**ESU Online Master’s Degree in Mathematics**

**Frequently Asked Questions**

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*1. Is it possible to complete the Master's degree completely online?*

*2. How do the online courses work?*

*3. Is there opportunity for student interaction?*

*4. Is the degree a mathematics degree or a mathematics education degree?*

*5. What sort of background do I need for the program?*

*6. Is there a deadline to apply to the program?*

*7. How many courses can I take each semester?*

*8. How long will it take to complete the program?*

*9. Do you still have an active on-campus program?*

*10. Where can I find more information?*

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*1. Is it possible to complete the Master's degree completely online?*

Absolutely. For many years now we have been offering at least one online course each semester. Because of the growth in our program, we are now expanding our online course offerings so that there are many options each semester for online courses.

*2. How do the online courses work?*

It varies a bit from course to course and it is constantly evolving as new technologies become available. In some courses there are tutorials that you are asked to download and complete. These are Word documents that have areas for student responses. Other courses have actual meeting times and are held in a specially designed classroom that allows students to interact with the instructor and with other students during class. The class is recorded so that those who are unable to attend can view it at a later time. Assignments can be typed up or completed by hand. The students then scan the document to a single pdf file and upload it. The instructor grades the assignment and returns it electronically.

Exams are all proctored. The student finds a suitable proctor and the exam is sent electronically to the proctor who administers the exam under controlled conditions and sends it back to the instructor for grading. The graded exam is scanned and made available for the student to download.

*3. Is there opportunity for student interaction?*

Definitely. In all courses there are scheduled chat sessions using Adobe Connect Pro. This allows the students to ask questions and watch as the instructor responds to their questions using an audio and video connection. The instructor writes on an electronic white board while responding. The chat sessions are recorded for later viewing by those who are unable to attend and the notes from the white board are saved and provided as pdf files.

There are also electronic chat rooms available for student use. Students can use these to work together with other students in completing assignments or in studying for exams.

Finally, there are discussion groups where students can post questions and get responses from other students or from the instructor.

*4. Is the degree a mathematics degree or a mathematics education degree?*

It is a mathematics Master's degree. It is essentially the same mathematics Master's program that we have offered for years on-campus. On the other hand, because many of the students in the program are high school or community college mathematics teachers we often strive to make connections in our courses to the mathematics that they will be teaching. There is also room in our program for a limited number of pedagogically oriented elective courses.

*5. What sort of background do I need for the program?*

Of course, to be eligible for a graduate degree, you need some kind of undergraduate degree—preferably in mathematics, mathematics education, or some area that has a significant mathematics requirement. In order to be successful in all of our courses, you will need two things. The first is a familiarity with the content of the first two semesters of a typical Calculus sequence. The second is some experience with writing mathematical proofs. (We have found that sometimes even those students who have this experience are a bit rusty. For that reason, we encourage most students to take our course Mathematical Proofs (MA 701) at their first opportunity. This course is offered every fall.) We do not require that you take the GRE.

*6. Is there a deadline to apply to the program?*

In order to guarantee that your application gets to us in time to be considered, you should submit

your application by March 1st if you are applying for the summer or fall semesters, and October

1st if you are applying for the spring semester.

You can still enroll in a course as a non-degree seeking student while your application is pending. When your application is accepted, that course can be applied toward your degree (up to a maximum of 12 credit hours). However, once you are sure that you want to enter the program, it is to your advantage to go ahead and complete the application since there is an additional application fee for enrolling as a non-degree seeking student.

*7. How many courses can I take each semester?*

You can take as many as you can handle. Until recently, we often only offered one online course per semester. This was not as limiting as it sounds, since most of our students had full time jobs, and, for those people, one course a semester is essentially a full load. A graduate level mathematics course is a significant time commitment! With the expansion of our program we are now offering more options, so it is possible to take two, or, for those who are not working, even three courses in a single semester.

*8. How long will it take to complete the program?*

That depends on how many courses that you can take in a semester. Most of our students choose the non-thesis option, which involves 34 credit hours. That is eleven 3-credit hour courses plus a one-hour project. As an example, if you are able to take one course during the two regular semesters and 2 courses in the summer, you could complete the program in less than 3 years.

*9. Do you still have an active on-campus program?*

Yes, we do. Although many of our courses are taken by both off-campus and on-campus students simultaneously, there are still a few courses offered each semester that are only available to on-campus students. In addition, on-campus students are eligible for teaching assistantships that pay a stipend and include a full tuition waiver.

*10. Where can I find more information?*

To apply to the program go to: http://www.emporia.edu/grad/admissions/

To register for courses go to: http://www.emporia.edu/distance/registration/

To get information about tuition and fees go to http://www.emporia.edu/distance/tuition.html

For information about financial aid go to http://www.emporia.edu/finaid/

You can also contact Dr. Chad Wiley, the graduate advisor for the mathematics graduate program, at cwiley1@emporia.edu.