The Best Online Master’s in Math Education Programs 2021
| TBS Staff
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Math education master's degrees train candidates in math concepts, teaching strategies, classroom technologies, research skills, cultural considerations, and the history of math education.
A master's in math education helps current math teachers advance their careers. After earning a master's degree, educators can pursue leadership roles in their schools. The degree also appeals to people considering a career change into mathematics education. An online master's in mathematics prioritizes flexibility, allowing working professionals to complete a graduate degree on their schedule.
The federal TEACH Grant program considers mathematics a high-need field in education. As a result, demand for math teachers will likely increase in the future. By earning a master's degree in math education, educators can stand out on the job market.
Our list ranks the top online math education master's programs to help prospective students find the best fit for their schedules and career goals. This article also covers program selection, certificates and licenses for math teachers, and other career opportunities for professionals with a math education master's degree.
The Best Online Master's in Math Education Programs
A public research school founded in 1908, JMU offers a 100% online master of education in mathematics. The program prepares teachers to teach secondary mathematics, including algebra and calculus.
The 34-credit program requirements include the history of mathematics, probability and statistics, design and development of digital media, and curriculum theories and practice. Students deepen their understanding of mathematics and apply research to their teaching practice.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree with 15 credits in mathematics, including calculus and linear algebra, to qualify for admission. Students do not need to submit standardized test scores.
Founded in 1846, UB offers an online master of education in math education studies. Students can complete the 33-credit program fully online. The program does not grant teaching certification.
Required courses include teaching and learning of algebra, measurement and evaluation of STEM instruction, educational uses of the internet, and developing curricula for emerging adolescents. Learners study part time, and most students can finish the program in about two years.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree with at least 30 credits in the content area to qualify for admission. Students do not need to submit GRE scores.
Founded in 1913, Georgia State offers a master of education in mathematics education, mostly online. Students can strengthen their understanding of mathematics, and the program accepts students with a renewable T4 certificate in math.
The 36-credit program includes required courses such as integration of technology in mathematics instruction, theory and pedagogy of mathematics instruction, topics in school mathematics curriculum, and sociocultural and sociohistorical issues of mathematics education. Students also take pure mathematics courses.
Applicants need certification to teach middle or secondary mathematics education in Georgia and an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 to qualify for admission.
A public research university founded in 1918, Ball State offers an online master of arts in mathematics education. Students complete the 30-36-credit degree 100% online with a choice of three tracks: elementary and middle school, secondary school, or elementary and middle school specialists.
Students take courses such as algebraic reasoning, curriculum and instruction in mathematics education, methods in mathematics education, and rational numbers and proportional reasoning. Students also take electives and research training based on their chosen track.
Applicants need current licensure and at least one year of work experience to qualify for admission. Students do not need to submit GRE scores.
Founded in 1835, Brockport offers an online master of science in education with a concentration in adolescence mathematics.
Required courses for the 30-credit program include diversity in education, issues in adolescence math education, educational assessment and evaluation, and a seminar in mathematics education. Upon completion, students earn a recommendation for master's level New York State certification.
Applicants need a 7-12 grade mathematics teaching certificate for the state of New York and a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 to qualify for admission. Students must also submit edTPA, GRE, or MAT scores.
Founded in 1907, ECU offers a master of arts in education with a focus on mathematics education. Students in the elementary or middle grades concentration take courses solely online, while the high school concentration requires some on-campus coursework.
Students take courses such as introduction to differences in human learning in schools, mathematics assessment for the classroom teacher, research in mathematics education, and leadership in mathematics education. A capstone experience ties learning together. Learners also take concentration-specific mathematics courses.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree and GRE records to apply.
A private Christian university founded in 1971, Liberty offers a master of education with a math specialist endorsement. Students complete the 36-credit program online in convenient eight-week terms.
Course topics include trends and inquiry for the math specialist, educational assessment and intervention, and technology practices for instructional improvement. Required courses include foundations of exceptionality and school-based mathematics programs.
The school allows students to transfer in up to 50% of credit requirements from another program toward their degree. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.5 to qualify for admission. Students do not need to submit standardized test scores.
A private Christian university founded in 1977, Regent offers a master of education in leadership in mathematics education. Students complete 35 credits solely online.
Required courses include educational leadership in mathematics, curriculum studies and trends in mathematics, geometry and measurement for K-8 teachers, and discrete mathematics for K-8 teachers.
