Graduate Study in Mathematics for K-12 Mathematics Teachers

Does the Department of Mathematics offer courses with teachers in mind?

Yes, the Department of Mathematics is a national leader in the design and delivery of mathematics courses for teachers as evidenced by the fact that since 2005, 136 teachers have graduated with an MAT degree from the UNL Department of Mathematics.

The Department offers a variety of courses for elementary, middle level and high school mathematics teachers. While historically, most have been offered in the summer, many are now offered online. For more information on opportunities for K-12 mathematics teachers, contact Dr. Wendy Smith,, 402-472-7259.

I want to take a mathematics course

If you want to take a UNL graduate class, it is necessary to apply and be admitted as a UNL graduate student. It is possible to apply for admission as a non-degree post baccalaureate student. This offers the opportunity to take a few graduate classes without committing to a degree program. UNL Graduate Studies has a special program, Teach Nebraska, which greatly simplifies the application process and is designed to meet the needs of certified Nebraska K-12 teachers. If you apply through Teach Nebraska, you will not need to pay a fee to apply to Graduate Studies. Moreover, because Nebraska teachers must have an undergraduate degree to be certified, it is not necessary to obtain copies of one's college transcripts in order to apply to the Teach Nebraska program. (If you are a new graduate of a teacher education program and apply to Teach Nebraska prior to obtaining your certification, the process may be more involved because of the need to document that you qualify for the program.) For information on Teach Nebraska, including how to apply as a Nebraska teacher, see the Teach Nebraska website.

I am a certified K-12 mathematics teacher and I want to earn a Master’s Degree

The Department of Mathematics offers two degree choices for teachers:

  • the Master of Arts for Teachers (MAT) degree (for certified secondary mathematics teachers); and
  • the Master of Arts for Teachers with a specialization in the Teaching of Middle Level Mathematics degree (for any certified K-12 mathematics teacher).

Both options for the MAT degree require 36 graduate credits. While the program is quite flexible, coursework must constitute a coherent program of study that has been approved by the department’s Graduate Chair. The Memorandum of Courses is used for this purpose. Note also that you must earn credit for at least six courses (18 hours) in mathematics.

Some teachers who pursue the MAT degree also choose to earn a minor in Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education. Transfer of some graduate credit from another institution is usually possible if the coursework is supportive of your degree objectives. Once admitted to the MAT program, you will be assigned a graduate advisor who will assist you in meeting the MAT degree requirements.

While it is still possible to earn a Masters of Science for Teachers (MScT), almost all teachers in recent years have opted for the MAT degree.

What mathematics courses for K-12 teachers are available?

The Department of Mathematics has a wide variety of courses for K-12 teachers, most of which can apply to an MAT degree. The following table shows mathematics courses with targeted grade level teacher audiences. Underlined courses are regularly offered as online versions.

Math 800P* Math 800T Math 805T Math 810T Math 809
Math 801P* Math 802T Math 806T Math 811T Math 814T
Math 802P* Math 804T Math 808T Math 812T Stat 892 HS
Math 803P Math 807T Stat 892 ML Math 816T Math 896**
Math 804P

*courses denoted by “P” cannot count toward a MAT degree.

**As courses for teachers are developed, they are first offered under the mathematical topics number 896. Many of the courses then become a part of the graduate program and receive a more permanent course number.


As noted, many mathematics teachers pursuing a MAT degree also pursue a strong body of courses (or a minor) in mathematics pedagogy. The following courses are among those taken by mathematics teachers in recent years.

TEAC 808A (K-3) TEAC 890 TEAC 800* TEAC 908 TEAC 991
TEAC 808J (K-3) TEAC 836B TEAC 801* TEAC 923 EdPs 991
TEAC 907 (K-3) TEAC 892** TEAC 889* TEAC 949A TEAC 892**
    TEAC 888 TEAC 892**  

*required to minor in teaching, learning, and teacher education with an MAT degree, or to receive an MA degree through TLTE.

**As courses for teachers are developed, they are first offered under the Seminar: Special Topics in Education (TEAC 892). Many of the courses then become a part of the graduate program and receive a more permanent course number.

What courses should I take for a MAT degree?

The Master of Arts for Teachers is a flexible degree. To earn a degree in mathematics, teachers must take at least 6 mathematics courses. Typically teachers take 7-10 mathematics and statistics courses, with the complement being pedagogy courses in TLTE or Ed Psych. The tables below show model programs for the MAT (7-12) and MAT with a specialization Teaching Middle Level Mathematics (K-12).

MAT specialize TMLM
Math 800T Stat 892 ML
Math 802T Math 807T or 809
Math 804T TEAC 800
Math 805T TEAC 801
Math 806T EdPs 991
Math 808T TEAC 888 or 890
Math 810T Math 808T
Math 811T Math 816T
Math 812T Stat 892 HS
Math 809 TEAC 800
Math 805T TEAC 801
Math 806T EdPs 991

Is the MAT degree available as an online program?

Most teachers in the MAT program take their mathematics courses in the summer. Often, this is complemented by online courses offered by TLTE. Currently, the Department of Mathematics is increasing its online offerings with the goal of enabling mathematics teachers to take a substantial portion of MAT coursework online.

Who can I talk to, to learn more about graduate opportunities for mathematics teachers?

If you have questions, please contact the MAT coordinator, Dr. Wendy Smith,, 402-472-7259.

How do I apply?

If you have previously applied through the Teach Nebraska program, you must submit a new application to Graduate Studies to be admitted to the MAT program. Mathematics teachers are welcome to apply immediately to the MAT program, but by applying first to Teach Nebraska as a non-degree student, you avoid having to pay the fee to apply to Graduate Studies. Be sure to select the "Mathematics (MAT)" program as your degree objective when applying for admission to the MAT program. You may also choose the Teaching Middle Level Mathematics specialization while you are applying.

Along with your application for admission to the MAT program, you must provide:

  1. Official transcripts from your bachelor's degree, as well as any graduate coursework. Note: If your undergraduate degree is from UNL, it is not necessary to request a UNL transcript.
  2. A letter of intent, stating your goals for your MAT degree
  3. Three letters of recommendation

Please send your transcripts to:

Office of Graduate Studies
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
1100 Seaton Hall
Lincoln NE 68588-0619
Voice: 402-472-2878
Fax: 402-472-0589

Please send your letter of intent, letters of recommendation and résumé (optional) to:

Department of Mathematics

Graduate Chair

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
203 Avery Hall
Lincoln NE 68588-0130
Voice: 402-472-3731
Fax: 402-472-8466

Note: If you have already applied for and been admitted to a NebraskaMATH program (e.g., Nebraska Algebra or New Teacher Network), your application materials for that program will be accepted as meeting the need for a letter of intent and two letters of recommendation. Thus, we only need one additional letter of recommendation and any transcripts that were not submitted as part of your NebraskaMATH application.