Specialize Your Educational Career With a Master's in Middle School Math
Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education is more important than ever before, and WGU is proud to support the growth and purpose of STEM by helping over 8,700 students graduate with specialized teaching degrees. If you're passionate about STEM education as well, a master's degree in math education can prepare you to change your course and help students find a love of numbers. This online master's degree prepares you to teach middle school math as a credentialed expert. But you'll get more than a credential—you'll be prepared to help diverse learners find success in the classroom with unique teaching strategies and techniques.
If you are a licensed teacher with a bachelor's degree and are ready to change up your academic emphasis, this math degree program can prepare you to teach middle school math and play an important role in American education. WGU's middle-grades* math curriculum is designed to focus on preparing you to help students expand their understanding of basic math, including geometry and algebra, that will provide a solid foundation for the rigors of high school and beyond.
* The specific grade levels you will be eligible to teach depend on your state’s licenses and endorsements.
Eligibility note: The M.A. Mathematics Education (Middle Grades) program is for certified teachers who already hold a bachelor's degree and wish to add middle-grades math to their existing licenses. This program is not intended for aspiring teachers seeking licensure or certification. If you are seeking your teaching certificate, please view our programs leading to teacher licensure.
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COURSES & COMPETENCIES
Middle Grades Math Education Courses
An advanced curriculum program to become a highly qualified middle school math teacher.
WGU's M.A. in Mathematics Education is an affordable, online program that prepares you to teach math in the middle grades. (The specific grade levels you will be eligible to teach depend on your state’s licenses and endorsements.) Our curriculum focuses on effective strategies for teaching middle school math, connecting with diverse learners, and preparing students for more complex coursework they'll face in high school and college.
WGU is the nation’s largest provider of math and science teaching degrees. Our M.A. for middle school math teachers was designed (and is regularly updated) with input from experts on our Education Program Council., who know what it takes to successfully teach mathematics in grades five through nine. This curriculum is nationally recognized by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).
If you're an already-practicing teacher with a bachelor's degree, and you take the courses necessary to become a highly qualified math teacher, you will be well positioned for a prosperous career almost anywhere in the United States.
This program is made up of the following courses. You will complete them one at a time as you make your way through your program, working with your Program Mentor each term to build your personalized Degree Plan. You’ll work through each course as quickly as you can study and learn the material. As soon as you’re ready, you’ll pass the assessment, complete the course, and move on. This means that you can finish as many courses as you're able in a term at no additional cost.
The M.A. Mathematics Education (Middle Grades) program is a mostly online program that you will complete by studying and working independently with instruction and support from WGU faculty. You will be expected to complete at least 8 competency units each 6-month term. (One course is typically 3 or 4 units.)
Finite Mathematics covers the knowledge and skills necessary to apply discrete mathematics and properties of number systems to model and solve real-life problems. Topics include sets and operations; prime and composite numbers; GCD and LCM; order of operations; ordering numbers; mathematical systems including modular arithmetic, arithmetic and geometric sequences, ratio and proportion, subsets of real numbers, logic and truth tables, graphs, and trees and networks. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Trigonometry and Precalculus covers the knowledge and skills necessary to apply trigonometry, complex numbers, systems of equations, vectors and matrices, and sequences and series, and to use appropriate technology to model and solve real-life problems. Topics include degrees; radians and arcs; reference angles and right triangle trigonometry; applying, graphing and transforming trigonometric functions and their inverses; solving trigonometric equations; using and proving trigonometric identities; geometric, rectangular, and polar approaches to complex numbers; DeMoivre's Theorem; systems of linear equations and matrix-vector equations; systems of nonlinear equations; systems of inequalities; and arithmetic and geometric sequences and series. College Algebra is a prerequisite for this course.
Probability and Statistics I covers the knowledge and skills necessary to apply basic probability, descriptive statistics, and statistical reasoning and to use appropriate technology to model and solve real-life problems. It provides an introduction to the science of collecting, processing, analyzing, and interpreting data, including representations, constructions, and interpretation of graphical displays (e.g., box plots, histograms, cumulative frequency plots, scatter plots). Topics include creating and interpreting numerical summaries and visual displays of data; regression lines and correlation; evaluating sampling methods and their effect on possible conclusions; designing observational studies, controlled experiments, and surveys; and determining probabilities using simulations, diagrams, and probability rules. College Algebra is a prerequisite to this course.
