The College of Arts and Sciences graduate major in Mathematics prepares students as professional mathematicians with an emphasis on problem solving and mathematical inquiry. Coursework will cover a wide range of mathematics including abstract algebra, probability and statistics, combinatorics, advanced calculus, the history of mathematics, financial mathematics, and mathematical modeling, while emphasizing both the applied and theoretical aspects of these disciplines. The use of the most current mathematics technology will help students analyze and solve problems like experienced mathematicians.
Several processes central to the preparation of outstanding mathematicians will be incorporated into the curriculum and monitored throughout the program. These include the ability to use a broad range of strategies and representations when solving problems and creating models, to use logic and reasoning for the analysis and development of mathematical proof, to identify connections within mathematics and to other disciplines, and to correctly communicate mathematical ideas precisely using the language of mathematics.
Special Admissions Requirement
In addition to the university admissions requirements, students must have:
- a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 (out of a possible 4.0). Students seeking admission to the GSU Master of Science in Mathematics program with a GPA lower than 2.75 may petition to the graduate program coordinator for admission.
- submit a letter of application including a statement of personal interest in pursuing a master’s degree in mathematics,
- submit three professional or academic letters of reference
Students may apply for the Master of Science in Mathematics program at Governors State University with a baccalaureate degree in any field from an accredited university. An undergraduate major in mathematics, actuarial science, engineering, business, science, or computer science is recommended. Students must have completed, with a grade of “C” or higher, a three-semester sequence in calculus, a course in modern algebra, a course in linear algebra, and a course in analysis. Students may be conditionally admitted if they do not meet the undergraduate prerequisites for the graduate core courses.
Admission to Candidacy
As a benchmark toward graduation, students must apply for and be accepted to candidacy for the Master of Science degree in Mathematics. Mathematics students must apply for candidacy upon completion of 18 credit hours (6 of these credit hours must be in the Required Core Courses). Students applying for candidacy to graduate with the Master of Science degree in Mathematics must meet the following requirements:
- Completion of a minimum of 6 hours in the required core, with a grade of “B” or better in each course;
- Completion of a minimum of 12 additional hours of core or electives course work with a grade average of “B” or better, and no more than one course with a grade of “C” will be accepted; and
- Establish a Graduate Committee. The Graduate Committee must include a project advisor (must be a tenured/tenure track Mathematics Faculty) and two other graduate faculty (one of which must be a faculty member from a graduate program in a related discipline or graduate program at Governors State University). A Graduate Committee may contain one outside member, who must be a tenured or tenure-track professor from a graduate program at an accredited university. Students apply for candidacy by completing a “Master of Science in Mathematics Program Application for Candidacy” form, including the student’s courses and grades to date, date of intended graduate thesis/project/seminar, and a statement from the student’s advisor regarding the student’s prospects for completion within four years. The Master of Science in Mathematics Program faculty will review the application and vote on whether the student is admitted to candidacy, if additional coursework is required, or if the student will not be admitted to candidacy. Students who are denied admission to candidacy may appeal this decision to the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office.
Minimum Degree Requirements
In addition to the requirements for candidacy outlined above, Master of Science in Mathematics students must complete the following requirement in order to attain the Master’s degree:
- the remaining elective courses such that the grade average for all elective courses is a “B” (3.00 of 4.00) or better, no more than one course with a grade of “C” will be accepted, and no grades below a “C” will be accepted; and
- the graduate thesis/project (MATH-8900 ) and presentation (MATH-8990 ) with a Pass (“P”) grade, which is determined by a vote of the three-member graduate project committee.
Required core courses (15)
Students must complete the following
Students must also complete 15 hours of electives selected from any of the following courses. Students may also take courses in different areas with the program coordinator’s approval.
Up to 6 hours of courses from related disciplines listed below may be substituted for the elective courses with approval of the program coordinator:
- Computer Science
Required graduate thesis/project/seminar (4)
Students must complete a graduate thesis, project or seminar as part of a capstone course and present their work to the mathematics community at Governors State University. Students can select one of the following options:
Master’s Thesis/Project Option
A paper describing and synthesizing material from several papers on a selected topic of interest from mathematics, including, but not limited to, pure or applied mathematics, mathematics education, statistics, history of mathematics, mathematical computing, or financial mathematics. The thesis/project must be approved by three faculty members, one of which is the project director. A tenured/tenure track mathematics faculty member must serve as the director of each thesis/project, and each thesis/project must be reviewed and graded by a committee of three faculty members (one may be from a program other than mathematics). In addition, students will be required to present their work to the mathematics community at GSU.
