MA in Mathematical Foundations
Responding to the demand for Certified Math Educators
With just 15 credits, you can enhance your credentials and career potential as a Middle School Certified Mathematics Teacher — even if you're math phobic.
Fairleigh Dickinson University's graduate degree in Mathematical Foundations is for educators who do not have a math background.
- It is the only graduate program in New Jersey to offer graduate Mathematics credits that focus on upper primary and middle school mathematics.
- You can complete 15 credits of Graduate Study in Mathematics to prepare to become a certified middle school mathematics teacher.
- You can apply these credits toward FDU's 33-credit MA in Mathematical Foundations.
- Special Tuition Reduction for Licensed Teachers
The MA in Mathematical Foundations degree is available fully online, providing an opportunity for those whose schedule and/or distance from FDU campuses would otherwise limit their options. Use the AVAILABLE ONLINE button to request information specifically about pursuing this online master's in mathematics.
- Online studies: FDU offers New Jersey's only 100% online graduate mathematics degree for educators. The online course format lets you pursue your studies at your convenience, offering 24/7 access. There is no residency requirement for the online program.
- You will receive training to prepare to become a middle school mathematics teacher.
- The training will help you to develop a better understanding of mathematics and how to actively engage students so that they understand math concepts, learn skills and solve problems.
- The competitive tuition and fee rate are comparable to that of a public university. Contact the degree coordinator for details.
Math Foundations Program Outcomes
The Master of Arts in Mathematical Foundations Program produces teaching candidates who are:
- Qualified to teach elementary and middle school;
- Competent in pedagogy;
- Caring professionals;
- Technologically proficient;
- Culturally responsive to the needs of diverse learners;
- Reflective practitioners who embrace the concept of lifelong learning;
- Prepared to obtain their instructional middle school mathematics certification from the New Jersey Department of Education.
Upon completion of the program, Mathematical Foundations teaching candidates will:
- Implement research-based best practices in effective instruction to increase mathematics achievement of all students;
- Develop and deliver instruction that incorporates the process and content Common Core State Standards in Mathematics;
- Continuously assess students and use student data to differentiate instruction based upon student needs;
- Integrate technology into the mathematics curriculum.
All courses are conducted in a 15-week time period. Courses are offered in the fall, spring and summer. Depending on your course load, it is possible to complete the full degree program in less than 24 to 36 months.
MA in Math Foundation Curriculum
Responding to the Demand for Certified Middle School Mathematics Teachers
FDU's Mathematical Foundations program is specifically designed for elementary, middle school, and special education teachers seeking to meet the New Jersey State requirements to teach mathematics at the middle school level and to upgrade their mathematical skills.
1. Are you interested in becoming a Certified Middle School Mathematics Teacher?
Choose any five of the required courses below to meet course requirements for teaching mathematics at the middle school level. You will need an Adolescent Development course for Middle School certification. If you have not taken this course, please talk to your advisor. Should you elect to continue on and pursue the M.A. in Mathematical Foundations, you can apply these earned credits toward the degree.
2. Are you interested in the MA in Mathematical Foundations?
You will need to complete a total of 33 credits in the degree program, taking the following required courses:
Program Curriculum: Required Mathematics Courses (21 credits)
- MATH6507 World of Mathematics: Numbers
- MATH6508 World of Mathematics: Algebra
- MATH6509 World of Mathematics: Geometry
- MATH6512 World of Mathematics: Seminar
- MATH6513 World of Mathematics: Mathematics in Science
- MATH6516 World of Mathematics: Data Analysis & Probability
- MATH6517 World of Mathematics: Applications in the Real World
Required Supervision Courses (12 credits)
Other courses could be substituted for the following with permission of math foundations advisor if not seeking NJDOE Supervisor Certificate.
- EDUC6702 Curriculum & Instruction: Theory & Practice
- EDUC6704 Change: Curriculum Development & Program Improvement
MA in Math Foundation Application Requirements
If you are a certified teacher who is interested in pursuing 15-credit graduate credits or the 33-credit MA in Mathematical Foundations, you must apply for admission to FDU.
You must hold a baccalaureate degree in any subject area from an accredited college or university. NOTE: This program is not designed for individuals with an undergraduate degree in mathematics.
You will need a course in Adolescent Psychology to obtain a Middle School certificate. If you do not have this course, you will be admitted to the program, but need the course before applying for certification.
As part of the application process, you are also asked to provide the following:
- An official transcript of your undergraduate and any graduate studies
- Two letters of recommendation
- Praxis Scores, GRE Scores or a copy of your NJ Teaching Certificate
MA in Math Foundations Student Testimonials
"I've always liked math."
"I'm a concrete, sequential type of person. I like things in black and white. But, I realized I didn't want to teach fourth grade the rest of my career. I wanted to be in a position to teach elsewhere."
For Josh Ganz, a master's degree in Mathematical Foundations was a logical next step in his career path. A fourth grade teacher at Mount Prospect Elementary School since 2006, Josh wanted to become certified for middle school math.
Although he began the Mathematical Foundations program with the goal of seeking only to become "Highly Qualified" with a middle school math certification, he opted to complete the master's program when he realized how quickly he could earn an advanced degree. He is hopeful those added credentials will further enhance his career.
Josh, who completed the program in 2013, says it has already impacted the way he sees — and teaches — math. "The program gave me a different perspective on how to teach math. We were shown how we probably learned it, then how to teach it in a different way," he says. "Mathematical Foundations enabled me to more readily recognize a breakdown in learning — where a kid is not grasping an area. It changed my approach to the how and why behind math. I learned it's not always about the answer; it's how you get to the answer that's important."
Josh Ganz, Fourth Grade Teacher, Mount Prospect Elementary School, Bernards Township School District, Basking Ridge, NJ
B.S. in Marketing, College of New Jersey
MA in Teaching-Elementary Education, College of New Jersey
MA in Mathematical Foundations, Fairleigh Dickinson University (2013)
"I came in hating math and completely turned off by it.""But Mathematical Foundations taught me to enjoy math and to take a deep breath. It is helping me with the new core curriculum — and made me a better teacher."
How does a teacher with math anxiety deal with her phobia? Special education teacher Jordan Plescia tackled it by taking graduate-level courses in Mathematical Foundations. Her main goal was to complete the 15 credits needed to become "Highly Qualified" and seek middle school math certification. Now she's thinking seriously about continuing her studies to complete the full master's program.
"It's opening doors for me," she says. Jordan, whose struggles with math began in second grade, says she failed to get a good foundation in math in school. "It was never explained so I could grasp it. I was able to just get by," she says. The Mathematical Foundations courses helped her to overcome her math anxiety and improve her teaching. She has taken both face-to-face and online classes as part of her studies.
"I discovered I really love to teach math. It is so gratifying to be able to break it down for children so they understand. Mathematical Foundations improved my understanding of math and gave me the confidence and resources I need to help my kids learn."
Jordan Plescia, Special Education Teacher, Charles DeWolf Middle School
Old Tappan School District, Old Tappan, NJ
BS in Early Childhood Education, Special Education
Miami University of Ohio
Dr. Lina S. Wall,
Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education and Program Coordinator,
Peter Sammartino School of Education