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Mathematics and Science Education, Ph.D.

The Mathematics and Science Education (MSE) Ph.D. program is designed to prepare graduates for positions in colleges and universities where they will conduct discipline-based education research and prepare America's next generation of K-12 mathematics and science teachers, as well as for leadership positions in a variety of educational settings. Concentrations for this interdisciplinary degree are offered in Biological Education, Chemical Education, Interdisciplinary Science Education, and Mathematics Education. The MSE community engages with cutting-edge work in science and mathematics education through coursework as well as at our regular MSE Seminar Series. In addition, students work closely in collaboration faculty members to conduct research, often through externally funded assistantships. Graduates are required to develop substantial content mastery of mathematics and/or science; demonstrate an understanding of educational theories, research methodologies, and best practices; and conduct discipline-based education research at the interface between the fields of education and mathematics or science. This program offers opportunities to improve the way K-16 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses are taught.


What We're Doing

Ph.D. student creates active learning for statistics

Ph.D. student creates active learning for statistics

Natasha Gerstenschlager (Ph.D., August 2015) helped develop active learning modules to be used in introductory statistics courses at MTSU through the MTStatPal project, funded by a National Science Foundation grant. Dr. Ginger Rowell served as faculty chair. Ten all-inclusive modules were created and tested for inexperienced teachers to teach activity-based lessons in their statistics classrooms. Gerstenschlager (B.S., M.S., Mathematics) also assisted with Dr. Angela Barlow’s Project IMPACT grant. She helped facilitate a two-week development professional workshop for 7th- and 8th-grade teachers in Barlow’s summer program, which supports K-8 math teachers transitioning to meet the expectations of the Tennessee State Standards. Gerstenschlager also joined Dr. Rongjin Huang's lesson study project, assisting with collecting and analyzing his data. “The program, the director, and faculty have all presented me with many opportunities to write manuscripts; present at regional, national, and international conferences; engage in scholarly research; and all while improving my knowledge of mathematics education,” she says. 

Fellowship helps Lampley’s dissertation work for biology GTAs

Fellowship helps Lampley’s dissertation work for biology GTAs

Sandy Lampley, a middle and high school science teacher for 11 years, received one of the provost’s annual dissertation writing fellowships before earning her Ph.D. in August 2015. Her dissertation examined the potential that lesson study, a form of professional development successful in Japan’s K-12 education, holds for advancing graduate teaching assistants’ pedagogical content knowledge while teaching an introductory biology course. “GTAs at many universities are not offered any training in educational theories or strategies,” Lampley says. “For the biological sciences, this is concerning since such a high volume of laboratory classes are taught by GTAs.” Lampley, passionate about biology education, chose the doctoral program to increase her content knowledge and study new research about how students learn. “Although my students were making the necessary gains according to the required yearly standardized tests, I felt like there was more I could be doing to make their learning experiences more valuable, engaging, and relevant to their lives,” she says. Other dissertation writing fellowships for 2014-15 went to Jeff Bonner (active learning strategies in microbiology) and Teresa Schmidt (development of sixth-graders’ spatial visualization skills).


Related Media

  • MTSU True Blue Preview: Mathematics and Science Education, Ph.D.

    MTSU True Blue Preview: Mathematics and Science Education, Ph.D.

  • MTSU Out of the Blue: Mathematics and Science Education Ph.D.

    MTSU Out of the Blue: Mathematics and Science Education Ph.D.

 
 
 

This program aims to produce college-level professors and researchers in mathematics and science education. It also helps prepare leaders in K-12 mathematics and science education whose jobs require them to perform, evaluate, and integrate the results of research in mathematics and science education into classrooms.

Employers of MTSU alumni include

Our graduates have been employed by the following institutions:

  • Aspen Academy, Denver, CO
  • Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN
  • California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
  • Central Magnet School, Murfreesboro, TN
  • Coffee County School District, Manchester, TN
  • James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
  • Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN
  • Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
  • Motlow Community College, Smyrna, TN
  • Smyrna High School, Smyrna, TN
  • Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO
  • University of Alabama at Huntsville, Huntsville, AL
  • University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
  • University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO
  • Webb School, Bell Buckle, TN
  • Welch College, Gallatin, TN
  • Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
  • Wright State University, Dayton, OH

MTSU’s College of Basic and Applied Sciences offers the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Mathematics and Science Education, an interdisciplinary program with concentrations in

  • Biological Education
  • Chemical Education
  • Interdisciplinary Science Education
  • Mathematics Education

All students in the Mathematics and Science Education Ph.D. program will be expected to meet the expectations of the residency requirement during their first year enrolled in the program at MTSU.

For unconditional admission, applicants must

  • Have a grade point average (GPA) in their previous academic degrees that indicates potential for success in doctoral-level study, typically 3.25 GPA at the graduate level or a minimum 3.0 GPA when entering with a bachelor's degree.
  • Submit scores for the verbal, quantitative and analytical writing measures of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) which indicate potential for success in the MSE program. (Although specific minimum scores are not set, evaluation of scores is an important factor in admission decisions.)
  • Possess a mathematics or science undergraduate degree upon admission, or will be required to earn a content master's (in mathematics or science) as a part of their program of study.
  • Meet the College of Graduate Studies requirement for proof of English language proficiency, if applicant is an international student.

Applicants holding only a baccalaureate degree will be expected to have earned an undergraduate degree in an area of mathematics or science and will be expected to earn a master's degree in Science, Mathematics, or Education as they complete the requirements of the Ph.D.

Applicants entering with a master's degree must have earned at least 24 semester hours of graduate mathematics, science, and/or education credit, corresponding to the concentration area that they select.

Admissions will be based on a comprehensive assessment of an applicant's qualifications including Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores, undergraduate and graduate grade point average, and letters of recommendation.

Applicants who do not meet these minimums but whose application materials indicate high potential for success may be admitted conditionally.

Doctoral candidates are required to

  • make at least two research presentations at regional, national, or international meetings as the lead or coauthor;
  • be lead author or make significant contribution as coauthor of two articles published, in press, or under review in high quality, peer-reviewed journals;
  • make a significant contribution to the development of at least one external grant proposal, in collaboration with an MTSU faculty member serving as principal investigator;
  • complete the MSE 7800 Teaching Internship in a K-12 setting if they lack K-12 teaching experience;
  • complete a dissertation and successfully defend it in the final oral examination.

The application deadline is Feb. 15 for those wishing to be considered for graduate assistantships for the following fall. Late applications may be considered but financial support is not guaranteed.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS button to the right.

Biological Education

Mathematics and Science Education, Biological Education Concentration, Ph.D.

Jennifer Kaplan, Program Director
Jennifer.Kaplan@mtsu.edu

The Mathematics and Science Education (MSE) Ph.D. program is an interdisciplinary program designed to train academic researchers and educational professionals to carry out, evaluate, and integrate research in mathematics or science education. The interdisciplinary nature of the program is manifested in two ways. First, similar to other STEM education Ph.D. programs, the MSE program requires students to develop content mastery of mathematics or science and demonstrate an understanding of educational theories, research methodologies, and best practices in mathematics or science education. Thus, graduates are scholars who work at the intersection of a mathematical or scientific domain and education. Second, and unique to the MTSU MSE program is the requirement that students can compare and contrast the nature of knowledge and how knowledge is created and taught or learned across mathematics and scientific disciplines, creating scholars who can work collaboratively with other mathematical and/or science education researchers. We offer preparation for students to serve in faculty positions or leadership roles in mathematics and science education at the undergraduate level or in K-12 settings, including work with in-service and pre-service teachers.

Depending on research and professional interests, graduates of the program may choose to

  • conduct research about how people learn the concepts, practices, and ways of thinking in mathematics or science;
  • conduct research about the nature and development of expertise in mathematics or a scientific discipline;
  • identify approaches to make mathematics or science education broad and inclusive;
  • identify and measure appropriate learning objectives and instructional approaches in mathematics or science that advance students toward those objectives;
  • conduct or use research to support the professional development of K-16 mathematics or science teachers or instructors;
  • conduct or use research or enact policy to improve K-16 mathematics or science education;
  • teach disciplinary content or methods courses for pre-service teachers.

All students in the Mathematics and Science Education Ph.D. program will be expected to complete the residency requirement during the first year of enrollment in the program. Please see Residency Requirement (below) for more information.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission is based on a comprehensive assessment of a candidate's qualifications including Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, undergraduate and graduate grade point average, and letters of recommendation.

Admission requires

  1. an earned bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited university or college. Applicants holding only a bachelor's degree will be expected to have earned that degree in an area of mathematics or science and will be expected to earn a master's degree in science, mathematics, or education as they complete the requirements of the Ph.D. All applicants to this program will either possess a mathematics or science degree upon admission or will be required to earn a content master's as a part of their program of study.
  2. an acceptable grade point average (GPA). Successful applicants typically have a minimum 3.25 GPA in their most recent graduate work or a minimum 3.00 GPA when entering with a bachelor's degree. Applicants holding a master's degree should have earned at least 24 semester hours of graduate mathematics, science, and/or education credit.

Application Procedures

Applicants must submit all application materials to the College of Graduate Studies.

Application deadline: January 15 for full consideration for graduate assistantships in the following Fall semester. Assistantships may be limited for applications that are completed after January 15.

Applicant must

  1. submit application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
  2. submit official transcripts showing a grade point average (GPA) in previous academic work that indicates potential for success in advanced study;
  3. submit official scores for the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing measures of the GRE that indicate potential for success in the Mathematics and Science Education program. Although specific minimum scores are not set, evaluation of scores is an important factor in admission decisions.
  4. submit supplemental application;
  5. provide letters of recommendation from at least three professors or professionals that address the applicant's potential to successfully complete a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education.

NOTE: International students must also meet the College of Graduate Studies requirement for proof of English language proficiency. This may be accomplished by submission of TOEFL, UMELI test, or IELTS scores that meet the college's requirements or by successful completion of level 112 of ELS coursework.

Applicants who do not meet these minimums but whose application materials indicate high potential for success may be admitted as non-degree seeking. Such students must meet the conditions of their admission in the time stated to be fully admitted to the program of study.

Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education with a concentration in Biological Education requires completion of a minimum of 60 semester hours.