Master’s Graduate Seminar Option
Students participate in a seminar class, deeply investigating a topic in mathematics, mathematics education, statistics, history of mathematics, mathematical computing, or history of mathematics. The seminar topic will provide evidence of the ability to understand and synthesize the chosen topic. A Student Study Plan must be submitted to a tenured/tenure track faculty member who will serve as the supervisor of the seminar. This Student Study Plan must be reviewed and approved by a committee of three faculty members (one may be from a program other than mathematics). The seminar must be open to the mathematical community at GSU, and seminar documentation must be submitted to the supervisor.
Total graduate coursework with thesis/project/seminar - 34 credits
Master of Science in Mathematics with an Actuarial Science Sequence
The graduate major in Mathematics with an Actuarial Science sequence prepares students for actuarial positions in business, government and industry. Coursework in the sequence provides a foundation for the preparation needed to sit for a series of examinations developed by the professional actuarial societies. Information regarding licensure or certification in this field is found on the Professional Licensure or Certification section of this catalog. In addition to a strong knowledge base in mathematics that includes probability and statistics, coursework includes risk management, finance, economics, and investments. Special admissions requirement includes a 3.00/4.00 overall grade point average.
Students must meet all university requirements for a master’s degree.
Students must meet the collegial degree requirements listed at this section.
Required Core Mathematics Courses (18 hours)
Selective Mathematics Courses - choose Two (6 hours)
* Required if not taken at the undergraduate level
Required Sequence Requirements (9 hours)
Required Graduate Capstone (4 hours)
Total Required - 37 Hours
Master of Science in Mathematics with a Concentration in Teacher Education
The curriculum for the graduate major in Mathematics with a concentration in Teacher Education provides a balance between theoretical and applied study, with the general objective of providing students with a substantial background in mathematics that affords opportunities to strengthen skills in logical thinking, problem analysis, problem-solving, and mathematics pedagogy for those interested in teaching Mathematics at the secondary level.
The Master of Science in Mathematics with a Concentration in Teacher Education is designed for individuals who seek an Illinois teaching license to teach secondary mathematics in grades 9 - 12. Completion of the sequence will allow candidates to apply for an Illinois teaching license endorsed for mathematics. The program is designed for those with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics or a related field such as actuarial science, computer science, economics, engineering, finance, or physics. Program completers would be considered “highly qualified” to teach mathematics at the secondary level as defined by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Program requirements include a strong knowledge base in mathematics and professional education coursework, including a student teaching internship that meets all of the requirements for secondary teachers set forth by the ISBE. Mathematics coursework includes abstract algebra, linear algebra, probability and statistics, number theory, geometry, mathematics technology, special topics, and the history of mathematics.
This program is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and is intended to lead to the Initial Secondary License Type 09 qualifying students to teach mathematics in grades 9 - 12. To be recommended for an Illinois State Board of Education teaching license, the student must present evidence of having passed the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) and Mathematics 115 Subject-Matter Knowledge examinations of the Illinois Licensure Testing System, and earned a passing score on the teacher performance assessment known as the edTPA. Students must meet other requirements for licensure through approved programs listed in the Licensure of Teachers and Other School Professionals section of this catalog.
Special Admission Requirements
In addition to meeting university criteria, applicants must:
- have a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 (out of a possible 4.00). Students seeking admission to the GSU Master of Science in Mathematics program with a GPA lower than 3.00 may petition to the graduate program coordinator for admission;
- meet the general education requirements for teacher licensure described in this catalog;
- submit a Personal Statement that includes a discussion about why the candidate wants to pursue a career in teaching; and
- submit two professional or academic letters of reference.
Students may apply for the Master of Science in Mathematics with a concentration in Teacher Education program at Governors State University with a baccalaureate degree in any field from an accredited university. An undergraduate major in mathematics or a related field with a strong mathematics foundation, such as actuarial science, computer science, economics, engineering, physics, or finance, is strongly recommended. Students must have completed, with a grade of “C” or higher, a three-semester sequence in calculus, one course in linear algebra, and one course in discrete mathematics. Students may be conditionally admitted if they do not meet the undergraduate prerequisites for the graduate core courses.
Admission to Candidacy
As a benchmark toward graduation, students must apply for and be accepted to candidacy for the Master of Science in Mathematics with a Secondary Teacher Education degree. Mathematics students must apply for candidacy upon completion of 24 credit hours. Students applying for candidacy to graduate with the Master of Science degree in Mathematics must meet the following requirements:
- completion of a minimum of 21 hours of required courses with a GPA of 3.00 or higher;
- meet all the requirements for admission to Mathematics Teacher Education listed below; and
- submit an application for the student teaching field experience.
Students must meet all university requirements for a master’s degree. Additionally, students must meet the requirements for candidacy outlined above, and meet the degree requirement listed in this section.
