Science Teaching, Master of Arts

Department of STEM Education

College of Education

The Master of Arts in Science Teaching Degree (MAST) 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. The program is fully online and is designed to be completed in two years on a part-time basis.

Please note: This academic plan does not result in K-12 public-school teacher certification. Please see the ‘Teaching Science with Certification (MAT-S)’ program for professional certification. In addition, the program is not designed to provide the appropriate graduate science coursework for teaching dual enrollment courses at the high school level.

  • 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.

Minimum Units for Completion 30
Major GPA 3.0
Additional Admission Requirements

Individual program 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 Master of Arts in Science Teaching (MAST) degree is designed to meet your needs as a professional science educator.  The program is fully online. 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:

  • 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.
The program is designed to be completed in two years on a part-time basis. A thesis or final project is required to complete the program. The program does not lead to certification.

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
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

  • The NAU graduate online application is required for all programs. Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.

    Admission requirements include the following:

    • Transcripts.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale ("A" = 4.0), or the equivalent.

    Visit the NAU Graduate Admissions website for additional information about graduate school application deadlines, eligibility for study, and admissions policies.

    Ready to apply? Begin your application now.

    International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy.

    • Experience in K-12 science education
    • Resume or curriculum vitae
    • Personal statement
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 30 units:

    Science Education courses (15 units)

    Science Content courses (12 units)
    • Electives chosen in consultation with your advisor, 500-level or higher from AST, BIO, CHM, EES, ENV, FOR, GLG, MAT, PHS, PHY, or SCI
    • One general education course may be substituted for a science content course if approved by your advisor.

    Capstone course (3 units)

  • Please Note
    • As seen above, this plan offers two options for a capstone experience: a Thesis or Final Project. Exit criteria include a passing score on the capstone, a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and no more than two grades of "C." Students completing the Thesis option must complete 18 units of formal, letter- graded coursework. Students completing the Final Project option must complete 24 units of formal, letter-graded coursework. 
Additional Information
  • 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.