The best math education online master's programs explore a variety of math concepts. For example, programs may address algebra, geometry, calculus, and statistics to prepare degree seekers to teach those subjects. Math programs also cover different teaching strategies, classroom technologies, math research, cultural concerns for teaching, and the history of math education. These topics give students an overview of math education, past and present.
There are many teacher shortage areas across the nation. Math teachers and interventionists, in particular, are in high demand. When paired with a teaching license or certification, a master's in math education qualifies learners for many of these in-demand careers. Some programs allow students to concentrate on grade levels for specific teaching goals. For instance, a secondary school focus prepares graduates to assume high school teaching positions, where educators earned a median annual salary of $59,170 in 2017. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 8% growth in high school teaching positions between 2016 and 2026.
These education degrees can also help candidates assume more advanced positions. For instance, instructional coordinators typically need a master's degree, along with field experience. Students can also explore math-centered careers outside of school settings, such as finance managers and accountants.
This page provides an overview of math education programs, including common coursework, program lengths, and accreditation. Candidates can also read about possible careers and professional organizations related to the field.
Online Master's in Math Education Program Ranking Guidelines
We selected the programs based on the quality of the program, the types of courses offered, the faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation, including the school’s reputation for effectively providing online degree programs.
The Best Online Master's in Math Education Programs
1. Nova Southeastern University
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, NSU offers an online MS in mathematics education that is ideal for students planning to pursue teaching or administrative roles in mathematics education. The flexible program prepares students to teach middle, secondary, and postsecondary math. Students earning their master's in math education online from NSU learn instructional methods to teach calculus, algebra, and geometry.
NSU's research-based program highlights current trends in education, and coursework covers topics such as technology in mathematics education. Students learn to diagnose learning difficulties and apply professional experience in mathematics education. NSU students complete a teaching experience and a portfolio displaying instructional methods, teaching documentation, and accomplishments.
Students in the fully online master's in math education interact virtually with peers and professors. The MS is also available as a site-based program, which involves night and weekend classes at satellite locations.
NSU students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or better. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with at least a 2.5 GPA and must submit all transcripts. Prospective students should check with their state department of education to determine whether NSU's program meets the requirements for teaching licensure in their state.
Nova Southeastern University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
2. Drexel University
Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Drexel offers a master's of science in mathematics learning and teaching. The online master's in math education includes coursework in proportional and algebraic reasoning, geometry and spatial reasoning, data analysis, and statistical reasoning.
Drexel offers an ongoing online open house for students who want to explore distance learning. Drexel utilizes proven methods to provide future teachers with the tools to communicate mathematical concepts to students. To meet Drexel's student teaching requirement, students record themselves instructing and keep an ongoing portfolio of their teaching methods and results.
Applicants should have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Drexel may make exceptions to the GPA requirement in certain cases. Applicants should be certified to teach middle or high school math. Those without certification should contact admissions directly for possible consideration. Applicants should have completed several college-level mathematics courses and must submit an essay and letters of recommendation. Drexel follows 10-week quarters instead of semesters. Discounts are available for military members, members of partner groups, and alumni.
Drexel University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE).
3. Iowa State University
Iowa State offers an online master's of school mathematics program to prepare students to teach secondary math. The program improves knowledge of statistics, calculus, geometry, and algebra and fulfills requirements for professional teaching certification.
Iowa State's school mathematics program requires 32 credits and is not currently available fully online. The blended program utilizes AV Adobe Connect software for distance communication and study. However, students must complete core math classes at the Ames campus. Iowa State does accept transfer elective credits, which can reduce on-campus time requirements. Before graduating, students undergo an on-campus oral exam.
Applicants to the master's in math education online program must have a bachelor's degree and must have graduated in the top 50% of their college class. Applicants must be certified to teach secondary education and must have at least two years of teaching experience. Iowa State alumni do not pay application fees.
Iowa State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
4. University of Detroit Mercy
UDM's master's of arts in the teaching of mathematics is one of the most affordable online master's in math education available for working teachers. For students earning their master's, math education online programs provide tools to effectively teach mathematical subjects.
