The Master of Liberal Arts, Mathematics for Teaching degree field consists of 12 courses (48 credits), four of which you take on campus. Three-week summer sessions available. You choose between a thesis or capstone track.
- Review the details below to learn more about the curriculum and course selection.
- Determine your initial admission eligibility.
- Complete the 2 courses for admission.
- Mathematical Foundations for Teaching Secondary School Math
- 2 mathematical theory courses
- Calculus 2
- 1 pedagogy and lesson study course
- 4 math for teaching electives
Additional Thesis Track Courses
- Thesis proposal tutorial
- Master’s Thesis (8 credits)
Additional Capstone Track Courses
- 2 additional math for teaching electives
- 1 capstone course
Below are our initial eligibility requirements and an overview of our unique admissions process to help get you started. Be sure to visit Degree Program Admissions for full details.
- Prior to enrolling in any degree-applicable courses, you must possess a four-year regionally accredited US bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent. Foreign bachelor’s degrees must be evaluated for equivalency.
- You cannot already have or be in the process of earning a master’s degree in mathematics for teaching or a related field. Check your eligibility.
The Admissions Office makes all final determinations about program eligibility.
Earning Your Way In
To begin the admission process, you simply register—no application needed—for the following two, graduate-level degree courses (available online):
- MATH E-300 Mathematical Foundations for Teaching Secondary School Math
- One mathematical theory course
The two courses don’t need to be taken in a particular order or in the same semester, but each course must be completed with a grade of B or higher, without letting your overall Harvard cumulative GPA dip below 3.0.
Applying to the Degree Program
During the semester of your second degree course, submit the official application to the program.
Don’t delay! It is critical to prioritize the two degree courses for admission and apply before completing subsequent courses. By doing so, you’ll avoid the delayed application fee or the loss of credit for expired course work, while gaining access to exclusive benefits (see below).
Eligible students who submit a complete and timely application will have 10 more courses after admission to earn the degree.
For details about full eligibility, the application process, and application fees, visit Degree Program Admissions.
The Harvard On-Campus Experience
Many courses can be taken online, but the degree requires a Harvard campus experience. You come to Cambridge for at least four courses (16 credits), which provides in-person access to faculty, campus resources, and the academic community.
- Accelerated on-campus path for the thesis track. Take two three-week courses during your first summer and two the following summer. Complete your thesis project at a distance.
- Accelerated on-campus path for the capstone track. Take two three-week courses during your first summer, and in the next summer take one three-week course and the seven-week capstone course.
International Students Needing a Student Visa
To meet the on campus requirement, you study with us in the summer. You can easily request an I-20 for the F-1 student visa through Harvard Summer School’s three- or seven-week sessions. For more information, see the important visa information on the International Student Study Options page.
To Complete Your Degree
Required GPA, Withdrawal Grades, and Repeat Courses
GPA. You need to earn a B or higher in each of the two degree courses required for admission and a B– or higher in each of the subsequent courses. In addition, your cumulative GPA cannot dip below 3.0.
Withdrawal Grades. You are allowed to receive two withdrawal (WD) grades without them affecting your GPA. Any additional WD grades count as zero in your cumulative GPA. See Academic Standing.
Repeat Courses. We advise you to review the ALM program’s strict policies about repeating courses. Generally speaking, you may not repeat a course to improve your GPA or to fulfill a degree requirement (if the minimum grade was not initially achieved). Nor can you repeat a course for graduate credit that you’ve previously completed at Harvard Extension School or Harvard Summer School at the undergraduate level.
Finish Your Coursework in Under Five Years
Courses over five years old at the point of admission will not count toward the degree.
Further, you have five years to complete your degree requirements. The five-year timeline begins at the end of the term in which you complete any two degree-applicable courses, regardless of whether or not you have been admitted to the degree program.
Potential degree candidates must plan accordingly and submit their applications to comply with the five-year course expiration policy or they risk losing degree credit for completed course work. Additionally, admission eligibility will be jeopardized if, at the point of application to the program, the five-year degree completion policy cannot be satisfied (i.e., too many courses to complete in the time remaining).
Graduate with Your Harvard Degree
When you have fulfilled all degree requirements, you will earn your Harvard University degree: Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: Mathematics for Teaching. Degrees are awarded in November, March, and May, with the annual Harvard Commencement ceremony in May.