students standing at whiteboard working on math equations

Become an Outstanding Math Teacher

The best math teachers, from elementary grades through high school, know how to help their students become capable, confident, and comfortable using numbers. IUP’s nationally recognized BSEd in Mathematics Education will prepare you to become an exceptional and caring math teacher your students will remember for years to come.

The BSEd in Mathematics Education program has two specializations so you can focus on the grades you want to teach:

  • Middle-level education for grades 4–8: you'll be certified to teach all the core subjects in grades 4-6 and math in grades 7-8.
  • Secondary mathematics for grades 7–12

Our professors care about your success and will work closely with you to develop your skills as a math teacher. You’ll learn how to work collaboratively and effectively with students of all types, in public, private, and online school settings.

Why Major in Mathematics Education at IUP?

Good math teachers are in high demand in Pennsylvania and across the country. IUP’s mathematics education program has a well-established reputation for graduating well-prepared math teachers who can build connections with students of all abilities and backgrounds. As an IUP graduate, you will excel as a math teacher because our program is built on:

  • Research-based instruction
  • Cutting-edge learning technologies
  • Intensive field experience in classroom settings

You’ll take part in a required first-year seminar where you’ll meet and work with other mathematics education majors and students in similar degree programs. And every math education student has an experienced advisor who will help guide you through the program, discuss options, and talk through any questions you may have.

IUP's program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and has been recognized for having high standards. In fact, CAEP provided our Mathematics Education program's accreditation report as an example for other universities to follow.

What You’ll Learn

Led by our talented and dedicated faculty, IUP’s BSEd in Mathematics Education program prepares you to become a thoughtful, qualified math teacher. Math education students may choose from two specializations: middle-level grades 4–8 and secondary grades 7–12. Students in both specializations take many of the same liberal studies and major courses. As a group, you’ll work through the core mathematics content and learn teaching strategies together.

Each specialization also has its own classes that prepare you to earn teacher certification for core subjects in grades 4–8 (middle level) or math 7–12 (secondary). In addition, the BSEd in Mathematics Education program provides your first true experience as a math teacher. You will take one semester of pre-student teaching in your junior year, another semester of pre-teaching in your senior year, then student teaching in the last semester of your senior year.

Total credit hours needed:

  • 120 for secondary mathematics specialization
  • 121 for middle-level mathematics specialization

For requirements leading to teacher certification, see the section titled “3-Step Process for Teacher Education” in the College of Education and Communications of the undergraduate catalog.

Imagine Your Future

Jobs for math teachers are plentiful. The US has a severe shortage of mathematics teachers, giving you many opportunities to get a job almost anywhere in the country.

The 2018 American Association in Education Educator Supply and Demand in the United States Report shows math teachers are in the top five highest-shortage categories across the nation. You could also work in a different country in an American school.

Graduates of IUP's program have a stellar track record landing jobs—100 percent of students who want teaching jobs get them.

Median salaries for mathematics teachers are listed here. Teachers can earn more during the school year by taking on extra duties, such as serving as a student club sponsor or coach.

Career Opportunities in Mathematics Education

  • High school mathematics teacher
  • Middle school mathematics teacher
  • Elementary school teacher in core subjects, grades 4-6
  • Teacher in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, math)
  • Technology teacher

Similar Occupations

  • Computer science teacher
  • Curriculum specialist
  • Math coach
  • Professional development speaker
  • Science teacher
  • Textbook representative
  • Tutor

Career Benefits

  • Employment benefits for teachers may include:
    • Health insurance
    • Personal days
    • Professional development pay
    • Sick days
    • Course pay
    • Conference support
  • Financial stability
  • Rewarding relationships with students and colleagues
  • Work-life balance:
    • Healthy schedule
    • Time to refresh during winter, spring, and summer breaks
    • Possibility of earlier retirement

Secondary and Middle-Level Mathematics Specializations

Median Salary:

$61,820

2021

Number of Jobs:

998,800

2020

10-Year Job Outlook:

78,200

New jobs (average)

Classes and Requirements

As a student in the mathematics education program, you will take courses in instructional strategies and math content designed specifically for teachers. These courses, such as Algebra for Mathematics Instruction, will help you develop the math content knowledge you’ll need to teach middle school or high school mathematics.

