Earn Your Master's in Mathematics Education and Make a Difference for Students
With America's schools increasingly focused on STEM, the demand for qualified math teachers has never been greater. Today's middle school and high school math teachers need to have the advanced knowledge and training to help students prepare for the challenges of college and beyond.
If you are a licensed teacher with a bachelor's degree, this WGU master's program can prepare you to teach middle school or high school math and play an important role in American education. Our secondary-grades* math curriculum is designed to focus on learning how to help students expand their understanding of advanced mathematics, including algebra, geometry, calculus and trigonometry.
* The specific grade levels you will be eligible to teach depend on your state’s licenses and endorsements.
Interested in teaching other grade levels? Check out the following WGU degree programs for already-licensed teachers:
Eligibility note: The M.A. Mathematics Education (Secondary) program is for certified teachers who already hold a bachelor's degree and wish to add secondary 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
Secondary Math Education Courses
An advanced curriculum for distinguished middle school or high school math teachers.
WGU's M.A. in Mathematics Education is an affordable, online program that prepares you to teach math in high school. (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 secondary math and preparing students with the knowledge they'll need in college and in STEM careers.
WGU is the nation’s largest provider of math and science teaching degrees. Our M.A. for middle school and high 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 5 through 12. This curriculum is nationally recognized by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).
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.
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.
Calculus I is the study of rates of change in the slope of a curve and covers the knowledge and skills necessary to apply differential calculus of one variable and to use appropriate technology to model and solve real-life problems. Topics include functions, limits, continuity, differentiability, visual, analytical, and conceptual approaches to the definition of the derivative; the power, chain, sum, product, and quotient rules applied to polynomial, trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions; implicit differentiation, position, velocity, and acceleration; optimization, related rates, curve sketching, and L'Hopital's rule. Precalculus is a prerequisite for this course.
Calculus II is the study of the accumulation of change in relation to the area under a curve. It covers the knowledge and skills necessary to apply integral calculus of one variable and to use appropriate technology to model and solve real-life problems. Topics include antiderivatives; indefinite integrals; the substitution rule; Riemann sums; the fundamental theorem of calculus; definite integrals; acceleration, velocity, position, and initial values; integration by parts; integration by trigonometric substitution; integration by partial fractions; numerical integration; improper integration; area between curves; volumes and surface areas of revolution; arc length; work; center of mass; separable differential equations; direction fields; growth and decay problems; and sequences. Calculus I 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.
Probability and Statistics II covers the knowledge and skills necessary to apply random variables, sampling distributions, estimation, and hypothesis testing and to use appropriate technology to model and solve real-life problems. It provides tools for the science of analyzing and interpreting data and includes statistical variability and its sources and the role of randomness in statistical inference. Topics include discrete and continuous random variables, expected values, the central limit theorem, the identification of unusual samples, population parameters, point estimates, confidence intervals, influences on accuracy and precision, hypothesis testing and statistical tests (z mean, z proportion, one sample t, paired t, independent t, ANOVA, chi-squared, and significance of correlation). Calculus II and Probability and Stats I are prerequisites to this course.
Mathematics: Content Knowledge is designed to help candidates refine and integrate the mathematics content knowledge and skills necessary to become successful secondary 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, Pre-Calculus, Calculus I, and Calculus II. Linear Algebra, and Calculus III are recommended.
Mathematical Modeling and Applications applies mathematics, such as differential equations, discrete structures, and statistics to formulate models and solve real-world problems. This course emphasizes improving students’ critical thinking to help them understand the process and application of mathematical modeling. Probability and Statistics II and Calculus II are prerequisites.
Calculus III is the study of calculus conducted in three-or-higher-dimensional space. It covers the knowledge and skills necessary to apply calculus of multiple variables while using the appropriate technology to model and solve real-life problems. Topics include: infinite series and convergence tests (integral, comparison, ratio, root, and alternating), power series,taylor polynomials, vectors, lines and planes in three dimensions, dot and cross products, multivariable functions, limits, and continuity, partial derivatives, directional derivatives, gradients, tangent planes, normal lines, and extreme values. Calculus II is a prerequisite for this course.
