Interdisciplinary Major in Mathematics and Education

Bowdoin College offers students an opportunity to become certified middle and high school math teachers through a rigorous scholarly and classroom-based preparation that includes an interdisciplinary major in mathematics and education, co-curricular & summer programs, and participation in Bowdoin Teacher Scholars.

Completing certification requirements in a timely fashion requires a good deal of planning, so students are strongly encouraged to meet with faculty members in the Mathematics and Education Departments early in their college careers.

Interdisciplinary Major in Mathematics and Education

An interdisciplinary major in mathematics and education requires a total of eleven courses from the two departments.  Within the Mathematics Department, students are required to take Math 1800, 2000, and 2020 and at least one course from each of the following categories:

  • Modeling: Math 2108, 2109, 2208 or 2209.
  • Algebra and Analysis: Math 2301, 2303, 2502, 2602, 2603 or 2702.
  • Geometry: Math 2404 or 3404.
  • Statistics: Math 1200, 1300, or 2606.  (Course credit for statistics will be also granted for AP Statistics with a score of 4 or 5, Economics 2557, or Psychology 2520 provided that the student also completes Math 2206.)

These groupings represent a breadth of areas of mathematics and familiarity with each is especially important for students studying mathematics and education. 

Within the Education Department, the required coursework consists of:

  • Education 1101: Contemporary American Education.
  • Education 2203: Educating All Students.
  • Education 3301: Teaching and Learning.
  • Education 3302: Curriculum Development.

Please note: Students must take Education 3301 and 3302 concurrently during the fall semester of their junior or senior year.

Each of the eleven courses required for the major must be passed with a grade of C- or better.  At most two of the mathematics courses submitted for the major can be transfer credits from other institutions.   When first declaring the major, a student must submit a planned program of courses to the Mathematics and Education Departments.  It may be changed later with the approval of the departmental advisors.

Co-curricular and Summer Opportunities

 Students pursuing a career in mathematics education are highly encouraged to complement their coursework with hands-on instructional experiences.

  • Academic year opportunities at Bowdoin College include tutoring within the Mathematics Department or Quantitative Reasoning Program and leading study groups for lower-level science and mathematics courses.  Contact Sue Theberge ( in the Mathematics Department or Eric Gaze ( at the Quantitative Reasoning Program for more information.
  • There are many opportunities to mentor students at local schools.  For more information, contact Sarah Chingos ( in the Education Department.
  • Teaching mathematics in a summer program for secondary school students is an excellent way to gain practical teaching experience.  Depending on the program, you will have the opportunity to work with students of varying abilities, from those who are academically under-prepared to the truly gifted mathematics student.  For more information, contact Sarah Chingos.  Advanced students of mathematics may contact Jennifer Taback ( in the Mathematics Department for further opportunities.

The Mathematics and Education Departments sponsor periodic evening programs focused on a variety of topics of interest to future mathematics teachers.  If you are considering teaching as a career, please join us!  To be included on the mailing list for these events, please contact Thomas Pietraho in the Mathematics Department (

Contact Information

Prof. Thomas Pietraho
Dept. of Mathematics
205 Searles Science Building
(207) 725-3568

Prof. Jennifer Taback
Dept. of Mathematics
204 Searles Science Building
(207) 725-3951

Eric Gaze
Director of the Quantitative Reasoning
102E Kanbar Hall
(207) 725-3135

Sarah Chingos
Dept. of Education
203 Riley House
(207) 725-3733

Sue Theberge
Mathematics Department Coordinator
118 Searles Science Building
(207) 725-3567