Master of Science, Master of Education

MSc, MEd in Secondary Mathematics Education

Method of delivery:
Applications open:
October 1, 2024
Applications close:
December 1, 2024
Next start date:
September 2025

Applications closed

Get all the information you need to apply for the Secondary Mathematics Education, MSc/MEd program.


SFU Requirements

A bachelor's degree from Simon Fraser University or its equivalent with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0/4.33 (B), or a grade point average of at least 3.33/4.33 (B+) based on the last 60 units of undergraduate/graduate courses will normally be required for admission. Academic equivalency by country.

Program Requirements

The program is intended to meet the needs of practicing secondary mathematics teachers. The mathematical content is designed to increase students' breadth of understanding, and will not require students to recall details of their undergraduate mathematics courses. We recognize that teachers interested in this program may have completed their university work some time ago, and the courses are designed with this in mind.

In addition to the standard requirements for entry to the SFU graduate program, the following prerequisites are normally required:

  • sufficient mathematics background for certification to teach secondary school mathematics
  • mathematics teaching experience in secondary school
  • an undergraduate methods of teaching mathematics course, for example, SFU's EDUC 415-4 Designs for Learning: Secondary Mathematics


Tuition (2024/25)

  • $2,107.43 (per term)

*Subject to estimated 2% fee increase each September.

SFU Ancillary Fees

Simon Fraser University assesses the Student Services fee, the graduate student activity fee, the U-Pass BC fee and the mandatory supplementary course fee to all eligible students in each term of enrollment.

More Information


We recommend you apply early to ensure all aspects of the application are complete by the deadline.

Before Applying (Admission Requirements and Documents)

Review the admission requirements, and begin preparing your required documents.

Reference letters must be specific to the application. At least TWO out of the THREE required references should be written by referees who are able to comment on your abilities and to make an informed judgment about your likelihood of success in graduate study (e.g., professors). When entering your referees' information, you must use their professional or institutional email address.

Ensure your referees include the following:

  • A frank appraisal of the applicant's ability to undertake a rigorous program of graduate study.
  • Reference to the applicant’s scholarly competence and academic ability to undertake advanced studies in education.
  • Personal qualities deemed relevant to the applicant’s ability to engage in graduate work.
  • Length of time and the context in which the referee has known the applicant.
  • Addressed to SFU on referee's institutional/professional letterhead.

Required supporting documents

After you submit the online application and pay the application fee you will be required to upload the following PDF documents:

  • Transcripts for each post-secondary institution attended
  • Academic Writing Sample
  • Curriculum Vitae/Resume
  • Letter of Intent

Step 1: Apply Online

Complete the Online Application for Graduate Studies at SFU

Apply Here

Important notes about the online application system/process:

  • Can take approximately 45 minutes to complete.
  • You do not have to wait until you have all your supporting documents ready before applying. Graduate programs can be competitive, therefore is it recommended that you begin your application early to complete the online sections and being preparing and collecting the required documents.  
  • The online application system will allow you to partially complete the process, save, and return later.
  • The online application system is only available while applications are being accepted for each program.

Step 2: Pay application fee

Once you complete and submit Step 1 of the online application, you wil need to pay the non-refundable application fee:

  • $110 CAN (applicants with Canadian transcripts only)
  • $150 CAN (students with one or more international transcripts)

Payment must be made by credit card (Mastercard or Visa). Once the payment is approved, you will receive an email confirming that your payment was successful and inviting you to proceed to submitting references and Uploading Documents (checklist).

Step 3: Upload Supporting Documents

References are due on the application deadline and will not be accepted late. With this in mind, please submit and pay the application fee early enough to allow your referees time to submit their reference.

You will only be able to submit references and upload the required documents to complete your application after your application fee has been processed.

Upload the following required documents before the application deadline:


Include the name and contact information for three references most familiar with your research and/or academic potential.

  • When entering your referees' information, choose "Education" as the type of reference
  • When entering your referees' information, you must use their professional or institutional email address.
  • Reference letters should be submitted on professional or institutional letterhead with a signature from the referee.
  • Reference letters must be specific to the application. 
  • Referees should include a combination of academic and professional references. Three professional references is also acceptable if you do not have an academic reference. 
  • Referees are to indicate the applicant's ability to undertake advanced study in the area of interest they are applying for.


