Department of Mathematics at Illinois State University

Ph.D. Program in 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.

Program Requirements

  1. Mathematics Education (30 hours)
  2. Professional Project (3 hours)
  3. Mathematics (6 hours)
  4. Electives (6 hours)
  5. Research Tools (12 hours)
  6. Residence
  7. Teaching Experience
  8. Qualifying Examinations
  9. Dissertation

List of PhD Students

Want to know about people who have graduated from the program? Click here for a list of graduates.

Options Available

The Ph. D. program in Mathematics Education places special emphasis on the mathematics curriculum in Grades K--12. Two options are available depending on the grade level interest of the student.

One option prepares individuals whose career focus will be directed toward research on the teaching and learning of mathematics at the elementary and middle school grades. Most persons selecting this option will enter the program with teaching experience at the elementary / junior high school level and will have a specialization in mathematics at the undergraduate level, including collegiate coursework in calculus, algebra, and geometry.


Options Available, cont'd

Another option extends upward to include research on the teaching and learning of mathematics as it relates to high school. Persons selecting this option will most likely have secondary school teaching experience and an undergraduate or graduate degree in mathematics education or mathematics.


For information on the admissions process, financial assistance, and entrance expections, visit the admission page.