Graduate Studies


An accelerated program providing all of the required coursework, field experiences, and student teaching needed for gaining initial teaching certification. 


This masters program is intended for students who have earned a bachelor's degree in biology, chemistry, geosciences, or physics (or equivalent) and who wish to earn a certificate to teach in grades 7-12 in NYS public schools.  This provides an opportunity to fulfill a regional need for qualified science teachers from nontraditional sources such as content majors or individuals considering a second career. This 15 month program will allow graduates to be eligible for both initial and professional certification in their science discipline and/or 7-12 General Science, and/or 5-6 Extension.


Criteria and Procedures for Admission

Candidates must possess a bachelor's degree in biology, chemistry, geosciences, or physics or the equivalent and have an overall GPA of 2.75 in their undergraduate program; two recent (within last six months) letters of recommendation are required.  General admission requirements can be found at the Application Procedures section of the Graduate Web site (  Students will be admitted to the program based on the assessment of GPA and letters of recommendation by the SEP Graduate Committee.   A transcript screen tool will be employed to determine content course deficiencies and requirements for any dual certifications or the general science 7-12 extension.

Admission Requirements

  • BS degree in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics, or equivalent; 2.75 GPA overall and in the discipline.  Evaluation of transcript by the MAT Coordinator to identify the certification area(s) and any deficiencies that must be addressed through further coursework.  Identified deficiencies will be outlined in a contract along with a timeline for their completion.
  • Two letters of recommendation preferable from individuals who have observed you working with adolescents, who can speak to your potential as a successful secondary science teacher. These must be confidential and recent (within last six months).
  • A personal statement that includes a brief summary of work or volunteer experiences with children or youth.
    Examples of appropriate experiences include:
    • in-school classroom experience
    • teaching at a community center
    • teaching youth groups in other community settings
    • camp counseling
    • coaching

      In your summary include details regarding activities and the duration of the experiences.

      Your statement should also include  
    • how your experiences will help you be an effective teacher.
    • what it is about teaching and adolescents that make you want to pursue this career path.
    • Entrance Interview. All candidates will be screened in an in-person or phone interview with the Program Coordinators. For admission we look for
      • candidates that are committed to the learning of others
      • candidate with strong content and general knowledge cores
      • candidates who contributes to a positive climate in learning communities
      • candidates who communicate effectively verbally and demonstrate an ability to write in a clear, organized, fluent manner
      • candidates with good interpersonal skills
      • candidates who are committed to assessment based planning
      • candidate who appreciates and values human diversity and shows respect for others’ varied talents and perspectives
      • candidates who demonstrate a commitment to keeping abreast of new ideas and understandings in the field of science and education
      • candidates who engage in professional behavior
  • General admission requirements can be found at the Application Procedures section of the Graduate Web site.

The program is designed for students to take a sequence of courses starting one summer and through to the end of the next summer. Some allowance, upon advisement, may be given for certain courses to be taken out of sequence or on a part time bases.  


Program Structure and Content

The academic content contains a pedagogical core, literacy and language acquisition courses, method courses specific to the teaching of science, use of technology to enhance learning and assist student with special needs, assessment, teaching scholarship and science content courses.

Pedagogical Core

  • EDU 502 Psychology of Adolescence
  • EDU 508 Teaching Diverse Learners in Inclusive Settings 
  • EDU 301 Child Abuse and Neglect 
  • EDU 302 Drugs and Alcohol 
  • EDU 303 Fire Safety and Violence Prevention 


  • EDU 536 Adolescent Literature and Technology

    one of the following other courses: 
  • EDU 506 - Introduction to Literacy Learning
  • EDU 586 - Content Area Literacy
  • EDU 587 Psychological Foundations of Literacy


  • SCED 560 Foundations of Teaching Science to Adolescent Learners
  • SCED 660 Developing Expertise in Science Teaching
  • SCED 680 Inquiry into Science Teaching in Context

6 Credits

  • BIO, CHEM, GEO, PHY, SCI, SCED electives, upon advisement

Supervised Teaching

  • SCED 670 Student Teaching: Middle School
  • SCED 671 Student Teaching: High School
Total Credit Hours: 44

May include additional hours at the graduate or undergraduate level for candidates who want to also qualify for the general science 7-12 extension or multiple certificates.
* includes 50 hours of field experience each in middle and high school



Additional Resources

Dr. Roger Byrne, Program Coordinator
Science Education website 

Page modified 11/26/14