Teaching Science with Certification, Master of Arts in Teaching
Department of STEM Education
College of Education
Online programs leading to certification require fieldwork, internship, and/or student teaching which must be completed onsite in Arizona.
Online programs leading to certification may require synchronous online learning activities. Students must have access to technology with audio and video capabilities.
The Master of Arts in Teaching Science (MAT-S) is a challenging, fully online Master’s program designed for current and future educators in Arizona schools to earn an Arizona Standard Professional Secondary Certificate. The program is designed to be completed on a part-time or full-times basis and leads to certification as well as a master’s degree. The degree is available to individuals who already have an undergraduate degree in a science or related field and are interested in teaching science at the secondary school level (grades 6-12).
The program prepares science teachers for teaching in grades 6-12 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 Arizona certification to teach biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, or general sciences at the secondary (middle and high school) level.
This program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
This program is nationally recognized by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).
This program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
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.
Read the full policy 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. Two practicums and student teaching in secondary schools are required components of this program and occur in the candidate's own classroom or are arranged by the university in Arizona classrooms. Practicum and student teaching placements can occur anywhere in the state of Arizona.
|Minimum Units for Completion||36|
|Additional Admission Requirements||Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.|
Prepares student for Arizona Endorsement.
|Student Teaching/Supervised Teaching||Student Teaching/Supervised Teaching is required.
|Some online/blended coursework||Required|
|Progression Plan Link||View Program of Study|
This program may lead to licensure.
The Master of Arts in Teaching Science (MAT-S) is a challenging, fully online Master’s program designed to provide certification for secondary science educators in Arizona schools. Upon completion, students earn an Arizona Standard Professional Secondary Certificate in their field as well as a master’s degree. The program can be completed on a part-time or full time basis. The program prepares science teachers for teaching in grades 6-12 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 looking to earn a standard certification in Arizona.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- Admission to the NAU Professional Education Program (PEP)
- 2 professional recommendations
- 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
- IVP Fingerprint clearance card
- For applicants who are currently teachers of record, and application for the Teacher Intern Preparation Program (TIPP) alternative certification is required. This requirement can be waived if the applicant has a current Specialized Secondary STEM or Subject Matter Expert certificate.
Requirements prior to student teaching:
- Must pass the appropriate AEPA or NES subject knowledge exam
- Passing score on the required Professional Disposition Modules
- 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)
This Master’s degree requires 36 units distributed as follows:
- Science Education Coursework: 12 units
- Teaching Content Coursework: 6 units
- Internship and Seminar: 12 units
- Selected Science Content Coursework: 6 units
Take the following 36 units:
Before being accepted to student teaching, candidate must successfully complete required state and university training modules.
You may also take POS 220 (or POS 110 and POS 241) to satisfy Arizona certification requirements for Federal and State Constitutional knowledge. As alternative, this requirement can be met by demonstrating proficiency on the appropriate Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments (AEPA) Exam.
In order to obtain an Arizona teaching certificate, you must pass the Secondary Professional Knowledge Exam.
Please be aware that Arizona state teacher certification requirements leading to Institutional Recommendations may change at any time and may impact program of study requirements.
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.