Once admitted to the program, each candidate must

  1. complete at least 60 post-baccalaureate semester hours as described in the Curriculum section below. (Students entering with a master's degree in mathematics, education, or a science discipline may have up to 15 graduate hours of previous coursework applied after determination that the content of the courses is directly equivalent to existing courses in the Mathematics and Science Education curriculum.)
  2. make at least two research presentations at regional, national, or international meetings as the lead or coauthor;
  3. be lead author or make significant contribution as coauthor of two articles published, in press, or under review in high quality, peer-reviewed journals;
  4. in collaboration with an MTSU faculty member serving as principal investigator, make a significant contribution to the development of at least one external grant proposal;
  5. complete the MSE 7800 - Teaching Internship;
  6. complete a dissertation and successfully defend it in the final oral examination.

Residency Requirement

During the residency year, students are expected to complete at least 16 hours of coursework that apply directly to the degree. Of these 16 hours, 13 hours of coursework are prescribed.

Fall Semester(5 hours)

Spring Semester(5 hours)

Summer (3 hours)

In addition, during the residency year, students are expected to complete each of the following:

  1. Attend at least one conference: The conference should be directly related to the student's concentration (i.e,. biology education, chemistry education, science education, mathematics education) and should be at the regional, national, or international level. The advisor must approve the selected conference.
  2. Make significant progress* toward the submission of a manuscript on which the student is a co-author. The manuscript will be prepared under the guidance of or in conjunction with MSE faculty. Residency seminars will support this process.
  3. Attend at least five (5) program activities not associated with course credit: The MSE program has numerous activities that occur during the academic year (i.e., fall and spring semesters). These include seminars, book club meetings, reading/writing groups, journal clubs, etc. Some of these are intended for all MSE students while others are specific to concentrations.

*NOTE: Significant progress toward the submission of a manuscript is defined as legitimate peripheral participation of the student within one or more of the following components of a manuscript:

  • Research rationale/study introduction
  • Literature review
  • Research design and methodology
  • Data analysis data presentation
  • Writing

Curriculum: Mathematics and Science Education, Biological Education

The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements. In addition, a maximum of 36 hours of dissertation research may be required to fulfill degree requirements.

Core Courses (27 hours)

  • MSE 7001 - Residency Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education I  1 to 2 credit hours  
    (2 credit hours required)(2 credit hours required)  dotslash:(2 credit hours required) title:(2 credit hours required) 
    (2 credit hours required) 

    MSE 7001 - Residency Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education I

    1 to 2credit hours

    Focuses on the transition of a student into a scholar. Attention is given to scholarly reading, scholarly discourse, and scholarly writing. Students will build these skills by engaging in regularly scheduled research seminars covering topics of interest in mathematics and science education and through completion of residency requirement activities.

  • MSE 7002 - Residency Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education II  1 to 2 credit hours  
    (2 credit hours required)(2 credit hours required)  dotslash:(2 credit hours required) title:(2 credit hours required) 
    (2 credit hours required) 

    MSE 7002 - Residency Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education II

    1 to 2credit hours

    Focuses on the expectations placed on university faculty. Attention given to demands regarding teaching, research, and service. Students will continue building scholarship skills by engaging in regularly scheduled research seminars covering topics of interest in mathematics and science education and through completion of residency requirement activities.

  • MSE 7800 - Teaching Internship

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of department. Admission based on recommendations and performance in teaching. Offered every term.

  • MSE 7820 - Research Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education

    1credit hours

    Prerequisite: Must be currently enrolled in the Mathematics and Science Education Ph.D. program. Required of graduate students specializing in mathematics and science education. Involves presentations on current issues, related research, and policy developments in mathematics and science education. May be repeated.

NOTE: Students are required to take MSE 7820 at least twice before candidacy.

  • MSE 7900 - The Nature of Mathematics, Science, and STEM

    3credit hours

    Focus on the Nature of Mathematics (NOM), the Nature of Science (NOS), and the nature of integrated STEM. Attention will be given to how the fields practiced; conceptions of NOS, NOM, and STEM; pedagogical considerations; and the education research related to these topics.

  • MSE 7310 - Theoretical Frameworks in Mathematics and Science Education

    3credit hours

    Focuses on how researchers utilize theoretical frameworks while conducting and reporting research in mathematics and science education. Attention given to prominent theoretical frameworks in mathematics and science education and the role of frameworks in connecting methodology and the reporting of findings in mathematics education research.

  • SPSE 7010 - Educational Research Methodology

    3credit hours

    Designing research studies, including development of understandings, as well as skills and techniques needed in gathering, structuring, interpreting and presenting data required for educational research. SPSE 7010 is a prerequisite for enrollment in FOED 7610, which is recommended to be taken the following semester.

  • SPSE 7180 - Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods

    3credit hours

    Theoretical factors, methodological approaches, and frameworks related to evaluating and conducting qualitative research. Students required to identify specific problems and apply qualitative concepts and procedures related to classroom practice.

  • SPSE 7270 - Learning Theories in Mathematics and Science Education

    3credit hours

    Exposes Ph.D. students to different theoretical perspectives on learning used in mathematics and science education research. A core program requirement for students in the Mathematics and Science Ph.D. program; helps students develop an understanding of diverse theoretical perspectives on learning and the ability to select, create, and/or justify theoretical frameworks in their research related to mathematics and science education.

 

  • ALSI 7600 - Educational Statistics  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    ALSI 7600 - Educational Statistics

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: One undergraduate statistics course or permission of instructor. Provides students with knowledge and skills needed to understand, interpret, and apply appropriate statistical methodologies and concepts to the educational settings. A survey course for basic statistical methods, including descriptive statistics, confidence intervals, sampling, distribution, Central Limit Theorem, logic and procedure of hypothesis testing, z-tests and t-tests of means and proportions, chi-square tests, correlation and simple regression, and one-way ANOVA. Statistical software packages such as SPSS and SAS will be utilized for data analysis.  Prerequisite for ALSI 7620 and ALSI 7630.

  • ALSI 7620 - Advanced Quantitative Research Methodologies  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    ALSI 7620 - Advanced Quantitative Research Methodologies

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: ALSI 7600 and ALSI 7610. Provides students with advanced quantitative research methodologies that can be applied in an educational setting. Topics include power and effect size, ANOVA (One-Way Analysis of variance, Two-Way Analysis of Variance), MANOVA (Multivariate Analysis of Variance), ANCOVA (Analysis of Covariance), Factor Analysis, Multiple Regression, Logistic Regression, and ranking or Non-Parametric tests. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) will be used. The course will include the study of the methodologies used in growth models.

  • PSY 7280 - Psychological Statistics: Regression  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    PSY 7280 - Psychological Statistics: Regression

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: PSY 3020 or equivalent or admission to Psychology graduate program. Corequisite: PSY 7281. Survey of theoretical and practical aspects of multiple regression as typically used by psychologists. Simple and multiple regression through model comparison approach in the general linear model paradigm. Laboratory included.

  • PSY 7460 - Factor Analysis and Related Methods  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    PSY 7460 - Factor Analysis and Related Methods

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: PSY 6280, HHP 6700, or equivalent. Surveys each of the major factor analysis techniques and related latent theories with main focus on application. Nature, power, procedure, computer programming, interpretation, and limitations of each technique.

  • PSY 7550 - Structural Equation Modeling  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    PSY 7550 - Structural Equation Modeling

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: PSY 6280, HHP 6700, or equivalent. Structural equation modeling. Review of correlation, multiple regression, and path analysis. Conceptual review of measurement and structural (latent) models. Model specification, estimation, goodness of fit, and power of structural equation models. Relevant computer programs.

  • PSY 7565 - Behavioral Statistics Using R

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: PSY 4070 or PSY 6280/PSY 7280. Use of the R programming language to solve data management issues and to conduct basic and advanced statistical analyses.

Concentration Core (18 hours)

 

  • BIOL 7900 - Teaching and Learning Biology

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Overview of biology education with an emphasis on how students learn biology and current best practices for teaching biological concepts. Primary literature of the field featured as course emerges through lectures, discussion, small group activities, and group/individual presentations. Capstone experience will be student's development of an instructional unit of study including the formal teaching of selected biological concepts. Three hours lecture/discussion.

 

Choose 15 hours from the following:

  • BIOL 6070 - Plants and Man  3 credit hours  

    BIOL 6070 - Plants and Man

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: BIOL 1120/1121. Human dependence on plants emphasized. Topics include origin of agriculture, fruits and nuts, grains and legumes, vegetables, spices and herbs, oils and waxes, medicinal plants, psychoactive plants, beverages, fibers and dyes, tannins, wood and ornamental plants. Three lectures.

  • BIOL 6080 - Advanced Mycology

    4credit hours

    Prerequisites: Graduate standing plus BIOL 1120/1121. Corequisite: BIOL 6081. Fungi, with emphasis on taxonomy, morphology, culture, and importance to humans. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory.

  • BIOL 6090 - Advanced Forest Ecology

    4credit hours

    Prerequisites: Graduate standing and a grade of C or better in each of the following: BIOL 3250/3251, BIOL 3400, and BIOL 3500 or permission of instructor. Ecological form and function of forested systems with a particular emphasis on communities of the southeastern U.S. and Tennessee. Topics include dendrology, community assembly and disassembly over time, abiotic and biotic drivers of forest community succession, phylogeography and biogeography, and threats and sustainable practices. Three hours lecture and one three-hour laboratory.

  • BIOL 6120 - Aquatic Ecology  3 credit hours  

    BIOL 6120 - Aquatic Ecology

    3credit hours

    Physical, chemical, and biotic conditions of freshwater lakes and streams and of population structure and dynamics in these environments. Five hours lecture/laboratory.

  • BIOL 6130 - Ornithology  3 credit hours  

    BIOL 6130 - Ornithology

    3credit hours

    Corequisite: BIOL 6131. Structure, taxonomy, natural history, and identification of birds. Emphasizes field work. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory.

  • BIOL 6180 - Mammalogy  3 credit hours  

    BIOL 6180 - Mammalogy

    3credit hours

    Corequisite: BIOL 6181. Morphology, physiology, systematics, and the development of mammals. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory.

  • BIOL 6190 - Animal Physiological Ecology

    4credit hours

    Prerequisites: Graduate standing and one course in either ecology or physiology. A study of how animals function in and respond to their natural environments with special interest at the biochemical, physiological, morphological, and behavioral levels. Topics include allometry, heat transfer, thermoregulation, energetics, blood circulation, respiration, osmoregulation, locomotion, control systems, and sensory perception. Six hours lecture/laboratory.

