MA Math Program FAQs

Interested in our program? Here are answers to some common questions:

  • What undergraduate course knowledge is assumed?   We assume that students have a firm understanding of concepts presented in the following undergraduate courses: Calculus 1, 2, and 3, Linear Algebra, and basic Statistics. We also assume students have experience with proofs and theory from Real Analysis. In addition, some experience with mathematics software (e.g., Computer Math Systems, Spreadsheets, and structured programming) is helpful but not necessary. Math majors typically have all of this background and more. People who did not major in mathematics, but do have these skills can be very successful in our program.
  • Can I be admitted without having completed all the courses listed above?  Students who have completed all except a course in Real Analysis can be admitted under the condition that they complete Real Analysis prior to taking the graduate Analysis courses. On-campus students can take the undergraduate course during their first semester of enrollment; online students who cannot travel to Boone to take the undergraduate course will need to take the course elsewhere and provide proof of completion through official transcripts.
  • What is the difference between online and on-campus enrollment?  Online students complete the program by participating in classes via zoom in the late afternoon; typically 1-2 per semester are offered this way.  On-campus students attend the classes in person.  On-campus students enroll full time, usually finish in 4 semesters, pay on-campus tuition and fees, and are eligible for assistantships and scholarships. Online students typically attend part-time, finish is 5-6 semesters, pay fewer fees since they will not have access to some of the campus facilities, and have fewer options for scholarships.
  • What is the difference between the Secondary and College Teaching concentrations? Both are master of arts in mathematics graduate programs (not math ed). The secondary concentration requires students to hold initial high school teaching license, includes some curriculum and instruction coursework, and results in students being granted advanced high school teaching licensure.  The college concentration involves some pedagogical coursework geared toward teaching college-level courses. A look at the program of study can help you to understand the differences.
  • I want to teach college-level courses. Which concentration should I choose?  Regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) requires college faculty to hold a graduate degree and at least 18 hours of graduate coursework in the discipline being taught. Both of the concentrations include at least 18 hours of graduate math and statistics content coursework (i.e., courses not related to teaching, pedagogy, or education).  The College concentration requires students complete at least 21 and as many as 30 hours of content coursework depending on the electives chosen; the Secondary concentration requires 18 - 23 hours of content coursework.  Students interested in teaching at the college level are encouraged to take mostly content-oriented electives. A look at the program of study can help to illustrate this feature.