Just as important as the math and education classes you’ll take, hands-on experience student teaching in schools is essential. Starting in your junior year, you’ll follow this class sequence:

  • Pre-student Teaching Clinical Experience I
  • Pre-student Teaching Clinical Experience II
  • Student Teaching

Students find success in the BSEd in Mathematics Education program by attending classes consistently, taking part in study groups, and seeking extra help when they need it.

Math education students who complete the program requirements will earn a Bachelor of Science in Education degree in Mathematics Education, with a specialization in secondary mathematics (7–12 certification) or in middle-level education (core subjects 4–6, mathematics specialization 7-8). All students seeking Pennsylvania teacher certification must follow the requirements titled “3-Step Process for Teacher Education,” described in the College of Education and Communications section of the undergraduate catalog.

Teacher Certification Requirements

All students seeking teacher certification must meet the requirements of the Three-Step Process for Teacher Education.

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

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Research Opportunities for Students

When you’re in the mathematics education program, you can benefit from working with professors on research. These experiences let you collaborate with others and think critically about challenges, such as how to answer a research question, how to write about a tested math lesson to share with others, or how to present an intriguing idea for teaching mathematics.

Some recent examples of student research activities:

  • One student conducted a research project on “Developing a Framework for Technology-Enhanced Mathematics Instruction” through IUP’s Undergraduate Summer Opportunities for Applying Research Program.
  • A secondary mathematics education student worked with a professor, and they published an article on introducing high school students to the field of actuarial science.
  • At the Western Pennsylvania Pre-Service Teacher Day Conference at Duquesne University, two students gave a presentation on their original math lesson on triangle inequality and received the Outstanding Poster award.

Student Club for Math Education Majors

Mathematics education students at IUP have their own club, Preservice Teachers of Mathematics. By being active in the club, you can gain leadership experience and develop new skills and methods for teaching mathematics. Club members:

  • Participate and present at math education conferences.
  • Take part in workshops designed for future math teachers.
  • Assist in math lessons for local elementary, middle, and high school students.

Contact the club’s faculty advisor, Professor Valerie Long, at vlong@iup.edu, to express your interest in joining.

Similar Majors and Potential Minors

As you explore majors at IUP, you may want to consider options similar to the BSEd in Mathematics Education program. If you choose the BSEd in Mathematics Education program, you can consider enhancing your degree with a minor that is a good fit with the program.

Have a Bachelor’s Degree? Earn Your Teaching Credentials

If you already have a bachelor’s degree, IUP offers you the opportunity to earn your teaching certification in math education at either the middle or secondary level.

  • Middle-level specialization: If you are interested in teaching grades 4–8 mathematics, contact Professor Edel Reilly, coordinator of the middle-level mathematics specialization, at ereilly@iup.edu.

  • Secondary specialization: If you are interested in teaching grades 7–12 mathematics, contact program co-coordinators Professor Janet Walker at jwalker@iup.edu or Professor Brian Sharp at bds@iup.edu.

Work toward Your Master’s Degree as an Undergraduate

While you’re in the BSEd in Mathematics Education program, you can work toward a master’s degree by enrolling in IUP’s 4+1 program for an MEd in Mathematics Education. Once accepted into the graduate program, you can take up to four graduate classes that will also count as undergraduate credits.

To qualify for the 4+1 program, you must have a 3.5 or higher high school GPA and an SAT math score of more than 600.

Elementary and Middle-Level Mathematics Minor

Math teachers are in high demand across the US. If you’re in other IUP education programs, you can make yourself even more marketable by adding a minor in mathematics education. Early childhood or special education majors, in particular, could benefit from adding a math education minor, because school districts are seeking teachers who are well qualified to teach math.

The minor in Elementary and Middle-Level Mathematics is 18 credits, with 12 credits from required courses and six credits from controlled electives. To sign up, contact Professor Edel Reilly, coordinator of the minor in middle-level mathematics, at ereilly@iup.edu.

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this minor.

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