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MA in Science Education

MA in Science Education

Dr. Rita Hagevik, Assistant Professor of 
Science Education, Director of Graduate 
Programs in Science Education
Phone: 910.521.6652
Office: Oxendine 2240

Prospective students should email the Graduate Office at or visit the website HERE.

Program Description

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Science Education program has two concentrations. The Licensure Concentration is designed to prepare currently licensed North Carolina Secondary School Science Teachers for the N.C. Master's/Advanced Competencies License. The program requires 36 s.h . and is a logical extension of two undergraduate science teacher preparation programs currently offered at UNCP; one, the B.S. in Science Education Program and, two, the Biology Education program. Students who completed the B.S. in Science Education Program (science education majors) were eligible for the N.C. Secondary Comprehensive Licensure and were licensed to teach any and all of the science courses offered in N.C. Secondary Schools. Students who completed the Biology Education Program (biology education majors) were eligible for the N.C. Secondary Biology Licensure and were limited to teaching only biology.

The M.A. in Science Education has been designed to provide an opportunity for science teachers who hold either the comprehensive Science License or the Biology License to enter the program and qualify for the N.C. Master's/Advanced License. The Science Education program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and approved by the NC State Board of Education.

While in the M.A. Program, the former undergraduate science ed. major will be required to concentrate in one of four areas of science (12 s.h . in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Earth Science) and take nine additional s.h . in the three areas outside of the concentration (no more than 3 s.h . from any one area). The former undergraduate biology ed. major will concentrate in biology (15-18 s.h .) and take an additional 3 s.h . to 6 s.h . in an area or areas outside of biology . Both groups will also take a required core of professional education courses (9 s.h .) and six additional s.h . in science education.

The M.A. in science education will build upon the instructional expertise and leadership qualities and skills of an experienced licensed science teacher by requiring the following qualifications prior to full admission into the program:

1. the applicant must hold either the N.C. Secondary Science Comprehensive License or the Secondary Biology License. Any out-of-state applicants will have to hold licenses deemed equivalent to the N.C. licenses.

2. the applicant must meet all of the graduate school general admission requirements.

The Non-Licensure Concentration in Biology is designed for applicants who meet all of the graduate school general admission requirements for the program with the exception of the teaching licensure requirement. Upon admission to the program, students will be required to sign a waiver of North Carolina A and M level licensure.

Program Goals

The major goals of the program are designed to prepare a student to be able to:

1. Apply the theoretical, philosophical, and research bases for educational practice in secondary school classrooms to improve student learning.

2. Plan, implement, and evaluate instruction that is philosophically consistent with the Constructivist viewpoint.

3. Incorporate knowledge of the nature of the learner, learning process, variations in learning abilities and learning styles, and strategies for evaluating learning in the secondary school classroom.

4. Plan, implement, and evaluate instruction that is responsive to wide variations in students' learning needs and learning styles.

5. Understand and employ methods of research to examine and improve instructional effectiveness and student achievement, particularly in the Constructivist science classroom.

6. Understand and link subject matter and students' developmental and diverse needs in the context of secondary science classrooms.

7. Plan, implement, and evaluate instruction that reflects intellectual rigor and depth of knowledge in both science content and students' diverse learning needs.

8. Demonstrate self-directed, self-reflective professional behavior and the importance of providing leadership to colleagues and communities through collaboration and participation in state and national science education organizations.