  • BIOL 6200 - Speciation  3 credit hours  

    BIOL 6200 - Speciation

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: BIOL 3250/3251. Mutation, natural selection, adaptation, isolating mechanisms, genetic drift, hybridization, ploidy in the process of species formation, and a history of the development and ideas of evolution. Two lectures.

  • BIOL 6210 - Protozoology  3 credit hours  

    BIOL 6210 - Protozoology

    3credit hours

    Corequisite: BIOL 6211. Morphology, physiology, reproduction, ecology, taxonomy, and life cycles of the protozoa. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory.

  • BIOL 6220 - Herpetology  3 credit hours  

    BIOL 6220 - Herpetology

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: BIOL 3400/3401. Corequisite: BIOL 6221. Morphology, natural history, and identification of amphibians and reptiles. Local representatives emphasized. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory.

  • BIOL 6250 - Genomics  3 credit hours  

    BIOL 6250 - Genomics

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: BIOL 3250/3251 and STAT 3150 or equivalent courses or consent of instructor. Theory and practice of acquiring and analyzing whole-genome sequences and gene products. Genetic variation and patterns within genetic material and gene products of living organisms investigated. Three hours lecture/problem solving.

  • BIOL 6270 - Cell Metabolism and Human Disease

    3credit hours

    (Same as BIOL 7270). Prerequisites: BIOL 4110/4111; CHEM 3010/3011 and CHEM 3530/3531. Metabolic pathways of mammalian cells and the diseases that result from genetic defects that disrupt their normal function.

  • BIOL 6290 - Advanced Scanning Electron Microscopy

    4credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Application of scanning electron microscopy to study materials with emphasis on theory of scanning electron microscopy and preparation of biological specimens for microscopy. Seven hours lecture/laboratory.

  • BIOL 6350 - Biostatistical Analysis

    4credit hours

    Prerequisites: BIOL 3250/3251; MATH 1910. Corequisite: BIOL 6351. Intermediate-level introduction to biostatistical procedures used in research. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory.

  • BIOL 6360 - Energy Dispersive X-Ray Theory and Analysis

    1credit hours

    Prerequisite: BIOL 4290 or BIOL 6290. Theory of X-ray analysis and elemental analysis of materials using an energy dispersive X-ray system with scanning electron microscopy. One three-hour laboratory.

  • BIOL 6380 - Experimental Immunology

    4credit hours

    Prerequisite: BIOL 2230/2231. Corequisite: BIOL 6381. Mechanisms of immunity including the more recent developments in immunology. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory.

  • BIOL 6390 - Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: BIOL 2230/2231, BIOL 3250/3251; CHEM 2030/2031 or CHEM 3010/3011. Molecular biology of the cell with emphasis on current experimental techniques. Three lectures.

  • BIOL 6410 - Advanced Transmitting Electron Microscopy

    4credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Ultrastructure of the cell using basic and specialized techniques. Seven hours lecture/laboratory.

  • BIOL 6430 - Clinical and Pathogenic Microbiology

    4credit hours

    Prerequisite: BIOL 2230/2231. Comprehensive coverage of the most recent discoveries and techniques used for the identification of pathogenic organisms and their relationships to disease processes. Six hours lecture/laboratory.

  • BIOL 6440 - Advanced Virology

    4credit hours

    Prerequisites: BIOL 2230/2231; CHEM 1110/1111 and 1120/1121. Emphasizes the main virus families and their biochemical composition. Experimental approaches and techniques will be developed in order to identify and manipulate viruses. Six hours lecture/laboratory.

  • BIOL 6450 - Advancements in Molecular Genetics

    4credit hours

    Prerequisites: BIOL 2230/2231 and 3250/3251; CHEM 1110/1111 and 1120/1121. Recent advancements in microbial genetics and gene manipulation with emphasis on applications of molecular genetics, including gene regulation and recombinant DNA technology. Six hours lecture/laboratory.

  • BIOL 6460 - Conservation Biology

    4credit hours

    Prerequisite: BIOL 3400/3401. Measuring biodiversity: species, ecosystem, and genetic diversity. Topics include conservation ethics, extinctions, habitat degradation, exotic species, and management of populations and ecosystems. Six hours lecture/laboratory.

  • BIOL 6590 - Environmental Toxicology

    4credit hours

    Prerequisites: BIOL 1110/1111, 1120/1121; CHEM 1110/1111, 1120/1121, and 3010/3011. Ecological effects of chemicals in the environment and techniques currently utilized to assess these effects. Current environmental assessment techniques, including biomonitoring, will be covered in the laboratory. Six hours lecture/laboratory.

  • BIOL 6700 - Plant-Animal Interactions

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: BIOL 1110/1111, 1120/1121. Corequisite: BIOL 6701. Evolutionary and ecological perspectives on how plants attract and repel symbionts and how those symbionts influence plant fitness. Topics include angiosperm evolution, the coevolution of plants with pollinators, herbivores, mycorrhizae, and N-fixing bacteria, and how plant secondary metabolites facilitate or mitigate these interactions. Two hours lecture and three hours lab.

  • BIOL 6720 - Advanced Animal Development

    4credit hours

    Prerequisites: BIOL 3250/3251; BIOL 4210/4211 or BIOL 6390/BIOL 6391 recommended. Corequisite: BIOL 6721. Processes and underlying molecular mechanisms by which a single fertilized egg develops into an adult organism. Focuses on vertebrate development, including insights gained from other model organisms. Three hours lecture and two hours lab.

  • BIOL 6730 - Advanced Microbial Physiology and Biochemistry

    4credit hours

    Prerequisites: BIOL 2230/2231; CHEM 1110/1111, 1120/1121, and 2030/2031 or 3010/3011 or consent of instructor. Survey of the physiology and biochemistry of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms. Six hours lecture/laboratory.

  • BIOL 6740 - Brain Development and Learning Disabilities

    1credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of department. Biology and psychology underlying dyslexia and other common learning disabilities encountered in the school setting. Addresses practical classroom applications utilizing this background information. Five three-hour class meetings.

  • BIOL 6750 - Advanced Plant Biotechnology

    4credit hours

    Prerequisites: BIOL 1110/1111, 1120/1121, 3250/3251. Processes and reasoning behind the human manipulation of plant species for agricultural and technological purposes. Topics include traditional breeding techniques, tissue culture, plant cell transformation, and general plant molecular biology techniques as well as current debate over genetically modified organisms. Six hours lecture/laboratory.

  • BIOL 6760 - Bioinformatics  4 credit hours  

    BIOL 6760 - Bioinformatics

    4credit hours

    Prerequisites: BIOL 1110/1111 and 1120/1121 and CSCI 1170 or consent of instructor. Explores the emerging field of bioinformatics which involves the application of computer science to biological questions. Bioinformatics applies to the computational aspects of data gathering, processing, storage, analysis, and visualization methods used in revising and testing biological hypotheses. Student should have a strong background in either computer science or biology, be willing to learn about the other field in an accelerated fashion, and be willing to work cooperatively as part of an interdisciplinary team. Four hours of lecture/problem solving per week.

  • BIOL 6770 - Issues in Biotechnology

    2credit hours

    Prerequisite: BIOL 4550/4551, BIOL 5550/5551, or 4750/BIOL 6750. Explores current and emerging issues in biotechnology. Students will be asked to solve problems drawn from biotechnology industry. Seminars, field trips, and case study work.

  • BIOL 6780 - Principles of Systematics

    4credit hours

    Prerequisites: BIOL 3250/3251 and 3500. Theory and practice of biological systematics. Concepts of characters and taxa, methods of phylogenetic inference, and applications of systematic data addressed. Five hours lecture, discussion, and laboratory exercises.

  • BIOL 7010 - Analysis of Genetic Markers

    4credit hours

    Prerequisites: BIOL 3500 and BIOL 6350/BIOL 6351 or STAT 6020. Overview of the use of genetic markers to answer ecological and evolutionary questions. Applications of phylogenetics, population genetics, and identification of individuals. Labs integrated with lectures to cover major algorithms and software. Four hours of lecture/problem solving per week.

  • BIOL 7250 - Genomics  3 credit hours  

    BIOL 7250 - Genomics

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: BIOL 3250/3251 and STAT 3150 or equivalent courses or consent of instructor. Theory and practice of acquiring and analyzing whole-genome sequences and gene products. Genetic variation and patterns within genetic material and gene products of living organisms investigated. Three hours lecture/problem solving.

  • BIOL 7270 - Cell Metabolism and Human Disease

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: BIOL 4110/4111; CHEM 3010/3011 and CHEM 3530/3531. Provides a detailed overview of the major metabolic pathways in humans and explores how dysfunction of these pathways, through genetic mutation or other means, leads to disease. Three hours lecture/case study-based problem solving per week.

Electives (3-36 hours)

In consultation with his or her major advisor and dissertation committee, each student will choose 3-36 credit hours from courses in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, and the College of Education at the 6000 or 7000 level.

Students in the Biological Education concentration should select their electives to ensure that they have completed at least 21 hours of coursework with a BIOL rubric, or the equivalent as determined by the student's advisor.

Dissertation (12-36 hours)

  • MSE 7640 - Dissertation Research in Mathematics and Science Education

    1 to 6credit hours

    Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of the dissertation. Once enrolled, students must register for at least one credit hour of dissertation research each semester until completion. S/U grading.

Chemical Education

Mathematics and Science Education, Chemical Education Concentration, Ph.D.

Jennifer Kaplan, Program Director
Jennifer.Kaplan@mtsu.edu

The Mathematics and Science Education (MSE) Ph.D. program is an interdisciplinary program designed to train academic researchers and educational professionals to carry out, evaluate, and integrate research in mathematics or science education. The interdisciplinary nature of the program is manifested in two ways. First, similar to other STEM education Ph.D. programs, the MSE program requires students to develop content mastery of mathematics or science and demonstrate an understanding of educational theories, research methodologies, and best practices in mathematics or science education. Thus, graduates are scholars who work at the intersection of a mathematical or scientific domain and education. Second, and unique to the MTSU MSE program is the requirement that students can compare and contrast the nature of knowledge and how knowledge is created and taught or learned across mathematics and scientific disciplines, creating scholars who can work collaboratively with other mathematical and/or science education researchers. We offer preparation for students to serve in faculty positions or leadership roles in mathematics and science education at the undergraduate level or in K-12 settings, including work with in-service and pre-service teachers.

