Degree Requirements

Required Courses

The Master of Liberal Arts, Mathematics for Teaching degree field consists of 12 courses, two of which you take to gain admission. You choose a thesis or capstone track.

12 Graduate Courses

  • 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

    • Crafting the thesis proposal
    • Master's thesis part one
    • Master's thesis part two

    Additional Capstone Track Courses

    • 2 additional math for teaching electives
    • 1 capstone course

    Search Mathematics for Teaching Degree Courses

    Admissions: Earn Your Way In

    To begin the admission process, you simply register—no application needed—for the following two degree courses (both are available online):

    • MATH E-300 Mathematical Foundations for Teaching Secondary School Math
    • One mathematical theory course

    You complete the two degree courses with a grade of B or higher, without letting your overall Harvard cumulative GPA dip below 3.0. Before you enroll in any degree-applicable courses, you need to possess an undergraduate degree.

    Applying to the Degree Program

    During the semester of your second degree course, submit an official application to the program. We have fall, spring, and summer admission cycles.

    If you submit a complete application—which includes, required Harvard courses, grades, and cumulative GPA—you will be admitted, after which you'll have only 10 more courses to complete to earn your degree.

    How to Apply

    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 of your courses, which gives you access to faculty, campus resources, and the academic community. We offer the following intensive summer options.

    • 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. For more information, see the important visa information on the International Student Study Options page.

    To Complete Your Degree

    Maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or Higher

    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, but be sure to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher. 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.

    Finish Your Coursework in Under Five Years

    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. Moreover, courses over five years old at the point of admission will not count toward the degree.

    Graduate with Your Harvard Degree

    When you have fulfilled all degree requirements, you will earn your degree: Master of Liberal Arts in extension studies, Field: Mathematics for Teaching. Degrees are awarded in November, March, and May. You participate in the annual Harvard Commencement ceremony in May. 

    Degree Guidelines and Policies

    For information about special academic opportunities, student privileges, and policies, see Completing Your Degree.