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Mathematics, Education Option (M.S.)

Interdisciplinary degree through the Department of Mathematics

Campus: Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus

Instructions: Residential/On Campus 

We believe that all teacher educators must be prepared to provide equity and access for all learners at all educational levels, kindergarten through doctoral studies.


Credit Hours

Interdisciplinary Degree


Faculty Commitment

Intensive Research Opportunities

Our Mathematics Education program

The M.S. Mathematics, Education Option is an interdisciplinary degree through the Department of Mathematics, designed to be completed in two years.  It is intended for students who have both an interest in mathematics education research and a desire to gain fluency in advanced mathematics.

Why Study Mathematics Education Here?

Our math education faculty focus on preparing highly-qualified math teachers while engaging in innovative research on teaching and learning. With some members residing in the Department of Teaching & Learning and others in the Math Department, our faculty take advantage of opportunities to collaborate with additional Virginia Tech faculty members across the School of Education and the College of Science.

What You’ll Study

The following is a guideline for the creation of a Program of Study for the M.S. Mathematics (Education Option).  More details are found at the Mathematics Department Homepage, including information about specific courses and graduate support opportunities.

Requirements: 30 credits

  • Background Material (must have previously taken their equivalence or successfully complete during the M.S. program)
    • MATH 4225, 4226 Elementary Real Analysis
    • MATH 4124 Abstract Algebra
    • a course that involves computation in a significant way.  Suggestions are MATH 4445, MATH 4446, or MATH 4414.
  • 5000 Mathematics Courses
    • At least 18 credits
    • At least one two-semester sequence in topics such as Analysis, Algebra, or Differential Equations (see the Mathematics Graduate Policy Manual for a complete list)
  • General 5000 Level Courses (could also be in Mathematics)
    • At least 6 credits
    • Suggestions are EDCI, PHIL, or PSYC courses, depending on your research interest in mathematics education.
  • Examination: either
    • complete and defend a Master's Thesis in Mathematics or Mathematics Education
    • successfully complete two Preliminary Examinations in Mathematics
    • complete a Masters Project (see the Mathematics Graduate Policy Manual for more details)

Career and Professional Development

Mathematics program is designed to prepare leaders in mathematics education research.

Blacksburg Campus

This degree program is offered at the Blacksburg campus. The Blacksburg campus offers students the full services of the university, including an extensive library, technology support, and the Graduate Life Center. 

Our Faculty 

Research Interests

  • Mathematics Education
  • Quantitative Literacy
  • Mathematics Beliefs and Attitudes
  • Children’s development of fractions concepts
  • Teaching and learning of probability and statistics

Jesse L Wilkins, Professor, School of Education

Jesse L Wilkins, Professor, School of Education

Associate Professor, Mathematics

Research Interests

  • Students' understanding of linear algebra
  • Development of mathematical meaning over time (for both individual students and the classroom as a collective community) and explores ways to coordinate the analyses at the individual and collective levels
  • Students' development of formal ways of reasoning about mathematical concepts via authentic participation in discipline-specific mathematical activities

Research Interests

  • Building models of how middle school students construct their integer (signed number) concepts
  • Incorporating results from learning research into mathematics education policy and instruction

Catherine (Katy) Ulrich, Assistant Professor, School of Education

Catherine (Katy) Ulrich, Assistant Professor, School of Education

Professor, Mathematics

Research Interests

  • Students' mathematical development using teaching experiments, along with quantitative methods
  • Students' mathematical conjectures formed in the context of learning fractions, algebra, and geometry

Research Interests

  • Education and training of mathematics specialists
  • Professional development for in-service K-12 teachers
  • Instructional strategies for teacher education

Bettibel Carson Kreye, Clinical Associate Professor, School of Education

Bettibel Carson Kreye, Clinical Associate Professor, School of Education

Assistant Professor, Mathematics

Research Interests

  • Investigating classroom instructional practices
  • Developing and researching the impacts of instructional support
  • Identifying factors and influences that shape pedagogical practice

Mathematics Education Research Highlights

  • Norton, A., Wilkins, J. L. M., & Xu C. Z. (2018). A progression of fraction schemes common to Chinese and U.S. students. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education49(2), 210-226.
  • MacDonald, B. L., & Wilkins, J. L. M. (2017). Seven types of subitizing activity characterizing young children's mental activity. In S. Marx & S. L. Gregory (Eds.), Qualitative research in STEM, (pp. 256-286). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Sloane, F. C., & Wilkins, J. L. M. (2017). Aligning statistical modeling with theories of learning in mathematics education research. In J. Cai (Ed.), Compendium for Research in Mathematics Education (pp. 183-207). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
  • Ulrich, C., & Wilkins, J. L. M. (2017). Using written work to investigate stages in sixth-grade students' construction and coordination of units. International Journal of STEM Education, 4:23.
  • Wilkins, J. L. M., & Ulrich, C. (2017). The role of skip counting in children's reasoning. Virginia Mathematics Teacher, 43(2), 8-14. 
  • Skaggs, G., Wilkins, J. L. M., & Hein, S. F. (2017). Estimating an observed score distribution from a cognitive diagnostic model. Applied Psychological Measurement, 41(2), 150-154. 
  • Kreye, B., & Tilley-Lubbs, G. A. (2014) Collaboration for authentic preservice teacher experiences: Mathematics and English as a second language. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Vol. 25, No. 3.

Students interested in applying to the Mathematics, Education Option (M.S.) should contact the program leader, Dr. Andy Norton, by email at

Visit our office at 434 McBryde Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061
Domestic Application
Spring: January 1
Summer: May 1
*Fall:  August 1
International Application
Spring: September 1
Summer: January 1
*Fall: April 1
*Deadline for early decision admission with full funding consideration for Fall: January 15.


Andy Norton
Program Leader
434 McBryde Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
(540) 231-6942