Calculus I is the study of rates of change in relation to the slope of a curve and covers the knowledge and skills necessary to use differential calculus of one variable and appropriate technology to solve basic problems. Topics include graphing functions and finding their domains and ranges; limits, continuity, differentiability, visual, analytical, and conceptual approaches to the definition of the derivative; the power, chain, and sum rules applied to polynomial and exponential functions, position and velocity; and L'Hopital's Rule. Candidates should have completed a course in Pre-Calculus before engaging in this course.
College Geometry covers the knowledge and skills necessary to use dynamic technology to explore geometry, to use axiomatic reasoning to prove statements about geometry, and to apply geometric models to solve real-life problems. Topics include axiomatic systems, analytic proofs, coordinate geometry, plane and solid Euclidean geometry, non-Euclidean geometries, constructions, transformations, deductive reasoning, and dynamic technology. College Algebra as well as Trigonometry and Precalculus are prerequisites.
Mathematics: Middle School Content Knowledge is designed to help candidates refine and integrate the mathematics content knowledge and skills necessary to become successful middle school mathematics teachers. A high level of mathematical reasoning skills and the ability to solve problems are necessary to complete this course. Prerequisites for this course are College Geometry, Probability and Statistics I, and Pre-Calculus.
Mathematics Learning and Teaching will help students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to become a prospective and practicing educator. This course will help students use a variety of instructional strategies to effectively facilitate the learning of mathematics. It focuses on selecting appropriate resources, using multiple strategies, and instructional planning, with methods based on research and problem solving. A deep understanding of the knowledge, skills, and disposition of mathematics pedagogy is necessary to become an effective secondary mathematics educator. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Algebra for Secondary Mathematics Teaching explores important conceptual underpinnings, common misconceptions and students’ ways of thinking, appropriate use of technology, and instructional practices to support and assess the learning of algebra. Secondary teachers should have an understanding of the following: algebra as an extension of number, operation, and quantity; various ideas of equivalence as it pertains to algebraic structures; patterns of change as covariation between quantities; connections between representations (tables, graphs, equations, geometric models, context); and the historical development of content and perspectives from diverse cultures. In particular, the course focuses on deeper understanding of rational numbers, ratios and proportions, meaning and use of variables, functions (e.g., exponential, logarithmic, polynomials, rational, quadratic), and inverses. Calculus I is a prerequisite for this course.
In Math History and Teaching, students will learn about a variety of technological tools for doing mathematics and develop a broad understanding of the historical development of mathematics. Mathematics is a very human subject that comes from the macro-level sweep of cultural and societal change as well as the micro-level actions of individuals with personal, professional, and philosophical motivations. This course will focus on the historical development of mathematics, including contributions of significant figures and diverse cultures. Students will learn to evaluate and apply technological tools and historical information to create an enriching student-centered mathematical learning environment.
This course provides further application and analysis of algebraic concepts and functions through mathematical modeling of real-world situations. Topics include real numbers, algebraic expressions, equations and inequalities, graphs and functions, polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and systems of linear equations.
Teaching in Middle School examines the guiding principles and best teaching practices for educating middle school students. The course explores the history of middle school; the philosophy, theory, and rationale behind middle school organization; and the differences between elementary, middle, and secondary schools. The course also examines the unique needs of middle school students and teaching methods used to meet the needs of these learners. This course has no prerequisites.
The Research Foundations course focuses on the essential concepts in educational research, including quantitative, qualitative, mixed, and action research. This course also teaches students concepts about measurement and assessment, as well as strategies for obtaining warranted research results.
The Research Questions and Literature Reviews course focuses on how to conduct a thorough literature review that addresses and identifies important educational research topics, problems, and questions, and helps determine the appropriate kind of research and data needed to answer one's research questions and hypotheses. Research Foundations is a prerequisite for this course.
MA, Mathematics Education (5-9) Teacher Performance Assessment contains a comprehensive, original, research based curriculum unit designed to meet an identified educational need. It provides direct evidence of the candidate’s ability to design and implement a multi-week, standards-based unit of instruction, assess student learning, and then reflect on the learning process. The WGU Teacher Performance Assessment requires students to plan and teach a multi-week standards-based instructional unit consisting of seven components: 1) contextual factors, 2) learning goals, 3) assessment, 4) design for instruction, 5) instructional decision making, 6) analysis of student learning, and 7) self-evaluation and reflection.
