MSM Admissions

To be admitted to the Master of School Mathematics Program, one must have:

  • A baccalaureate degree, in upper one-half of graduation class from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or recognized foreign institution
  • Certification to teach mathematics in grades 9-12 and have at least two years of teaching experience.

These requirements are intended to restrict admission to in-service school mathematics teachers for whom the MSM program was intended. However, persons whose backgrounds in mathematics or present employment only partially qualifies them for admission may petition for special consideration.

To apply to the MSM program, please complete the following Application Materials:

  • Application and Fee: The application form and non-refundable application fee are required. The fee is waived if you are an ISU undergraduate. ISU undergraduates can apply online with a $5 fee or they can use the paper application procedure for no charge.
  • After applying, you can check the status of your application.
  • Official Transcripts: One official set from every college attended. Be sure to include grades and credits earned along with degree received (if applicable). Foreign transcripts need to include an official English translation. Please send a photocopy or an unofficial transcript to the Math Office with other materials. Students can send one copy of official transcripts to Math and we’ll photocopy and forward official paperwork to Graduate Admissions.
  • Statement of Purpose: A brief essay describing your academic and career goals and how this program will help you meet those goals. If you complete this as part of the online application, you do not need to send an additional statement.
  • Resume/Curriculum Vita
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to your potential for graduate study. The letters must be on official letterhead and sealed in an envelope and signed across the seal by the recommender. The can be submitted using the online application process or sent to the address below. If they are submitted online, a paper copy does not need to be sent.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS: A minimum score of 79 on the iBT TOEFL, with at least a 20 on the speaking portion (21 preferred) is required of nonnative English speakers. In lieu of the TOEFL, a score of 7.0 on the IELTS will be accepted. Official scores must be received directly from ETS. Since it takes approximately 3-4 weeks for the official copy of your test scores to reach ISU, please take your test early enough to allow the scores to reach ISU prior to the application deadline. If you designate Iowa State University as one of the institutions to which scores must be sent by ETS (while making arrangements to take the test), the scores go directly to the Graduate Admissions Office and are entered into an online system accessible by departments. Applications are not reviewed without a TOEFL score meeting the minimum.

What to Send to Mathematics (address below):

  • Copy of TOEFL or IELTS score
  • Statement of Purpose (if not submitted in online application)
  • Resume
  • Unofficial or photocopy of transcripts
  • Letters of Recommendation (if not submitted electronically)

What to Send to Office of Admissions, 100 Enrollment Services, ISU, Ames, IA 50011-2011:

  • Official Transcripts (all schools attended)
  • Official TOEFL (sent by testing services)
  • Financial Statement (international students only)

Do not send paper copies of the following to Graduate Admissions:

  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Resume
  • Supplemental Applicant Information Form

Mailing Address:

Mail Program Envelope To:
Master of School Mathematics Graduate Program
396E Carver Hall
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-2064

Email Address:

Note: International students can include both sets of materials in one envelope and we’ll forward the correct materials onto Graduate Admissions.

Full- or Summer-only Study

The MSM may be completed through summer-only study. We have attempted to structure the program so that all or most course work can be completed in three summers. Some full-time students have completed the program in less than two years.

Teaching Assistantships

Though assistantships are few, students may apply for a teaching assistantship (TA).

Information and Admission

To get started, contact the ISU mathematics department. You may take a course while you are completing the admission procedures, which can take up to one semester. You may apply up to nine hours of graduate credit under a non degree/undeclared option toward an ISU degree, provided you have approval of the college.


For questions about the program, contact Director of Graduate Education for School Mathematics:
Alejandro Andreotti

For questions about applications, registration, forms and paperwork, contact:

Melanie Erickson