College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences2016-2017

Center for Science Teaching and Learning

Teaching Science with Certification, Master of Arts in Teaching

The Masters of Art in Teaching Science (MAT-S) program is a challenging Master's program that prepares science teachers for teaching in grades 7-12 and emphasizes the development of a teacher’s ability to develop research-based teaching strategies that make science accessible to learners. Specific attention is directed at the interaction of schools, learners, pedagogy, subject matter and curriculum. The program is unique in that it focuses solely on science education. This allows you to be in a supportive cohort of high-achieving science peers taught by faculty who specialize and conduct research in science education. We strive to provide a cutting-edge, high-quality program that will utilize and build upon your science knowledge and experiences to become an innovative middle or high school teacher. The program is designed for students with strong undergraduate preparation in the sciences seeking certification to teach biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, or general sciences at the secondary (middle and high school) level.  
This program is nationally recognized by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Specialized Program Association.

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


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

This degree is designed for individuals who already have a degree in a science or related field and are interested in teaching science at the secondary school level (grades 7-12). Coursework for this program is available at the Flagstaff Mountain campus.

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.

Candidates in this program are expected to demonstrate content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge and skills needed to teach science (biology, chemistry, general science, earth science, physics) in secondary schools. Practicum fieldwork in secondary schools as well as student teaching in secondary schools is required components of this program, along with graduate-level coursework that is geared toward the career-changing adult.

Minimum Units for Completion 35
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
Arizona Certification/Endorsement

Prepares student for Arizona Certification and/or Endorsement.

Student Teaching/Supervised Teaching Student Teaching/Supervised Teaching is required.
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study
Student Learning Outcomes

The Learner & Learning:

  • Standard #1: Learner Development. The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.
  • Standard #2: Learning Differences. The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.
  • Standard #3: Learning Environments. The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.
  • Standard #4: Content Knowledge. The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.
  • Standard #5: Application of Content. The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.
Instructional Practice
  • Standard #6: Assessment. The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.
  • Standard #7: Planning for Instruction. The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.
  • Standard #8: Instructional Strategies. The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.
Professional Responsibility
  • Standard #9: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice. The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.
  • Standard #10: Leadership and Collaboration. The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • Apply for the program: Science Teaching with Certification – Master of Arts in Teaching
    • Appropriate AEPA or NES subject knowledge exam
    • 2 recommendations
    • Prerequisites (completed prior to enrolling in the program)
    • Minimum of 24 units of appropriate content-specific coursework in the area of teacher certification with a grade of “C” or better
    • Resume or curriculum vitae
    • Personal statement or essay 
    • IVP Fingerprint clearance card
  • Requirements prior to student teaching:

    • Must pass the appropriate AEPA or NES subject knowledge exam
    • Must meet Arizona requirement for U.S./Arizona constitution (Option 1: POS 220 or equivalent course; Option 2: AEPA Constitutions of the United States and Arizona exam)

Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 35 units:

    Summer Semester (2 units):

    Fall semester (13 units):

    • SCI 508, SCI 560, SCI 613 (7 units)
    • BME 631 (3 units)
    • *500-level or higher AST, BIO, CHM, EES, ENV, FOR, GLG, MAT, PHS, PHY, SCI course (3 units)
  • Spring semester (10 units):

    • SCI 508, SCI 561, SCI 612 (7 units)
    • *500-level or higher AST, BIO, CHM, EES, ENV, FOR, GLG, MAT, PHS, PHY, SCI course (3 units)
    Fall II semester (10 units):
    *Note: The BME course and Science Teaching Content electives may be taken during the Summer semester instead of Fall or Spring semesters.
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability

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