Mathematics Education, Master of Science

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences

The Master of Science in Mathematics Education plan is specifically designed for continuing teachers and emphasizes the connections between secondary mathematics content, effective pedagogy, and reflective practice. Completion of this plan will not result in teacher certification.  All courses in the program are offered online (though one course has a collaborative component).  While certain aspects of this program would be beneficial to those interested in community college teaching, the program itself is not specifically designed to prepare one for a community college career. This program is available only as an extended course work plan.


  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master's degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.

    Read the full policy here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 37
Additional Admission Requirements

Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

Comprehensive Exam Comprehensive Exam is required.
Some online/blended coursework Required
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

Purpose Statement

The purpose of the NAU M.S. Mathematics Education program is to advance the understandings and methods of practicing secondary mathematics teachers.  M.S. Mathematics Education program courses are offered via Distance Learning to accommodate the busy schedule of working professionals.  The program emphasizes rigorous understanding and connections between university and secondary mathematics content in grades 8 - 14 so that mathematics teachers understand the development of, relationship between, and application of mathematical concepts within and beyond the field of mathematics and the real world.  The M.S. Mathematics Education program also connects theory and research to instructional practice in the areas of curriculum, assessment, technology, equity, and problem solving. Throughout the program, and as a capstone project, candidates are expected to plan, apply, and reflect on the implementation of program ideas to existing practice. Graduates from this program are well prepared to be mathematics educators and teacher leaders. 

Student Learning Outcomes

Commitment to Mathematics Learning of All Students
Accomplished mathematics teachers acknowledge and value individuality and worth of each student, believe that every student can learn and use mathematics, and use their knowledge of human development and individual students to guide their planning and instructional decisions.  Accomplished mathematics teachers are committed to the fair and equitable treatment of all students - especially in their learning of mathematics and understand the impact or prior mathematical knowledge, home life, cultural background, individual learning differences, and student attitudes have on students and their mathematics learning.  
Knowledge of Mathematics
Accomplished mathematics teachers have a deep and broad knowledge of the concepts, principles, techniques, and reasoning methods of mathematics, and they use this knowledge to inform curricular goals and shape their instruction and assessment.  They understand significant connections among mathematical ideas and the applications of these ideas to problem solving in mathematics, in other disciplines, and in the world outside of school.  
Knowledge of the Practice of Teaching
Accomplished mathematics teachers use their knowledge of pedagogy along with their knowledge of mathematics and student learning to inform curricular decisions; select, design, and develop instructional strategies and assessment plans; and choose materials and resources for mathematics instruction.  Accomplished mathematics teachers stimulate and facilitate student learning by using a wide range of practices. 
Learning Environment
Accomplished mathematics teachers create environments in which students are active learners, show willingness to take intellectual risks, develop self-confidence, and value mathematics.  This environment fosters student learning of mathematics.  
Ways of Thinking Mathematically
Accomplished mathematics teachers develop their own and their students' abilities to reason and think mathematically-to investigate and explore patterns, to discover structures and establish mathematical relationships, to formulate and solve problems, to justify and communicate conclusions, and to question and extend those conclusions. 

Accomplished mathematics teachers integrate a range of assessment methods into their instruction to promote the learning of all students by designing, selecting, and ethically employing assessments that align with educational goals.  They provide opportunities for students to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses in order to revise, support, and extend their individual performance. 
Reflection and Growth
To improve practice, accomplished mathematics teachers regularly reflect on what they teach, how they teach, and how their teaching impacts student learning.  They keep abreast of changes and learn new mathematics and mathematical pedagogy, continually improving their knowledge and practice. 

Detailed Student Learning Outcomes

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

  • The NAU graduate online application is required for all programs. Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.

    Admission requirements include the following:

    • Transcripts.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale ("A" = 4.0), or the equivalent.

    Visit the NAU Graduate Admissions website for additional information about graduate school application deadlines, eligibility for study, and admissions policies.

    Ready to apply? Begin your application now.

    International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy.

    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Personal statement or essay
    • Prerequisites (completed prior to enrolling in the program)
      • Must have at least 2 years of mathematics teaching experience or have successfully completed 6 credit hours of undergraduate mathematics teaching methods coursework (such as MAT 401, MAT 402).
      • Must have completed at least 23 hours of undergraduate mathematics and statistics coursework at the level of calculus and above with a grade of C or better, and have at least a 3.0 grade point average in these courses.
      • These 23 credit hours cannot include the teaching methods courses and must include:
        • Calculus II 
        • Applied Statistics 
        • Foundations of Mathematics 
        • at least 9 hours of upper division proof-based coursework (including Foundations of Mathematics)
      • It is highly recommended that the 23 credit hours include Modern Geometry, Abstract Algebra and Introduction to Analysis, since these topics will be expanded upon in MAT 505, MAT 504, and MAT 506, respectively.
      • Although the majority of courses in this program are delivered online, there are essential face-to-face components embedded in the curriculum. Since certain courses in the program require candidates to implement and reflect on standards-based instructional practices, applicants to the program must be teaching mathematics in the classroom at the time they take these courses.
    • List of courses taken in the field with titles/authors of textbooks used
Master's Requirements
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.