Academic Programs Catalog

College of Natural Science

Graduate Study

Mathematics Education - Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Mathematics Education is designed for persons who show promise of becoming leaders in local, state, national, and international mathematics education communities. The program prepares researchers and leaders to address critical issues in mathematics education by developing analytical perspectives for research, engaging in reflective teaching, and deepening mathematical knowledge.

Students who may be interested in the program include the following: (1) graduates of undergraduate mathematics or mathematics education programs with interests in research and academic careers; and (2) K-12 teachers, intending to return to the classroom or to leadership in schools and districts, who desire strong, research-oriented knowledge and experience in mathematics education.
Students will have opportunities to acquire an understanding and experience in various aspects of the mathematics education field including investigation of mathematical learning and teaching, the development of instructional materials, participation in policy formation, development and use of assessment, and the integration of technology into mathematics learning and teaching. Students will address issues of research ethics in the Proseminar in Mathematics Education.

A career at any level in mathematics education requires substantive knowledge of the core discipline of mathematics. Each student will plan with his or her guidance committee a set of courses in mathematics that, together with the student’s prior course work and teaching experiences, are appropriate for the student’s career plans.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and of the College of Natural Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.


The program admits students with a variety of backgrounds.  Some students will have equally strong backgrounds in education and mathematics. Others may have more extensive prior preparation in one of these two disciplines. Candidates should have the equivalent of an undergraduate major in mathematics or satisfactory completion of course work in mathematics appropriate to the applicant’s program of study and approved by the Admissions Committee, with the expectation of completing additional mathematics study if necessary.  In such cases, the guidance committee will help the candidate to design a program that includes appropriate course work in mathematics. Applicants with deficiencies in academic preparation may be admitted provisionally. These collateral courses will not count toward the degree. In addition, K-12 teaching experience is strongly encouraged, but not required.  The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is required of all applicants.

Admissions decisions will be made by an Admissions Committee composed of members of the Mathematics Education Faculty Group.  A student who shows promise for success at doctoral study but who needs additional background to be eligible for admission to the Ph.D. program will be provided with specific conditions to be met before admission.  Upon successful completion of these requirements, the student may reapply.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Mathematics Education

The student must complete the requirements listed below. The student’s program of study must be approved by the student’s academic advisor and must include:

1. Both of the following courses (6 credits):  
  MTHE 926 Proseminar in Mathematics Education I 3
  MTHE 927 Proseminar in Mathematics Education II 3
2. Three courses from the following, with at least one course from each area (9 credits):
  Pedagogy Courses  
  CEP 913 Psychology and Pedagogy of Mathematics 3
  MTHE 997 Special Topics in Mathematics Education 3
  TE 950 Mathematical Ways of Knowing 3
  Content Courses
  MTHE 840 Critical Content of School Mathematics: Numbers and Operations 3
  MTHE 841 Critical Content of School Mathematics: Algebra  3
  MTHE 842 Critical Content of School Mathematics: Geometry 3
3. One of the following courses (2 or 3 credits):  
  MTHE 879 Teaching College Mathematics 3
  TE 994 Laboratory and Field Experience in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education
4. The following course (3 credits):  
  MTHE 954 Design and Methods in Mathematics Education Research 3
5. Two of the following courses (6 credits):  
  CEP 931 Introduction to Qualitative Methods in Educational Research 3
  CEP 933 Quantitative Methods in Educational Research II 3
  EAD 955B Field Research Methods in Educational Administration 3
  STT 801 Design of Experiments 3
  STT 825 Sample Surveys 3
  STT 843 Multivariate Analysis 3
6. One 3-credit course in general education foundations, policy, teacher education, or learning and development, selected from a list of approved courses available from the student’s guidance committee.  
7. Twelve credits in the Department of Mathematics or Department of Statistics and Probability at a level appropriate to the student’s program of study and career goals at the 400-level or above, excluding Mathematics 443.  
8. Nine credits in a cognate selected in consultation with the guidance committee. The cognate must be at least three courses appropriate to the student’s program of study.  
9. The following course (3 credits):
MTHE      995        Research Practicum

Successful completion of comprehensive written examinations administered by program faculty.
11. Twenty-four credits of Mathematics Education 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research.  
12. Successful oral defense of the dissertation.