Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies

Emphasis in Middle Level Mathematics Teaching


If you have questions or would like more information about this program, please email Dr. Jodie Novak, or phone her at (970) 351-2463.

This program is designed to prepare professional teachers currently working in K-8 education with mathematical content and pedagogical expertise to teach mathematics at the middle level (Grades 6-8).  Upon finishing this program they should be able to teach the mathematical content at this level, assume leadership roles at their sites, perform action research in their own classrooms and read and understand the relevant professional literature.  The  program focuses on mathematics content, and the mathematics courses are taught in a manner consistent with the process standards of the NCTM. This program emphasizes the mathematical and professional preparation to meet national standards and the need for excellent mathematics education in the 21st century.

The program combines professionalized mathematics courses appropriate for middle school teachers (Mathematics for Teaching (MFT)) with courses in mathematics education, pedagogy and practice (Mathematics Education (MED)).  Students may include some appropriate electives in other areas of education.

Note:  This program does not prepare teachers to teach mathematics at the upper secondary level (9-12), does not lead to secondary licensure, and will not prepare students for advanced work in mathematics.  It is designed solely for professional teachers with minimal mathematics backgrounds who wish to be prepared to teach mathematics at the middle level.

Applying to the program

Generally, a B.A. or B.S. in any area with (at least one year of) teaching experience in K-8 education is required; a current professional teaching position is preferred.  To apply, submit the UNC graduate school application, available here.  Applicants must also submit an essay of approximately 500 words addressing their interest in the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with Emphasis in Middle Level Mathematics Teaching and their educational goals.

Program Requirements

Complete the required credits specified here………………………………………………….18
Complete program electives specified here……………………………………………………12
Complete either the comprehensive examination or the curriculum action research project

Required Credits—9 semester hours

MED 600 Introduction to Research in Mathematics Education (3)
MFT 520 Survey of Mathematics (3)
MFT 530 Conceptions of Analytic Geometry and Calculus (3)

Note: MED 600 satisfies the Graduate School requirements for Introduction to Graduate Studies.

Required Electives—9 semester hours

Choose 3 of the following:
MFT 514  Geometry in Middle Level Mathematics Teaching (3)
MFT 515  Number and Operations in Middle Level Mathematics Teaching (3)
MFT 516  Algebra in Middle Level Mathematics Teaching (3)
MFT 517 Data Analysis and Probability in Middle Level Mathematics Teaching (3)

Elective Credits—12 semester hours

Six credits in electives may be chosen from above courses and the following or approved substitutes:
MFT 522 Topics in Mathematics in Middle Level Mathematics Teaching (3 credits, repeatable under different subtitles)
MED 522 Topics in Mathematics Teaching at the Middle Level (1-3 credits, repeatable for a maximum of 6 credits)
MED 588 Implementation of Mathematics Standards in Instruction (1-3 credits; repeatable for a maximum of 3 credits)
MED 599 Action Research Project (1, Repeatable 3 times)
MED 673 Teaching and Learning Mathematics on the Elementary Level (3)
MED 674 Teaching and Learning Mathematics on the Secondary Level (3)

Two additional approved elective courses for up to 6 hours.  Additional electives may be chosen from courses offered by the department or other departments with the approval of the student’s advisor.  Students are encouraged to choose relevant courses from the above or those offered by other departments (e.g. EDMS 665, EDMS 667, EDMS 670).

Comprehensive Examination

A student may select either one of the following options to satisfy the departmental comprehensive examination requirement. Normally, at least three faculty members will be involved in judging whether or not the selected option has been completed satisfactorily.

  • Option 1.  Completion of the Action Research Project.  The Action Research Project centers around a curricular unit created by the student to be used in their professional instruction.   It includes a review of relevant literature, curricular/instructional plan, data analysis and discussion.  A copy of this project must be filed with the department; in addition, the student must make a two hour presentation of the project.  Students who choose this option are encouraged to take MED 599 to support their work on the project. 
  • Option 2.  A written comprehensive examination over MED 600, MFT 520 and two other courses chosen by the student from MFT 514, 515, 516 and 517.



Contact Information

  • School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Northern Colorado
  • Ross 2239
  • Campus Box 122
  • 501 20th Street
  • Greeley, CO 80639
  • Tel: (970) 351-2820
  • Fax: (970) 351-1225