UDM's online classes are taught by leading professors and specialized instructors, many of whom publish research in their field. UDM employs current, creative teaching methods to prepare students for careers teaching mathematics. The curriculum covers topics such as research methods, teaching mathematics with manipulatives, and the psychology of mathematics. Students complete a capstone experience comprising their choice of a research project or a teaching portfolio.
Applicants must hold or be working toward a teaching certificate and must pass the Michigan Professional Readiness Exam. Applicants must hold undergraduate degree with a GPA of at least 3.0 and must have completed certain college-level math classes, such as college calculus. UDM allows limited exceptions for students working toward these requirements. Michigan teachers receive discounted tuition rates.
University of Detroit Mercy is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
5. Northern Arizona University
Located in Flagstaff, NAU offers a master's of science in mathematics education for teachers who want to advance their careers. The program is designed for professionals currently teaching in a classroom environment.
The fully online math education master's program provides the flexibility professionals need to earn the degree around their teaching schedule. The program prepares students for secondary and postsecondary teaching careers and to pursue doctoral degrees.
Applicants should have at least two years of experience teaching mathematics and at least six credits in math education. Applicants should have 23 undergraduate math credits with grades of C or better, including calculus, applied statistics, and foundations of mathematics. NAU also recommends that applicants have completed coursework in modern geometry, abstract algebra, and analysis.
Applicants should have at least a 3.0 GPA, but NAU may consider those who do not meet this requirement. Applicants must submit three letters of reference, an essay, and undergraduate or transfer transcripts.
Northern Arizona University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
6. Western Governors University
Salt Lake City, Utah
Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, WGU's online master's of arts in teaching mathematics can be completed at an accelerated pace. WGU's tuition rates are based on six-month terms, rather than credits, which allows students to save money by completing more courses per term.
Students in WGU's online master's in math education program complete coursework in mathematics learning and teaching and instructional planning and presentation. Classes are delivered fully online, but the program does require in-person teaching observation and student teaching. Students also complete 12 to 20 weeks of demonstration, which involves mentorship from a teacher and assessment by a supervisor.
Applicants must submit all transcripts, pass background checks, and take entrance tests and a skills exam. Each student is assigned an enrollment counselor to assist with the admissions process. WGU awards credit for previous learning and work experience; students demonstrate their knowledge and skills through papers, research projects, and exams.
East Carolina University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
7. Regent University
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia, offers an M.Ed in K–8 leadership in mathematics education to prepare students to teach secondary math in kindergarten through eighth grade. Regent provides monthly online information sessions about the program, which address financial aid, tuition, scholarships, and the admissions process.
Regent students pursuing their master's in math education online complete coursework in areas such as educational leadership in mathematics and technology applications. Students participate in a professional project involving hands-on teaching experience. During the project, students keep records and documents of their teaching methods and results. At Regent, 95% of the teaching staff hold the highest degree in their field, and 35% of alumni work for Fortune 500 companies.
Applicants must submit all previous college transcripts and must have a current teaching license. International students should review Regent's transcript evaluation requirements. Regent does not require personal statements or essays; applicants complete a comprehensive admissions form stating their overall career objectives. The admissions process ends with a 20-minute phone interview. Students undergo a full FBI background check before participating in practicum experiences.
Regent University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
8. Columbus State University
CSU in Georgia offers an online math education master's degree; the master's of arts in teaching math and science prepares students for careers teaching grades 6–12. Coursework is delivered asynchronously, so working teachers can earn the degree according to their schedule.
Applicants should have a background in a teaching subject such as mathematics, engineering, technology, or science. Online learners outside Georgia should contact their state department of education to ensure CSU's program meets their state's certification requirements.
Applicants must submit all undergraduate transcripts and must have a bachelor's degree in a related field. Contact admissions for an updated list of approved related fields. Applicants must have at least a 2.5 GPA, must submit standardized test scores, and must pass an FBI background check. CSU students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or better, with no more than two grades of C or below in graduate courses. Transfer students may bring up to nine transfer credits.
