Master of Science in Mathematics - Option in Mathematics Education for Secondary School Teachers*

Information for Prospective & New Students

This page is unmaintained and information may be outdated.


The following are the prerequisites for the MS in Mathematics - Option in Mathematics Education for Secondary School Teachers

1. A bachelor's degree in mathematics or mathematics education, or a bachelor's degree with at least 24 upper division units in mathematics from an accredited college or university.

2. A California Single Subject Credential in Mathematics.

3. Completion of MATH 247 (Linear Algebra), MATH 310 (History of Early Math), MATH 341 (Number Theory), MATH 355 (College Geometry), MATH 361A (Real Analysis or Advanced Calculus) or MATH 364A (Differential Equations) and MATH 380 (calculus-based Probability & Statistics) or equivalent with a grade of "C" or better.

More information about the program can be found in the CSULB Catalog. General CSULB graduate admission eligibility criteria can be found here.

FAQ about Prerequisites

  1. Can I apply if I don't have a credential?
    Let's talk. If you are working toward a credential or have significant secondary or college teaching experience, then the program may be a good fit.
  2. What if I'm missing a couple prereqs?
    Let's talk. You may be able to make them up while working to complete the program.
  3. What if I don't have a lot of undergraduate coursework in mathematics?
    This is probably not be the right program for you. However, some students have successfully chosen to complete all the prerequisites and then apply for the program. It is a rewarding choice for those students, though it can be a long road. For example, College Geometry (355) , Number Theory (341), and Probability & Statistics (380) are listed amongst our pre-reqs. The prereqs for those include Linear Algebra (247), Intro to Proof (233), and Calc III (224). Each of those has Calc II as a pre-req, which has Cal I as a pre-req. It would take many semesters to make it through the required courses and the prerequisites. Passing the CSET does not substitute for any prerequisites.


Teaching Community College

Students are often interested in using this degree in order to pursue either part or full time work teaching community college mathematics.

Meeting the requirements to teach community college

The California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office (CCCCO) publishes a handbook called Minimum Qualifications for Faculty and Administrators in California Community Colleges. The 2016 edition lists the following minimum qualifications:

Master's in mathematics or applied mathematics
Bachelor's in either of the above AND Master's in statistics, physics or mathematics education
the equivalent

The Master of Science in Mathematics - Option in Mathematics Education for Secondary School Teachers program is a master's degree in mathematics which requires 30-units of coursework. At least 15 units must be mathematics education (MTED) courses. At least 9 units must be graduate or approved upper-division units of mathematics (at least 3 units at the graduate level) and there are 6 units of electives.

If you wish to teach at a community college, it is advised that you take as many graduate level mathematics courses as possible. In particular, the 6 units of electives should be mathematics courses.

Disclaimer: It is ultimately up to individual community colleges to interpret the above policy about minimum requirements. Often, hiring committees will show preferences for candidates with more graduate level mathematics coursework. Though this program is, in name*, a Master's in Mathematics, it does not require the same quantity of graduate mathematics coursework as a Master's in (pure/theoretical) Mathematics. CSULB's Master of Science in Mathematics (without the option in math education) requires students to take 21-30 units of graduate mathematics.

*At some point soon, the name of the program will change. The new name will likely be Masters of Science in Mathematics for Educators. Whether this has any implications for community college teaching eligibility is largely at the discretion of the community college's hiring committee and administration. Check the most current CSULB Catalog for the current status of the program's name.

FAQ about teaching community college

  1. Have graduates from this program been able to get college teaching jobs?
    Yes, several graduates of this program have gotten tenure-track community college teaching jobs. Some teach part-time at community colleges. Others teach at Cal State Campuses.
  2. Will completing this program make me a strong candidate for a community college job?
    This is a hard question to answer. How strong a candidate you are depends on many factors; e.g., your teaching experience, the specific needs of the hiring department. That said, read the disclaimer above and try to incorporate a lot of mathematics coursework into the program.
  3. How is the job market for community college mathematics instructors?
    This is also a hard question to answer. There are some policies, like AB 705, that could affect the job market by reducing the number of mathematics courses required of students. Also, there is a big difference in difficulty between getting a tenure-track community college teaching position and picking up some classes to teach (often called adjunct, contingent, or part-time faculty). Many tenured or tenure-track community college professors began their careers as part-time faculty or as what is sometimes called "freeway flyers," commuting between multiple campuses in order to piece together a large enough income.

Preparing for a PhD in Mathematics Education

In recent years, some of our graduates have gone on to pursue PhDs in Mathematics Education in prestigious programs.


Get in touch with the Mathematics Education Graduate Advisor.