Enhance Your Career and Help Students with a Master's Degree in Science Education
STEM education is more important than ever before, and WGU is proud to support the growth and purpose of STEM by helping over 8,700 students graduate with STEM teaching degrees. If you're passionate about STEM education as well, a science education degree can prepare you to change direction and show students the wonders of the scientific world. This online master's degree in science education allows current teachers to specialize in teaching general science courses to junior high or middle school students. When you choose WGU you'll get more than a credential—you'll be equipped to connect with diverse students and help all kinds of learners thrive.
The master's in science education helps ensure your proficiency in a wide range of natural science topics, including biology, chemistry, physics, and earth and space science. In addition to the subject matter, you will learn the classroom skills necessary to effectively teach this content to students in the middle school/junior high grades*.
*The specific grade levels you will be qualified or endorsed to teach will depend on your state.
Eligibility note: The M.A. Science Education (Middle Grades) program is for certified teachers who already hold a bachelor's degree and wish to add middle-grades science to their existing licenses. This master's of science teaching online program is not intended for aspiring teachers seeking teacher licensure or teaching certification. If you are seeking your teaching certificate, please view our online college for teaching programs leading to teacher licensure.
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COURSES & COMPETENCIES
Science Education Courses
Curriculum that ensures you’ve mastered the skills general science teachers need.
This online Master of Arts in Science Education degree program provides you with the essential skills and knowledge you need to become a middle school science teacher. This science education degree program is for already-licensed teachers looking to complete a master's of science teaching online degree as the next step in their K–12 education careers.
The WGU M.A. Science Education (Middle Grades) degree program was designed (and is regularly updated) with input from the experts on our Education Program Council. These respected authorities know exactly what it takes for a graduate to teach general science content, principles and methodology to young adolescents.
This program is made up of the following courses. You will complete them one at a time as you make your way through your program, working with your Program Mentor each term to build your personalized Degree Plan. You’ll work through each course as quickly as you can study and learn the material. As soon as you’re ready, you’ll pass the assessment, complete the course, and move on. This means that you can finish as many courses as you're able in a term at no additional cost.
The program also includes a home science lab kit. You will be provided with a self-contained laboratory kit—including science equipment, specimens and chemicals—to complete lab experiments at home.
Chemistry with Lab for graduates provides already licensed teachers seeking an additional license or endorsement in middle grades science or secondary physics, biological science, or earth science with an introduction to the field of chemistry. Designed for those not majoring in chemistry education, this course highlights how the topics covered can be applied within various branches of science. This course provides students with opportunities to examine the electronic structure of atoms, study periodic trends, name chemical compounds, write chemical formulas, determine the structure of molecules, balance chemical reactions, and discover the changing states of matter. Laboratory experiences facilitate the study of matter and the application of laboratory safety and maintenance procedures. Concepts in Science for graduates is a prerequisite for this course.
Heredity and Genetics is an introductory course for graduate students seeking initial licensure or endorsement and/or students earning their MA degree in secondary or middle grade science education. This course addresses the basic principles of heredity and the function of molecular genetics. Topics include Mendelian and non-Mendelian inheritance and population genetics. This course has no prerequisites.
Astronomy provides graduate students seeking initial licensure or endorsement and/or to earn their MA degree in secondary or middle grade science education with essential knowledge of astronomy. This course explores Western history and basic physics of astronomy; phases of the moon and seasons; composition and properties of solar system bodies; stellar evolution and remnants; properties and scale of objects and distances within the universe; and introductory cosmology. A prerequisite for this course is General Physics.
Earth: Inside and Out explores the ways in which our dynamic planet evolved, and the processes and systems that continue to shape it. Though the geologic record is incredibly ancient, it has only been studied intensely since the end of the 19th century. Since then, research in fields such as geologic time, plate tectonics, climate change, exploration of the deep-sea floor, and the inner earth have vastly increased our understanding of geological processes. There are no prerequisites for this course.
This course provides a broad overview of the principles of mechanics, thermodynamics, wave motion, modern physics, and electricity and magnetism and invites students to apply them by solving problems, performing labs, and reflecting on concepts and ideas.
