Graduate Study in Mathematics for K-12 Mathematics Teachers

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Yes, the Department of Mathematics is a national leader in the design and delivery of mathematics courses for teachers as evidenced by the fact that since 2005, more than 375 teachers have graduated with an MAT degree from the UNL Department of Mathematics.

The Department offers a variety of courses for elementary, middle level and high school mathematics teachers. While historically, most have been offered in the summer, many are now offered online. For more information on opportunities for K-12 mathematics teachers, contact Dr. Wendy Smith,, or leave a message for Greta Prochnow at 402-472-8822.

It is important to note that the mathematics courses offered for teachers through the MAT (e.g., graduate level mathematics courses for teachers) are not "make-and-take" courses composed of projects a teacher might use directly with secondary students, as this would not be considered graduate level work. Rather, the mathematics courses seek to deepen teachers' knowledge of advanced mathematics, with connections to K-12 math curriculum.

I want to become a mathematics teacher

If you want to become a mathematics teacher, you need to contact the UNL Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education, which offers a Master of Arts with an emphasis on mathematics teaching (MAmt) which is a master's program that leads to secondary mathematics teaching certification.

I want to take a mathematics course

If you want to take a UNL graduate class, it is necessary to apply and be admitted as a UNL graduate student. It is possible to apply for admission as a non-degree post baccalaureate student, but if you at all think you may want a master's degree, it is better to apply directly for the master's degree. UNL used to have a program called Teach Nebraska, but as of April 2, 2018, that program has ended. Thus, to take graduate courses at UNL, you must apply to UNL as a graduate student. Note that in the term that you select for admission you must also take a course.

I want to be able to teach dual-enrollment high school courses

Community colleges now have a rule that you have at least 18 graduate credit hours in mathematics courses, in order to teach dual enrollment courses (college algebra, calculus, statistics, etc.). The courses offered at UNL for teachers (800T-816T, 893/896) do count as these mathematics courses. You can opt to just take six 3-credit courses, or you can opt to complete an entire MAT degree (see below for more information on the MAT degree). If you want to be sure to have a community college recognize the course, you will want to save the syllabus, to show it was a math course.

Can the MAT lead to a secondary mathematics teaching endorsement?

No. In Nebraska, you must work with a College of Education to meet state requirements for teaching certification and added endorsements. The MAT coursework does not include some of the courses required for secondary teaching certification in Nebraska, in large part because the MAT is designed for current teachers. Certainly, the mathematics courses can count toward meeting mathematics requirements of certification, but if you have a current elementary or middle level certificate and want to add a secondary mathematics teaching certificate, please contact Lorraine Males.

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

The Department of Mathematics offers two degree choices for teachers:

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

Both options for the MAT degree require 30 graduate credits. While the program is quite flexible, coursework must constitute a coherent program of study that has been approved by the department’s Graduate Chair. The Memorandum of Courses is used for this purpose. Note also that while you must earn credit for at least five courses (15 hours) in mathematics, we recommended that secondary math teachers take six courses (18 hours) in mathematics to meet the requirements of teaching dual enrollment.

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

While it is still possible to earn a Masters of Science for Teachers (MScT), almost all teachers in recent years have opted for the MAT degree. We are not currently accepting applications for the MScT.

What mathematics courses for K-12 teachers are available?

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

Middle-LevelMiddle-Level and High SchoolMiddle-Level and High SchoolHigh School
Math 800T Math 804T Math 808T Math 809
Math 802T Math 805T Math 810T Math 811T
Math 804P* Math 806T Math 816T Math 812T
Stat 811T Math 807T Math 893** Math 814T
Stat 812T

*courses denoted by “P” cannot count as mathematics courses toward a MAT degree but can count as non-math courses.

**As courses for teachers are developed, they are first offered under the mathematical topics number 896 or 893. Many of the courses then become a part of the graduate program and receive a more permanent course number.


As noted, many mathematics teachers pursuing a MAT degree also pursue a strong body of courses (or a minor) in mathematics pedagogy. TEAC courses that can be taken by mathematics teachers can be found on our MAT schedule.

What courses should I take for a MAT degree?

The Master of Arts for Teachers is a flexible degree. To earn a degree in mathematics, teachers must take at least five mathematics courses, but six are recommended. Typically teachers take 7-10 mathematics and statistics courses, with the complement being pedagogy courses in TLTE (TEAC) or Ed Psych, or electives for teachers from Sociology or Computer Science. The tables below show model programs for the MAT (7-12) and MAT with a specialization Teaching Middle Level Mathematics (K-12). Course descriptions are available at this link.

MAT specialize TMLM
Math 800T Stat 811T
Math 802T Math 807T or 809
Math 804T TEAC 807A or 807B or 848G
Math 805T TEAC 808G or 808J or 849G
Math 806T
Math 808T
Math 810T Math 806T
Math 811T Math 808T
Math 812T Stat 812T
Math 807T Math 814T
Math 804T
Math 805T

Is the MAT degree available as an online program?

Yes. The Mathematics Department offers two online math courses each fall, spring and summer. We recommend teachers limit themselves to taking one online course per semester in the fall and spring. To learn more about which courses are being offered in upcoming semesters, see the MAT schedule.



In the summer semesters, mathematics courses can be offered in-person at various locations in Nebraska or via Zoom in the web conferencing format. Teachers may take up to four summer courses. Summer courses are listed as part of the Nebraska Math and Science Summer Institutes schedule.

How much does it cost? Are there fellowships available?

The quick answer to cost is "it depends". Tuition and fee rates vary for summer vs fall/spring courses, and for online vs in-person courses. Additionally, Nebraska residents have lower tuition costs than non-residents. The full information about UNL graduate tuition and fees is online. For a separate look at summer costs, information is on the NMSSI page. For Nebraska teachers, if you are in a master's degree program, the state offers forgivable loans through the Enhancing Excellence in Teaching Program which covers most of the cost of taking graduate courses. There is an application deadline approximately April 1 of each year, for courses that will be offered July 1 of that year through June 30 of the following year. For non-Nebraska teachers, most other states also offer similar programs.

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

If you have questions, please contact the MAT Chief Adviser, Dr. Wendy Smith,

How do I apply?

You must submit an application to Graduate Studies to be admitted to the MAT program or to take graduate courses as a non-degree-seeking student. Once you create an account in CollegeNet, and reach the Program Selection step, type in "math" and select the "Mathematics (MAT)" program as your degree objective. If you are a middle-level teacher, you may also choose the "Mathematics (MAT) - Teaching Middle Level Mathematics" degree.

The application will ask you to provide:

  1. Official transcripts from your bachelor's degree, as well as any graduate coursework. Note: If your undergraduate degree is from UNL/UNO/UNK, it is not necessary to request a transcript.
  2. A letter of intent, stating your goals for your master's degree
  3. 3 letters of recommendation
  4. Your teaching license (if you are not a Nebraska teacher)
  5. Your resume

If you need a physical address for sending transcripts (this is sometimes this case if your transcripts are many years in the past), then please send your transcripts to:

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

What is the application deadline?

The MAT uses a rolling admissions process, so there is not a set deadline. In general, you should aim to have your application submitted at least one month prior to the term you wish to start courses.

How do I reapply if I was a former MAT admitted student?

Students who have not been enrolled for three consecutive terms and who (if eligible) have not been approved for an Academic Leave will need to reapply for admission. See this table under "Previously Enrolled Students" from Graduate Studies.