Science is everywhere, and a strong science literacy helps students to better understand our world and how it works. Studying science also develops essential skills for learning and inquiry, including observation, critical thinking, and research. And as science becomes even more important for success in today’s technical society, and as a science educator, you’ll teach students the skills and knowledge they need to thrive.
How You Can Benefit from a Master’s Degree in Science Education
Build on your experience in education and specialize in science with a master’s degree in science education. It can open doors to higher pay, wider career options and, of course, a rewarding experience for your students. Typically, graduates with a master’s degree in science education find that they’re prepared to take on leadership positions in science education, including educational development, teacher educators, and advanced teaching positions in the subject.
What You’ll Learn from a Master’s in Science Education
The curricula of master’s degree programs in science education often focus on inquiry-based learning and its effect. In addition to courses in education theory and research, most include a selected science concentration and a mandatory classroom practicum. In addition, science courses give you the chance to brush up on the subject matter that you’re teaching. Most master’s in science education degrees include courses such as:
- Biology for Educators
- Action Research
- Advanced Methods in Science and Math Instruction
- Theory and Research in Teaching Science
- Laboratory Curriculum Development
- Technology in Science Teaching
Where You Can Earn Your Online Master’s in Science Education
Online master’s degree programs in science education are offered by a variety of colleges and universities, including large state schools and teachers’ colleges. There are so many, that often, you can find a program that focuses on your particular teaching interests. For example:
- The science education option of the online master of education degree in curriculum and instruction offered by the University of Massachusetts Lowell is designed for K-12 educators. In addition to a capstone project, candidates choose from courses in education research, curriculum development and science instruction.
- The online master of science in the teaching of biological science from the University of Illinois is explicitly for biology teachers. The syllabus includes cutting-edge biology courses and instruction in inquiry-based teaching, as well as an action research project.
- The online master of natural sciences education from Colorado State University caters to biology, physics and chemistry teachers. Education and natural science courses are combined with a research experience and independent study.
Common Questions About An Online Masters in Science Education Degree
Can I continue my teaching job while enrolled in this program?
Universities offering this degree program may provide part-time options to help you balance your daily work schedule with the additional course work needed for this program. A lot of upcoming science education professionals may still be working as teachers while enrolled in this program.
Can I receive my teaching certificate through this program?
The main goal of this degree program is to assist students in receiving certification within a specific subject of science. Depending on the school you are pursuing, there may be prerequisite requirements stating that you already have a teaching license prior to enrolling. However, there are many online options that can assist you in obtaining your teaching certification. You should research your programs’s specific components prior to enrolling.
Are there certain times of the year I can enroll in this program?
Online degree programs focusing on science education can be found a diverse universities all over the country. Many of these online institutions currently offer multiple start dates each year, which is great for students that are prepared to get started in their program immediately.
Can this degree help me obtain leadership positions in the field?
Depending on where you are seeking employment, the requirements for leadership may vary. Most institutions seeking leadership professionals may call upon individuals with experience working in the field of education as well as an advanced degree within their subject area. If you are seeking a career in leadership within science-specific departments at universities or other schools, this is definitely a great first addition to your resume.
Cost and Length of an Online Masters in Science Education Degree
Another important factor to consider when choosing a degree program is the estimated length. Educators currently working in the field may be looking for a degree program to help them pursue greater positions in their field.
This may require them to engage in online learning while still employed full-time. The value of short, but detailed, degree programs for educators in the field is beyond what might be expected, since maintaining a current position while attending college can be difficult to manage longterm. For master’s-level programs, students can generally expect to spend anywhere from 1 to 3 years working on their program.
There are currently several Master’s in Education – Science Education program that can potentially be completed in as little as 1 year, which is great for students that wish to move into higher positions as a fast rate. Check out the length of the programs listed below.
- Colorado State University: Online Masters in Natural Science Education – $609 per credit hour – 2 years for completion
- Western Governor’s University: Online Masters in Science Education – $3,190 per 6 month term – 1-2 years for completion
Becoming an educator can be an incredible career choice for professionals with the desire to teach others about different topics in education. This career choice can lead you into many different levels of education that can make a difference in the lives of students seeking great quality education programs as children and adults.
Those currently working in the field of education can benefit from master’s-level programs, since they can allow for the acquisition of a specialty that can help focus their career goals into one subject area. New entrants to the field of education can also enter into this career field through master’s programs, which means this level of degree can be suitable for people from different academic disciplines.
If you are considering a move into the field of education with you master’s degree, but have some questions about what goes into obtaining this type of degree, our team of experts may be here to help. In order to help you prepare for master’s-level enrollment, our team has provided more information about the cost and length of programs available in an online setting.
The cost of master degree programs can vary depending on several different components. Students researching these programs may find that some universities list their tuition charges by year, semester or even credit hour.
The school you choose for your program may also play a role in the variation of costs, since universities with higher enrollment may come with the price of higher tuition rates. In online programs, students may not be responsible for accruing fees associated with housing or food, which can be helpful when choosing a school that best fits your budget.
Below this section, our team of experts has provided a list of a couple of schools and information pertaining to their length and cost. You are encouraged to compare the costs of potential universities before making your final choice.
Explore Career Options in Science Education
The future looks good for qualified science teachers. In their 2008 report, the American Association for Employment in Education reported a shortage of teachers in all sciences, especially in physics and chemistry. In addition to opportunities at public schools, private schools and community colleges may be interested in teachers with an online master’s degree in science education.
A master’s degree may also make you eligible for positions such as:
- department chair
- science coach
- teacher leader
- science specialist
- teacher educator
- workshop leader
Science educators typically enjoy a steady career with good job opportunities available. High school science teachers, for example, can expect a growing job outlook and a median pay of $55,050 per year. Those that work for business schools or in higher education will often earn more, with salaries ranging from $64,020 to $91,820.