Ecology and Environmental Science is an introductory course for graduate students seeking initial licensure or endorsement and/or to earn their MA degree in secondary or middle grade science education. The course explores the relationships between organisms and their environment, including population ecology, communities, adaptations, distributions, interactions, and the environmental factors controlling these relationships. This course has no prerequisites.
This course covers the content knowledge that a middle-level science teacher is expected to know and understand. Topics include scientific methodologies, history of science, basic science principles, physical sciences, life sciences, earth and space sciences, and the role of science and technology and their impact on society.
Concepts in Science for graduates provides already-licensed teachers seeking an additional license or endorsement in science education with an introduction to essential science themes present within and across all science disciplines, including chemistry, physics, biology, and the geosciences. These themes include comprehending the magnitude of the physical and natural world, analyzing and converting measurements, understanding the basic nature and behavior of matter and energy, examining atomic structure, identifying and naming basic types of chemical bonds, and analyzing and interpreting scientific data. Concepts in Science provides a solid foundation for future, in-depth, scientific studies and should be taken prior to any other science content course. There are no prerequisites for this course.
This course provides students with an overview of the basic principles and unifying ideas of the physical sciences: physics, chemistry, and Earth sciences. Course materials focus on scientific reasoning and practical and everyday applications of physical science concepts to help students integrate conceptual knowledge with practical skills.
This course is a foundational introduction to the biological sciences. This course explores the overarching theories of life from biological research as well as the fundamental concepts and principles of the study of living organisms and their interaction with the environment. Key concepts include how living organisms use and produce energy; how life grows, develops, and reproduces; how life responds to the environment to maintain internal stability; and how life evolves and adapts to the environment.
Science, Technology, and Society explores the ways in which science influences and is influenced by society and technology. A humanistic and social endeavor, science serves the needs of ever-changing societies by providing methods for observing, questioning, discovering, and communicating information about the physical and natural world. This course prepares educators to explain the nature and history of science, the various applications of science, and the scientific and engineering processes used to conduct investigations, make decisions, and solve problems. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Science Methods—Middle Grades General Science focuses on teaching methods specific to science for graduate students seeking an endorsement in middle school science. Course content focuses on the design and teaching of standards-based lessons using the three dimensions of science (science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas) and the appropriate integration of technology into those lessons. Students in this course work within their content areas to evaluate, enhance, and plan appropriate science instruction. This course includes laboratory safety training and certification, which includes safe laboratory practices and procedures for science classrooms and the proper use of personal protective equipment. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Teaching in Middle School examines the guiding principles and best teaching practices for educating middle school students. The course explores the history of middle school; the philosophy, theory, and rationale behind middle school organization; and the differences between elementary, middle, and secondary schools. The course also examines the unique needs of middle school students and teaching methods used to meet the needs of these learners. This course has no prerequisites.
MA, Science Education Teacher Performance Assessment contains a comprehensive, original, research-based curriculum unit designed to meet an identified educational need. It provides direct evidence of the candidate’s ability to design and implement a multi-week, standards-based unit of instruction, assess student learning, and then reflect on the learning process. The WGU Teacher Performance Assessment requires students to plan and teach a multi-week standards-based instructional unit consisting of seven components: 1) contextual factors, 2) learning goals, 3) assessment, 4) design for instruction, 5) instructional decision-making, 6) analysis of student learning, and 7) self-evaluation and reflection.
Program consists of 14 courses
At WGU, we design our curriculum to be timely, relevant, and practical—all to ensure your degree is proof you really know your stuff.
Teacher Work Sample
Special requirements for this program
The final exam requires that you write an original, comprehensive research paper that provides direct evidence of your ability to design and implement a multi-week, standards-based unit of instruction, assess student learning, and then reflect on the learning process.
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Flexibility You Need
Students choose WGU for their online degree program because of its flexibility. Whether you already have a full-time job, have responsibilities as a parent, or just have a busy schedule, WGU can work for you.
