FAQs

Concentrators concentrating

How do I apply for the MST degree?

See the MSCS Graduate office for general questions. All applications are now online.

I have an undergraduate degree majoring in science or engineering. What courses should I take to prepare for admission to the MST secondary program?

You should take as many as possible of linear algebra, abstract algebra, a course which stresses proofs (many schools have a transition to abstract mathematics class) and an analysis class which rigorously proves the basic properties of calculus, (e.g. an epsilon delta approach limit). The linear algebra course is available at most community colleges. Most 4 year colleges offer the other courses. We have very limited night offerings of these courses.

I started at UIC as a non-degree student. How many of these courses can apply to my degree? How do I transfer courses to my degree program?

Up to three 400 or 500 level courses where a grade of an A or a B is earned can transfer from your non-degree (this includes the UIC Extended Campus) status to the degree program. Please see your advisor as to which courses are best to transfer. There is a form you must fill out in OME, but final approval is given by the Graduate College.

Can I apply courses from my UIC undergraduate degree to my graduate degree?

If you took more than the minimum hours required for graduation, excess hours may be considered for application to your work for the MST. These courses cannot have been used to meet any specific requirement for the undergraduate degree, such as hours for the major, general education requirements, or required hours in advanced work.

I already have an elementary teaching license; what do I need to do to teach secondary mathematics?

Teaching secondary mathematics requires roughly the equivalent of an undergraduate degree in mathematics.

If I am admitted to begin in the Fall semester, for example, but find that I am unable to attend, can I enroll in the Spring semester instead?

Students in this situation need to see their advisor to request to defer their admission to a future semester. The advisor will complete a Request to Defer Graduate Degree Admission form. General deadlines to submit this form are November 1 for Spring, March 15 for Summer, and May 15 for Fall. Students are allowed to defer once per application.

What if I took a required course at another school? Will I need to repeat it?

In most cases, courses with a grade of C or better will transfer to the undergraduate degree. It is important to remember, however, that at least half the courses required for the major must be completed at UIC, and that other requirements may be set by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (please see catalog).

How do I declare the Bachelor of Science in Teaching of Mathematics major?

You must complete at least Math 180 Calculus I before requesting the major. A GPA is computed using Math 180 and all higher level math courses. A GPA of 2.50 is required in these courses. Please contact Alison Castro Superfine to declare the major. If you are approved, we will notify the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, who must also give their approval.

What is candidacy?

It's an important stage in progressing through the secondary program. You must be a candidate to take education courses above the 200-level and several MthT courses. Once you have been accepted as a major you can apply. For details on what the application process entails, please go to the Council on Teacher Education.

What if I took the equivalent of Math 140 and/or 141 somewhere else? May I receive credit for these courses?

If you think you took a course that is the equivalent of Math 140 or 141, please contact Alison Castro Superfine. You may need to supply a course description and syllabus. If the course is considered to cover comparable material, and you earned at least an A or B, you may take a proficiency exam. If you pass the exam, a letter will be sent to the College of Education; they will make sure credit is posted to your record for 140 and/or 141.

What is a Concentrator?

Students in elementary education must specialize in some discipline. Those who specialize in the mathematics are called 'mathematics concentrators'. They take a sequence of courses designed to prepare teachers of elementary school mathematics including MTHT 465, 466, 467, 468, and 450. Concentrators can qualify for a Middle School Mathematics Endorsement with some additional courses in education, discussed below.

How do I become a Concentrator?

You become a Concentrator based on the recommendation of your Math 140 or 141 instructor. In the second half of the semester, OME will request recommendation from the instructors of 140 and 141. Based on these recommendations, you will be invited by email to become a Concentrator. If you then choose math as your specialization (become a Concentrator), you will need to see Alison Castro Superfine to fill out necessary paperwork and discuss the courses you will need to complete.

How can I get a Middle School Mathematics Endorsement?

The requirements are stated on the ISBE website. Requirements include a course in the methods of teaching Middle School Mathematics (MTHT 450 or MTHT 550) and 15 further semester hours which must meet a complicated list of requirements. Students who complete our concentrators program will meet the mathematical requirements (it is possible to complete the remaining requirements while an undergraduate, but may require additional time); students who complete our MST-elementary option will meet all the requirements. Unless, you complete a UIC degree, it is necessary for you to petition the state for the endorsement.

Who grants licensure?

Licensure is granted by the Illinois State Board of Education. Questions about attaining licensure at UIC should be directed to the Council on Teacher Education.

Why do some courses require special permission before registration? How is permission granted?

The department wants to ensure that its students get the courses they need. Therefore we require students check with the OME in order to gain approval to register. We also restrict some courses to make sure students take them at the appropriate time in their program. Please email Alison Castro Superfine if you are trying to register for a course with restrictions. In some cases you will also need the permission of your advisor or course instructor.
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