization a teacher has chosen. However, some common core courses are similar no matter the age of the students a teacher will give math lessons to. Take a look below.
Probability and Statistics Skills to understand and interpret mathematical visual data, surveys and regression lines are covered. Some online master’s in math teaching programs require students to complete two probability and statistics courses.
Students can expect to complete the teacher work sample, skills exams, internships and state math teacher certification exams. Tests are given at K through 6, and 6 through 12 grade levels. Should a college or university require students to complete capstone courses, students will work in an actual classroom alongside other math education master’s students.
The thesis or dissertation degree track (EdM) allows students to complete the degree by conducting extensive math research. Another option within the thesis track is for students to partner with a thesis director, completing challenging math education projects.
What Specializations are Available in a Master’s in Math Education Program?
The grade level specializations that coursework focuses on are part of every online master’s in math education program. State math teacher licensing guidelines for grade levels vary—check certification requirements by state for details. Here are there are licensure and non-licensure specializations available for online master’s students in the area of math education specifically.
Grade Level Specialization Elementary and secondary are two grade levels that master’s in math education programs are taught in. The elementary school specialization best fits professionals who want to teach elementary students or train math teachers with an early math education license. Focal subjects in these master’s math programs cover math curriculum development, methodologies and reasoning. Middle and high school specializations include key topics like linear and abstract algebra, math modeling, calculus and probability.
Licensure Specialization State approved online master’s in math education programs are offered at elementary and secondary grade levels. These curriculums meet the guidelines of state licensing boards. This option may be best for educators who want to gain a license in a state that they plan to live and teach in for several years. As you research, you may find some colleges only offer online master’s in math teaching programs to residents of certain states because of licensure specializations.
Non-Licensure Specialization Online master’s in math education programs within the non-licensure specialization teach similar subjects as those taught in licensure specializations. Completion of this specialization does not lead to a teaching license. The specialization may be best suited for currently licensed math teachers who are preparing to advance their skills.
What Can I do with a Master’s in Math Education Degree?
An online master’s in math education prepares adults to fill critical teaching and educator research roles. Although the graduate degree may seem geared toward instructors, the competancies covered are also designed to help education administrators and corporate professionals enhance and evolve their roles in the education system. Earning a master’s degree in math education often allows practicing teachers to advance their careers into leadership roles. Below are several growing careers that online master’s in math teaching graduates could pursue.
Elementary School Math Teacher The elementary grade level specialization is a requirement for adults who want to teach elementary math. A state approved certification or license may also be needed to start teaching at K-5 levels.
Middle or High School Math Teacher Middle and high school math teachers guide students moving from basic to advanced math. Solid math knowledge and strong communication and leadership abilities are needed.
Community College Math Instructor Community college math instructors provide math education that bridges high school math abilities with entry level postsecondary math skills. At more advanced levels, community college math instructors teach finite math, statistical methods and contemporary math. This career may best fit online master’s in math education students who plan to achieve doctorate math certifications or degrees.
Math Tutor Math tutors work as independent contractors or for tutoring agencies. They offer math students remedial skills, lesson plan reviews and exam preparation strategies.
Mathematician and Statistician Statisticians analyze data. They also spot trends, interpret survey results and reach conclusions. They work in government agencies, schools and financial services institutions. Adults interested in this career field should strengthen their master’s in math education with electives that highlight statistics, data collection and analysis. The non-licensure math specialization at senior grade levels could be a good learning track for adults who are interested in working as a statistician.
Upon graduation from an online master’s program in math education, your connections may become an important part of your career progression. Advocacy groups and organizations that support math educators offer these types of networking and professional development opportunities, and members learn about area job needs, licensing requirements and math educator conferences. Some are listed below.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
As the largest mathematics education organization in the world, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has about 60,000 members. Math teaching, math educator advocacy and research and professional development are at the heart of the council.
National Association of Mathematicians
The mission of the National Association of Mathematicians is to promote math development and expertise in minority communities. Founded in 1969, the association holds quarterly meetings and hosts lectures. Its members sit on mathematical conference and committee boards.
American Mathematical Society
Through publications, programs and member meetings, the American Mathematical Society advocates for advancing mathematical research and development. Funding for mathematical research is among the society’s priorities.
