What is an Ed.D. in Mathematics Education?
Ed.D. in Math Education programs are practical, real-world doctorates designed for educators who are actively involved in the instruction or supervision of mathematics programs. This category includes teachers, curriculum specialists, department heads, university faculty, professional development leaders, and more.
You could pursue a doctorate in math education in order to:
- Effect positive, research-driven changes in the teaching & learning of mathematics
- Find creative solutions to key problems of practice
- Design, implement, and evaluate curricula & classroom programs
- Create professional development interventions
- Explore new sources of data for strategic planning & decision-making
- Learn more about equitable instructional practices & innovative learning environments
Types of Doctorate in Math Education Programs
Ed.D. in Mathematics Education
Our listings contain a number of doctorates that are completely devoted to mathematics education. Each one has a unique slant. For example:
- Morgan State University’s Ed.D. in Math Education focuses on the characteristics and needs of urban students in general, and African-American students in particular.
- The University of Mississippi’s Ed.D. in Math Education is specifically designed for middle & high school educators.
- Columbia offers a high-level Ed.D. in Mathematics Education that can be focused on experimental studies in learning, mathematics curricula, or policy theory in math education.
Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction: Mathematics Education
If you wish to become an instructional leader or curriculum specialist, you could consider a curriculum & instruction doctorate with a specialization in math education. This is the most popular option in our listings.
Coursework in these degrees will include training in effective instruction techniques & practices, curriculum theory & development, learning & cognition, and pedagogical leadership. For more details, see our subject guide to Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction Programs.
Ed.D. in Educational Leadership: Mathematics Education
Our listings also contain doctorates in educational leadership with a focus on mathematics education. These programs are often designed for aspiring school leaders, department heads, and instructional leaders in community organizations & educational institutes.
The curriculum will usually combine coursework in educational leadership issues—including coverage of areas like organizational improvement, reform, and educational equity—with training in teaching & learning strategies, pedagogies, and curriculum development. Check out our rankings & guide to Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Programs for more info.
Ed.D. in STEM Education
Interested in broadening your search to include STEM fields? Have a look at the options in our guide to Ed.D. in Science Education Programs. You’ll discover on-campus and online programs offered in this discipline.
Ph.D. vs. Ed.D. in Mathematics Education
An Ed.D. in Math Education is a natural fit for PreK-12 instructors & leaders. Education doctorates focus on applied research & theory and practical, real-world concerns (e.g. curriculum development, equitable instructional practices, effective interventions, etc.).
Aiming for a faculty position in higher education? You’re likely to run into the Ph.D. vs. Ed.D. debate. When we looked at current job openings:
- A Ph.D. was the standard requirement for Assistant Professors of Mathematics.
- A Ph.D. or an Ed.D. in Math Education was usually accepted for Assistant Professors of Mathematics Education.
Before you make a decision, we recommend you get in touch with current higher education faculty and ask them about their educational experiences. They will give you a sense of whether the Ed.D. is strong enough to hold up in the job market.
Earning an Ed.D. in Math Education
Math Education Prerequisites
- Master’s Degree: Most universities will ask to see a master’s degree in mathematics or education. If you hold an M.Ed. (or the equivalent), the school may want your undergraduate degree to be in math.
- Minimum GPA: GPA requirements will vary. The standard minimum for Ed.D. programs is 3.0 for previous graduate work, but prestigious Colleges of Education may have a higher threshold (e.g. 3.25-3.5).
- Work Experience: Universities may or may not specify work experience in the admissions section, but they’ll almost always be considering it. The preferred threshold is 3+ years of teaching experience, but some schools will look at folks with 2+ years.
- Additional Requirements: Schools may or may not require GRE or MAT scores—check the admissions links. You’ll often be required to submit an admissions essay or statement of purpose, résumé, academic writing sample and/or professional artifacts, and 2-4 letters of recommendation.
Math Education Coursework
Check out the curriculum links in our listings to get a sense of the university’s approach to coursework. For instance, an Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction: Math Education will have a different feel to an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership: Math Education.
In broad terms, an Ed.D. in Math Education could contain credits in:
- Foundational education courses (e.g. curriculum theory & development; learning theory; instructional methods; education & society; etc.)
