Online Master’s in Science Education Programs 2021

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Teaching with a Science Education Degree

Science education trains skilled teachers who understand the best methods for instructing science and encouraging students’ curiosity about the world. Focusing on educational theory, teaching strategies, and science content areas, this degree primarily prepares science education graduates to teach in K-12 schools.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that high school science teachers earn an annual median salary of $61,660, with careers projected to grow 4% from 2019-2029. Science education graduates can also pursue other science-related careers such as environmental scientist and specialist, earning an annual median salary of $71,360.

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This guide offers an overview of master’s in science education programs, including typical courses, career prospects, licensure requirements, and scholarships.

Top 5 Online Master’s In Science Education Programs

Rank School Location
1 University of Georgia Athens, GA
2 North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC
3 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
4 Georgia State University Atlanta, GA
5 North Greenville University Tigerville, SC

Master's in Science Education Questions

  • Q. What can I do with a science education degree?

    A master’s in science education prepares candidates to teach science at the K-12 level. Graduates may also pursue careers such as instructional coordinator or environmental scientist.

  • Q. Can you be a teacher with a science degree?

    Science education master’s degrees commonly lead to state teacher certification, enabling graduates to teach at K-12 schools. However, students should check with individual programs to determine if they meet local certification standards.

  • Q. What is the purpose of science education?

    Science education draws on the latest educational theories and research. Teachers help shape students’ understanding of science and encourage intellectual curiosity.

  • Q. Can you get an MA without a BA?

    All MA programs require applicants to hold a BA. However, some colleges offer combination BA/MA programs that enable students to earn both degrees with fewer total credits.

Why Get a Degree in Science Education?

A science education master’s degree builds advanced knowledge and skills in pedagogy and science content instruction. Many programs also prepare candidates to obtain teaching certification in their state. Master’s degree-holders typically find employment more easily and may command higher starting salaries in the education field.

Many schools host science education programs online, allowing candidates to earn a degree while maintaining a full-time job. Online programs frequently offer tuition rates lower than their on-campus counterparts. Some public schools offer discounted in-state tuition to online students regardless of their state residency. These programs occur primarily online, though students perform in-person teaching activities locally.

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How Much Does a Science Education Degree Cost?

Tuition rates for master’s in science education programs vary widely among schools. Factors including delivery format (online, campus, or hybrid), school type (public or private), and enrollment format (part time, full time, or accelerated) can all affect overall tuition expenses. In general, online programs cost less than on-campus programs. Students can expect to pay $30,000-$40,000 on average for a master’s degree.

Online students may receive tuition discounts, and some public schools offer in-state tuition rates to out-of-state online learners.

Online learning also reduces or eliminates many secondary expenses associated with college. Students rarely relocate for online programs, eliminating moving expenses and a potential increase in living costs. Fewer campus visits also reduce travel and commuting expenses. Online programs help grant students the flexibility to work full time while in school, making it easier to budget for college expenses.

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How Much Do Science Education Majors Make?

A science education master’s degree most commonly prepares graduates for careers teaching science in K-12 schools. Teaching careers offer generally competitive salary levels, and master’s degree-holders typically command higher salaries than bachelor’s degree-holders. Teachers who earn their master’s in science education can often enter the field with a higher starting salary compared to teachers with just a bachelor’s degree.

Teacher salary levels vary slightly by grade level. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers earn an annual median salary of $59,420, while middle school teachers earn a slightly higher annual median salary of $59,660. High school teachers receive the highest annual median salary of $61,660.

Master’s in science education graduates may also enter specialized administrative roles, overseeing science teaching standards and curricula for schools and school districts. These roles typically require a master’s degree at minimum and offer higher salary levels. For example, instructional coordinators earn an annual median salary of $66,290.

Courses in Science Education

A master’s in science education program typically includes two major curriculum components: education courses and content courses. Education courses focus on pedagogical strategies for science education, giving teachers the tools to design curriculum, facilitate student inquiry, and assess learning outcomes. Content courses focus on major scientific fields and concepts, such as physics, chemistry, and biology.

Master’s candidates often demonstrate their learning through a culminating project such as a capstone, thesis, or action research project. These projects typically encompass significant research into an issue in contemporary science education.

This list highlights three common courses in science education programs. Course selections may vary among programs, but this list offers a representative sample of most curriculum models.

The course emphasizes curriculum design theories and methods for science education. Teachers gain the tools to shape student inquiry and education experiences, stressing engagement and active learning. The class also highlights frameworks for establishing explicit learning goals and best practices for assessing learning outcomes.

Assessment forms a major component of contemporary education practice, and this course focuses on assessment strategies for science classrooms. Teachers explore the common purposes of learning assessment, including summative and formative approaches. The course also highlights various student assessment dimensions, including conceptual understanding, inquiry skills, and peer assessment.

Classroom teachers and other education professionals use research to inform teaching strategies and develop education models. Most programs include at least one introductory course on education research that highlights research techniques, evaluation methods, and research data utilization. Teachers explore both qualitative and quantitative analysis and develop their own education research projects.

Science Education Licensure

While a master’s in science education helps graduates acquire the necessary skills to teach in K-12 schools, states also require public school teachers to obtain certification before they begin teaching. Many science education programs lead to initial teaching certification, while others serve current teachers who already possess certification.

