Department of Mathematics at Illinois State University

Ph.D. Program in Mathematics Education - Program Requirements

The following requirements are the minumum needed to complete the Doctor of Philosophy in mathematics education at Illinois State University. Some of these requirements may be satisfied by coursework and experience prior to admission to the program at Illinois State University (e.g., a master's degree completed prior to acceptance into this program). All requirements are given as semester hours past a bachelor's degree. The minimum coursework for the program can be completed in 3 to 4 years of full-time study past the bachelor's degree.

Mathematics Education (30 semester hours)

  1. Courses (all must be taken):
    1. MAT 581: Research in Mathematics Education
    2. MAT 582: History of Mathematics Education
    3. MAT 585: Topics in Mathematics Education
    4. MAT 586: Mathematics Teaching and Teacher Education
  2. Electives (selected from courses such as):
    1. MAT 401: Current Research in School Mathematics
    2. MAT 402: Mathematics Instructional Strategies
    3. MAT 403: Theories of Mathematics Learning
    4. MAT 404: Issues and Trends in School Mathematics
    5. MAT 421: Topics in Algebra for Teachers

All students will be involved with mathematics methods courses: elementary, junior high, secondary.

Professional Project (3 semester hours)

MAT 583: A student in this course will work with a mathematics education faculty member on a project of mutual interest. Examples of projects are: (1) a research project related to the teaching or learning of mathematics; (2) the development, implementation, and evaluation of an in-service program for teachers of mathematics; (3) an evaluation of a school mathematics program. This project should culminate in a paper (typically co-authored by the student and faculty mentor) that would be submitted for publication or presented at a national conference. Ordinarily a student should enroll in MAT 583 during the semester that project completion is expected.

Mathematics (variable semester hours)

Persons selecting to focus on research on the teaching and learning of elementary and middle school mathematics are required to demonstrate understanding of mathematics equivalent to an undergraduate major in mathematics. Coursework normally includes linear algebra, number theory, probability and statistics, discrete mathematics, geometry, abstract algebra, and history of mathematics.

Other individuals are required to demonstrate understanding of mathematics equivalent to a master's degree in mathematics. Coursework normally includes advance coursework in linear algebra, analysis, abstract algebra, number theory, probability and statistics, discrete mathematics, applied mathematics, geometry, and history of mathematics.

Electives (6 semester hours)

Students are to select approved electives in curriculum, evaluation, educational psychology, supervision, human development, learning theory, or measurement.

Research Tool Skills (12 semester hours)

Students are required (a) to complete a course in qualitative research methods, to complete EAF 509 (Research Design in Education), and to complete both EAF 510 and EAF 511 (Research Methodology and Statistics II and III), with EAF 512 (Research Methodology and Statistics IV) as a highly recommended elective, and (b) to demonstrate competence in computer technology that is appropriate for their career aspirations. Students may demonstrate this competence through prior experience, including coursework, or through enrolling in courses while in the Ph.D. program.

Residency Requirement

The residency requirement for the Ph.D. in Mathematics Education consist of two consecutive semesters (Fall, Spring) during an academic year.

Dissertation (15 semester hours)

Each candidate will complete a dissertation that involves independent research and that results in an original contribution to knowlege about the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Teaching Competence

Students in the doctoral program must demonstrate competence in teaching prospective or practicing mathematics teachers. This requirement is typically met by teaching mathematics or mathematics education classes during residency at the University. Some candidates, however, may demonstrate this competence through prior teaching experience.

For further information see the ISU catalog, or call or write.