College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences2018-2019

Center for Science Teaching and Learning

Science Teaching, Master of Arts

The Master of Arts in Science Teaching Degree (MAST), offered by the Center for Science Teaching and Learning (CSTL) is a rigorous program designed for practicing teachers to deepen their knowledge of the content and to enhance their classroom practice through a focus on research-based teaching strategies that make science accessible to learners. The program is unique in that it focuses solely on science education allowing students to be part of a supportive cohort of high-achieving science teachers taught by faculty who specialize and conduct research in science education. We strive to provide a cutting-edge, high-quality program that will utilize your professional experiences and build upon your content knowledge to become a highly effective secondary teacher and leader.

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


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? If so, then Northern Arizona University can help.

The Master of Arts in Science Teaching (MAST) 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:
  • More effective high school educator
  • More effective middle school educator
  • Science education leader
  • Further academic study (e.g., Ph.D., Ed.D.)

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 30
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.
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

Purpose Statement
The Science Teaching M.S. degree program (MAST) degree is designed to meet your needs as a professional science educator.  The program can be taken on the Flagstaff campus or synchronous online through video conferencing. Whether you want to increase your knowledge of pedagogy or science content in order to improve your practice or you are interested in becoming a leader in your school or district, we are here to help you.
The MAST degree is designed for:

  • Licensed secondary (middle or high school) science teachers pursuing advanced knowledge in the profession.
  • Secondary science teachers preparing for leadership roles such as secondary curriculum, instruction or professional development specialists, department heads, etc.
  • International science educators interested in extending their knowledge and skills through engaging in the American school system.
While many MAST students continue to work during the program, it is possible to complete the program as a full-time, on-campus student. This allows you to take a greater variety of science content courses and provides the opportunity to engage with faculty on science education research projects. Competitive graduate assistantships are available to mitigate tuition costs and provide a monthly stipend (see the funding section below). We would highly recommend this option for incoming international students.
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:

    • 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 
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 30 units:

    Science Content courses (15 units)

    • SCI 613 (3 units)
    • Science Content Electives* chosen in consultation with your advisor (12 units)
    *500-level or higher AST, BIO, CHM, EES, ENV, FOR, GLG, MAT, PHS, PHY, SCI course (3 units)

    One general education course may be substituted for a science content course if approved by your advisor.

    Science Education or Education courses (12 units)

    Capstone courses (3 units)
  • Please Note
    • As seen above, this plan offers two options for a capstone experience: a Thesis or Non-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."
  • Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Program

    This program is available as an Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan. Accelerated Programs provide the opportunity for outstanding undergraduates working on their bachelor’s degree to simultaneously begin work on a master’s degree. Departments may allow students to complete both degrees in an accelerated manner by approving up to 12 units applicable toward both degrees. Students must apply to the accelerated program and the master’s program by the application deadline, and meet all requirements as listed on the Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Programs to be considered for admission. Admission to programs is competitive and qualified applicants may be denied because of limits on the number of students admitted each year. Be sure to speak with your advisor regarding your interest in Accelerated Programs.

  • 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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