Licensing and certification requirements vary nationwide, but many states offer subject area certifications for science teachers. Teachers seeking certification should consult their local state department of education to determine exact certification requirements.

Scholarship for Science Education

For most students, a master’s in science education serves as a professional investment, offering a reasonable guarantee of increased earnings after graduation. Regardless, aspiring teachers can take advantage of additional higher education funding beyond student loans, including scholarships. This list highlights three scholarships for master’s in science education students.

  • American Chemical Society Hach Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The ACS offers this scholarship to chemistry majors enrolled in a master’s in education program with a focus on chemistry or science education.

    Amount: $3,000-$6,000

    Explore Here

  • AFCEA STEM Teacher Graduate Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: The AFCEA Educational Foundation offers this scholarship to graduate students pursuing STEM-related education programs (including science education programs). Applicants must plan to teach science in a K-12 school.

    Amount: $2,500

    Explore Here

  • Hubertus W.V. Willems Scholarship for Male Students

    Who Can Apply: The Poise Foundation offers this scholarship to male students pursuing science-related programs. Graduate applicants should hold a minimum 3.0 GPA. The scholarship committee gives preference to NAACP members.

    Amount: $3,000

    Explore Here

Online Master’s In Science Education Programs 2021

See Our Rankings Methodology
  1. University of Georgia

    Athens, GA



    UGA runs three campuses and a virtual college. Educators certified to teach science subjects in the middle or secondary grades qualify to enroll in the master of education in science education. The fully online program provides the education necessary for a certification upgrade in Georgia and many other states. The 36-credit curriculum focuses on teaching the natural sciences in grades 6-12. Learners typically enroll in this master's in science education program part time.

    Three core courses explore teaching strategies for secondary science, curriculum planning, and research in science education. Enrollees complete three science content courses examining subjects such as entomology for teachers and marine science for teachers. All learners complete an educational psychology course such as cognition for education. Students supplement required courses with electives in areas such as educational research and instructional technology.

    Georgia residents pay the most affordable tuition. Admission requires a bachelor's degree, minimum 2.6 GPA, and T4 certification.

  2. North Carolina State University at Raleigh

    Raleigh, NC



    NC State specializes in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. The college offers a master of education featuring a STEM education concentration. NC State designed the program specifically for educators who teach grades 6-12. Enrollees learn pedagogical and research best practices from renowned experts. Learners can enroll part time and complete the degree entirely online in 3-4 years.

    The 33-credit curriculum requires a science education core that explores advanced methods in science education and technology tools for science teaching. Students use five courses to pursue advanced science courses of their choosing. Enrollees build expertise in focus areas such as special populations or educational technology. This master's in science education helps meet the requirements for National Board Certification and state requirements for advanced licensure.

    North Carolina residents pay the most affordable tuition. Admission requires GRE scores for applicants with a cumulative GPA below 3.0.

  3. East Carolina University

    Greenville, NC



    Established as a teachers training college, ECU offers an online master of education in science education. Licensed science teachers may enroll. The program provides the educational requirements necessary for advanced licensure. Participants benefit from ECU's long tradition of cultivating educators. Enrollees can use the master's in education to pursue National Board Certification and leadership roles.

    The 36-semester-hour curriculum requires a science education core that explores four topics, including methods in science teaching and learning and methods of assessment in science education. A 12-credit education core explores differences in human learning in schools, how to engage in educational research, and leadership and communication skills in education. The science core includes advanced studies in biological science and earth systems science for teachers.

    Educators culminate this online science education degree with a thesis or research project. Admission requires a current North Carolina teaching license, minimum 2.7 GPA, and GRE or MAT scores.

  4. Georgia State University

    Atlanta, GA



    Georgia State offers more than 250 programs on six campuses throughout the Atlanta area. Educators with a renewable certificate in secondary science can enroll in the master of education in science, technology, education, and math. The degree leads to an endorsement in STEM education. Participants complete the degree online in 4-5 semesters as part of a cohort of scholars.

    The program enhances participants' science content knowledge and helps teachers implement a standards-based curriculum. Educators also learn to engage in action research in their classroom. A professional studies core explores methods of research in education, the psychology of learning and learners, and social and cultural foundations of education. Faculty devote the remaining curriculum to the major and teaching, including pedagogy and strategies in science instruction.

    Admission requires a bachelor's degree in engineering or a science field, a minimum 2.5 GPA, and an initial teaching certification in middle or secondary education.

  5. North Greenville University

    Tigerville, SC



    NGU is a Christian liberal arts college located in South Carolina. The online master of education in science education prepares educators for roles as science teachers. The program requires a professional core that explores educational research, advanced educational psychology, and the fundamentals of curriculum development.

    The science content core examines seven subjects, including investigative biology, earth science, and space science. A science of motion course emphasizes hands-on learning with various scientific experiments. Participants complete a capstone course that requires a teaching portfolio they can submit for National Board Certification. Alternatively, educators complete a capstone applied research project or science curriculum project to showcase their knowledge.

    Students can transfer up to nine credits into this science education master's degree. Admission requires a bachelor's degree, a minimum 2.5 GPA, and GRE or MAT scores.

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