Graduate Programs

The Graduate Science Education Programs in the middle and high school licensure areas are FULLY ONLINE programs. This includes both the MAT and the MA programs. The MAT (residency) program is 30 semester hours or can be completed in approximately 6 semesters, and the MA program is 36 semester hours and can be completed in approximately two years.

Is Graduate Science Education at UNCP right for you?  See the descriptions of the Science Education programs below.  

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The Biology Department offers the graduate programs, in cooperation with the Chemistry and Physics and Geology and Geography Departments, leading to a:

  1. A Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT degree: ITP-MAT program of study) or master’s in teaching are for those without a teaching license but do have an undergraduate degree in the area of licensure and who want practical, hands-on experience in teaching in a classroom and working with students directly. In the residency program, these students are currently the teacher on record as they pursue their MAT degree. The degree program is ideal for individuals who do not hold an undergraduate teaching degree and are seeking a career change and/or license to teach. In general, the MAT is a very practical degree that focuses on a specific subject or type of teaching you wish to pursue (i.e., math, biology, chemistry, physics, earth or environmental science, science, language arts, social studies, elementary, etc.). You are considered an initial teacher candidate (ITP) in this program. In graduate science education you can earn a MAT degree in middle science or in high school comprehensive science teaching. The MAT program is 30 credit hours and can be completed in 5 semesters or 1 ½ years of work. Six graduate credits is considered a full time student in this program

  2. A Master of Science Education (MA degree: ADV-MA program of study) is for those who may begin in the classroom but with the possibility to move beyond the classroom eventually. This degree will earn you an M teaching license and you are considered an advanced teacher candidate in this program. If you’re thinking more broadly about your role in the education system perhaps to serve in leadership, curriculum design, community or college teaching, or another area, this degree will help prepare you. The coursework is more theoretical in nature, with less focus on practical skills and more emphasis on the critical evaluation of educational practices and on research. A Master’s degree is a good stepping-stone toward a doctoral and/or terminal degree should you want to pursue further advanced study. The MA program can be completed in two years and is 36 graduate credits in either middle school or high school comprehensive science teaching. Six graduate credits is considered a full time student in this program.
Dr. Rita Hagevik
Dr. Rita Hagevik

Need more information? Contact the Director of Graduate Programs in Science Education, Dr. Rita Hagevik at

Apply today! Or for additional information and to apply, see the Graduate School at UNCP.