Depending on research and professional interests, graduates of the program may choose to

  • conduct research about how people learn the concepts, practices, and ways of thinking in mathematics or science;
  • conduct research about the nature and development of expertise in mathematics or a scientific discipline;
  • identify approaches to make mathematics or science education broad and inclusive;
  • identify and measure appropriate learning objectives and instructional approaches in mathematics or science that advance students toward those objectives;
  • conduct or use research to support the professional development of K-16 mathematics or science teachers or instructors;
  • conduct or use research or enact policy to improve K-16 mathematics or science education;
  • teach disciplinary content or methods courses for pre-service teachers.

All students in the Mathematics and Science Education Ph.D. program will be expected to complete the residency requirement during the first year of enrollment in the program. Please see Residency Requirement (below)  for more information.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission is based on a comprehensive assessment of a candidate's qualifications including Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, undergraduate and graduate grade point average, and letters of recommendation.

Admission requires

  1. an earned bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited university or college. Applicants holding only a bachelor's degree will be expected to have earned that degree in an area of mathematics or science and will be expected to earn a master's degree in science, mathematics, or education as they complete the requirements of the Ph.D. All applicants to this program will either possess a mathematics or science degree upon admission or will be required to earn a content master's as a part of their program of study.
  2. an acceptable grade point average (GPA). Successful applicants typically have a minimum 3.25 GPA in their most recent graduate work or a minimum 3.00 GPA when entering with a bachelor's degree. Applicants holding a master's degree should have earned at least 24 semester hours of graduate mathematics, science, and/or education credit.

Application Procedures

Applicants must submit all application materials to the College of Graduate Studies.

Application deadline: January 15 for full consideration for graduate assistantships in the following Fall semester. Assistantships may be limited for applications that are completed after January 15.

Applicant must

  1. submit application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
  2. submit official transcripts showing a grade point average (GPA) in previous academic work that indicates potential for success in advanced study;
  3. submit official scores for the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing measures of the GRE that indicate potential for success in the Mathematics and Science Education program. Although specific minimum scores are not set, evaluation of scores is an important factor in admission decisions.
  4. submit supplemental application;
  5. provide letters of recommendation from at least three professors or professionals that address the applicant's potential to successfully complete a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education.

NOTE: International students must also meet the College of Graduate Studies requirement for proof of English language proficiency. This may be accomplished by submission of TOEFL, UMELI test, or IELTS scores that meet the college's requirements or by successful completion of level 112 of ELS coursework.

Applicants who do not meet these minimums but whose application materials indicate high potential for success may be admitted as non-degree seeking. Such students must meet the conditions of their admission in the time stated to be fully admitted in the program of study.

Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education with a concentration in Chemical Education requires completion of a minimum of 60 semester hours.

Once admitted to the program, each candidate must

  1. complete at least 60 post-baccalaureate semester hours as described in the Curriculum section below. (Students entering with a master's degree in mathematics, education, or a science discipline may have up to 15 graduate hours of previous coursework applied after determination that the content of the courses is directly equivalent to existing courses in the Mathematics and Science Education curriculum.)
  2. make at least two research presentations at regional, national, or international meetings as the lead or coauthor.
  3. be lead author or make significant contribution as coauthor of two articles published, in press, or under review in high quality, peer-reviewed journals.
  4. in collaboration with an MTSU faculty member serving as principal investigator, make a significant contribution to the development of at least one external grant proposal.
  5. complete the MSE 7800 - Teaching Internship. Those who lack teaching experience in the K-12 setting are required to complete MSE 7800 in a K-12 teaching experience.
  6. complete a dissertation and successfully defend it in the final oral examination.

Residency Requirement

During the residency year, students are expected to complete at least 16 hours of coursework that apply directly to the degree. Of these 16 hours, 13 hours of coursework are prescribed.

Fall Semester(5 hours)

Spring Semester(5 hours)

Summer (3 hours)

In addition, during the residency year, students are expected to complete each of the following:

  1. Attend at least one conference: The conference should be directly related to the student's concentration (i.e,. biology education, chemistry education, science education, mathematics education) and should be at the regional, national, or international level. The advisor must approve the selected conference.
  2. Make significant progress* toward the submission of a manuscript on which the student is a co-author. The manuscript will be prepared under the guidance of or in conjunction with MSE faculty. Residency seminars will support this process.
  3. Attend at least five (5) program activities not associated with course credit: The MSE program has numerous activities that occur during the academic year (i.e., fall and spring semesters). These include seminars, book club meetings, reading/writing groups, journal clubs, etc. Some of these are intended for all MSE students while others are specific to concentrations.

*NOTE: Significant progress toward the submission of a manuscript is defined as legitimate peripheral participation of the student within one or more of the following components of a manuscript:

  • Research rationale/study introduction
  • Literature review
  • Research design and methodology
  • Data analysis data presentation
  • Writing

Curriculum: Mathematics and Science Education, Chemical Education

The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements. In addition, a maximum of 36 hours of dissertation research may be required to fulfill degree requirements.

Required Core Courses (27 hours)

  • MSE 7001 - Residency Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education I  1 to 2 credit hours  
    (2 credit hours required)(2 credit hours required)  dotslash:(2 credit hours required) title:(2 credit hours required) 
    (2 credit hours required) 

    MSE 7001 - Residency Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education I

    1 to 2credit hours

    Focuses on the transition of a student into a scholar. Attention is given to scholarly reading, scholarly discourse, and scholarly writing. Students will build these skills by engaging in regularly scheduled research seminars covering topics of interest in mathematics and science education and through completion of residency requirement activities.

  • MSE 7002 - Residency Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education II  1 to 2 credit hours  
    (2 credit hours required)(2 credit hours required)  dotslash:(2 credit hours required) title:(2 credit hours required) 
    (2 credit hours required) 

    MSE 7002 - Residency Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education II

    1 to 2credit hours

    Focuses on the expectations placed on university faculty. Attention given to demands regarding teaching, research, and service. Students will continue building scholarship skills by engaging in regularly scheduled research seminars covering topics of interest in mathematics and science education and through completion of residency requirement activities.

  • MSE 7310 - Theoretical Frameworks in Mathematics and Science Education

    3credit hours

    Focuses on how researchers utilize theoretical frameworks while conducting and reporting research in mathematics and science education. Attention given to prominent theoretical frameworks in mathematics and science education and the role of frameworks in connecting methodology and the reporting of findings in mathematics education research.

  • MSE 7800 - Teaching Internship

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of department. Admission based on recommendations and performance in teaching. Offered every term.

  • MSE 7820 - Research Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education

    1credit hours

    Prerequisite: Must be currently enrolled in the Mathematics and Science Education Ph.D. program. Required of graduate students specializing in mathematics and science education. Involves presentations on current issues, related research, and policy developments in mathematics and science education. May be repeated.

NOTE: Students are required to take MSE 7820 at least twice before candidacy.

  • MSE 7900 - The Nature of Mathematics, Science, and STEM

    3credit hours

    Focus on the Nature of Mathematics (NOM), the Nature of Science (NOS), and the nature of integrated STEM. Attention will be given to how the fields practiced; conceptions of NOS, NOM, and STEM; pedagogical considerations; and the education research related to these topics.

  • SPSE 7010 - Educational Research Methodology

    3credit hours

    Designing research studies, including development of understandings, as well as skills and techniques needed in gathering, structuring, interpreting and presenting data required for educational research. SPSE 7010 is a prerequisite for enrollment in FOED 7610, which is recommended to be taken the following semester.

  • SPSE 7180 - Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods

    3credit hours

    Theoretical factors, methodological approaches, and frameworks related to evaluating and conducting qualitative research. Students required to identify specific problems and apply qualitative concepts and procedures related to classroom practice.

  • SPSE 7270 - Learning Theories in Mathematics and Science Education

    3credit hours

    Exposes Ph.D. students to different theoretical perspectives on learning used in mathematics and science education research. A core program requirement for students in the Mathematics and Science Ph.D. program; helps students develop an understanding of diverse theoretical perspectives on learning and the ability to select, create, and/or justify theoretical frameworks in their research related to mathematics and science education.

 

Choose one from the following:

  • ALSI 7600 - Educational Statistics

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: One undergraduate statistics course or permission of instructor. Provides students with knowledge and skills needed to understand, interpret, and apply appropriate statistical methodologies and concepts to the educational settings. A survey course for basic statistical methods, including descriptive statistics, confidence intervals, sampling, distribution, Central Limit Theorem, logic and procedure of hypothesis testing, z-tests and t-tests of means and proportions, chi-square tests, correlation and simple regression, and one-way ANOVA. Statistical software packages such as SPSS and SAS will be utilized for data analysis.  Prerequisite for ALSI 7620 and ALSI 7630.

  • ALSI 7620 - Advanced Quantitative Research Methodologies

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: ALSI 7600 and ALSI 7610. Provides students with advanced quantitative research methodologies that can be applied in an educational setting. Topics include power and effect size, ANOVA (One-Way Analysis of variance, Two-Way Analysis of Variance), MANOVA (Multivariate Analysis of Variance), ANCOVA (Analysis of Covariance), Factor Analysis, Multiple Regression, Logistic Regression, and ranking or Non-Parametric tests. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) will be used. The course will include the study of the methodologies used in growth models.

  • PSY 7280 - Psychological Statistics: Regression

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: PSY 3020 or equivalent or admission to Psychology graduate program. Corequisite: PSY 7281. Survey of theoretical and practical aspects of multiple regression as typically used by psychologists. Simple and multiple regression through model comparison approach in the general linear model paradigm. Laboratory included.

  • PSY 7460 - Factor Analysis and Related Methods

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: PSY 6280, HHP 6700, or equivalent. Surveys each of the major factor analysis techniques and related latent theories with main focus on application. Nature, power, procedure, computer programming, interpretation, and limitations of each technique.

  • PSY 7550 - Structural Equation Modeling

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: PSY 6280, HHP 6700, or equivalent. Structural equation modeling. Review of correlation, multiple regression, and path analysis. Conceptual review of measurement and structural (latent) models. Model specification, estimation, goodness of fit, and power of structural equation models. Relevant computer programs.

