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About the Doctoral Program

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This program is designed for those who show promise of becoming leaders in local, state, national and international mathematics education communities. The program prepares researchers and leaders to address critical issues in mathematics education by developing analytical perspectives for research, engaging in reflective teaching, and deepening mathematical knowledge.

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In addition to required coursework in mathematics, students in this program take courses and gain research experience in mathematics education. During their time at MSU, doctoral students in the Mathematics Education Graduate Program usually teach (undergraduate mathematics and teacher education courses, including mathematics for elementary school teachers) and work on mathematics education research and development projects. For those who intend to seek academic jobs as mathematics educators in collegiate mathematics departments, do research about undergraduate mathematics teaching and learning, and/or teach mathematics content courses to undergraduate students, this Ph.D. program might be the most appropriate placement.

Students who may be Interested in the Program

  • Graduates of undergraduate mathematics or mathematics education programs with interests in research and academic careers;
  • K-12 teachers intending to return to the classroom or to leadership in schools and districts who desire strong, research-oriented knowledge and experience in mathematics education; and
  • Graduates of undergraduate mathematics or mathematics education programs with interests in careers in curriculum development, policy, assessment, etc., not necessarily with a focus on research.

Experience Gained at MSU

PRIME Outstanding Graduate Program Community Award
PRIME received 2019 Graduate School Outstanding Graduate Program Community Award

Students in the Ph.D. program in Mathematics Education will have opportunities to acquire an understanding of and experience in various aspects of the mathematics education field, including:

  • investigation of mathematical learning and teaching;
  • the development of instructional materials;
  • participation in policy formation;
  • development and use of assessment; and
  • the integration of technology into mathematics learning and teaching.

Students will address issues of research ethics in the Mathematics Education Proseminar courses, MTHE 926 and 927.

Mathematics Focus

A career at any level in mathematics education requires substantive knowledge of the core discipline of mathematics.  Therefore, the degree is designed so that a student can pursue the equivalent of a master’s degree or more in mathematics suitable to his or her area of focus.  With his or her guidance committee, each student will plan a set of courses in mathematics that, together with the student’s prior coursework and teaching experiences, is appropriate for the student’s career plans.

Jointly Administered

The Mathematics Education Doctoral Program is administered jointly by the College of Natural Science and the College of Education, with the College of Natural Science as the lead college. Graduate students are awarded many opportunities and fellowships through both colleges.

Please contact Lisa Keller, Mathematics Education Graduate Program Coordinator, with any questions regarding the Mathematics Education Doctoral Program.

Mathematics Education Graduate Program

We are continuing to work remotely for the Fall 2020 semester. Please contact us via email rather than stopping by our office if you have questions.

Ralph Putnam, Director of PRIME and Math Ed Doctoral Program

Lisa Keller, Assistant Director of PRIME

Freda Cruél, Graduate Secretary
North Kedzie 
354 Farm Lane, Room 211
Michigan State University 
East Lansing, MI 48824 
(517) 432-1490