Mathematics Education

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Mathematics Education is designed for students who wish to pursue graduate studies in mathematics and at the same time secure initial teacher licensure. The MAT program is designed for liberal arts graduates who may just be out of college or are perhaps making a career change. This program does not presume you have completed coursework in education but it does require that you have completed at least seven mathematics courses starting with Calculus I.

As a student focusing on mathematics education, you will develop expertise in fundamental mathematical concepts and processes and teaching methods applicable to a variety of age levels, interests and aptitudes. You also gain an understanding of the complexities when teaching and learning for understanding.

This joint degree program between the School of Education and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GRS) will prepare you to become a professional educator by developing competency in three types of courses:

(1) Mathematics courses at GRS: You will select graduate level Mathematics courses at GRS in consultation with your academic advisor and based on your previous coursework and personal interests.  Popular elective courses include Chaotic Dynamical Systems, History of Mathematics, and Statistical Methods II.  During the summer term, one option is to engage in an intensive six-week experience of exploring mathematical ideas through PROMYS for Teachers. Students complete Topics in Number Theory and Problem Solving in Number Theory as part of the PROMYS program.

(2) Education courses in instructional design, human development, communications, classroom methods and evaluation: Your education courses will draw upon research and scholarship that seek to improve instructional methodology, materials and curriculum.  For example in Algebra for Teachers you will study the key ideas of algebra, methods of thinking algebraically and instructional strategies and assessment techniques for teaching algebra to middle school and high school students.  Noyce scholars will take an additional two credit course, Teaching Math in Urban Schools, to prepare to teach mathematics in a high-needs setting.

(3) Practical skills acquired through a pre-practicum and student teaching experience: You will participate in a three-month student teaching experience supervised by a veteran classroom teacher and Boston University faculty. Boston University enjoys long-standing relationships with many urban and suburban school systems in Boston and the Greater Boston area.  Past locations for pre-practicum and practicum experiences have included public schools in Framingham, Cambridge, Somerville, Revere, Quincy, Waltham and Watertown.  In addition to student teaching, during the fall semester, Mathematics Education students tutor public high school students through a program called Upward Bound.  Many students enjoy this experience so much that they continue to tutor during the spring semester.

Special scholarship opportunities are available to students in the Mathematics Education program.  Boston University in collaboration with the National Science Foundation and Math for America offers two scholarship opportunities to Mathematics Education students, Boston University’s Noyce Scholarship in Mathematics and Math for America Boston: Noyce Teaching Fellows Scholarship.  In addition to financial support, scholars receive specialized mentoring programs, funding to join professional organizations, supplies for their classrooms and become members of a vibrant ongoing mathematical community. All Noyce scholars commit to teaching for at least two years in a high need district.  For more information about these scholarship opportunities including how to apply, visit www.bu.edu/education/noyce.

Program Fast Facts

  • Program Requirements: To view a listing of program requirements and coursework information, please visit the Boston University Bulletin for the MAT in Mathematics Education.
  • Program Duration: 12 months. Duration for part-time study varies.
  • Start Term: Full-time students begin the program during the summer or fall semester only.  You are encouraged to begin the program during the summer semester for the most favorable course selection opportunities.  Part-time students may begin during the summer, fall or spring semester.
  • Licensure: Upon completion of the program and Massachusetts testing requirements, you may be licensed at the initial level to teach Mathematics to students in grades 5–8 or 8–12.
  • Prerequisites:  To be eligible for admission, students should have an undergraduate major in Mathematics or have completed an equivalent amount of coursework in this area.  Students who majored in Mathematics automatically meet prerequisite requirements.  Students with undergraduate majors in other areas including Engineering should request a transcript review to see if their coursework meets prerequisite requirements.  Requests should be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office at sedgrad@bu.edu.
  • Faculty Contact Information: Professor Ziv Feldman, zfeld@bu.edu, 617-353-3289
  • Graduate Admissions Contact Information: sedgrad@bu.edu, 617-353-4237

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students at the School of Education benefit from the community feel of a small school along with the resources of a large university. Our students are in the field in both urban and suburban schools as early as their first year at SED.

Graduate Students

Talented graduate students from around the world prepare to become teachers, counselors, administrators, and more in as little as one year at the School of Education. Our students engage in diverse aspects of education both in the classroom and the field.