National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics
The National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics host a leadership academy and an annual conference. In addition to supporting student success, the council honors exceptional math leaders, develops and shares resources and works to improve math education policies.
Mathematical Association of America
Outreach and partnership are focal areas for the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). As the world’s largest math enthusiasts, professionals and students’ organizations, the MAA promotes research-based learning among diverse populations.
How Much Can I Make with a Career in Math Education?
After earning a master’s degree in mathematics education, statistics show average pay increases over counterparts with bachelor’s degrees for those in teaching careers. Take a look at average salaries for teachers with an MEd around the nation below:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for math education careers is expected to rise to between 7 and 33 percent from 2016 to 2026, with the mathematician and statistician career experiencing the largest growth. Factors that influence math teacher salaries include the part of the country that a teacher works in, their school district mandates and job performance. Statistics show math teachers with special education teaching experience may earn higher salaries than math teachers without special education skills.
Annual salaries in the field also depend on the employee’s degree. As mentioned earlier, the higher degree level, on average, yields higher salary returns: mathematics teachers with bachelor’s degrees earn a median income of $45,964, and top salaries for math teachers with bachelor’s degrees are about $62,000. Those with a master’s in math education earn a median income of $53,706 and their top salaries reach $76,000.
Accreditation for Online Master’s in Math Education Programs
Master’s math education programs that are delivered online are accredited by organizations that are accepted by the United States Department of Education. Accreditation measures the program’s STEM quality. Basic elementary and secondary math teaching levels, the ability to transfer master’s in math education credits into doctorate degree programs and alignment with advanced teaching license requirements are areas measured during the accreditation process.
Reviews of graduates’ readiness to teach math with advanced skills, integrated math teacher learning and student outcomes, including graduation rates and job placement into math teacher jobs are also examined during the accreditation process. The best online master’s in math education programs address the national need to prepare 100K professionals to successfully bridge the STEM teacher’s gap through national initiatives like the 100Kin10 effort.
How to Pay for a Master’s in Math Education Degree
One way to pay for an online master’s in math education is to make use of employer tuition assistance programs. Human resources managers are a great resource for tuition assistance details. To receive the support, adults who want to take a master’s in math teaching program may be required to work in a math related field like statistics, research analysis, corporate training or accounting.
The Department of Mathematical Sciences at Ball State offers a fully online master's in math education. The program offers concentrations for multiple K-12 teacher and specialist levels. Students can choose to attend asynchronous or synchronous classes, but they must fulfill program requirements by given deadlines.
All enrollees take the same core courses: algebraic reasoning; probability, data analysis, and statistical reasoning; number concepts and number theory; and measurement concepts and geometric reasoning. The curriculum follows National Council of Teachers of Mathematics guidelines. Many enrollees graduate from the program in 2-3 years.
Ball State offers three start dates throughout the year. Applicants need a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA. Math education master's degree-seekers need a valid teaching license and one year of experience for teachers and three years of experience for specialists.
Georgia State's math education master's degree comprises 36 credits, taken entirely online or in person at the Atlanta campus. The program follows the university's regular semester calendar with fall, spring, or summer term start dates.
The master of education curriculum includes 12 teaching credits and 15 core credits. Major courses cover college geometry, linear algebra, mathematical statistics, applied combinatorics, and the historical and cultural development of mathematics. Georgia State allows students to substitute a math course of an equal level with advisor approval.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA and a valid state license in math education at the middle or secondary levels. Program applicants without a Georgia teaching license must show proof that they at least meet the license requirements.
At Brockport, students choose from two master's in math education programs. The school offers a hybrid 48-credit mathematics education inclusive generalist program and a 100% online 30-credit adolescence mathematics program. Students seeking initial NYS certification should explore the inclusive generalist option.
The core curriculum includes coursework in education assessment and evaluation, diversity in education, and issues in adolescence mathematics education. Degree-seekers in the mathematics education inclusive generalist program must also enroll in special education classes.
Degree candidates complete three, 50-hour field experience placements as part of their core requirements. In addition, they must complete a student teaching experience in Rochester area school districts. Brockport may grant exceptions to this requirement for non-resident online enrollees.
Both programs require a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA, GRE or MAT scores, a statement of objectives, three reference letters, and a resume.
UB offers an online master's in math education that leads to a NYS professional certification in mathematics education. The program comprises 33 credits and takes 2-3 full-time semesters to complete.