Program consists of 14 courses
At WGU, we design our curriculum to be timely, relevant, and practical—all to help you show that you know your stuff.
Special requirements for this program
The M.A. Mathematics Education program requires the successful completion of a capstone project. This written project will take you through the steps of planning and conducting research on a topic or issue related to your practice setting. The result is expected to be a significant piece of research, culminating in a written research report, including sections describing a literature review, methodology, and detailed analysis and reporting of results.
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Students choose WGU for their online degree program because of its flexibility. Whether you already have a full-time job, have responsibilities as a parent, or just have a busy schedule, WGU can work for you.
Strong Alumni Network
When you enroll in an online master's degree program at WGU, you join an impressive network of teachers. Over 13,000 students graduated from the Teachers College in 2021 alone, taking their skills and impacting the educational system all around the United States.
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A Different Way to Learn: Education Degree Programs Designed to Fit Your Life—and All the Demands on Your Time
Professional responsibilities. Family obligations. Personal commitments. At WGU, we understand schedules are tight and often unpredictable for adult students. That’s why we offer a flexible, personalized approach to how education should be. No rigid class schedules. Just a solid, career-focused math teaching program that meshes with your current lifestyle. You'll be challenged. You'll work hard. But if you commit yourself and put in the hours needed, WGU makes it possible for you to earn a highly respected degree as a busy working adult.
Build the Future of Your Career on a Strong Foundation: Middle School Math Teachers Are in High Demand
A nationwide shortage of math teachers has created a high demand for educators with the knowledge and training to help tweens and teens build solid math skills in the middle grades. WGU's M.A. in Mathematics Education is specifically designed to prepare you to teach middle school math.
The U.S. Department of Education, in Foundations for Success: The Final Report for National Mathematics Advisory Panel, advises an increase in math curriculum for middle school-age kids. The report notes that improving K–12 mathematics education is a national interest and recommends adding "math specialist teachers" to primary schools. Teachers in this specialist role would serve as full-time educators in the classroom, or as math coaches for K–12 teachers. This unique position will require specialized knowledge, and a master’s degree in mathematics education can help you prepare for that type of leadership role.
WGU Has Alumni Teaching Across the Country
Graduates of WGU’s Teachers College have found meaningful, rewarding careers in classrooms at:
- Inclusionary K–12 classrooms
- Middle/junior high schools
- High schools
- Private and charter schools
Impressive Class of Graduates
Graduates of the WGU Teachers College include recipients of many professional honors, including:
- Gates Millennium Scholars
- Intel Grant for Mathematics and Technology
- Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction Award
- Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award
- Association of Public Charter Schools Educator of the Year Award
Focused on Equity and Accessibility
The WGU Teachers College is in the top 1% for granting degrees for Black and Hispanic/Latinx educators at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. It is second in the nation for combined graduate and undergraduate degrees and credentials for students of color, according to the federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
Master's in Middle School Math Education Admission Requirements
If you enroll in a program that also includes a special endorsement, and you plan to eventually apply for the endorsement, the following is required of you:
- A copy of a valid teaching license.
- Official transcripts that demonstrate you have earned a bachelor’s degree from a recognized accredited university.
An Enrollment Counselor will instruct you as to when and how to submit your teaching license prior to or during your program.
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More About the M.A. in Math Education (Middle Grades)
- More About This Degree
- Financial Aid
Our M.A. Math Education program is designed for licensed teachers who want to expand their abilities by adding a math endorsement.
There will be a small practicum in the capstone for the degree. You will be teaching a multi-week lesson plan to a body of at least 10 students. This lesson plan usually consists of about 10 hours of in-class time.
Scholarships are available for new WGU students and returning graduates. This video shows more about scholarship opportunities and how they can help you pay for school. Get information on:
- How to apply
- Eligibility requirements
- Examples of scholarships
- What happens after you apply
- Other financial aid options
WGU's tuition is a flat rate that is charged every six months. You can take as many courses as you are able in that six-month term—with no extra cost. You simply pay for the term and do as much work as you can or want to during that time. This means that finishing faster helps you save money—a major benefit you won't find at most other schools.
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