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.
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
- Thesis proposal tutorial
- Master's Thesis (8 credits)
Additional Capstone Track Courses
- 2 additional math for teaching electives
- 1 capstone course
Admissions: Earn 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.
Eligibility: Before you enroll in any degree-applicable courses, you must possess a four-year regionally accredited US bachelor's degree. You cannot already have or be in the process of earning a master's degree in mathematics or a related field. Foreign bachelor’s degrees must be evaluated, and the Admissions Office makes final determinations about eligibility. Refer to Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.
Applying to the Degree Program
During the semester of your second degree course, submit an official application to the program. Don't delay! It is critical to your successful admission and degree completion to prioritize the two degree courses for admission and apply before completing subsequent courses. We have fall, spring, and summer admission cycles.
If you submit a complete and timely application—which includes required Harvard courses, grades, and cumulative GPA—you will be admitted, after which you’ll have 10 more courses to take to earn the degree.
For more details about eligibility, the application process, and the delayed application fee, visit 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
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.
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.
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.
Degree Guidelines and Policies
For information about special academic opportunities, student privileges, and policies, see Completing Your Degree.