  • PSY 7565 - Behavioral Statistics Using R

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: PSY 4070 or PSY 6280/PSY 7280. Use of the R programming language to solve data management issues and to conduct basic and advanced statistical analyses.

Concentration Core (19 hours)

 

  • CHEM 6100 - Intermediate Organic Chemistry

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: CHEM 3020/3021 or 2030/2031 or equivalent. Concepts and modern theories of organic chemistry: stereochemistry of reactions, mechanistic interpretation of organic reactions, and multistep synthesis. Offered every fall.

    NOTE: Graduate standing is the prerequisite for graduate courses in chemistry. The 5000-level courses also have the same prerequisites as listed for the corresponding 4000-level courses in the undergraduate catalog.

  • CHEM 6230 - Intermediate Analytical Chemistry

    4credit hours

    Prerequisite: CHEM 2230/2231 or equivalent. Selected instrumental methods of analysis including but not limited to gas and liquid chromatography methods; ultraviolet, visible, and infrared spectroscopic methods; and flame emission and atomic absorption spectrometry. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period. Offered every spring.

    NOTE: Graduate standing is the prerequisite for graduate courses in chemistry. The 5000-level courses also have the same prerequisites as listed for the corresponding 4000-level courses in the undergraduate catalog.

  • CHEM 6300 - Intermediate Physical Chemistry

    3credit hours

    Key concepts from classical thermodynamics, quantum theory, and chemically relevant spectroscopies. Statistical thermodynamics introduced. Offered every spring.

    NOTE: Graduate standing is the prerequisite for graduate courses in chemistry. The 5000-level courses also have the same prerequisites as listed for the corresponding 4000-level courses in the undergraduate catalog.

  • CHEM 6400 - Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry

    3credit hours

    Concepts of inorganic chemistry needed for effective teaching of general chemistry and for safe and effective use of inorganic chemicals and materials in industrial and academic laboratories; atomic theory, principles of inorganic reactivity in acid-base; precipitation, complexation, and oxidation-reduction reactions; crystal and ligand field theory; symmetry; molecular orbital theory; organometallic chemistry. Offered every fall.

    NOTE: Graduate standing is the prerequisite for graduate courses in chemistry. The 5000-level courses also have the same prerequisites as listed for the corresponding 4000-level courses in the undergraduate catalog.

  • CHEM 6500 - Biochemistry I  3 credit hours  

    CHEM 6500 - Biochemistry I

    3credit hours

    Chemical properties of biological molecules such as proteins, lipids, nucleotides, and carbohydrates. Chemical basis of enzyme catalysis. Structure of biological membranes. Offered every fall.

    NOTE: Graduate standing is the prerequisite for graduate courses in chemistry. The 5000-level courses also have the same prerequisites as listed for the corresponding 4000-level courses in the undergraduate catalog.

  • CHEM 7900 - Teaching and Learning in Chemistry

    3credit hours

    Areas and ideas associated with chemical education. Readings from the current literature or seminal texts on misconceptions in chemistry, theories of learning, and theories of teaching. Offered summer only.

    NOTE: Graduate standing is the prerequisite for graduate courses in chemistry. The 5000-level courses also have the same prerequisites as listed for the corresponding 4000-level courses in the undergraduate catalog.

Electives (2-35 hours)

In consultation with his or her major advisor and dissertation committee, each student will choose 2-35 credit hours from courses in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, and the College of Education at the 6000 or 7000 level.

Students in the Chemical Education concentration should select their electives to ensure that they have completed at least 21 hours with a CHEM rubric or the equivalent as determined by the students advisor.

Dissertation (12-36 hours)

  • MSE 7640 - Dissertation Research in Mathematics and Science Education

    1 to 6credit hours

    Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of the dissertation. Once enrolled, students must register for at least one credit hour of dissertation research each semester until completion. S/U grading.

Interdisciplinary Science Education

Mathematics and Science Education, Interdisciplinary Science Education Concentration, Ph.D.

Jennifer Kaplan, Program Director
Jennifer.Kaplan@mtsu.edu

The Mathematics and Science Education (MSE) Ph.D. program is an interdisciplinary program designed to train academic researchers and educational professionals to carry out, evaluate, and integrate research in mathematics or science education. The interdisciplinary nature of the program is manifested in two ways. First, similar to other STEM education Ph.D. programs, the MSE program requires students to develop content mastery of mathematics or science and demonstrate an understanding of educational theories, research methodologies, and best practices in mathematics or science education. Thus, graduates are scholars who work at the intersection of a mathematical or scientific domain and education. Second, and unique to the MTSU MSE program is the requirement that students can compare and contrast the nature of knowledge and how knowledge is created and taught or learned across mathematics and scientific disciplines, creating scholars who can work collaboratively with other mathematical and/or science education researchers. We offer preparation for students to serve in faculty positions or leadership roles in mathematics and science education at the undergraduate level or in K-12 settings, including work with in-service and pre-service teachers.

Depending on research and professional interests, graduates of the program may choose to

  • conduct research about how people learn the concepts, practices, and ways of thinking in mathematics or science;
  • conduct research about the nature and development of expertise in mathematics or a scientific discipline;
  • identify approaches to make mathematics or science education broad and inclusive;
  • identify and measure appropriate learning objectives and instructional approaches in mathematics or science that advance students toward those objectives;
  • conduct or use research to support the professional development of K-16 mathematics or science teachers or instructors;
  • conduct or use research or enact policy to improve K-16 mathematics or science education;
  • teach disciplinary content or methods courses for pre-service teachers.

All students in the Mathematics and Science Education Ph.D. program will be expected to complete the residency requirement during the first year of enrollment in the program. Please see Residency Requirement (below)  for more information.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission is based on a comprehensive assessment of a candidate's qualifications including Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, undergraduate and graduate grade point average, and letters of recommendation.

Admission requires

  1. an earned bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited university or college. Applicants holding only a bachelor's degree will be expected to have earned that degree in an area of mathematics or science and will be expected to earn a master's degree in science, mathematics, or education as they complete the requirements of the Ph.D. All applicants to this program will either possess a mathematics or science degree upon admission or will be required to earn a content master's as a part of their program of study.
  2. an acceptable grade point average (GPA). Successful applicants typically have a minimum 3.25 GPA in their most recent graduate work or a minimum 3.00 GPA when entering with a bachelor's degree. Applicants holding a master's degree should have earned at least 24 semester hours of graduate mathematics, science, and/or education credit.

Application Procedures

Applicants must submit all application materials to the College of Graduate Studies.

Application deadline: January 15 for full consideration for graduate assistantships in the following Fall semester. Assistantships may be limited for applications that are completed after January 15.

Applicant must

  1. submit application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
  2. submit official transcripts showing a grade point average (GPA) in previous academic work that indicates potential for success in advanced study;
  3. submit official scores for the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing measures of the GRE that indicate potential for success in the Mathematics and Science Education program. Although specific minimum scores are not set, evaluation of scores is an important factor in admission decisions.
  4. submit supplemental application;
  5. provide letters of recommendation from at least three professors or professionals that address the applicant's potential to successfully complete a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education.

NOTE: International students must also meet the College of Graduate Studies requirement for proof of English language proficiency. This may be accomplished by submission of TOEFL, UMELI test, or IELTS scores that meet the college's requirements or by successful completion of level 112 of ELS coursework.

Applicants who do not meet these minimums but whose application materials indicate high potential for success may be admitted as non-degree seeking. Such students must meet the conditions of their admission in the time stated to be fully admitted to the program of study.

Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education with a concentration in Interdisciplinary Science Education requires completion of a minimum of 60 semester hours.

Once admitted to the program, each candidate must

  1. complete at least 60 post-baccalaureate semester hours as described in the Curriculum section below. (Students entering with a master's degree in mathematics, education, or a science discipline may have up to 15 graduate hours of previous coursework applied after determination that the content of the courses is directly equivalent to existing courses in the Mathematics and Science Education curriculum.)
  2. make at least two research presentations at regional, national, or international meetings as the lead or coauthor;
  3. be lead author or make significant contribution as coauthor of two articles published, in press, or under review in high quality, peer-reviewed journals;
  4. in collaboration with an MTSU faculty member serving as principal investigator, make a significant contribution to the development of at least one external grant proposal;
  5. complete the MSE 7800 - Teaching Internship;
  6. complete a dissertation and successfully defend it in the final oral examination.

Residency Requirement

During the residency year, students are expected to complete at least 16 hours of coursework that apply directly to the degree. Of these 16 hours, 13 hours of coursework are prescribed.

Fall Semester(5 hours)

Spring Semester(5 hours)

Summer (3 hours)

In addition, during the residency year, students are expected to complete each of the following:

  1. Attend at least one conference: The conference should be directly related to the student's concentration (i.e,. biology education, chemistry education, science education, mathematics education) and should be at the regional, national, or international level. The advisor must approve the selected conference.
  2. Make significant progress* toward the submission of a manuscript on which the student is a co-author. The manuscript will be prepared under the guidance of or in conjunction with MSE faculty. Residency seminars will support this process.
  3. Attend at least five (5) program activities not associated with course credit: The MSE program has numerous activities that occur during the academic year (i.e., fall and spring semesters). These include seminars, book club meetings, reading/writing groups, journal clubs, etc. Some of these are intended for all MSE students while others are specific to concentrations.

*NOTE: Significant progress toward the submission of a manuscript is defined as legitimate peripheral participation of the student within one or more of the following components of a manuscript:

  • Research rationale/study introduction
  • Literature review
  • Research design and methodology
  • Data analysis data presentation
  • Writing

Curriculum: Mathematics and Science Education, Interdisciplinary Science Education

The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements. In addition, a maximum of 36 hours of dissertation research may be required to fulfill degree requirements.

Core Courses (27 hours)

  • MSE 7001 - Residency Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education I  1 to 2 credit hours  
    (2 credit hours required)(2 credit hours required)  dotslash:(2 credit hours required) title:(2 credit hours required) 
    (2 credit hours required) 

    MSE 7001 - Residency Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education I

    1 to 2credit hours

    Focuses on the transition of a student into a scholar. Attention is given to scholarly reading, scholarly discourse, and scholarly writing. Students will build these skills by engaging in regularly scheduled research seminars covering topics of interest in mathematics and science education and through completion of residency requirement activities.

