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Graduate Studies

By enrolling in the Mathematics Education Ph.D. program at Penn State, you will join a thriving and caring community of faculty and students. Joining this community as a doctoral student can provide you with opportunities to:

  • Study with national and internationally known faculty. Mathematics education faculty members are national and international leaders in mathematics education and engage in a wide variety of practical and scholarly work in mathematics education. Drawing on their experience teaching mathematics in K-12 settings as well as on their knowledge of mathematics and pedagogy, faculty publish their work in research and practitioner journals and books, and they regularly present their work at national and international conferences. Faculty have served in elected positions in national organization such as the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE), the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Special Interest Group (SIG) on mathematics education. They have also edited leading research journals (Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, and Journal of Teacher Education) as well as the NCTM Essential Understanding book series.
  • Be a member of a community of scholars and engage in research studies in a diverse number of areas. Graduate students have opportunities to engage with faculty in research on the teaching and learning of mathematics. Mathematics education faculty have conducted research in a number of areas of mathematics education, including (but not limited to),
    • classroom use of mathematics technology;
    • mathematics curriculum development and implementation;
    • mathematical thinking and reasoning in areas such as algebra, statistics, rational number, and calculus;
    • practices and processes of mathematics classroom instruction;
    • pedagogical and mathematical understanding for teaching;
    • professional preparation and development of mathematics teachers; and
    • teacher leadership in mathematics education.
  • Enhance your mathematical knowledge and understandings. As a graduate student in mathematics education, you will engage in mathematics courses and experiences that deepen your understandings of K-12 and collegiate mathematics. Specific mathematics coursework will build upon your existing mathematics background and reflect your future plans. The opportunity exists for a concurrent M.S. in mathematics or M.A.S. in statistics as a component of your doctoral program.
  • Engage in the study of mathematics teaching and learning. Doctoral students enhance their knowledge of research in mathematics education by participating in a sequence of four foundations courses focused specifically on research in mathematics education: mathematics learning, mathematics teaching, mathematics curriculum, and mathematics teacher development and policy. Through these courses and additional doctoral-level mathematics education coursework and research experiences (e.g., research on technology in the teaching and learning of mathematics, mathematical thinking at the secondary and early college levels), you will be regularly engaged in mathematics education research as well as in examining important and relevant research studies.
  • Design a program of study that includes other content areas. You and your adviser will work together to design your program of study. The College of Education has thriving graduate programs in other areas. Doctoral students may select electives from among such areas as curriculum and supervision, educational policy, educational psychology, educational technology, international comparative education, science education, and special education.
  • Join a thriving group of alumni. Graduates of our doctoral program have contributed to the field of mathematics education in exciting and innovative ways through leadership positions in school-level institutions and government organizations, as well as through faculty positions in mathematics departments or colleges/schools of education at U. S. and international institutes of higher education.