Linear Algebra is the study of the algebra of curve-free functions extended into three-or-higher-dimensional space. It covers the knowledge and skills necessary to apply vectors, matrices, matrix theorems, and linear transformations and to use appropriate technology to model and solve real-life problems. It also covers properties of and proofs about vector spaces. Topics include linear equations and their matrix-vector representation Ax=b, row reduction, linear transformations and their matrix representations (shear, dilation, rotation, reflection), matrix operations, matrix inverses and invertible matrix characterizations, computing determinants, relating determinants to area and volume, and axiomatic and intuitive definitions of vector spaces and subspaces and how to prove theorems about them. College Geometry and Calculus II are prerequisites for this course.
Abstract Algebra is the axiomatic and rigorous study of the underlying structure of algebra and arithmetic. It covers the knowledge and skills necessary to understand, apply, and prove theorems about numbers, groups, rings, and fields. Topics include the well-ordering principle, equivalence classes, the division algorithm, Euclid's algorithm, prime factorization, greatest common divisor, least common multiple, congruence, the Chinese remainder theorem, modular arithmetic, rings, integral domains, fields, groups, roots of unity, and homomorphisms. Linear Algebra is a prerequisite for this course.
Advanced Calculus examines rigorous reconsideration and proofs involving calculus. Topics include real-number systems, sequences, limits, continuity, differentiation, and integration. This course emphasizes students’ ability to apply critical thinking to concepts to analyze the connections between definitions and properties. Calculus III and Linear Algebra are prerequisites.
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 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.
Geometry for Secondary Mathematics Teaching explores important conceptual underpinnings, common student misconceptions and ways of thinking, appropriate use of technology, and instructional practices to support and assess the learning of geometry. Students in this course will develop a deep understanding of constructions and transformations, congruence and similarity, analytic geometry, solid geometry, conics, trigonometry, and the historical development of content. Calculus I is a prerequisite for this course.
Statistics and Probability 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 statistics and probability. Secondary teachers should have a deep understanding of summarizing and representing data, study design and sampling, probability, testing claims and drawing conclusions, and the historical development of content and perspectives from diverse cultures. 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.
MA, Mathematics Education (5-12) 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 18 courses
At WGU, we design our curriculum to be timely, relevant, and practical—all to help you show that you know your stuff.
Teacher Work Sample
Special requirements for this program
The M.A. Mathematics Education (Secondary) program requires the successful completion of a teacher work sample. This comprehensive, original, research-based project will focus on meeting an identified educational need. You will 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.
You Aren't On Your Own
WGU has Program Mentors who work with you from the day you start, all the way through graduation. They help you chart your courses, answer your questions, and ensure you can go through your program. You're not alone when you choose an online degree at WGU.
Flexibility You Need
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.
One important measure of a degree’s value is the reputation of the university where it was earned. When employers, industry leaders, and academic experts hold your alma mater in high esteem, you reap the benefits of that respect. WGU is a pioneer in reinventing higher education for the 21st century, and our quality has been recognized.
A Master's Degree Is Within Reach
There is help available to make paying for school possible for you:
A Different Way to Learn: 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.
Fill a Crucial Gap in Education While Building a Fulfilling Career for Yourself: Teach Math.
A nationwide shortage of math teachers has created a demand for educators with the knowledge and training to help students build solid math skills in the secondary grades. WGU's M.A. in Mathematics Education is specifically designed to prepare you to teach middle school or high school math. (The specific grade levels you will be eligible to teach depend on your state’s licenses and endorsements.) 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.
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 Alumni Teach in Schools Across the Country
Graduates of WGU's online 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 Secondary 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 secondary 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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Get Your Questions Answered
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More About the M.A. in Math Education (Secondary)
- 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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