Elementary Mathematics Specialist (EMS) Graduate Certificate

Program Description

Utah State University's online Elementary Mathematics Specialist (EMS) Graduate Certificate is designed for graduate students and professionals to strengthen their mathematics content, pedagogy and leadership knowledge and expertise to serve as leaders in elementary mathematics. As defined in the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) standards, Elementary Mathematics Specialists are “teachers, teacher leaders, or coaches who are responsible for supporting effective mathematics instruction and student learning at the classroom, school, district, or state levels.”

Course Requirements: Content, Pedagogy and Leadership (24 credits)

All courses listed are required (no course substitutions are permitted)

  • TEAL 6521: Mathematics for Teaching K-8 Numbers and Operations (3 credits)
  • TEAL 6522: Mathematics for Teaching K-8 Rational Numbers and Proportional Reasoning (3 credits)
  • TEAL 6523: Mathematics for Teaching K-8 Algebraic Reasoning (3 credits)
  • TEAL 6524: Mathematics for Teaching K-8 Geometry and Measurement (3 credits)
  • TEAL 6525: Mathematics for Teaching K-8 Data Analysis and Problem Solving (3 credits)
  • TEAL 6300: Workshop in Mathematics Educ/L.L.1 | Elementary Mathematics Educ. Leadership for School Change (3 credits)
  • TEAL 6551: Mathematics for Teaching K-8 Assessment and Intervention (3 credits)
  • TEAL 6552: Mathematics Education Leadership Knowledge and Skills (3 credits)


Students who complete the EMS Graduate Certificate program will receive a graduate-level certificate as an Elementary Mathematics Specialist that is aligned with national standards. The program is offered completely online (fall and spring semesters). Participants are required to complete all courses in the 24-credit EMS Certificate within 8 years. USU’s EMS Graduate Certificate is available as a stand-alone program, and is also complementary to USU’s Master of Education degree. In addition, USU’s EMS Graduate Certificate is complementary to the Elementary Mathematics Endorsement and the Elementary Mathematics Specialist Endorsement awarded by the Utah State Board of Education.

Admission Requirements:

  • Applicants go to applynow.usu.edu and choose the Graduate Application (available February 1, 2020)
  • GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 credits
  • Transcript showing the completion of a bachelor’s degree
  • Documentation of Teacher Certification
  • Documentation from a supervisor showing at least three years of successful mathematics teaching experience
  • $25 application fee (PROMO CODE - MATHSP2019)

For information about the application process, please contact Lori Hyde (lori.hyde@usu.edu)

 Certification Program Requirements:

  • Apply and be accepted into the EMS Graduate Certificate program.
  • Register for and complete the eight required graduate-level courses (24 credits) in the program.
  • Maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA in all program courses (grades below C will not be accepted).
  • Complete all courses in the EMS Graduate Certificate program within 8 years.
  • Abide by the Code of Policies and Procedures for Students at Utah State University.

NOTE: Students pursuing the EMS Graduate Certificate are not required to be enrolled in a graduate degree program. However, credits obtained from the certificate may be applied toward the following graduate degree: Master of Education degree with an Elementary Mathematics concentration. Please contact Dr. Katherine Vela (katherine.vela@usu.edu) if you are interested in earning the Master of Education degree along with your EMS Graduate Certificate.

EMS Planning Guide

Contact Information

Katherine Vela

Katherine Vela

Assistant Professor, Mathematics Education

School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Phone: 435-613-5018
Office Location: Price, WIB 243