  • MSE 7002 - Residency Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education II  1 to 2 credit hours  
    (2 credit hours required)(2 credit hours required)  dotslash:(2 credit hours required) title:(2 credit hours required) 
    (2 credit hours required) 

    MSE 7002 - Residency Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education II

    1 to 2credit hours

    Focuses on the expectations placed on university faculty. Attention given to demands regarding teaching, research, and service. Students will continue building scholarship skills by engaging in regularly scheduled research seminars covering topics of interest in mathematics and science education and through completion of residency requirement activities.

  • MSE 7310 - Theoretical Frameworks in Mathematics and Science Education

    3credit hours

    Focuses on how researchers utilize theoretical frameworks while conducting and reporting research in mathematics and science education. Attention given to prominent theoretical frameworks in mathematics and science education and the role of frameworks in connecting methodology and the reporting of findings in mathematics education research.

  • MSE 7800 - Teaching Internship

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of department. Admission based on recommendations and performance in teaching. Offered every term.

  • MSE 7820 - Research Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education

    1credit hours

    Prerequisite: Must be currently enrolled in the Mathematics and Science Education Ph.D. program. Required of graduate students specializing in mathematics and science education. Involves presentations on current issues, related research, and policy developments in mathematics and science education. May be repeated.

NOTE: Students are required to take MSE 7820 at least twice before candidacy.

  • MSE 7900 - The Nature of Mathematics, Science, and STEM

    3credit hours

    Focus on the Nature of Mathematics (NOM), the Nature of Science (NOS), and the nature of integrated STEM. Attention will be given to how the fields practiced; conceptions of NOS, NOM, and STEM; pedagogical considerations; and the education research related to these topics.

  • SPSE 7010 - Educational Research Methodology

    3credit hours

    Designing research studies, including development of understandings, as well as skills and techniques needed in gathering, structuring, interpreting and presenting data required for educational research. SPSE 7010 is a prerequisite for enrollment in FOED 7610, which is recommended to be taken the following semester.

  • SPSE 7180 - Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods

    3credit hours

    Theoretical factors, methodological approaches, and frameworks related to evaluating and conducting qualitative research. Students required to identify specific problems and apply qualitative concepts and procedures related to classroom practice.

  • SPSE 7270 - Learning Theories in Mathematics and Science Education

    3credit hours

    Exposes Ph.D. students to different theoretical perspectives on learning used in mathematics and science education research. A core program requirement for students in the Mathematics and Science Ph.D. program; helps students develop an understanding of diverse theoretical perspectives on learning and the ability to select, create, and/or justify theoretical frameworks in their research related to mathematics and science education.

Choose one of the following:

  • ALSI 7600 - Educational Statistics  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    ALSI 7600 - Educational Statistics

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: One undergraduate statistics course or permission of instructor. Provides students with knowledge and skills needed to understand, interpret, and apply appropriate statistical methodologies and concepts to the educational settings. A survey course for basic statistical methods, including descriptive statistics, confidence intervals, sampling, distribution, Central Limit Theorem, logic and procedure of hypothesis testing, z-tests and t-tests of means and proportions, chi-square tests, correlation and simple regression, and one-way ANOVA. Statistical software packages such as SPSS and SAS will be utilized for data analysis.  Prerequisite for ALSI 7620 and ALSI 7630.

  • ALSI 7620 - Advanced Quantitative Research Methodologies  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    ALSI 7620 - Advanced Quantitative Research Methodologies

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: ALSI 7600 and ALSI 7610. Provides students with advanced quantitative research methodologies that can be applied in an educational setting. Topics include power and effect size, ANOVA (One-Way Analysis of variance, Two-Way Analysis of Variance), MANOVA (Multivariate Analysis of Variance), ANCOVA (Analysis of Covariance), Factor Analysis, Multiple Regression, Logistic Regression, and ranking or Non-Parametric tests. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) will be used. The course will include the study of the methodologies used in growth models.

  • PSY 7280 - Psychological Statistics: Regression  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    PSY 7280 - Psychological Statistics: Regression

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: PSY 3020 or equivalent or admission to Psychology graduate program. Corequisite: PSY 7281. Survey of theoretical and practical aspects of multiple regression as typically used by psychologists. Simple and multiple regression through model comparison approach in the general linear model paradigm. Laboratory included.

  • PSY 7460 - Factor Analysis and Related Methods  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    PSY 7460 - Factor Analysis and Related Methods

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: PSY 6280, HHP 6700, or equivalent. Surveys each of the major factor analysis techniques and related latent theories with main focus on application. Nature, power, procedure, computer programming, interpretation, and limitations of each technique.

  • PSY 7550 - Structural Equation Modeling  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    PSY 7550 - Structural Equation Modeling

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: PSY 6280, HHP 6700, or equivalent. Structural equation modeling. Review of correlation, multiple regression, and path analysis. Conceptual review of measurement and structural (latent) models. Model specification, estimation, goodness of fit, and power of structural equation models. Relevant computer programs.

  • PSY 7565 - Behavioral Statistics Using R

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: PSY 4070 or PSY 6280/PSY 7280. Use of the R programming language to solve data management issues and to conduct basic and advanced statistical analyses.

Concentration Core (18 hours)

Students who choose this concentration must select at least 18 hours (in consultation with their major advisors and dissertation committee) from the courses listed in the Biological EducationChemical Education, and Mathematics Education concentrations in Mathematics and Science Education or from the courses listed below:

  • BIOL 7850 - Intermediate Life Science

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and one undergraduate biology course. Uses a process-oriented approach to the study of life science with emphasis on execution and analysis of content-based activities and experiments suited to actual classroom situations. (May not be used for biology majors or minors.)

  • MATH 6100 - Mathematics for Teachers

    3credit hours

    Mathematics as problem solving, communication, and reasoning. Connecting different fields of mathematics. Topics include number and number relationships, number systems and number theory, computation and estimation, patterns and functions, statistics and probability, algebra, geometry, measurement.

  • MATH 6330 - Algebra from an Advanced Perspective

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Review and extension of algebraic skills and concepts as they relate to the teaching and learning of algebra. Focus on algebraic thinking and problem solving, algebraic systems, functions, graphing, and linear algebra.

  • MATH 6340 - Geometry from an Advanced Perspective

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Investigations into the foundations of plane, solid, and coordinate geometry, motion geometry, similarities and congruencies, measurement and the application of geometry. Instruction will model the suggested pedagogy appropriate for school mathematics.

  • MATH 6350 - Probability and Statistics from an Advanced Perspective

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Relation to school mathematics. Development of central tendency and variation, concepts of chance including sample space, randomness, conditional probability, and independence.

  • PSCI 6020 - Investigations in Physical Science

    1 to 3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. Topics from astronomy to chemistry and physics, with special emphasis on the development of hands-on activities, determination of content cognitive demand, development of appropriate assessment instruments/implementation plans, and implementation of these across the pre-college curriculum. For practicing pre-college science teachers and school administrators. Consult the listed instructor for costs and specific credits. Does not apply toward chemistry graduate degrees. Offered on sufficient demand. May be repeated for a total of six credits with departmental approval. Repeatable for up to six credit hours.

  • PSY 6480 - Advanced Topics in Quantitative Psychology

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: PSY 6280 or equivalent. Advanced topics in quantitative psychology. Focus on current topics, recent issues, and less traditional areas of quantitative psychology. Relevant computer programs. May be repeated for a total of six credits.

  • PSY 6550 - Structural Equation Modeling

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: PSY 6280, HHP 6700, or equivalent. Structural equation modeling. Review of correlation, multiple regression and path analysis. Conceptual review of measurement models. Model specification, estimation, goodness of fit, and power of structural equation models. Relevant computer programs.

  • PSY 7210 - Advanced Psychometrics

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: PSY 6280, HHP 6700, or equivalent. Classical test theory and item response theory. Model, assumptions, and problems of classical test theory. Mathematical modeling, parameter estimating, and adaptive testing procedures using item response theory. Both theories utilized for test construction.

  • PSY 7580 - Multivariate Data Analysis

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: PSY 6280, HHP 6700, or equivalent. Surveys each of the major multivariate data analysis techniques, with main focus on their application. Nature, power, procedure, computer programming, interpretation, and limitations of each.

  • PSCI 7800 - Intermediate Physical Science

    3credit hours

    Selected concepts and theories within the physical sciences of astronomy, chemistry, geology, and physics such as the solar system and the Earth, physical and chemical changes, chemical bonding, acids and bases, rocks and minerals, density, kinematics, electricity, and magnetism. Particular emphasis placed on developing strong content and pedagogical content knowledge in these areas.

Students must take one of the following courses:

 

  • BIOL 7900 - Teaching and Learning Biology

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Overview of biology education with an emphasis on how students learn biology and current best practices for teaching biological concepts. Primary literature of the field featured as course emerges through lectures, discussion, small group activities, and group/individual presentations. Capstone experience will be student's development of an instructional unit of study including the formal teaching of selected biological concepts. Three hours lecture/discussion.

  • CHEM 7900 - Teaching and Learning in Chemistry

    3credit hours

    Areas and ideas associated with chemical education. Readings from the current literature or seminal texts on misconceptions in chemistry, theories of learning, and theories of teaching. Offered summer only.

    NOTE: Graduate standing is the prerequisite for graduate courses in chemistry. The 5000-level courses also have the same prerequisites as listed for the corresponding 4000-level courses in the undergraduate catalog.

  • MATH 7900 - Teaching and Learning Mathematics

    3credit hours

    Focus on theoretical and practical issues regarding how students learn mathematics, best practices for teaching mathematics, and issues from current literature on the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Electives (3-36 hours)

In consultation with his or her major advisor and dissertation committee, each student will choose 3-36 credit hours from courses in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, and the College of Education at the 6000 or 7000 level.

Dissertation (12-36 hours)

  • MSE 7640 - Dissertation Research in Mathematics and Science Education

    1 to 6credit hours

    Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of the dissertation. Once enrolled, students must register for at least one credit hour of dissertation research each semester until completion. S/U grading.

Mathematics Education

Mathematics and Science Education, Mathematics Education Concentration, Ph.D.