The school offers eight start dates per year. Applicants need a bachelor's degree and a current teaching license to qualify for admission.
A private research university founded in 1891, Drexel offers a master of science in mathematics learning and teaching. Students complete work solely online and take courses in four 10-week quarters.
Required courses include using and integrating learning technologies, proportional and algebraic reasoning, diagnosing student mathematical thinking, and problem-solving strategies. A capstone course provides research opportunities, and students may opt into a thesis or practitioner option.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and current licensure in middle or high school education to qualify for admission. Students must also possess two semesters of college-level calculus.
A public research university founded in 1899, NAU offers an online master of science in mathematics education. Students complete 37 credits and a comprehensive exam mostly online.
Learners take courses such as problem-solving theory and practice, history and philosophy of mathematics education, assessment in mathematics education, and equity in mathematics education. A capstone experience provides research opportunities.
Applicants need an undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 to qualify for admission. Students must also possess a minimum of two years of mathematics teaching experience (or six credits of undergraduate math) and 23 credits of mathematics sequences.
Online Master's in Math Education Programs Ranking Guidelines
We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.
Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.
Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.
While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.
The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.
The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.
Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.
Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology
About Our Ranking Factors
Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.
Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.
We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.
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Featured Online Master's in Math Education Programs
What Is an Online Master's in Math Education?
An online master's in mathematics education prepares graduates for leadership roles in education, including lead teacher, department head, and instructional coordinator. During a math education program, graduate students take courses in teaching math at the secondary level and instructional strategies for math education. The degree blends mathematics and education coursework to build strong teaching and analytical skills.
In some programs, math education students complete a practicum or teaching assignment to gain experience. Master's students may also complete a project or thesis to demonstrate their mastery of math education.
Earning a master's in math education generally takes two years for full-time students. Some programs also offer an accelerated, one-year path to the degree. The online learning format appeals to working educators seeking career advancement.
Choosing an Online Master's in Math Education Program
Prospective graduate students in math education should research several factors when choosing a program, including cost, program length, and school reputation. For example, when it comes to cost, online learners should look into possible tuition discounts, including in-state tuition rates for out-of-state students.
Applicants can also consider program-specific factors, such as the availability of specializations, graduation requirements, and field experience requirements. Some math education programs require a teaching practicum, which distance learners can complete in their local area, while other programs do not require field experience.
What Is the Difference Between a Master of Arts (MA), a Master of Science (MS), and a Master of Education (M.Ed.)?
When considering an online master's in mathematics, prospective students must choose between an MA, MS, and M.Ed. All three programs train graduates for classroom roles as math educators. However, the courses and emphasis areas often differ. An M.Ed. degree prioritizes classroom-ready skills and pedagogical methods. An MA or MS takes a more academic focus, emphasizing research and theory.
Some schools offer multiple options to earn a master's in mathematics. However, not every master's program in math education meets the requirements for educator certification. Prospective students should consider their career goals and needs when choosing between an MA, MS, and M.Ed. in math.
What Is the Difference Between a Master's in Math Education and a Master's in Mathematics?
The degrees prepare graduates for different career paths. A master's degree in math education emphasizes teaching skills and techniques, while a master's in mathematics focuses on advanced math theories and methods.
A math education degree leads to opportunities as a middle school or high school math teacher, while a master's in mathematics trains graduates for careers like mathematician, statistician, financial analyst, or economist. Learn more about career opportunities with a mathematics degree with our guide.
Accreditation for Online Master's in Math Education Degrees
Prospective master's students in education should always check a program's accreditation status before applying. Accredited schools and programs follow the best practices for educating students. Accredited education degrees also meet the requirements for teaching licenses and board certification. Without a degree from a regionally accredited university, you may not be able to get a teaching license. Plus, only accredited universities can distribute federal financial aid to graduate students.
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation grants accreditation for education programs. Learn more about why accreditation matters in our accreditation guide.
What Can I Expect When Pursuing a Master's in Math Education Online?
During a master's in math education program, graduate students take courses in teaching techniques, learn about strategies for math instruction at different educational levels, and study advanced mathematics. Master's programs may also offer concentrations or electives in specialized areas like statistics, data analytics, and data science.
Common Courses in Math Education Online Programs
Although curricula vary by institution, many of the best math education programs share core coursework. The following class descriptions provide an overview of what students can expect to take during a math education online master's program.