Strong Alumni Network
When you enroll in an online master's degree program at WGU, you join an impressive network of teachers. Over 13,000 students graduated from the Teachers College in 2021 alone, taking their skills and impacting the educational system all around the United States.
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A Master's Degree Is Within Reach
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A Different Way to Learn: Degree Programs Designed to Fit Your Life—and All the Demands on Your Time
Professional responsibilities. Family obligations. Personal commitments. At WGU, we understand schedules are tight and often unpredictable for adult students. That’s why we offer a flexible, personalized approach to how education should be. No rigid class schedules. Just a solid, career-focused principal preparation program that meshes with your current lifestyle. You'll be challenged. You'll work hard. But if you commit yourself and put in the hours needed, WGU makes it possible for you to earn a highly respected degree as a busy working adult.
With a Master’s in Science Education, You’ll Be Ready to Turn Your Classroom into a World of Discovery
Early adolescence is a time when science starts to become real for students—real-world applicability emerges, and students who receive a high-quality science education begin to better understand the world they live in through observation and experimentation. Unfortunately, there aren't enough qualified middle school science teachers to help fuel their curiosities and inspire their interest in space science, earth sciences, life sciences, chemistry, and physics.
With today's heavy focus on the importance of STEM in K–12 curriculums, now is a great time to acquire the specialized knowledge to become a science teacher. WGU is proud to be the nation’s #1 producer of STEM teachers.
If you're ready to change up your educational career, a master's degree in science education could be the perfect fit. Take your teaching experience and knowledge and put it to use as you become a licensed middle-grade science educator. Take the next step in your career as a teacher—inspire students, impact classrooms, and change communities.
Return on Your Investment
WGU Has Alumni Teaching Across the Country
Graduates of WGU's online Teachers College have found meaningful, rewarding teaching careers in classrooms at:
- Inclusionary K–12 classrooms
- Middle/junior high schools
- High schools
- Private and charter schools
Impressive Class of Graduates
Graduates of the WGU Teachers College include recipients of many professional honors, including:
- Gates Millennium Scholars
- Intel Grant for Mathematics and Technology
- Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction Award
- Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award
- Association of Public Charter Schools Educator of the Year Award
Focused on Equity and Accessibility
The WGU Teachers College is in the top 1% for granting degrees for Black and Hispanic/Latinx educators at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. It is second in the nation for combined graduate and undergraduate degrees and credentials for students of color, according to the federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
Master in Science Education Admission Requirement
If you enroll in a program that also includes a special endorsement and you plan to eventually apply for the endorsement, the following is required of you:
- A copy of a valid teaching license.
- Official transcripts that demonstrate you have earned a bachelor’s degree from a recognized accredited university.
An Enrollment Counselor will instruct you as to when and how to submit your teaching license prior to or during your program.
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More About the M.A. in Science Education (Middle Grades)
- More About This Degree
- Financial Aid
Our M.A. Science Education program is designed for licensed teachers who want to expand their abilities by adding a science endorsement.
You should pursue a master's in education based on what you want to do for your career. For many current teachers, adding to their existing license to expand or adjust the kind of teacher they want to be can be helpful. For example, a teacher who wants to pivot and teach science courses can pursue a master's degree in science education that allows them to expand on their current license.
Yes! There are online, accredited universities like WGU that allow students to pursue a master's degree in education online. Be sure to find a program that is reputable and will help you get the correct license for your state.
There will be a small practicum in the capstone for the degree. You will be teaching a multi-week lesson plan to a body of at least 10 students. This lesson plan usually consists of about 10 hours of in-class time.
Scholarships are available for new WGU students and returning graduates. This video shows more about scholarship opportunities and how they can help you pay for school. Get information on:
- How to apply
- Eligibility requirements
- Examples of scholarships
- What happens after you apply
- Other financial aid options
WGU's tuition is a flat rate that is charged every six months. You can take as many courses as you are able in that six-month term—with no extra cost. You simply pay for the term and do as much work as you can or want to during that time. This means that finishing faster helps you save money—a major benefit you won't find at other schools.
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