Add to Your Teaching License with an Online Elementary Math Degree
Join us in helping students find a passion for math by earning a master's degree in math education and adding to your teaching license. STEM is increasingly important for schools and students, and WGU is proud to support this mission by having more STEM graduates than nearly any other college in the country. As a credentialed elementary school teacher, you see the value in becoming the best teacher possible. This elementary math program will give you the skills you need to become a distinguished educator and positive influence on your students. Add to your teaching license, become a credentialed math expert, and be better equipped to connect with different kinds of learners. As a licensed teacher, this degree program will help you connect with your young students in new ways, improving outcomes and understanding.
Our K–6 math curriculum is specifically designed to focus on the strategies and teaching methods that connect with diverse learners, increase interest in mathematics, and improve student confidence and understanding.
* The specific K-6 grade levels you will be eligible to teach depend on your state’s elementary math licenses and endorsements. Interested in teaching other grade levels? Check out the following WGU degree programs for already-licensed teachers: M.A. Mathematics Education (Secondary) and M.A. Mathematics Education (Middle Grades).
Eligibility note: The M.A. Mathematics Education (K–6) online math program is for already-certified teachers who already hold a bachelor's degree and wish to gain additional elementary math (K-6) content knowledge. This elementary math program is not intended for aspiring teachers seeking licensure or certification. If you are seeking your teaching certificate, please view our online teaching programs leading to teacher licensure.
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COURSES & COMPETENCIES
Elementary Math Education Courses
A nationally recognized curriculum designed to help you upgrade your teaching career with mathematics credentials.
WGU's M.A. in Mathematics Education is an affordable, online math master's program that prepares you to teach math effectively from kindergarten through sixth grade. (The specific grade levels you will be eligible to teach depend on your state’s licenses and endorsements.) Our math master's curriculum focuses on the importance of teaching math to elementary school students and making math relevant and understandable for young minds.
WGU is the nation’s largest provider of math and science teaching degrees. Our graduate degree for elementary 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 K-6 mathematics. This curriculum is nationally recognized by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).
This program is specifically designed for working adult students, so you can honor your current work and family responsibilities while completing your coursework.
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 (K–6) 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.)
Number Sense and Functions is a performance-based assessment that evaluates a student's portfolio of work. This portfolio includes the student's responses to various prompts and an original lesson plan for each of the mathematics modules such as number sense, patterns and functions, integers and order of operations, fractions, decimals, and percentages.
Graphing, Proportional Reasoning and Equations/Inequalities is a performance-based assessment that evaluates a student's portfolio of work. This portfolio includes the student's responses to various prompts and an original lesson plan for each of the mathematics modules such as coordinate pairs and graphing, ratios and proportional reasoning, and equations and inequalities.
Geometry and Statistics is a performance-based assessment that evaluates a student's portfolio of work. This portfolio includes the student's responses to various prompts and an original lesson plan for each of the mathematics modules such as geometry and measurement, statistics and probability.
Mathematics (K-6) Portfolio Oral Defense: Mathematics (K-6) Portfolio Defense focuses on a formal presentation. The student will present an overview of their teacher work sample (TWS) portfolio discussing the challenges they faced and how they determined whether their goals were accomplished. They will explain the process they went through to develop the TWS portfolio and reflect on the methodologies and outcomes of the strategies discussed in the TWS portfolio. Additionally, they will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of those strategies and how they can apply what they learned from the TWS portfolio in their professional work environment.
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.
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.
The Research Design and Analysis course focuses on applying strategies for effective design of empirical research studies. Particular emphasis is placed on selecting or constructing the design that will provide the most valid results, analyzing the kind of data that would be obtained, and making defensible interpretations and drawing appropriate conclusions based on the data. Research Questions and Literature Review is a prerequisite for this course.
Research Proposals focuses on planning and writing a well-organized and complete research proposal. The relationship of the sections in a research proposal to the sections in a research report will be highlighted. Research Design and Analysis is a prerequisite for this course.
MA, Mathematics Education (K-6) Capstone Written Project takes the student through the steps of planning and conducting research on a topic or issue related to the students' 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. Prerequisite Courses: Research Foundations (C224), Research Questions and Literature Review (C225), Research Design and Analysis (C226), and Research Proposals (C227) or permission of a faculty manager. Additionally, students wishing to add the Capstone with fewer than eight weeks remaining in the term must receive permission of the faculty manager.
Program consists of 10 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 (K–6) 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.
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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: Degree Programs Designed to Fit Your Life—and All the Demands on Your Time
At WGU, we understand that you have professional responsibilities, family obligations, and personal commitments. That’s why we offer a personalized, flexible approach to higher education. You'll be challenged, you'll work hard—and you’ll get a solid, career-focused education that fits your life. Complete your coursework online, anytime and anywhere your schedule allows, and move through assignments and assessments at an accelerated pace if you’re able.
WGU's K–6 mathematics education master's degree program is designed for licensed teachers who already have a bachelor's degree and who wish to improve their knowledge and teaching skills to teach mathematics at the elementary school level.
A Fulfilling Career Filling a Crucial Gap in American Elementary Education
A nationwide shortage of math teachers has created a high demand for educators with the knowledge and training to help young learners understand numbers and develop basic problem-solving skills. WGU's M.A. in Mathematics Education is specifically designed to prepare you to teach elementary 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 elementary 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 In Schools Across the Country
Graduates of WGU's online Teachers College have found meaningful, rewarding teaching 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 Primary Grades Mathematics Education Admission Requirements
If you enroll in a program that also includes a special endorsement, (such as the M.A. Mathematics Education, with an endorsement to teach K–6 mathematics) 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 (K–6)
- 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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