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PhD in Mathematics Education

The Ph.D. degree with specialization in mathematics education is designed to prepare a student for a career where instruction in mathematics and research in mathematics education are of primary importance. It is especially intended for students with an interest in college teaching of mathematics.

Departmental Requirements for Ph.D. in Mathematics Education

Credit Requirements

A total of 90 hours above the B.S. degree or 60 hours above the M.S. is required, including 15-24 credit hours for the Ph.D. dissertation.


Core Requirements

All candidates for the Ph.D. with specialization in mathematics education are required to take five, three-credit hour core courses; and to complete each of these core courses with a final grade of B or better. One of these core courses must be Advanced Linear Algebra (MATH 5023), three of these core courses must be chosen from the following list of three credit hour graduate courses:


1. Real Analysis I (MATH 5143)

2. Complex Analysis I (MATH 5283)

3. Algebra I (MATH 5613)

4. Topology I (MATH 5313)

5. Numerical Analysis for Differential Equations (MATH 5543)

6. Partial Differential Equations (MATH 5233)

The fifth core course must be either one of the preceding six courses, or Statistics for Experimenters II (STAT 5023) or Multivariate Methods (STAT 5063).


Additional Courses

All candidates are required to complete an additional 12 hours, namely, Introduction to Research in Mathematics Education (MATH 5913), Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education (MATH 6923), and six hours from the following list: Theoretical Foundations of Inquiry (SCFD 6113), Qualitative Research I (SCFD 6123), Psychology of Learning (EPSY 5463), Statistical Methods in Education (REMS 5953).


For guidance about selecting further courses on research in education, see Preparation for Research in Mathematics Education.


Preliminary Research Project

Once the student has chosen his/her doctoral advisor, he/she should commence work on his/her preliminary research project proposed by the advisor. The student begins the project by taking a reading course (MATH 6010) under the direction of his/her advisor in order. Once sufficient background knowledge has been attained and actual research has begun, the student enrolls in Doctoral Research Project (MATH 6090) until the completion of the project. The preliminary research project concludes with a written document (in the style of an academic journal article) and an oral presentation.


Qualifying Exam

The student must pass an oral qualifying exam over the area of specialization for the Ph.D. dissertation. This exam covers material on a reading list presented to the student by the advisory committee. Its purpose is to test the student's readiness to begin dissertation work.


Dissertation Proposal

An outline of the proposed dissertation research must be presented to the student's advisory committee for approval.



A dissertation must be written according to Graduate College guidelines. The dissertation consists of an original research contribution in mathematics education. It must be prepared according to the style required of doctoral dissertations and defended.


Graduate College Requirements

All requirements listed in the university catalog must be satisfied.

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