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Math Education Bachelors -> Masters in Math

  1. Jan 14, 2014 #1
    This is for a friend, google is literally turning up nothing for us.

    What would it be like to go to graduate school in math after graduating as a math education major? Would it be difficult? Would there be a lot of catching up to do? Should some time be taken off to study things like, multivariable calculus, linear algebra, real analysis, topology, number theory, and other things that math education major is usually not exposed to? They do take the introductory proof course, elementary linear algebra, and calculus 1&2, but the rest of the math classes end with "for high school teachers" (what does that mean?)

    Would it be comparable to say, an engineering major getting a masters in math?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 14, 2014 #2
    Depending on the undergrad preparation, it could be anywhere from only a minor inconvenience to very difficult. My school's math education program is similar to yours, with education majors taking calc1-2, linear algebra, and abstract algebra, "Geometry", and an introduction to proofs class. Most mathematics graduate programs expect their applicants to have at least 1 but preferably two semesters of Real Analysis and Abstract Algebra, a semester of Complex analysis, a semester of Topology, a good advanced course in linear algebra (not just the one where you compute inverses and determinants), and maybe a class or two in discrete math and also differential geometry. All of these are not required, but all are recommended for a good preparation for graduate mathematics study. I would suggest that your friend take Calculus 3, and at least one semester each of real analysis, abstract algebra, and topology before applying to graduate school in pure mathematics. You may get away with skipping abstract algebra and topology and taking numerical analysis and PDE's instead by going to an applied mathematics masters .
  4. Jan 14, 2014 #3


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    I expect it means the objective of the course is to teach you how to teach math to kids who aren't interested in it, not how to do math at grad school level.

    Look at the course lists for some universities with a good reputation for math. That should answer you question as to what you are expected to have studied.

    I know standards have tended to dumb down over time, and are different in different countries, but when I did a math degree things like "calc 1 and 2" were high-school-level courses. We started literally on day one of a 3-year math degree with real analysis, abstract algebra, etc.
  5. Jan 15, 2014 #4


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