You must upload a transcript (scanned, saved, etc.) for each post-secondary institution you have attended (institutions you listed in Step 3, in your online application). Ensure all pages are uploaded, including the grading scale (typically located on the back of the page or a separate sheet).

Official transcripts will only be required if you receive an offer of admission.

More info about transcripts

Academic Writing Sample (PDF)

Upload a recent example of academic writing in PDF format. If applicants do not have a recent paper they are advised to write one on any topic that is of interest or relevance to them. Paper length should be a minimum of 5 pages. 

You could choose an article from a professional journal on a subject you are interested in, develop argumentation for or against it and make links to related personal and professional experience or other related readings. The writing sample must be authentic and original and references must be clearly indicated.

The academic writing sample should meet regular university standards and expectations. It could be a dissertation or an essay that was written during an Undergraduate course. It could be an argumentative text with an introduction, development and conclusion. For example, if you took a literature course and submitted an essay on the representation of death for the Romantics, this is an academic writing sample. Another example is if you took a Political Science course, you analysed and compared the Canadian and American legal systems.

The writing sample must illustrate an applicant’s ability to:

  • express ideas in clear and appropriate language
  • sustain an argument and develop a logical conclusion

Letter of Intent (PDF)

Upload a typed letter of intent as a PDF file. Insert your last name and initial in the header of your document. Outline the following in your letter of intent (maximum 1000 words):

  1. Outline in your letter of intent your reasons for pursuing graduate studies, demonstrating scholarly and professional accomplishments.
  2. An example of a research question you are interested in or an example of an aspect of your teaching practice that you would like to explore further.
Document Retention

The documents which students supply to support admission applications will be retained for three terms following the term to which application is made. Then, application forms, transcripts and other materials related to applications will be destroyed. Irreplaceable documents will be returned to the applicant if requested at the time of application.


Do you admit students without an undergraduate or masters degree?

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted with lower formal qualifications when there is significant professional experience relevant to the proposed area of scholarship.

Students must satisfy any further requirements set by the graduate program committee.

I have an undergraduate degree, but my early grades were not very high. Will this affect my application?

The minimum university requirement for admission to a master’s program is a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0/4.33 (B), or a grade point average of at least 3.33/4.33 (B+) based on the last 60 credits of undergraduate courses. In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted with lower formal qualifications, but with extensive experience deemed significant to the proposed area of research. 

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted to the MEd EP program with an undergraduate GPA lower than 3.0. For more information see MEd EP Additional Requirements.

I have been out of university for a long time and do not have any recent academic referees – are three professional referees acceptable?

Anyone who can comment on your academic competence (e.g., department head, school principal, academic coordinator, manager/supervisor, etc.). What we look for from referees is confirmation that the applicant has the capacity to pursue a graduate degree – i.e. understands academic writing, reading, and has the intellect, academic preparation and skills (e.g. time management, ability to work and study etc.) to be successful. Applicants should prepare referees to speak to these qualities and capacities, and reference highlights of the applicant’s CV, describe projects, leadership, initiatives, professional experience that reflect qualities and skills that are relevant to academic achievement. For Counselling Psychology program applicants, please refer to the program website for more complete details about references.

If in doubt, contact the Program Assistant for confirmation.

How do I submit transcripts?

You must upload an unofficial transcript (scanned, saved, etc.) for each post-secondary institution you have attended when you are uploading documents to your application. You cannot upload these documents until your application has been submitted, and your application fee has been paid and processed.

If you receive an offer of admission, you will be required to submit an official transcript for each post-secondary institution. More information.

Note: Applicants who completed their former degrees at SFU are not required to submit an official SFU transcript, as these records can be accessed. More information on transcripts.

What are the differences between the MA/MSc (thesis) and the MEd course work/comprehensive examination degrees?

The MA/MSc route normally requires a minimum of 25 units of course work and a thesis. The MEd degree typically requires a minimum of 35 units of course work and a comprehensive examination.

How long does it take to complete an MEd (course work/comprehensive examination) degree?

Normally most MEd degree students complete in two years by taking one course each fall and spring term and one or two courses each summer term. A student enrolled in the MEd EP programs completes in one year following the completion of the Graduate Diploma program.

Is there a minimum fee for the master’s program?

The minimum fee for a master’s program is six full-time research term fee units (excluding the International Program and the MEd EP program). However, the minimum fee rule may be waived for students who complete all degree requirements in less than six terms of continuous full-time enrolment. Contact Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for information.