Jennifer Kaplan, Program Director
Jennifer.Kaplan@mtsu.edu

The Mathematics and Science Education (MSE) Ph.D. program is an interdisciplinary program designed to train academic researchers and educational professionals to carry out, evaluate, and integrate research in mathematics or science education. The interdisciplinary nature of the program is manifested in two ways. First, similar to other STEM education Ph.D. programs, the MSE program requires students to develop content mastery of mathematics or science and demonstrate an understanding of educational theories, research methodologies, and best practices in mathematics or science education. Thus, graduates are scholars who work at the intersection of a mathematical or scientific domain and education. Second, and unique to the MTSU MSE program is the requirement that students can compare and contrast the nature of knowledge and how knowledge is created and taught or learned across mathematics and scientific disciplines, creating scholars who can work collaboratively with other mathematical and/or science education researchers. We offer preparation for students to serve in faculty positions or leadership roles in mathematics and science education at the undergraduate level or in K-12 settings, including work with in-service and pre-service teachers.

Depending on research and professional interests, graduates of the program may choose to

  • conduct research about how people learn the concepts, practices, and ways of thinking in mathematics or science;
  • conduct research about the nature and development of expertise in mathematics or a scientific discipline;
  • identify approaches to make mathematics or science education broad and inclusive;
  • identify and measure appropriate learning objectives and instructional approaches in mathematics or science that advance students toward those objectives;
  • conduct or use research to support the professional development of K-16 mathematics or science teachers or instructors;
  • conduct or use research or enact policy to improve K-16 mathematics or science education;
  • teach disciplinary content or methods courses for pre-service teachers.

All students in the Mathematics and Science Education Ph.D. program will be expected to complete the residency requirement during the first year of enrollment in the program. Please see Residency Requirement (below) for more information.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission is based on a comprehensive assessment of a candidate's qualifications including Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, undergraduate and graduate grade point average, and letters of recommendation.

Admission requires

  1. an earned bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited university or college. Applicants holding only a bachelor's degree will be expected to have earned that degree in an area of mathematics or science and will be expected to earn a master's degree in science, mathematics, or education as they complete the requirements of the Ph.D. All applicants to this program will either possess a mathematics or science degree upon admission or will be required to earn a content master's as a part of their program of study.
  2. an acceptable grade point average (GPA). Successful applicants typically have a minimum 3.25 GPA in their most recent graduate work or a minimum 3.00 GPA when entering with a bachelor's degree. Applicants holding a master's degree should have earned at least 24 semester hours of graduate mathematics, science, and/or education credit.

Application Procedures

Applicants must submit all application materials to the College of Graduate Studies.

Application deadline: January 15 for full consideration for graduate assistantships in the following Fall semester. Assistantships may be limited for applications that are completed after January 15.

Applicant must

  1. submit application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
  2. submit official transcripts showing a grade point average (GPA) in previous academic work that indicates potential for success in advanced study;
  3. submit official scores for the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing measures of the GRE that indicate potential for success in the Mathematics and Science Education program. Although specific minimum scores are not set, evaluation of scores is an important factor in admission decisions.
  4. submit supplemental application;
  5. provide letters of recommendation from at least three professors or professionals that address the applicant's potential to successfully complete a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education.

NOTE: International students must also meet the College of Graduate Studies requirement for proof of English language proficiency. This may be accomplished by submission of TOEFL, UMELI test, or IELTS scores that meet the college's requirements or by successful completion of level 112 of ELS coursework.

Applicants who do not meet these minimums but whose application materials indicate high potential for success may be admitted as non-degree seeking. Such students must meet the conditions of their admission in the time stated to be fully admitted to program of study.

Degree Requirements

The Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education with a concentration in Mathematics Education requires completion of a minimum of 69 semester hours.

Once admitted to the program, each candidate must

  1. complete at least 69 post-baccalaureate semester hours as described in the Curriculum section below. (Students entering with a master's degree in mathematics, education, or a science discipline may have up to 15 graduate hours of previous coursework applied after determination that the content of the courses is directly equivalent to existing courses in the Mathematics and Science Education curriculum.)
  2. make at least two research presentations at regional, national, or international meetings as the lead or coauthor;
  3. be lead author or make significant contribution as coauthor of two articles published, in press, or under review in high quality, peer-reviewed journals;
  4. in collaboration with an MTSU faculty member serving as principal investigator, make a significant contribution to the development of at least one external grant proposal;
  5. complete the MSE 7800 - Teaching Internship;
  6. complete a dissertation and successfully defend it in the final oral examination.

Residency Requirement

During the residency year, students are expected to complete at least 16 hours of coursework that apply directly to the degree. Of these 16 hours, 13 hours of coursework are prescribed.

Fall Semester(5 hours)

Spring Semester(5 hours)

Summer (3 hours)

In addition, during the residency year, students are expected to complete each of the following:

  1. Attend at least one conference: The conference should be directly related to the student's concentration (i.e,. biology education, chemistry education, science education, mathematics education) and should be at the regional, national, or international level. The advisor must approve the selected conference.
  2. Make significant progress* toward the submission of a manuscript on which the student is a co-author. The manuscript will be prepared under the guidance of or in conjunction with MSE faculty. Residency seminars will support this process.
  3. Attend at least five (5) program activities not associated with course credit: The MSE program has numerous activities that occur during the academic year (i.e., fall and spring semesters). These include seminars, book club meetings, reading/writing groups, journal clubs, etc. Some of these are intended for all MSE students while others are specific to concentrations.

*NOTE: Significant progress toward the submission of a manuscript is defined as legitimate peripheral participation of the student within one or more of the following components of a manuscript:

  • Research rationale/study introduction
  • Literature review
  • Research design and methodology
  • Data analysis data presentation
  • Writing

Curriculum: Mathematics and Science Education, Mathematics Education

The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements. In addition, a maximum of 36 hours of dissertation research may be required to fulfill degree requirements.

Core Courses (27 hours)

  • MSE 7001 - Residency Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education I  1 to 2 credit hours  
    (2 credit hours required)(2 credit hours required)  dotslash:(2 credit hours required) title:(2 credit hours required) 
    (2 credit hours required) 

    MSE 7001 - Residency Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education I

    1 to 2credit hours

    Focuses on the transition of a student into a scholar. Attention is given to scholarly reading, scholarly discourse, and scholarly writing. Students will build these skills by engaging in regularly scheduled research seminars covering topics of interest in mathematics and science education and through completion of residency requirement activities.

  • MSE 7002 - Residency Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education II  1 to 2 credit hours  
    (2 credit hours required)(2 credit hours required)  dotslash:(2 credit hours required) title:(2 credit hours required) 
    (2 credit hours required) 

    MSE 7002 - Residency Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education II

    1 to 2credit hours

    Focuses on the expectations placed on university faculty. Attention given to demands regarding teaching, research, and service. Students will continue building scholarship skills by engaging in regularly scheduled research seminars covering topics of interest in mathematics and science education and through completion of residency requirement activities.

  • MSE 7310 - Theoretical Frameworks in Mathematics and Science Education

    3credit hours

    Focuses on how researchers utilize theoretical frameworks while conducting and reporting research in mathematics and science education. Attention given to prominent theoretical frameworks in mathematics and science education and the role of frameworks in connecting methodology and the reporting of findings in mathematics education research.

  • MSE 7800 - Teaching Internship

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of department. Admission based on recommendations and performance in teaching. Offered every term.

  • MSE 7820 - Research Seminar in Mathematics and Science Education

    1credit hours

    Prerequisite: Must be currently enrolled in the Mathematics and Science Education Ph.D. program. Required of graduate students specializing in mathematics and science education. Involves presentations on current issues, related research, and policy developments in mathematics and science education. May be repeated.

NOTE: Students are required to take MSE 7820 at least twice before candidacy.

  • MSE 7900 - The Nature of Mathematics, Science, and STEM

    3credit hours

    Focus on the Nature of Mathematics (NOM), the Nature of Science (NOS), and the nature of integrated STEM. Attention will be given to how the fields practiced; conceptions of NOS, NOM, and STEM; pedagogical considerations; and the education research related to these topics.

  • SPSE 7010 - Educational Research Methodology

    3credit hours

    Designing research studies, including development of understandings, as well as skills and techniques needed in gathering, structuring, interpreting and presenting data required for educational research. SPSE 7010 is a prerequisite for enrollment in FOED 7610, which is recommended to be taken the following semester.

  • SPSE 7180 - Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods

    3credit hours

    Theoretical factors, methodological approaches, and frameworks related to evaluating and conducting qualitative research. Students required to identify specific problems and apply qualitative concepts and procedures related to classroom practice.

  • SPSE 7270 - Learning Theories in Mathematics and Science Education

    3credit hours

    Exposes Ph.D. students to different theoretical perspectives on learning used in mathematics and science education research. A core program requirement for students in the Mathematics and Science Ph.D. program; helps students develop an understanding of diverse theoretical perspectives on learning and the ability to select, create, and/or justify theoretical frameworks in their research related to mathematics and science education.

  • ALSI 7600 - Educational Statistics  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    ALSI 7600 - Educational Statistics

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: One undergraduate statistics course or permission of instructor. Provides students with knowledge and skills needed to understand, interpret, and apply appropriate statistical methodologies and concepts to the educational settings. A survey course for basic statistical methods, including descriptive statistics, confidence intervals, sampling, distribution, Central Limit Theorem, logic and procedure of hypothesis testing, z-tests and t-tests of means and proportions, chi-square tests, correlation and simple regression, and one-way ANOVA. Statistical software packages such as SPSS and SAS will be utilized for data analysis.  Prerequisite for ALSI 7620 and ALSI 7630.

  • ALSI 7620 - Advanced Quantitative Research Methodologies  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    ALSI 7620 - Advanced Quantitative Research Methodologies

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: ALSI 7600 and ALSI 7610. Provides students with advanced quantitative research methodologies that can be applied in an educational setting. Topics include power and effect size, ANOVA (One-Way Analysis of variance, Two-Way Analysis of Variance), MANOVA (Multivariate Analysis of Variance), ANCOVA (Analysis of Covariance), Factor Analysis, Multiple Regression, Logistic Regression, and ranking or Non-Parametric tests. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) will be used. The course will include the study of the methodologies used in growth models.

  • PSY 7280 - Psychological Statistics: Regression  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    PSY 7280 - Psychological Statistics: Regression

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: PSY 3020 or equivalent or admission to Psychology graduate program. Corequisite: PSY 7281. Survey of theoretical and practical aspects of multiple regression as typically used by psychologists. Simple and multiple regression through model comparison approach in the general linear model paradigm. Laboratory included.

