College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences2013-2014

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.
      • 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:

    • AEPA or NES subject knowledge exam
    • 2 letters of recommendation
    • 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, or a passing score on the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment (AEPA) or National Evaluation System (NES) subject-matter knowledge test in the area of certification.
    • Resume or curriculum vitae
    • Personal statement or essay 
    • IVP Fingerprint clearance card
    • List of courses taken in the field
    • Program of study signed by applicant and advisor
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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