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Mathematics Masters Degree (M.Ed.), 5-8, 8-12, Initial

Why Choose an Initial Licensure in Teacher of Mathematics (5-8) (8-12)?

At the graduate level, master’s degrees have been especially designed for new and experienced teachers. Licensure at the initial level is a prerequisite for entry into many programs in the graduate program group. For teachers with professional licensure, the Master of Education concentration programs offer an opportunity to enhance established skills and interests and to experiment with areas of study related to the professional license.

Requirements for the Initial Licensure in Teacher of Mathematics, 5-8, 8-12

M.Ed. Initial Licensure Programs

Westfield State University has a history and abiding commitment of preparing educators who serve the educational needs of prekindergarten through secondary school students in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The shared vision of Westfield's education programs is articulated as "Educators as Leaders Building Learning Communities."  Themes that support this vision are community building, reflective practice, diversity, and social justice.

Westfield State University teacher education programs are approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Westfield is a member in good standing of the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP). Westfield State is working toward accreditation of its educator preparation programs under AAQEP standards with anticipated Quality Assurance Review in 2020.

Master in Education (M.Ed.) Initial licensure programs are designed for individuals who wish to pursue a master's degree leading to an initial teaching license.  M.Ed. initial licensure programs are offered in:


Biology, 8-12, Initial, M.Ed. 

Early Childhood PreK-2, Initial, M.Ed. 

Elementary 1-6, Initial, M.Ed. 

History, 5-12, Initial, M.Ed. 

Mathematics, 5-8*, 8-12, Initial, M.Ed. 

Moderate Disabilities, Pre-K-8, Initial, M.Ed.  

Moderate Disabilities, 5-12, Initial, M.Ed. 


*Programs marked with an asterisk are not accepting new candidates as of spring 2016.


A English 5-12, with Initial Teaching Licensure, M.A. leading to initial licensure to teach middle or secondary English is also offered.

Applicants for the M.Ed. initial licensure programs may be required to take additional courses and/or document professional experiences in the cognate area of the license, in addition to the courses required for the master's degree.

Students who satisfactorily complete program requirements leading to a teaching license are recommended for licensure to the Massachusetts Department of Education. Program requirements include completion of all coursework and other requirements for a master's degree, passage of Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTELs), and successful completion of a practicum experience.

Advising for graduate students seeking an M.Ed. leading to an initial teaching license facilitates student progress in degree programs and offers an opportunity to design and to amend programs of study, acquire career advice and address topics of particular interest to students involved in graduate study for career advancement or professional development. Registration advising is offered in advance of the semester to assist with course choices appropriate for graduate programs. Programs of study constructed during the first semester of matriculation allow students to remain active participants in their course selection.

    Program Description

    The M.Ed. in Mathematics 5-8 or 8-12, Initial, leads to a master's degree with initial licensure to teach middle (5-8) or high school (8-12) math education. The program requires extensive school-based fieldwork in addition to a practicum experience.


    See Admission  requirements for graduate programs.


    Applicants to this 33-credit hour program must pass

    the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Communications and Literacy test prior to admission.

      Program of Study

        A. Prerequisite coursework or experience

        Content knowledge in the following areas must be documented in the student's previous academic record or professional experience. As determined by the student's graduate advisor, gaps in coverage must be fulfilled by additional courses taken as part of the student's program of study. 

        • 18 credits of coursework in mathematics; Students may be required to fill mathematics content gaps as determined by the graduate advisor.
        • Adolescent Development
        • Foundations of Education

          B.Required courses (21-24 credits)

          • EDUC 0540 - Introduction to Students with Exceptional Learning Needs
          • EDUC 0554 - Educational Planning and Evaluation: Middle and Secondary Schools
          • MATH 0537 - Foundations of Secondary and Middle School Mathematics
          • EDUC 0580 - Critical Multicultural Education
          • *
          • EDUC 0631 - Sheltered English Immersion
          • EDUC 0632 - Research in Education (research project required)
          • **
          • EDUC 0564 - Practicum: Middle School Exception
          • **
          • EDUC 0569 - Practicum: Secondary School
          •  * Students who have already received the state SEI endorsement should not enroll in EDUC 631 and instead will take 6 additional credits of pedagogical coursework. ** Seminar hours will be required during practicum.

          C. A total of 9-12 additional credits to include:

          3-6 credits of pedagogical coursework at the 600 level.

          Six additional credits of content area coursework:

            Additional Guidelines

            A 30-hour diversity experience is required before or during practicum.

            Students must pass the required MTEL mathematics subject matter test for 5-8 or 8-12 licensure and have a GPA of 2.8 or greater before beginning the student teaching practicum. Although students may be allowed to apply for the practicum with a 2.8 GPA, a 3.0 GPA must be maintained to remain in the graduate program.

            Practicum placement also requires completion of the following courses:

            Passing scores on all appropriate and required sections of the MTEL are required for practicum enrollment. Practicum placement also requires completion of the following courses:

            1. EDUC 0540 - Introduction to Students with Exceptional Learning Needs  
            2. EDUC 0554 - Educational Planning and Evaluation: Middle and Secondary Schools 
            3. MATH 0537 - Foundations of Secondary and Middle School Mathematics 
            4. EDUC 0580 - Critical Multicultural Education

              as well as the recommendation of the student's advisor, program director and Department Chair or designee.

              Practicum placements are generally within a 30-mile radius of the university unless otherwise specified and approved.

              Students are required to successfully complete a written comprehensive examination to demonstrate mastery of knowledge gained in coursework and to relate concepts across the curriculum. The comprehensive exam may be taken after completing a minimum of nine non-practicum courses within the Master's program.