Graduate Studies

Graduate Studies

Interested in graduate study in science education? You've come to the right place. We offer the M.S., M.Ed., and Ph.D. degrees. Graduate students who have previously earned undergraduate degrees in science fields have the option to pursue teaching certification as part of any of these degrees. Students entering SCIED graduate degree options are admitted through the Department of Curriculum and Instruction graduate admissions process. The application deadline for the SCIED Ph.D. emphasis area is December 15 for Fall admission, with decisions made by the end of February. Applications may be submitted at other times of the year, but graduate funding opportunities are likely to be more limited then.

A good place to learn more about the aspects of science education that interest us is our faculty profiles page. We also encourage prospective students to schedule a visit to campus. A typical visit will include meetings with faculty and other graduate students, and we have some funding to help qualified candidates with out-of-area travel.

Master of Education

M.Ed. students work to enhance their knowledge of teaching and learning science. The M.Ed. is appropriate for practicing professional educators seeking to expand their knowledge or for those seeking initial teacher certification, as the degree program may include teacher certification in a science field (biology, chemistry, Earth science, physics).

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M.Ed. with Certification Course Schedule and Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy

Ph.D. students are part of a research community dedicated to advancing knowledge in science education. Students are expected to work with their doctoral advising committee to create a course of study leading to a contribution to knowledge through a doctoral dissertation. Students engage in research with faculty in a variety of areas in science and engineering education. Current research areas include astronomy education, uses of representational technology in geosciences, science assessment, teacher professional development, elementary engineering education, epistemic cognition, equity issues in STEM education, motivation and science learning outcomes, science teachers’ professional pedagogical vision, professional learning communities, and uses of video analysis to support teacher professional development. The faculty encourage interdisciplinary research for doctoral study. Ph.D. students have completed academic minors in fields such as applied linguistics, psychology, policy studies, and educational psychology. Assistantships are available.

Recently completed Science Education Ph.D. dissertations projects include:

Conversations Around Practice: Mediating Opportunities to Learn About Teaching Science by Amy Ricketts

Preservice Teachers' Use of Inscriptions in Their Peer Teaching Activity by Arzu Ozcelik

Kindergarten Girls "illuminating" their Identities-in-Practice through Science Instruction Framed in Explanation Building: From the Shadows into the Light by Alicia McDyre

How pre-service elementary teachers express emotions about climate change and related disciplinary ideas by Elizabeth Hufnagel.

Case Studies of Tenure-track Science Professors: Exploring the Relationship between Teaching and Research by Jenay Robert.

Failure is an option: Reactions to failure in elementary engineering design projects by Matthew Johnson.

Translanguaging in a middle school science classroom: Constructing scientific arguments in English and Spanish by Peter Licona.

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PhD in science education emphasis in Curriculum & Instruction