- Teaching Secondary Math: 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 introduces 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 learn how to use a group's culture to effectively teach math.
- Modern Geometry: This course 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 exploring these concepts in classrooms. Departments generally design these courses for students who already hold a basic understanding of geometry concepts.
Certificates and Licenses for Math Teachers
Math teachers at public K-12 schools must hold a teaching license issued by their state. The requirements vary by state, but generally candidates need at least a bachelor's degree and must complete an educator preparation program to earn a teaching license.
For secondary-level teaching licenses or a math endorsement, candidates must also pass an examination of their teaching skills and content knowledge. A master's degree in math education meets the requirements for a math endorsement.
After earning a teaching license, educators typically need to complete continuing education requirements to renew their credentials regularly. Licensed teachers in one state can often apply for a reciprocal license in another state.
In addition to a teaching license, math educators can also pursue board certification in middle school or high school mathematics. Candidates with a master's in math education and three years of teaching experience meet the requirements for board certification. Educators must submit portfolios demonstrating their mastery of content knowledge, differentiation in instruction, and teaching practice and learning environment. Candidates must also pass an examination.
Earning board certification can also help math teachers receive a teaching license in another state, since board certification fulfills most state requirements for reciprocity.
Math Education Careers
A master's degree in math education primarily trains graduates to become math teachers, but the degree can also prepare professionals for careers like mathematician, statistician, financial manager, or accountant.
Graduates can also pursue opportunities in postsecondary math education. Some math careers may require additional education or a professional certification. Learn more about the highest paying mathematics jobs with our guide.
Economists analyze economic data to understand the distribution of resources and to project market trends. They research economic topics and use mathematical techniques to analyze data. Economists also use forecasting techniques to anticipate changes in economic markets. They may advise government bodies or businesses on economic issues. Economists also publish their research in scholarly journals.
Most economists hold a graduate degree, though some entry-level roles hire candidates with only a bachelor's degree, particularly for government jobs. Economists need strong mathematical and analytical skills. Training in statistical analysis software also helps economists advance.
Mathematicians use mathematical techniques to collect data, solve problems, and analyze information. They may create new mathematical theories or models to analyze data, including designing algorithms. Mathematicians may hold titles like statistician, analyst, or data scientist in addition to mathematician.
Mathematicians work in diverse fields, including healthcare, technology, financial services, and engineering. In the public sector, they analyze data on the economy, the environment, and public health. Mathematicians may also work in research and development. For most roles, mathematicians need a graduate degree. They may also need a background in applied or theoretical mathematics, depending on their career path.
Postsecondary mathematical science teachers, also known as math professors, teach college-level classes on math, statistics, and actuarial science. They introduce learners to mathematical techniques and theories. Math instructors assess student learning through assignments and exams. Many math professors also conduct research in their specialty area and publish their work.
In addition to strong mathematical skills, math instructors rely on their interpersonal and public speaking abilities to teach classes. Generally, postsecondary teachers must hold a doctorate for tenure-track roles. However, educators with a master's degree may qualify for positions at two-year institutions or in non-tenure-track roles.
Accountants and auditors create financial records, including tax returns, account books, and financial disclosure documents. They examine financial documents to identify inaccuracies and fraud. Accountants and auditors also evaluate an organization's financial operations to recommend changes. Within the field, professionals may specialize in areas like public accounting, management accounting, internal auditing, or forensic accounting.
Some accountants and auditors need a master's degree. For example, certified public accountants typically need master's degrees. Accountants and auditors also need strong mathematical and analytical skills. They may also pursue professional certification to specialize their credentials.
Math Education Professional Organizations
Professional organizations help math graduate students prepare for the workforce. Many of these organizations offer professional development and career resources, including job boards, mentorship opportunities, and networking opportunities. Early career professionals also benefit from continuing education resources, news and research in the field, and information about teaching strategies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, many universities offer master's programs in mathematics. During a graduate program, degree-seekers study advanced mathematics, including differential equations, optimization, and mathematical theory. Graduates find work as mathematicians, statisticians, and math educators.
A master's degree in math prepares graduates for careers as mathematicians, statisticians, math instructors, or economists. Completing a master's degree can help mathematicians advance their careers.
Some of the best careers for math majors include mathematician, statistician, actuary, economist, and financial analyst. In these roles, professionals rely on their math skills to analyze data.
A master's in education can help educators advance into administrative positions, increase their salary rates, and move into leadership roles like head teacher.
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