College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences2012-2013

Center for Science Teaching and Learning

Science Teaching, Master of Arts

This Master of Arts in Science Teaching, offered by the Center for Science Teaching and Learning (CSTL), is designed for elementary-certified teachers who would like to teach science at the middle-school level; secondary-science teachers who want to expand their science content and pedagogical expertise; or graduate students in science who would like to teach at the community-college level.

Please note: This academic plan does not result in K-12 public-school teacher certification.

This M.A. degree is known at CSTL by the nickname: "MAST" program.

This program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).


What Can I Do with a Master of Arts in Science Teaching?

Are you a science teacher who enjoys keeping up with all the latest scientific discoveries? Would you like to learn more about how to effectively teach your students? Are you interested in teaching at the community college level? If so, then Northern Arizona University can help.

The Master of Arts in Science Teaching program is designed to help you enhance your science content knowledge and pedagogical skills. All programs of study are designed to meet your specific needs, whether it is to fill in knowledge gaps, expand content understandings in an area of strength, or help to gain an endorsement in a new area of science.

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Community college instructor
  • High school educator
  • Middle school educator
  • Test preparer

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 31
Major GPA 3.0
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Thesis Thesis may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Oral Defense Oral Defense is required.
Research Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • For individuals interested in middle or secondary-school science-teaching, admission requirements include:
      • a GPA of 3.0
      • a teaching certificate in elementary or secondary teaching or one year of full-time teaching experience at the K-12 level
      • two letters of recommendation.
      For individuals interested in community-college science teaching, admission requirements include:
      • a GPA of 3.0 from a B.A. or B.S. in a science-content area of interest
      • two letters of recommendation
      Individuals with a GPA of less than 3.0 may receive conditional admission. Typically, nine (9) credit-units at the 500-level or above, with a "B" or better in each course, are required for full admittance.
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 31 units:

    Science Content courses (18 units)
    Chosen with your advisor, many of which may be Summer courses.
    • Individuals following the community-college track will primarily take courses during the academic year.
    • Courses for practicing teachers are often offered as Summer courses.
    Science Education or Education courses (9-12 units)
    • Two required courses: SCI 612, SCI 613 (6 units)
    • Select one course from: SCI 610, SCI 611 (3 units)
    • For Portfolio students, the last class will be chosen with your advisor.
    • For Thesis students: SCI 699 (3 units)
    Capstone courses (1-4 units)
    • Are repeatable for credit.
    • Only three units of thesis may be applied toward the science-education portion of the degree.
    • Portfolio students:
      • SCI 689, which includes a professional portfolio and an oral defense (1 unit)
      Thesis students:
      • SCI 699, which includes a thesis, oral defense, and evidence of mastery of signature assessments (4 units)
  • Please Note
    • As seen above, this plan offers two options for a capstone experience: a Portfolio or Thesis. Exit criteria include a passing score on the capstone, a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and no more than two grades of "C."

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

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