MAT Science

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Degree in Science Education

The Master of Arts in Teaching degree in Science Education stresses training in the art of teaching and advanced knowledge in the science selected for major specialization. Designed for individuals with significant ability in a discipline and a serious commitment to teaching, the program offers an opportunity for professional development of experienced teachers. Admission requires, in addition to general university requirements, at least one 24-hour teaching field in science. Students without the required science content backgrounds are expected to correct the deficiencies prior to admission or may be enrolled on a probationary status. An interview with an SME faculty member may also be required.

Traditionally, the master’s degree in Science Education has been structured without a thesis requirement. This works well for students expecting the master’s to be their terminal degree. Those students who wish to pursue an advanced degree are better served to choose the thesis option; this work prepares the student for doctoral level research. Either degree, with the appropriate graduate level science coursework, may prepare students for dual credit/community college teaching.

Thesis Option

Students who wish to pursue the thesis option must consult with potential faculty advisors and present to the Graduate Studies Committee the name of the proposed thesis advisor, the proposed thesis topic, and potential committee members. The Graduate Studies Committee, after consultation with the student and appropriate faculty members, may approve the project and committee or require changes. In order to fulfill the thesis requirement, the student must pass a minimum of six semester credit hours in thesis research, SMED 6V98, and submit an acceptable thesis. The thesis is directed by a supervising professor and must be approved by the student’s thesis supervisory committee. In addition, the student must comply with the rules set by the Graduate Dean and successfully defend the thesis.  Please see the Required Thesis Procedure (.pdf) for more details. 

Students may petition the Graduate Studies Committee for waiver of requirements or substitution of alternate means of meeting requirements. Students who have particularly strong STEM content backgrounds are encouraged to meet with the graduate advisor and develop an appropriate degree plan.

The MAT degree in Science Education requires 36 semester hours.

Please see the current graduate catalog SME Graduate Catalog and Course Descriptions

Science Education Courses (12 hours)


SMED 5301         Science, Mathematics, and Society                                                                       

SMED 5302*       Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics Education                       

SMED 5303*       Introduction to Research and Evaluation in Science and Mathematics           

SMED 5304*       Reflections and Impacts in Science and Mathematics Education (5303 is a required prerequisite for 5304)

SMED 6V98 Thesis (A minimum of six semester hours in thesis research) and submission of an acceptable thesis which warrants publication in peer reviewed journals, scholarly books, monographs or the equivalent.

Science Content Courses (18 hours)

  • Primary Area: 12 hours in biology, chemistry, geosciences, or physics.
  • Secondary Area: 6 hours in biology, chemistry, geosciences, or physics.

Electives (6 hours)

Six hours of electives are taken to complete the required minimum of 36 hours. These elective hours, chosen with the graduate advisor, may include additional science content, mathematics content, or education courses. Under appropriate circumstances, the department head may make substitutions for portions of these requirements. Thesis Option students must use one of their electives to take SCI 5340 Statistics for Science/Mathematics Education, which must be taken prior to enrolling in thesis semester credit hours.

A maximum of 9 hours maybe accepted for transfer credit. Transfer credit must be approved by the Graduate advisor and the Graduate Dean’s office.