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Frequently Asked Questions

Master of Arts in Teaching with a Concentration in Mathematics Education 
Who should apply for this program?

We seek elementary and middle school teachers of mathematics who are interested in exploring how to teach and learn mathematics more effectively. One does not need to be a math whiz to join the program. One does, however, need to have an interest in furthering one’s knowledge of the mathematical ideas in the curriculum, how children think about mathematics, how math instruction can empower all children, and how research can improve instruction. The program consists of 30 units of coursework, although one may apply 6 units of graduate coursework (including graduate credential coursework) completed within the past five years.


What are the program goals?

By the end of the program, faculty expect that students have

  • enhanced their practices related to mathematics learning, teaching, 
and assessment to support their students’ learning of the Common Core State Standards of Mathematics. In particular, instruction begins with eliciting students’ mathematical ideas to inform their planning;

  • developed skills to help other teachers learn about mathematics teaching, learning, and assessment;

  • examined and/or changed their beliefs and knowledge about mathematics, who can do mathematics, and how to teach mathematics;

  • learned to conduct and read about research in service of enhancing their teaching practice; and

  • identified ways to continue learning after the program has ended by reading research, participating in local and/or national professional communities, and listening to and learning from their students.

Who are the program faculty?

SDSU’s School of Teacher Education has a diverse mathematics and science education faculty, including Dr. Nadine Bezuk, Dr. Lisa Lamb, Dr. Randy Philipp, Dr. Donna Ross, Dr. Rafaela Santa Cruz, Dr. Melissa Soto, and Dr. Meredith Vaughn.

What are the program courses and when will I take these courses?

The entire program spans two years and requires a total of 30 units, although one may apply up to 6 units from credential or other graduate work completed within the last 5 years.  We begin a new cohort every two years in the fall of even-numbered years. Teachers will take two courses each fall and spring semester. Each course is three units and requires three hours of class time per week. Fall and Spring courses will be offered from 4:20 - 7 PM on Mondays and Thursdays.  Four of the classes will be mathematics specific and the other four will address issues in mathematics and science.



Fall 2016


Teaching and Learning

at Grades K-4

Mathematics and Science

Issues in Curricular Development


Spring 2017


Teaching and learning at Grades 5-8

Mathematics and Science

Pedagogies for Diverse Learners


Fall 2017


Seminar in Learning Theories

Mathematics and Science

Measuring and Assessing Student Achievement


Spring 2018


Action Research

Mathematics and Science

Seminar in Teacher Leadership

I am a full-time teacher.  Will I be able to complete this program?

We have structured the program to accommodate the schedules of full-time teachers. All classes are scheduled to begin after 4:00 PM. In addition, studnets will be able to integrate much of the coursework into their own classroom instruction.

Are there easier or faster ways to complete my Master of Arts degree in Education?

There are faster ways (most of which cost more money), but our program is designed to help students deeply explore the teaching and learning of mathematics so that you can make sound changes in their teaching. We are excited about the program we have put together and look forward to interacting with a cohort of thoughtful teachers.

I am also considering pursuing a Master of Arts degree from the Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences at San Diego State University.  What is the difference between these two programs?

Our Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program, offered through the School of Teacher Education, focuses on teaching mathematics in grades K-8.  While there will be mathematics incorporated into our MAT program, the primary emphasis will be on how to teach and learn mathematics.  Our program also utilizes a cohort model so that students will work with the same group throughout the program.  Students’ common experiences will provide them with multiple opportunities to build relationships and share expertise. 

The Master of Arts program offered through the Department of Mathematics and Statistics focuses on secondary and community college levels.  More information about the mathematics department’s program can be obtained by contacting Dr. Susan Nickerson at


What are tuition costs?

For information about tuition, registration and parking fees at San Diego State University, please check the website at

Am I eligible for financial aid or scholarships?

The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office encourages students to apply.  For more information, contact SDSU’s Financial Aid and Scholarship Office at 619-594-6323 or click on the link below to search for scholarship opportunities. Select Major/Credential of Educational Research, or All Programs.$scholarshipSearch Also, try

What are the major components that are required to complete this program?

Students will thoughtfully complete the appropriate coursework (24 units total for those applying 6 units) and maintain their GPA in those courses to a level acceptable by program directors and university guidelines.  Students take and pass a required Comprehensive Examination. The exam will be taken some time in the last 2 semesters of the program. Project directors will provide students with guidelines regarding the exam and will provide suggestions for studying. Students will also complete a Master of Arts final project. Information about the project expectations will be provided during the program and students will focus on the project in the Action Research course, which is designed to support successful completion of the project.

Do I have to take the GRE?

Yes, GRE scores for the general test are required, and one needs to take the test before being admitted to the university and beginning the program. Scores from previous years are acceptable. One will need to provide a copy of the scores sent by the Educational Testing Service ( or request that they send official GRE scores directly to San Diego State University. The institution number for San Diego State University is 4682. The GRE is now offered on the computer, and there are test administrations regularly. One can take the exam on campus (619-594-0968) or at the Prometric Test Center at 5075 Shoreham Place, Suite 180, San Diego, CA 92122 (858-866-2120). Applicants who took the exam in past years may also mail a copy of the scores to the Graduate Admissions Office. For additional information, call 1-800-GRE-CALL or go to their web site at