The curriculum includes courses in problem-solving and posing in mathematics, and middle childhood-adolescence literacy methods. Other topics include assessment of math performance and understanding, and teaching and learning rational numbers and proportional reasoning. Students choose a comprehensive exam, a thesis, or a capstone project as the program's culminating experience.
Applicants must hold NYS initial teacher certification in mathematics and an accredited bachelor's degree. The applicant's undergraduate degree must include the following prerequisite coursework: two courses each in linear or abstract algebra and calculus and one geometry course. UB requires GRE or MAT test scores.
ECU offers a 36-credit math education master's degree with elementary, middle, and high school concentrations. Students pursue the elementary and middle grades programs entirely online. The Department of Mathematics offers the high school concentration's math courses on campus only, but students complete all other coursework online.
The concentration areas offer coursework specific to the level they cover. All enrollees take core courses, including differences in human learning in schools and mathematics education research. All M.A.Ed. candidates must complete a capstone project to earn the degree. Most students holding full-time teaching positions enroll part-time and graduate within two years.
ECU graduate admission requires a regionally accredited bachelor's degree. Some programs require standardized test scores. Candidates with significant professional experience can seek an entrance exam waiver.
JMU offers a 34-credit master's in math education entirely online. The College of Education and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics jointly offer the program. The courses prepare graduates to teach advanced secondary math classes, such as AP calculus or statistics.
Enrollees take 13 credits of educational development coursework and 21 credits of core math subjects. Degree-seekers take courses in learning theory and practice, discrete mathematics, and modern geometry. Other topics include probability and statistics, and design and development of digital media.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. JMU accepts non-mathematics degrees as long as candidates show completion of 15 math credits, including a calculus sequence and linear algebra. The program does not require GRE scores.
NAU offers a master's in math education focused on the connection between instructional practice and current mathematics theories and research. The fully online master of science degree comprises 37 credits. Students enroll in 15 credits of mathematics content and 22 credits of mathematics education coursework.
Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout their enrollment at NAU and complete all other course and graduation requirements. Candidates must pass an oral exam and complete a capstone project prior to graduation. NAU gives candidates six years to complete their program.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The program requires at least two years of mathematics teaching experience. Applicants without the minimum teaching requirement must show completion of six credits in mathematics teaching methods from their undergraduate program.
The master's in education at Regent University focuses on leadership in K-8 mathematics education. The program comprises 35 credits that students can complete online. Enrollees gain skills in discrete mathematics, probability and statistics, assessing and teaching mathematics to students with special needs, and algebra and functions for K-8 teachers.
Regent's math education master's degree includes a practicum experience. Students must pass an FBI criminal background check prior to beginning the practicum. Degree candidates must complete a culminating experience prior to graduating from the program. Most students complete a professional portfolio project demonstrating mastery of the program's key competencies.
Applicants must hold an active teaching license and a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. The program requires three years of experience as a math teacher. Candidates submit an application fee, transcripts, and questionnaire responses. The admissions committee may request an interview.
The online master's in math education at IWU comprises 33 credits: 18 credits of graduate-level mathematics courses and 15 credits of education coursework. The program does not lead to initial or advanced licensure, so applicants must already hold a credential to teach mathematics at P-12 schools.
The math education core curriculum includes linear algebra, advanced calculus, real analysis, statistical methods, abstract algebra, and modern geometry. The education coursework aligns with Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation standards for advanced-level programs.
Applicants need an accredited bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA and one year of public or private P-12 teaching experience. IWU requires an undergraduate major in mathematics or secondary school mathematics teaching licensure. Ideally, students admitted to the program already teach or can access a P-12 math classroom.
Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts offers an online master's in math education featuring no campus visits. The program comprises 33 credits with courses following accelerated eight-week delivery formats. Most students who enroll part time complete the program in 5.5 semesters, or approximately two years.
Lesley's program leads to elementary 1-6, mathematics 1-6, or mathematics 5-8 Massachusetts professional teacher licensure. Applicants must already hold an initial teaching licensure in any of these fields to qualify for the program. The curriculum includes courses in constructing mathematical understanding for number theory, statistics and data analysis, and geometry and measurement.
Massachusetts participates in the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification Interstate Agreement. M.Ed. graduates who obtain professional licensure in Massachusetts can apply for recognition in other participating states.
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