CSMCE | Earn Your Masters Degree

I want to take a mathematics, education, or science course

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

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I want a master's degree: What are the differences among degree programs?

  • If you want to take start by taking some math, education, or science courses and not pursue a degree, you typically can later decide to apply up to 18 hours (6 courses) to a degree you choose to pursue.
  • All of the masters degree programs at Nebraska require a minimum of 36 hours (usually 12 courses), with at least half of the hours in your major field.
  • If you want to become a certified secondary mathematics or science teacher or elementary teacher, TLTE has special 14-month master's degree programs available, in addition to the more traditional MA degree. These 14-month programs are high quality and intense programs leading to both teaching certification and a master's degree. Applications are due March 1 to begin the following May or June.
  • The MAT degree is offered through the Math Department and is a Master of Arts for Teachers, with a major in mathematics. The MAT degree can be completed online. This degree will require many math courses (we offer many math courses specifically designed for teachers). This degree is not for people who eventually plan to pursue a PhD in mathematics. This degree does have an option for minoring in teaching, learning, and teacher education; there is also an option for specializing in the teaching of middle level mathematics.
  • The MEd degree is also offered through the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education. This degree has a more "practitioner" focus, and is intended for practicing teachers who intend to remain practicing teachers.
  • The Master of Applied Science with a concentration in Science for Educators is for teachers at any level who teach science. 18 of the 36 hours go toward the specialization in science education requirements. The program is available entirely online.
  • The MA degree is offered through the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education. The MA degree has more of a research focus than does the MEd degree, but is also appropriate for practicing teachers. The MA degree is the option to choose if you think that you may wish to eventually pursue a doctorate in education (EdD or PhD). The MA has three options:
    • Option I: requires a thesis based on research you do; this option is usually chosen by people who are interested in pursuing a doctorate or a career in research or scholarly work.
    • Option II: requires a minor (such as a minor in math or one of the sciences); this is an option commonly chosen by math & science teachers.
    • Option III: requires 18 of the 36 hours to be in courses exclusively for graduate students; does not require a minor or thesis; this option is usually for students who intend to continue graduate work to seek a doctorate. However, it is also appropriate for teachers taking mainly NMSSI (graduate-only) courses who don't want a minor.

All programs offer courses in the summers, as well as online and in person during the academic year.

If you have more questions about which degree you might wish to pursue, please contact us. TLTE has more information about master's degrees here.

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I am a certified a teacher and want a MAT degree (for high school mathematics teachers) or a MAT degree with a specialization in middle level mathematics teaching

If you have previously applied through the Teach Nebraska program, you must submit a new application to be admitted to the MAT program. Mathematics teachers are welcome to apply immediately to the MAT program, but by applying first to Teach Nebraska as a non-degree student, you avoid having to pay the fee to apply to Graduate Studies.

To apply for admission to the MAT program:

  1. Apply online
  2. Click on the yellow Apply button
  3. Be sure to select the Mathematics (MAT) program or MAT with a specialization in the Teaching of Middle Level Mathematics as your degree objective
  4. Choose Yes for the question Have you previously applied for admission to graduate study at UNL?
  5. Under the $50 Application Fee section, choose I don't have to pay the fee and in the Comments section, please write Admitted to Teach Nebraska program so fee is waived

The MAT application to the Mathematics Department is now online, using the university's GAMES online application system. You will receive access to the GAMES system once your Graduate Studies application is complete. In that system, you will be asked to provide:

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

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

Please note that math courses ending in "P" (such as the three math courses in Primarily Math) cannot be applied toward a MAT degree from the Math Department as courses for a mathematics major. Such courses can apply toward a mathematics minor with an MA degree from TLTE.

The MAT degree requires 36 graduate credits and the coursework must constitute a coherent program of study that has been approved by the Graduate Chair. The Memorandum of Courses is used for this purpose. Note also that you must earn credit for at least 6 courses (18 hours) in mathematics, and the typical MAT student takes 7-9 mathematics courses for teachers. Some teachers who pursue the MAT degree also choose to earn a minor in teaching, learning, and teacher education; this requires you to take TEAC 800, TEAC 801 and at least one other TEAC course. Transfer of some graduate credit from another institution is usually possible if the coursework is supportive of your degree objectives. Once admitted to the MAT program, you will be assigned a graduate advisor who will assist you in meeting the MAT degree requirements.

For questions about the MAT degree, please contact the MAT advisor, Dr. Wendy Smith.

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I am certified as a middle level or elementary mathematics teacher and want to apply to the MAT program.

In addition to offering the MAT degree to high school mathematics teachers, the department has an option for middle level or elementary mathematics teachers who want to have special strengths in mathematics. These teachers pursue the MAT degree with a Specialization in the Teaching of Middle Level Mathematics. The department has created 7 courses specifically for middle level mathematics teachers and Statistics offers one course for middle level mathematics teachers. These courses, together with a strong selection of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education courses can lead to a strong master's degree.

The application process is the same as the MAT process for high school teachers. The one exception is that after you select the Mathematics (MAT) program as your degree objective be sure to select "Teaching of Middle Level Mathematics" as a Specialization.

Please note that math courses ending in "P" (such as the three math courses in Primarily Math) cannot be applied toward a MAT degree from the Math Department as courses for a mathematics major. Such courses can apply toward a minor only.

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I am a certified science or elementary teacher and want to apply to the MEd program

See TLTE's Masters Degree + Certification page for full details. If you are a science teacher who would like to earn a master's degree, but likely not pursue a doctorate, this is the ideal degree for you. The focus is on teaching practice - the teaching of science. The application process is a two-part procedure. Applicants must apply to the Office of Graduate Studies and to the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education.

Part I: Application to Office of Graduate Studies

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
1100 Seaton Hall
PO Box 880619
Lincoln, NE 68588-0619
(402) 472-2878 or 800 742-8800
Grad Studies website

Application Checklist
  • Graduate Studies Application
  • Application fee (non-refundable)
  • Two official transcripts
Part II: Application to Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education

Completed online via the GAMES system. You will receive access to the GAMES system once your Graduate Studies application is complete. If you have questions about the TLTE application in GAMES, please contact the office.

Application Checklist
  • Department Application
  • Autobiographical Statement
  • Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation

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