Students who enroll on leave are not eligible for the waiver of the minimum fee requirements.

A master’s student who has completed six terms of enrolment (excluding on leave enrolment) pays a continuing fee in subsequent terms equal to one half of the regular fee.

When will I know the selection committee’s decision regarding my application?

Applicants to MEd, MA, MSc programs will receive notification in April. Applicants to Community Graduate MEd programs and Field Programs' MEd EP programs will receive notification approximately 6-8 weeks after the application deadline.

All applicants will receive an email letter from Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Students will also receive a letter in the mail shortly after.

When are decisions about admission made? Is there a wait list?

Applicants should expect to hear a decision within three months of the application deadline. Admission decisions are made at multiple levels within the University and applicants will be notified by an email from Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies as soon as the final decision is made. The review committee may decide to have a waitlist depending on the composition of submitted applications.

Is there a difference between community-based MEd cohorts and the on-campus MEd degree in terms of TQS (Teacher Qualification Service) guidelines for going up a category in pay?

There is no difference in the credential (Master of Education) no matter what program it is awarded through. It is the student’s responsibility to review any criteria set out by their employer for pay increases, such as the Teacher Qualification Service. See more detailed information.

What is the difference between an MEd and MA?

The Master of Education (MEd) program consists of coursework and a comprehensive exam (which is an extended academic paper that has an applied component).

The Master of Arts (MA) option consists of fewer courses and a research-based thesis. If you have an interest in applying for a PhD in the future, an MA is the preferred credential for admission.


The prerequisite for entry into a SFU Masters program is a Bachelor's degree with a GPA of at least 3.0 from a recognized university, or the equivalent. For applicants who do not hold a Bachelor’s degree, if they have completed the Provincial Instructors Diploma Program (PIDP) and have extensive professional experience in an educational or professional setting, they may be admitted to the Graduate Certificate. After one year of coursework (12 units minimum) and a CGPA of 3.0, students may transfer into the MEd program.


Students whose native primary language is not English must demonstrate command of English sufficient to pursue graduate studies in the chosen field. Applicants applying to programs conducted entirely in French will be exempt from this requirement. English language requirements.

Are there online graduate programs offered by the Faculty of Education?

Generally, all our programs are offered face-to-face. Students are expected to attend all classes in person. Please review each program website to determine the delivery method for your program of interested.

Are there any scholarships available? What about for international applicants?

Various forms of financial assistance are available for graduate students in Education. Admission to SFU does not imply financial support. As a consequence of not being able to guarantee funding for all graduate students, the Faculty of Education stresses to all applicants, and particularly those from overseas, that they are responsible for supporting their graduate study at this institution for a minimum of two years and funding should be arranged before arriving in Canada.

Would you recommend a Faculty of Education graduate program for international students?

International students face specific challenges no matter what program they may take outside their home country, for example: obtaining study permit, finances, academic writing and working in Anglo-dominant institutions, finding suitable accommodation, childcare, and sustaining oneself during the program.

Outside of these challenges, we recommend that international students applying to a graduate program should have work experience in a field related to the program (including volunteer experience), and have a specific topic or area of interest in which their learning in the program can be applied (in their home country or other location).  Unless otherwise stated on the program website, the tuition rate is the same for domestic and international students.

What is expected from the academic writing sample?

The purpose of the academic writing sample is for the admissions committee to assess a candidate’s ability to be successful in a fundamental scholarly skill: scholarly writing. Scholarly writing is evidence-based, well cited, rooted in scholarly literature, and clear, concise, and coherent in its prose. While we expect students to develop these skills once they are in the program, the academic writing sample allows us to see where the starting point for any applicant would be. Most applicants submit a recently written university level course paper (written within the past 5 years); other applicants choose an older paper but rewrite it for the purposes of the application; and others still might choose a more recent writing sample that is not necessarily academic but demonstrates these skills.

Since the program is designed for students who also work full time, how many hours per week will courses be? How many hours per week should I budget to dedicate to my studies?

This will depend on the number of courses your program requires you to enroll in each term. In addition to the 4-5 hours of class time once per week, students should be prepared to be spending additional time per week doing course readings (approximately 50-100 pages per week, sometimes more, sometimes less); library research; assignments for class; and additional hours doing research and writing academic papers for their courses. We would advise that students budget at minimum 15-20 hours per week to devote to their studies.