Columbus State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
9. Drury University–Flagstaff
Drury is a Christian-affiliated, private liberal arts institution. Based in Springfield, Missouri, Drury offers an online M.Ed in instructional mathematics and science. Drury's degree options prepare students to teach elementary through high school, and students can specialize in teaching gifted students or in online teaching. Drury's online math education master's program is designed for teachers who hold current certification.
Students earning their master's in math education online complete courses in leadership techniques, K–12 mathematics instruction, educational technology, and educational research. Students attend a capstone seminar experience, which focuses on the latest teaching methods in the student's field. Students complete a paper on a topic related to their concentration and must pass an oral and comprehensive test.
Applicants must have at least a 2.75 GPA, must submit a personal essay about their career goals, and must provide two professional and/or academic references. Applicants may be admitted on conditional standing while their credentials are reviewed.
Drury University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
10. Lesley University
Lesley in Cambridge, Massachusetts, offers an M.Ed in mathematics education to educate future instructors, leaders, and curriculum experts. Graduates of Lesley's online master's in math education are prepared to teach grades 1–8. Lesly's teaching methods utilize the latest educational innovations to provide solid STEM skills. The program combines an in-depth study of mathematics with practical skills for communicating concepts in a classroom setting.
The curriculum covers subjects such as operations of arithmetic, number theory, algebra, and geometry. The fully online program includes interactive elements such as chat rooms and discussion forums. Students complete the 33-credit program in an accelerated format comprising eight-week terms. Graduates work as teachers in public school districts, charter schools, private schools, and independent schools.
Prospective students should check their state's licensure requirements before applying. Applicants must submit a personal essay, standardized test scores, transcripts, and recommendations from instructors, managers, or colleagues. The admissions process concludes with an interview.
Lesley University is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC-CIHE).
What is a Master's in Math Education Degree?
Master's in math education programs vary depending on the school, but several common factors can be found between programs. Common courses include mathematics education, research fundamentals, statistics, and calculus. Some programs require capstone projects in which students create materials, assignments, and exams that showcase their ability to teach. Other programs require participants to pass a comprehensive exam.
Students may choose electives or a concentration in a particular area of interest, such as algebra, trigonometry, or geometry. Learners may also pursue advanced courses to gain greater exposure to a particular topic. To enroll in a master's in math education online program, students must already hold a bachelor's degree in education, math, or a related field.
Online Master's in Math Education Programs
Math education online master's programs usually feature the same courses and faculty as their on-campus counterparts. Programs may call for fieldwork, such as student teaching experiences, although departments typically allow distance learners to complete these requirements near their homes.
Online students may complete homework assignments, papers, exams, and quizzes electronically. Additionally, virtual coursework often includes forums that emulate classroom discussions, where students post thoughts and respond to comments made by other learners. Students might also complete group work by communicating with group members online.
For synchronous courses, students must login and attend classes at designated times, participating in live lectures and chats. However, other departments offer all classes asynchronously, providing degree seekers with increased flexibility. Programs may also offer a hybrid format where learners occasionally visit campus throughout the course of their studies.
The most successful online learners possess good time management skills and a strong work ethic; this is important because coursework often involves little supervision. Candidates should also possess the technological skills needed to navigate course websites.
Students interested in earning a master's degree in math education online might also consider elementary education, secondary education, or special education programs that feature math concepts. Candidates can also pursue teaching degrees for other academic topics, like science or history. Learners should explore all options to determine which degree best fits their career goals.
The Advantages of a Master's Degree in Math Education
Earning a master of science in math education online expands career opportunities in education and other fields. Although bachelor's holders can work in K-12 public education settings with a teaching license, master's graduates usually earn higher salaries and may qualify for some teaching positions at colleges.
However, many organizations and schools require postsecondary teachers and mathematicians to hold doctoral degrees. Doctorate holders in education also average significantly higher earnings than candidates with a master's degree. As such, master's graduates should consider continuing their education and earning a doctorate in a field.
Additionally, candidates pursuing a math-centered roles outside of a school setting, such as financial managers, typically require a master's degree.
|Degree Level||Average Salary|
|Bachelor's Degree in Education||$50,000|
|Master's Degree in Education||$56,000|
What Can You Do With a Master's Degree in Math Education?