Required Mathematics Courses (24 hours)
Required Professional Education Courses (9 hours)
Required Capstone Internship (9 hours)
EDUC8970 Student Teaching - As part of this degree requirement, and to fulfill state licensure requirements, students must complete EDUC8970 Student Teaching. The student teaching internship is a one-semester, full-time teaching experience in a local high school under the direction of a university supervisor and classroom teacher.
Total Required - 42 Hours
Admission to Mathematics Teacher Education
In addition to meeting all university admission requirements for graduate students, applicants must meet the following requirements to be admitted to the program:
- have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher in all undergraduate coursework applied to the degree program (a grade of C- is not accepted);
- submit a word-processed essay not to exceed 300 words explaining why the applicant wants to be a teacher;
- attend the Secondary Education Orientation.
- submit evidence of having passed the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) of the Illinois Licensure System or submit an ACT with Writing score of 22 or higher with a combined Reading and Writing score of 16; or an SAT composite of 1030 (critical reading + mathematics = 1030 or higher) and a minimum score of 450 on writing if taken on or before March 5, 2016; and after March 5, 2016 a composite score of 1110 (Evidence-based Reading and Writing + Mathematics = 1110 or higher) and a minimum score of 26 on Writing and Language Test;
- complete EDUC2310 Foundations of Education (or equivalent) and EDUC 3440 Educational Psychology (or equivalent) with a grade of “B” or better.
All candidates for Illinois teacher licensure at Governors State University are required to submit to an Adam Walsh fingerprint-based criminal background check by Certified Background Check prior to their initial field experience in the schools. For more information on this testing and available test sites, please visit certifiedbackground.com. Consult with your academic advisor for information concerning the related GSU policies and procedures.
The faculty monitors and evaluates candidate progress continually. The section, Teacher Education and Licensure, in this catalog provide a general description of the standards used to evaluate candidate progress. A more detailed statement of the standards and processes followed by the secondary education faculty is available in the Secondary Education Student Handbook.
Faculty may permit a candidate to continue conditionally. In some cases, faculty reviews of the candidate’s records identify evidence that the candidate will be successful in the program. The status of all candidates allowed to continue under conditions is reviewed by faculty each term, and the candidates are informed in writing of the necessary conditions for them to be transferred to good standing status. When conditions are met, the candidate is informed in writing of the transfer to good standing status. A candidate may not be admitted to student teaching without being in good standing status.
Admission to Student Teaching
Candidates must apply to student teaching before enrolling in EDUC8970 Student Teaching. An application for admission to student teaching must be submitted to the current Director of Field Experiences in the Division of Education. The application must be submitted by December 1 for the following fall semester and by January 31 for the following spring semester. Student teaching is not offered in the summer term. This application for student teaching will certify that the candidate applying has met the following requirements:
- completed at least 48 hours of general education requirements with a GPA of 2.75 or higher (a grade of C- is not accepted);
- completed professional education course requirements except student teaching, including a minimum 100 clock-hours of field experience with a GPA of 3.00 or higher, with a grade of “B” or better in each course;
- must have completed methods courses no more than two years prior to the start of student teaching;
- have no more than six hours remaining to be completed in the major in which the student is enrolled with a GPA of 3.00 or higher and completed all coursework with a grade of “C” or higher;
- met all state requirements applicable to the subject matter area(s) in which the student will teach as outlined in Section IX, Staff Qualifications of the Illinois State Board of Education Publication, Minimum Requirements for Licensure;
- submit evidence of having passed the Mathematics 115 content area exam of the Illinois Licensure Testing System; and
- receive a positive recommendation from the Secondary Education Student Progress Committee.
In addition, candidates must:
- have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher;
- earn a grade of “C” or higher for all general education courses;
- have a GPA of 2.75 or higher in all general education courses;
- have a GPA of 3.00 or higher in mathematics and statistics courses with a grade of “C” or higher in each course;
- earn a grade of “B” or higher in MATH6400, EDUC6360, EDUC6370 and SPED6100;
- earn a grade of “B” or higher in EDUC8970 Student Teaching;
- complete a minimum of 100 clock-hours of supervised pre-student teaching experiences;
- provide evidence of successful completion of the Illinois and US Constitution examinations;
- complete at least one three-hour course in non-Western or Third World Cultures;
- complete the following with a grade of “C” or higher: 12 hours of calculus, one course in linear algebra, and one course in discrete mathematics;
- show evidence of having passed the edTPA assessment;
- receive a positive recommendation from the Secondary Education Student Progress Committee; and
- complete the General Education Requirements for Teacher Licensure, Initial Secondary License, and any additional requirements listed in the Licensure of Teachers and Other School Professionals section in this catalog.