Mathematics education

University of Missouri-Columbia
Educational specialist in learning, teaching and curriculum
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Educational specialist

As a math teacher, you’ve observed students rapidly absorb and apply recently learned concepts. You’ve also noticed others struggle through every equation. Due to math’s sequential and progressive nature, many who don’t grasp the basics early on believe they can’t handle the subject beyond simple functions. In thinking about how you can reverse this pattern, the educational specialist (EdSp) in learning, teaching and curriculum with a specialization in mathematics education from the University of Missouri (Mizzou) equips you to reinvigorate your school’s curriculum, instruction and assessment methods.

Building from your master’s, this fully online program encourages you to rethink how schools teach concepts from counting and addition through algebra, geometry and more advanced subjects. Understand how to connect with all learners, effectively implement technology in the classroom, determine mastery and introduce math from the elementary grades through high school.

Quick facts

Official name

Educational specialist in learning, teaching and curriculum with an emphasis in mathematics education


University of Missouri-Columbia

Program type

Educational specialist

Academic home

College of Education & Human Development | Department of Learning, Teaching and Curriculum

Delivery mode

100% online


Higher Learning Commission, Teacher Education Accreditation Council

Credit hours


Estimated cost


*This cost is for illustrative purposes only. Your hours and costs will differ, depending on your transfer hours, your course choices and your academic progress. See more about tuition and financial aid.

a young female student works out a problem on a chalkboard

Career prospects

Career prospects

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts steady demand for teachers from kindergarten and elementary through high school levels over the next decade, schools frequently find themselves short on STEM instructors — and mathematics is no exception.

As you think about how you can close this gap, the EdSp both enriches your existing practice and positions you to move into leadership. Here, expect to define your school’s math curricula, evaluate lesson plans, design assessments, mentor existing teachers and hire new personnel. Potential paths include:

  • Doctoral study of mathematics education
  • Mathematics curriculum coordinator
Burning Glass Technologies. 2021. Salary numbers and employment growth numbers are based on models that consider advertised job posting salary, Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other proprietary and public sources of information for multiple occupations.
Employment growth
Burning Glass Technologies. 2021. Salary numbers and employment growth numbers are based on models that consider advertised job posting salary, Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other proprietary and public sources of information for multiple occupations.
Median salary

About the EdSp in mathematics education

As the only program of its kind in the state of Missouri, the online educational specialist in mathematics education deepens and refines your current skill set. Whether to help you upgrade your classroom delivery or prepare for greater responsibility, the program delves into higher-level topics in curriculum development and explores the influence of research. At the same time, you begin to think about who you are as a leader — both regarding how you interact with students and empower other instructors.

Faculty coming from the field or directing its progress through research shape the EdSp program’s curriculum and teach your classes. Through a flexible structure with the option to pursue an elementary math specialist certificate, you contemplate the following:

  • Issues and trends influencing K-12 math curricula and instruction
  • Assessment practices, accountability and how research factors into planning and evaluating curricula and lessons
  • Technology as a tool for introducing, reinforcing and applying math concepts
  • How to uplift traditionally underserved populations and create an equitable classroom for all
  • Teaching advanced mathematics to high school students and preparing them for the rigors of college
  • Introducing pre-numbers and rational numbers to elementary school students and progressing to basic geometry and algebraic reasoning

Program structure

The online EdSp in mathematics education consists of 30 credit hours beyond a master’s degree. Selecting from groups of courses in curriculum development, math instruction and research, you build a personalized plan of study with an advisor and two committee members.

To further enhance your core skills, you have the opportunity to revisit reading and writing instruction and think about how you can advocate for all students. Additionally, courses explore how to improve information retention, lead curriculum development at the school level and integrate research into your practice.

The online educational specialist degree in mathematics education program follows a semester schedule and is 100 percent online. While no campus visits are required, you have the option to enroll in electives that involve face-to-face meetings in Columbia, Missouri.

Students typically take one or two classes each semester, including summers, and finish in two years.

Course work includes

Learn to engage students through courses refreshing what you know about:

  • Mathematical leadership
  • Mathematics teaching and learning
  • Research methods and applications
  • Contemporary equity issues
  • Technology to enhance learning
  • Applied statistics

Note: This program does not lead to initial teacher certification.

Review all requirements for the EdSp in mathematics education.


100% online

Calendar system


Typical program length

2 years

Typical course load

1 or 2 classes each semester


The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The College of Education and Human Development is a member of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.

Learn more about this program

This program is administered by the Department of Learning, Teaching and Curriculum