Graduates with an online master's in math education can teach a variety of subjects in different settings. Many individuals find jobs at private and public secondary schools. However, postsecondary teachers usually receive higher pay and hold more control over their class structure and lesson planning. Teachers with a graduate degree can specialize in a particular area like statistics, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, algebra, or general mathematics. Many non-academic careers also exist.
- Postsecondary Teachers: Postsecondary educators teach multiple classes in their field at colleges and universities. Common responsibilities include creating syllabi, helping students choose courses, and offering curricular insights to the department. Candidates with a master's degree may qualify for some of these positions, although many institutions only hire applicants who hold doctorates.
- Mathematicians: Mathematicians use math to resolve issues in various fields, including healthcare and business. Candidates may gather data through surveys and related methods and then assess their results to determine effective choices. Many companies require these individuals to hold at least a master's degree.
- Economists: Economists gather data and advise companies and individuals about economic problems and concepts. Workers must hold a detailed understanding of the field to predict trends. Applicants need at least a master's degree to work as economists.
- Financial Managers: Financial managers search for ways to increase company revenue. Additional tasks may include looking through financial reports and overseeing company personnel who work in finance. Companies may insist that candidates hold a master's in a finance-related field.
- Accountants: Accountants maintain company records, complete tax forms for clients, and help businesses increase revenue. This position usually only requires a bachelor's degree in accounting or a similar discipline; however, earning a master's in math education online may qualify graduates for more advanced roles.
|Job Title||Entry Level (0-5 Years)||Midcareer (5-10 Years)||Experienced (10-20 Years)||Late Career (20+ Years)|
Choosing an Online Math Education Graduate Degree Program
Students who attend in-state schools often experience a variety of benefits. For instance, in-state programs typically deliver the cheapest master's in math education options since resident learners pay the lowest tuition rates. Depending on their location, in-state schools may also require less travel for on-campus requirements and may hold more transfer agreements with local schools.
Students should consider a number of factors when deciding on a school, such as program length, school size, and potential capstone requirements. Learners willing to consider online learning increase their choices, enabling them to find more potential schools that match with their academic and career goals.
- Program Cost: Students should only consider schools that fit within their budgets, giving thought to tuition, fees, textbooks, and general living costs. Without taking this into consideration, candidates may fall behind on bills or tuition payments, which can lead to economic problems and delayed enrollment. School policies may prevent degree seekers who are behind on payments from enrolling in subsequent terms.
- Transfer Policies: Transfer students should research each institution's policies to make the most out of any previously completed coursework. Some programs may only accept a few transfer credits, while others allow learners to use transfer credits to complete a significant portion of the program requirements. Details such as course equivalency and accreditation should also be considered.
- School Size and Type: Many private schools hold religious affiliations, reflecting certain belief systems and worldviews in their curricula; this may appeal to religious students. However, private schools generally charge higher tuition rates than public schools. Furthermore, institutions with smaller student-to-faculty ratios can provide more interactive learning, whereas colleges with more students may offer greater classroom and program diversity.
- Program Length: Master's in math education online degrees often require two years of study, although some learners may need more time to graduate. Busy students may want to consider schools that offer part-time paths and more flexible deadlines. Additionally, students should be aware that some programs require students to graduate within a certain time period after enrolling, such as within five years. Alternatively, students who want to graduate quickly can choose programs with accelerated options.
- On-Campus Requirements: Some online programs require occasional on-campus visits for courses, labs, orientation, seminars, or workshops; these experiences occur with different frequencies depending on the program. For example, a department may mandate one visit at the start of a program or multiple visits each term. Students who enroll in a program with on-campus requirements should make sure they can travel to campus.
- Thesis, Fellowship, and Work Requirements: Math education online master's programs may require in-person or virtual student teaching experiences. Schools might also require a thesis or research project based on a practical problem in the field. Students should make sure these components fit into their schedules before choosing a program.
Accreditation for Online Math Education Master's Degrees
Accrediting agencies review institutions of higher education to sure ensure that schools maintain certain academic standards. The U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation oversee these agencies to ensure they enforce fair and rigorous standards. This process creates a layered approach to school reviewal, giving students piece of mind that accredited institutions award valid degrees.
