Specialization Coordinator: Amanda Jansen

The specialization area of Mathematics Education focuses on critically examining issues of teaching and learning mathematics. A distinctive feature of the specialization area in mathematics education is the integration of teaching and research experiences. Opportunities include teaching sections of mathematics content and methods courses for prospective K-8 teachers, participating in course instructor groups to study and revise components of these courses, and participating in designing and conducting research studies on a variety of issues related to teaching, learning, and teacher education.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the admission requirements of all applicants to Ph.D. programs in the School of Education, applicants to the program in Mathematics Education are expected to hold a B.A. or equivalent in mathematics and a Masters degree in mathematics, mathematics education, or a related field. School teaching experience is preferred. Applicants with special strengths and somewhat different profiles will be considered.

Specialization Courses

In addition to the Doctoral Core Courses, the following specialization courses are required of all Ph.D. students in mathematics education.

  • EDUC 833: Research and Theory of Mathematics Learning
  • EDUC 834: Research and Theory of Mathematics Teaching
  • EDUC 835: Research and Theory of Mathematics Curriculum
  • EDUC 836: Research and Theory of Mathematics Teacher Education and School Improvement

Note: the fourth course fits into the curriculum as a course needed for the specialization (please see the “required coursework” chart on the Required Coursework page).

Additional Specialization Requirements

All Ph.D. students in mathematics education must complete the following additional requirements.

  • Enroll in the seminar course EDUC 838: Research Issues in Mathematics Education (1 credit) in the first 3 semesters for credit and in the remaining semesters as a listener.
  • Complete a Qualifying Study that will be submitted as part of your Qualifying Examination.
  • Pass the Qualifying Examination in mathematics education, taken after completion of the four mathematics education courses (usually taken during the summer of Year Two).
  • Develop a portfolio demonstrating expertise in the common activities of the profession (e.g., presenting a paper at a professional conference).

Alterations in the program require approval of the full faculty in mathematics education.

Sample Course Schedules

Sample Mathematics Education course schedules for students who enter the Ph.D. program in the following semesters are available through the links below.


Upon entering the program, students are assigned an Administrative Advisor. When students have defined a research area of interest, they solicit agreement from a faculty member working in the area to serve as their dissertation advisor. Faculty advisors include Professors Dawn Berk, Jinfa Cai, Michelle Cirillo, Alfinio Flores, James Hiebert, Charles Hohensee, Amanda Jansen, Erica Litke, Anne Morris and Jungeun Park.

Current Students

Visit our PhD directory to read about our current students’ research interests and ongoing projects.

Recent Graduates

Our highly sought after graduates have obtained academic appointments at the following Universities:

National: University of Georgia, University of Iowa, Michigan State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Missouri, Purdue University, Vanderbilt University, Washington State University, Western Michigan University, California State University at San Jose, California State University at Chico.

Regional: Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg, Millersville University, Montclair State University, Rowan University, The College of New Jersey, Towson University, West Chester University.

Recent graduates include:

  • Kristin McKenney – Elementary Math Coach, Tower Hill School
  • Steven Silber – Lecturer, Virginia Tech University
  • Dr. Emily Miller – Assistant Professor, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
  • Dr. Ali Marzocchi – Assistant Professor, California State University in Fullerton
  • Dr. Erin Meikle – Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh
  • Dr. Heather Gallivan – Assistant Professor, University of Northern Iowa
  • Dr. Susana Molitoris-Miller – Assistant Professor, Kennesaw State University
  • Dr. Taffy McAneny – Assistant Professor, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
  • Dr. Jathan Austin – Assistant Professor, Salisbury University
  • Dr. Rob Wieman – Associate Professor, Rowan University
  • Dr. Corey Webbel – Assistant Professor, University of Missouri

Affiliated Faculty

For more information about this specialization, contact Amanda Jansen. The faculty affiliated with this specialization area are: