Degrees & Programs

Science Education

Talented and committed science educators make our nation stronger. In a 2009 survey of average reading, mathematics, and science literacy scores among 15-year-old students, the United States ranked just 17th out of 34 developed countries in science literacy. Those numbers simply aren't good enough for our nation to stay competitive in the global marketplace. Nor is that level of comprehension sufficient for a citizenry who will need to understand the science behind issues from climate change to genetically modified crops to make informed political choices.

Overview

At the IU School of Education, you can build upon your own passion for science with the knowledge and skills to teach this material effectively to a diverse, multicultural student body. You’ll also hone your data interpretation skills and participate in diverse research projects aimed at improving young learners’ understanding of scientific concepts and best practices for educating the next generation of science teachers.

Degrees

The IU School of Education offers the following degrees in Science Education:

M.S.Ed. in Science & Environmental Education

Teach science at the middle and high school levels. If you’re new to teaching, this degree provides extensive professional experience and places you on the path to certification and licensure. If you’re an experienced teacher, this degree prepares you to become a supervising teacher or department chair.

If you choose to participate in the Community of Teachers or Transition to Teaching programs, you may be eligible for a Noyce Scholarship.

This 36-credit hour program includes both professional development coursework for educators, intensive science studies, and a thesis or practicum option.

M.S. in Science & Environmental Education

Brochure
Program of Studies

Complete course descriptions and detailed degree requirements may be found in the IU Bloomington School of Education Graduate Bulletin.

Degree Requirements

General Curriculum (3 cr.)

  • J500 Instruction in the Context of Curriculum (3 cr.)

Specialized Studies (18 cr.)

  • Science Education (9 cr).
    • Select from the following Education courses:
      • E548 Advanced Study in the Teaching of Science in the Elementary Schools (3 cr.)
      • S518 Advanced Study in the Teaching of Secondary School Science (3 cr.)
      • Any 500- or 600-level Q (Science Education) course
  • Science Area (9 cr.)
    • Courses must be at the graduate level from one or more science areas.

Foundational Areas & Inquiry Skills (3 cr. minimum)

Select at least one of the following Education courses:

  • H510 Foundations of Educational Inquiry (3 cr.)
  • H520 Education and Social Issues (3 cr.)
  • H530 Philosophy of Education (3 cr.)
  • P501 Statistical Methods Applied to Education (3 cr.)
  • P507 Testing in the Classroom (3 cr.)
  • P510 Psychology in Teaching (2–3 cr.)
  • P516 Adolescent Development (3 cr.)
  • P525 Psychological Issues in Education (3 cr.)
  • P540 Learning and Cognition in Education (3 cr.)
  • P544 Applied Cognition and Learning Strategies (3 cr.)

Other courses may be needed for special skills related to a particular practicum of thesis topic.

Electives (6 cr.)

May be graduate-level courses from Education, Science, or another area.

Thesis or Practicum Option (6 cr.)

Practicum proposals and tehsis topics must be selected with the approval of your advisor. Practica must extend over at least two semesters or one semester and a regular summer session.

Six hours of course work may be substituted for a a thesis or practicum with the approval of your advisor.

Ed.D. in Science & Environmental Education

This program is ideal for science educators who have already earned a master’s degree but want to continue building their skills and knowledge. Designed to train practitioners, this 60-credit hour degree program offers you the opportunity to apply research-based theories to practical settings related to teacher training and young learner’s concepts of science, among other topics. You’ll also have the opportunity to deepen your knowledge in your chosen content area through advanced science course work.

Degree Requirements

Complete course descriptions and detailed degree requirements may be found in the IU Bloomington School of Education Graduate Bulletin.

At the completion of your course work and before you begin your dissertation, you will need to pass a qualifying exam, in the form of portfolio of work and an oral examination.

Inquiry Core (9 cr.)

The inquiry core includes a survey course in research methodologies and beginning courses in statistics, measurement, program evaluation, or in ethnographic, qualitative, quantitative, and historical research methods. See a complete list of approved inquiry core courses from the Office of Graduate Studies.

Major (24 cr.)

Twenty-four (24) credit hours in science education and a science education support area.

Minor (9 cr.)

At least nine (9) credit hours of course work will be taken in one science discipline.

  • At least three (3) credit hours of J795 Dissertation Proposal Preparation 
  • At least six (6) credit hours of J799 Doctoral Thesis in Curriculum and Instruction

Dissertation (9 cr.)

The focus of the dissertation is on data collection and analysis for the purpose of answering practical questions in the field. Course work will include:

Ph.D. in Science & Environmental Education

Whether you envision yourself at a small or large institution, this program prepares you to teach science and science education at the university level. This 90-credit hour program prepares you to conduct field-based research in a variety of school settings.

You’ll work closely with faculty mentors, as well as our colleagues in the sciences. You’ll also hone your teaching skills through programs where you’ll work directly with pre-service and in-service teachers. These opportunities include our Saturday Science Quest for Kids, a science enrichment program for K-8 students from around the region.

Degree Requirements

Complete course descriptions and detailed degree requirements may be found in the IU Bloomington School of Education Graduate Bulletin.

At the completion of your course work and before you begin your dissertation, you will need to pass a qualifying exam, in the form of portfolio of work and an oral examination.

Inquiry Core (15 cr.)

The inquiry core includes a survey course in research methodologies and beginning courses in statistics, measurement, program evaluation, or in ethnographic, qualitative, quantitative, and historical research methods. See a complete list of approved inquiry core courses from the Office of Graduate Studies.

Major (36 cr.)

At least six (6) credit hours must be in inquiry linkage courses, including an early inquiry experience.

Minor (12 cr.)

At least twelve (12) credit hours of course work will be taken in one science discipline.

Electives (up to 12 cr.)

This category can include foundations courses, minor course work, or inquiry course work.

Dissertation (15 cr.)

  • At least three (3) credit hours of J795 Dissertation Proposal Preparation
  • At least twelve (12) credit hours of J799 Doctoral Thesis in Curriculum and Instruction
Faculty

Our faculty includes experienced science educators who are committed to improving the teaching of science. Our research interests include teaching strategies for traditionally underserved populations, tracking student engagement to refine science curricula, incorporating new technologies into science education, exploring science teacher practice pre-K-16, and student learning of science pre-K-16.

Careers

Career options for science education students run the gamut from teaching in middle and high schools to teaching education and science at the university level. If you’re new to teaching, our education careers advisors can help you with your job search. If you’re looking for a higher education position, the sites below offer a good idea of the opportunities available to you:

Chronicle Careers

HigherEdJobs.com

Our master’s-level graduates typical assume roles such as:

  • Middle or Secondary School Science Teacher
  • Curriculum Supervisor or Developer of Science Programs

Our doctoral graduates have moved into roles as:

  • College or University Faculty Member in Science Education
  • College or University Faculty Member with Joint Appointment in Science and Education
  • Curriculum Developer, Curriculum Evaluator in Public and Private Institutions
Contact

For detailed program information, please contact:

Valarie Akerson, Ph.D.
Professor, Science Education
Indiana University
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
201 North Rose Avenue
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-1006
Phone: (812) 856-8140
Email: vakerson@indiana.edu