At the institutional level, schools can hold regional or national accreditation. Regional accreditation, which is generally viewed as the more prestigious designation, is commonly held by traditional liberal arts colleges and universities. Seven regional accreditors exist in the United States, including the Higher Learning Commission and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Eighty-five percent of accredited institutions hold this designation.
National accreditation, on the other hand, is usually reserved for for-profit or vocational schools. Only about 15% of accredited schools hold this type of accreditation at the institutional level; because some regionally accredited schools do not accept credits from nationally accredited institutions, it can be difficult to transfer from these schools.
Some specific programs or departments at a university can also hold programmatic accreditation. This designation is awarded by field-related organizations, which determine that a program or department adequately prepares students for related careers. Education majors should look for programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Master's in Math Education Degree Program?
Earning a master's in math education online usually requires about 30 credits and two years of full-time study.
Some departments allow students to personalize graduation timelines by altering their learning pace. As an example, degree seekers can choose schools that permit part-time study, where learners take fewer courses each term. However, part-time learners may end up spending more on tution. Full-time students often pay lower per-credit tuition rates, and schools without tuition guarantees may increase tuition significantly over the course of a few years. A cohort learning model can also influence program duration and limit flexibility; in this format, students progress through classes in lock-step with a group of their peers.
Candidates can also shorten their program length by choosing institutions that offer accelerated pathways or let students take a greater number of credits each semester. However, taking more courses at a time can increase per-semester tuition, and schools may also charge course overload fees.
Courses in an Online Master's in Math Education Program
Although curricula vary by institution, many of the best math education programs share similar core coursework. The following classes provide a general overview of what students can expect to take during a math education online master's program.
Teaching Secondary Mat
Candidates pursuing a master's in math education online may take this course to examine past and present teaching techniques. Participants learn to consider student comprehension when determining the best teaching strategies. Coursework may also cover instructional tools and lesson plan creation.
Math Education Research
This class introduce students to research methods applicable to math education, along with techniques for analyzing research results. Learners may examine quantitative and qualitative research practices through current research or explore their own research topics. Coursework may also address how to write research reports and apply findings in math classrooms.
History of Mathematics
Students examine math concepts and approaches throughout history. Coursework may deliver these ideas based on the civilization (e.g., ancient Greece) or time periods (e.g., the Renaissance). Coursework also addresses historical developments for math subjects and discusses famous mathematicians.
Math Classrooms and Culture
Participants explore previous cultures' thoughts on mathematics and the current culture in classrooms. For instance, learners may examine how cultural diversity impacts classrooms or ways to take advantage of culture to teach math.
This courses addresses Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometry. Students may encounter axiomatic structures, along with projective, absolute, elliptical, finite, and Mobius geometries. Participants learn about different strategies for delivering these concepts in classrooms. Departments generally design these courses for students who already hold a basic understanding of geometry concepts.
Math Education Membership Associations
- Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators: AMTE hosts a yearly conference that addresses current math education research. Members can view webinars on topics like educational tools and social elements of education. The group also offers the Service, Teaching, and Research Program, which features a summer institute opportunity, and electronic networking for new educators.
- National Council of Teachers of Mathematics: This group hosts research conferences and a yearly meeting. Members can access webinars related to Common Core, assessments, and strategies for teaching non-native speakers, as well as workshops on algebra, dimensions, and operations.
- National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics: This organization offers individual, student, and virtual memberships and hosts a yearly conference. Members can participate in a multiday leadership academy that focuses on coaching principles, view webinars, and access information on math coaching and leadership.
- American Statistical Association: This association offers resources for K-12, undergraduate, and graduate educators. Resources include professional development webinars and workshops. Members can also access field journals, like the Journal of the American Statistical Association. Additionally, the association hosts several meetings, such as the Conference on Statistical Practice and the Symposium on Data Science and Statistics.
- American Mathematical Society: This society connects members to research journals, including Mathematics of Computation, Representation Theory, and Conformal Geometry and Dynamics. AMS also provides employment assistance through job listings and an employment center.