- Mathematics education courses (e.g. planning, developing & evaluating the math curriculum; instructional systems analysis; assessment & evaluation of STEM education; etc.)
- Graduate-level mathematics courses and educational statistics
- Research courses (e.g. quantitative research methods in education)
- Potential electives
Math Education Internship & Fieldwork
Some schools have gone the extra mile and included an internship or field experiences in their doctoral programs. Follow the curriculum links in our listings to learn if they’re included.
Fieldwork can serve as an excellent apprenticeship. For example, Morgan State University’s Ed.D. in Math Education includes a 3-credit Practicum in Mathematics Education. In this scenario, Ed.D. students conduct an intervention in an aspect of mathematics teaching/learning at a selected level of the educational system.
Math Education Dissertation or Capstone Project
All Ed.D. in Math Education programs will contain a traditional 5-chapter dissertation, a Dissertation in Practice (DiP), or a capstone project. For instance, the University of Mississippi is a CPED member, so its Ed.D. in Math Education deliberately includes a DiP.
Each option will have its pluses and minuses—choose the one that suits your style. You can learn more about the differences between them in our guide to No Dissertation Ed.D. Programs.
Online Ed.D. in Math Education Programs
Are Ed.D. Programs in Math Education Offered Online?
Yes, but they are rare. Valdosta offers an Online Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction: P-12 Disciplinary Concentration program with a specialization option in math, but it’s one of the few schools to do so. You’ll have more luck with online STEM doctorates.
Do Online Ed.D. in Math Education Programs Contain Residencies?
In the case of Valdosta, the answer is yes. The Online Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction: P-12 Disciplinary Concentration contains at least two on-campus doctoral seminar days at the beginning of years one & two.
Math Education Careers
Ed.D. in Math Education Jobs
- Math Department Head/Chair
- Supervisor/Coordinator of Mathematics
- Curriculum Supervisor of Mathematics
- Curriculum Manager
- Program Development Specialist
- Director of Math Education Programs
- State Supervisor of Mathematics
- District Data Collector & Evaluator
- Assistant Professor in Mathematics Education
- Assistant Professor in Teacher Education with a Focus on Math
Ed.D. in Math Education Salary
Because mathematics education is a niche field, it can be hard to find large pools of salary data. You may wish to make a shortlist of your preferred job titles (e.g. Math Director) and employ different salary sites to compare numbers (e.g. Glassdoor, Indeed, Salary.com, Payscale, etc.).
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also posts occupational employment & wage data for Postsecondary Mathematical Science Teachers. Use the state maps in this section to compare employment hotspots and wages in your geographic area.
Is an Ed.D. in Math Education Worth it?
It depends. If you have a clear PreK-20 leadership or instructional position in mind, and you’ve talked to your mentors about your options, then “Yes.” An Ed.D. in Math Education might be well worth your time and money.
When in doubt, chat to recent alumni. They’ll give you a sense of whether the degree was practical, focused, and relevant to their job aspirations. Ask the university for a list of alumni names or do a quick LinkedIn search to find professionals in your chosen field.
Math Education Resources and Organizations
- American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC): AMATYC seeks to be the leading voice and resource for excellence in mathematics education in the first two years of college. It hosts an annual conference.
- Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE): AMTE is a professional organization devoted to the improvement of mathematics teacher education. Its 1,000+ members include professors, researchers, teacher-leaders, school mathematics coordinators, policy experts, graduate students, and others.
- Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics (ASSM): ASSM members provide supervising and/or consulting services in the area of mathematics as a staff member of the education agency of any state in the U.S., Canada, Bermuda, and U.S. territories.
- National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM): NCSM is a big mathematics education leadership organization that seeks to guarantee that all students engage in equitable, high-quality mathematical experiences. It runs a summit, conference, and networking events.
- National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM): NCTM is the world’s largest mathematics education organization. It advocates for high-quality mathematics teaching and learning for each and every student.
- TODOS: Mathematics for ALL: TODOS is an international professional organization that advocates for equity and excellence in mathematics education for all students, particularly Latina/o students.