Welcome to the Department of Mathematics

Department of Mathematics at Illinois State University

Mathematics Education

The primary mission of the Ph.D. program in Mathematics Education at Illinois State University is to prepare individuals for careers as college or university professors in Schools of Education or in Departments of Mathematics where the primary responsibilities will be to conduct and direct basic research on the teaching and learning of school mathematics and to teach courses to prospective and in-service mathematics teachers. Graduates will also be qualified to assume positions as mathematics curriculum consultants in school districts, researchers in educational laboratories, or staff members in educational publishing companies.

The Ph.D. program is designed to produce individuals who have the knowledge, competencies, and skills which enable them to

  • conduct, direct, and evaluate research related to the teaching and learning of school mathematics,
  • educate prospective and in-service teachers on the principles of teaching and learning mathematics, and
  • develop and evaluate mathematics curricula.

Students in the program will acquire these skills through
(1) a combination of coursework in mathematics education, mathematics, and a cognate area;
(2) the completion of a professional project;
(3) the acquisition of research tool skills;
(4) the completion of a dissertation; and
(5) the demonstration of competence in teaching prospective or practicing mathematics teachers.

University Admission Requirements

A student applying to a doctoral program must:

  • have earned a master's degree or equivalent in a discipline appropriate to the specific doctoral program
  • have a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a scale in which an A is a 4.0) for the last 60 hours of undergraduate work (approximately the junior and senior years)
  • have a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a scale in which an A is a 4.0) for all graduate-level coursework
  • submit names and email addresses of three references for letters of recommendation within the online application

    Mathematics Education
    Graduate Coordinator
    Craig Cullen
    Stevenson 331C
    Normal, IL 61790

  • provide official scores from the GRE general exam (use institution code 1319)
  • present official transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. Transcripts can be emailed from the university to Admissions@IllinoisState.edu or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Office of Admissions, 201 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 2200, Normal, IL 61790-2200

International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.

Additional Program Admission Requirements

A student applying to this program must:

  • submit a current resume
  • submit a statement describing your teaching experiences
  • submit a statement describing your professional goals

Admission Dates and Deadlines

Term Application Deadline
Fall (August)  June 15 
Fall (August)  May 1 for International students 
Spring (January)  October 1 
Summer (May/June)  April 1 

Graduate Assistantship Information

The University provides graduate assistantships as a means of financial support. They are intended as a way to facilitate a student's progress to degree while providing important professional development.


To be eligible for an assistantship a student must, generally,

  • be admitted unconditionally as a degree-seeking student into a graduate academic program, or have a minimum of 120 undergraduate hours if in an integrated degree program
  • be in good-standing
  • be enrolled full-time (typically at least 9 credit hours during the fall or spring semesters, or at least 6 hours during the summer session).


Graduate assistants receive

  • monthly wages paid in the form of either a stipend or an hourly wage
  • a waiver for 100% of tuition during a semester of appointment
  • a waiver for up to 12 credit hours of tuition for the summer term immediately following a fall or spring appointment

Cost & Funding

See Student Accounts for information on tuition and fees. Funding for graduate students is available from several different sources. Students who have been admitted from continuous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.

Graduate Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Craig Cullen  Stevenson 331C  cjculle@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-7867