  • PSY 7460 - Factor Analysis and Related Methods  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    PSY 7460 - Factor Analysis and Related Methods

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: PSY 6280, HHP 6700, or equivalent. Surveys each of the major factor analysis techniques and related latent theories with main focus on application. Nature, power, procedure, computer programming, interpretation, and limitations of each technique.

  • PSY 7550 - Structural Equation Modeling  3 credit hours  
    OROR  dotslash:OR title:OR 
    OR 

    PSY 7550 - Structural Equation Modeling

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: PSY 6280, HHP 6700, or equivalent. Structural equation modeling. Review of correlation, multiple regression, and path analysis. Conceptual review of measurement and structural (latent) models. Model specification, estimation, goodness of fit, and power of structural equation models. Relevant computer programs.

  • PSY 7565 - Behavioral Statistics Using R

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: PSY 4070 or PSY 6280/PSY 7280. Use of the R programming language to solve data management issues and to conduct basic and advanced statistical analyses.

Concentration Core (18 hours)

 

  • MATH 6900 - Research in Mathematics Education

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Examines factors influencing research and critical analyses of selected research in mathematics education. Studies representing different methodologies critiqued.

  • MATH 7320 - Mathematical Problem Solving

    3credit hours

    Required of students in Mathematics Education concentration of Mathematics and Science Education Ph.D. program. Examines research on teaching and learning mathematics through problem solving as a process, problem-solving strategies and heuristics, and assessing problem solving. Focuses on all branches of mathematics providing an opportunity to synthesize mathematical knowledge.

  • MATH 7330 - Ethics in Mathematics Education

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Admission to MSE program and successful completion of either MATH 6900 or MSE 7848. Focuses on the philosophical and theoretical perspectives of ethics and ethical decision making as they relate to the roles and responsibilities of teacher education and researchers in mathematics education. Ethical decision making will be applied through the teaching case method.

  • MATH 7340 - History, Curriculum, and Policy in Mathematics Education

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Admission to MSE program. Explores the history of mathematics education with particular attention to curriculum development and policy development. Major factors that influence the development of curriculum and policy discussed.

  • MATH 7900 - Teaching and Learning Mathematics

    3credit hours

    Focus on theoretical and practical issues regarding how students learn mathematics, best practices for teaching mathematics, and issues from current literature on the teaching and learning of mathematics.

  • Elective 3 credit hours

Advised Mathematics Electives (12-36 hours)

Must choose one:

  • MATH 6330 - Algebra from an Advanced Perspective

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Review and extension of algebraic skills and concepts as they relate to the teaching and learning of algebra. Focus on algebraic thinking and problem solving, algebraic systems, functions, graphing, and linear algebra.

  • MATH 6340 - Geometry from an Advanced Perspective

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Investigations into the foundations of plane, solid, and coordinate geometry, motion geometry, similarities and congruencies, measurement and the application of geometry. Instruction will model the suggested pedagogy appropriate for school mathematics.

  • MATH 6350 - Probability and Statistics from an Advanced Perspective

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Relation to school mathematics. Development of central tendency and variation, concepts of chance including sample space, randomness, conditional probability, and independence.

Must choose two:

  • MATH 6120 - Advanced Linear Algebra

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: MATH 2010. Continuation of linear algebra topics in MATH 2010 including advanced topics in inner product spaces and structure of linear operators.

  • MATH 6170 - Sets and Logic  3 credit hours  

    MATH 6170 - Sets and Logic

    3credit hours

    Includes topics in three categories: 1) Propositions, predicates, quantifiers, truth tables, tautologies, and methods of mathematical proof including mathematical induction. 2) Sets, relations, functions, graphs, cardinality, and the Axiom of Choice. 3) Applications of these foundations to selected results in algebra and analysis as time permits. It is recommended that this course be taken early in the graduate program.

  • MATH 6190 - Analysis I  3 credit hours  

    MATH 6190 - Analysis I

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: MATH 4250 or equivalent. Rigorous treatment of limits, continuity, differentiation, and integration; infinite series; introduction to metric spaces.

Must choose one:

  • STAT 6602 - Problems in Statistics-Regression Analysis  3 credit hours  
    (3 credit hours required)(3 credit hours required)  dotslash:(3 credit hours required) title:(3 credit hours required) 
    (3 credit hours required) 

    STAT 6602 - Problems in Statistics-Regression Analysis

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Mathematical maturity, preparation in the area and (normally) nine semester hours of graduate study. Problems course dealing with theory, methods, and applications.

  • STAT 6603 - Problems in Statistics-Nonparametric Statistics  3 credit hours  
    (3 credit hours required)(3 credit hours required)  dotslash:(3 credit hours required) title:(3 credit hours required) 
    (3 credit hours required) 

    STAT 6603 - Problems in Statistics-Nonparametric Statistics

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Mathematical maturity, preparation in the area and (normally) nine semester hours of graduate study. Problems course dealing with theory, methods, and applications.

  • STAT 6604 - Problems in Statistics-Experimental Design  3 credit hours  
    (3 credit hours required)(3 credit hours required)  dotslash:(3 credit hours required) title:(3 credit hours required) 
    (3 credit hours required) 

    STAT 6604 - Problems in Statistics-Experimental Design

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: Mathematical maturity, preparation in the area and (normally) nine semester hours of graduate study. Problems course dealing with theory, methods, and applications.

 

NOTE: In consultation with his or her major advisor and dissertation committee, each student may choose an additional 0-24 credit hours from courses in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, and the College of Education at the 6000 or 7000 level.

Dissertation (12-36 hours)

  • MSE 7640 - Dissertation Research in Mathematics and Science Education

    1 to 6credit hours

    Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of the dissertation. Once enrolled, students must register for at least one credit hour of dissertation research each semester until completion. S/U grading.

 

 

Please click the pictures of the faculty below to learn more about faculty members. If you're interested in the research activities of the faculty and student in this program, please click the Research tab.

Links

Assistantships

Research and teaching assistantships, with stipends beginning at $18,000, are available on a competitive basis to full-time students in the MSE program. In addition to the stipend, the university also pays all tuition and most fees for assistantship holders. Non-Tennessee residents who are awarded a graduate assistantship are not required to pay out-of-state fees. To learn more about the types of graduate assistantships and to download an application, visit the Graduate Studies Assistantship page.

The College of Graduate Studies also awards a limited number of scholarships. For additional information and applications, visit the Graduate Studies Finance page.

In addition to assistantships and scholarships, MTSU's Office of Financial Aid assists graduate students seeking other forms of financial support while in school.

MSE Faculty and Student Research Interests

The sortable table below provides information on the scholarly interests of our faculty and students in the Mathematics and Science Education Ph.D. program at MTSU. Choose the following for more information on MSE Faculty and Students' scholarly influences and publications & projects.

Name MSE
Concentration

Role in
Program

Primary Scholarly Interests Research Questions of Interest
Seat, Jennifer MATHEMATICS Student
  • pre-service/in-service teacher development,
  • the role of communication in the classroom (and how it influences content learning),
  • learning trajectories
-Can a vertical lesson study (with IM1-3 and a local CC College Algebra teacher) help promote student success in the collegiate environment? (long term question)
-Can building confidence change the dynamic of your mathematical discourse in the classroom?
-Can helping students learn to better communicate questions, using techniques like socratic teaching, help build deeper understanding of content?
Lovett, Jennifer MATHEMATICS Faculty
  • Effective use of Technology in Mathematics Classroom,
  • Statistics Education - Inferential Reasoning

In what ways do PSTs' notice students' practices on technological mathematical tasks?

What understandings of inference do secondary students hold?

Smith-Walters, Cindi BIOLOGY Faculty
  • teaching and learning science in formal and informal environments
  • science literacy/info graphics
  • making information sticky/study skills

How can we assess personal efficacy in biology?

How can we leverage cooperative learning groups in the classroom?

How can we incorporate the out-of-doors into the formal education theater (getting teachers to take kids outside to learn!)?

Rushton, Gregory CHEMISTRY Faculty
  • conceptual change in tertiary chemistry learning environments
  • classroom discourse practices; policy reform in K-16 chemistry education
  • large-scale demographic analyses of K-12 STEM teaching populations
  • science teacher leadership; curricular reform through research-driven decisions
  • pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in chemistry.

How do teachers' social networks influence retention and effectiveness?

Can science education reforms be scaled through online PD?

Does teacher leadership promote retention or attrition of highly effective teachers?

Frick, Tasha CHEMISTRY Student
  • I am interested in the development and formation of science teacher identity. As I have had more opportunities to work with the professional development of in-service teachers while they assimilate new information into their practice, I have not explored preservice teacher preparation, which would still be interesting. Identity has multiple nexus points, so can be observed in many areas.
  • Another area I have had little time to develop, but would love to work with is the development and implementation of technology in science classroom environments.

I am currently working on my dissertation, which explores the formation and development of GTAs' (Graduate Teaching Assistants') role-identity. My questions are:

  1. What were graduate students’ understandings of their roles as professional GTAs as instructors in chemistry laboratories?
  2. What impact did a multi-week professional development have on GTAs perceptions of their role-identity?
  3. What differences if any were found in GTA practices or understandings of their roles when in class reflection were based on talent themes as defined by the Clifton Strengths Finder Assessment (Clifton, 1998) compared to considerations based only on the conceptual chemistry understanding of graduate students?
Bleiler-Baxter, Sarah MATHEMATICS Faculty

Umbrella topic: Understanding how to best facilitate students’ understanding of and legitimate engagement in doing mathematics.

  • Teaching and learning of proof
  • Collaboration between mathematicians and mathematics teacher educators
  • Interpretation and implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practice, especially with respect to (a) constructing and critiquing arguments, and (b) modeling.
Can an instructor’s institutional authority be used to empower students as legitimate practitioners of mathematics? If so, how?

Can an instructor’s mathematics expertise authority be used to empower students as legitimate practitioners of mathematics? If so, how?

Contact Information

Jennifer Kaplan
Jennifer.Kaplan@mtsu.edu
615-898-5353

Who is My Advisor?

Jennifer Kaplan
Jennifer.Kaplan@mtsu.edu
615-898-5353

Mailing Address

Mathematics and Science Education, Ph.D. Program
MTSU Box 76
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132


College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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