Best Online Master’s in Science Education Programs

Our experts have ranked the top online masters in science education programs. Read on to compare schools by cost and convenience, to learn more about how you can earn your...

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by Bethanny Parker

Published on March 24, 2022 · Updated on April 25, 2022

Reviewed by Dr. Samantha Fecich

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A master's in science education equips elementary and secondary teachers with tools and methods for teaching science to their students. This program usually takes about two years to complete, regardless of whether you take it in person or online.

The National Center of Education Statistics reported that tuition and fees for a graduate degree cost $19,792 on average for the 2019-20 academic year. Some online schools may charge lower tuition rates or offer in-state rates to out-of-state students. Shop around when choosing a graduate school, as tuition rates can vary greatly from one school to the next.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 7-8% increase in jobs for primary and secondary school teachers from 2020-30. This is on par with the average projected growth rate for all occupations nationwide.

According to the BLS, kindergarten and elementary school teachers earn a median salary of $60,660 per year, middle school teachers earn a median of $60,810 per year, and high school teachers earn a median of $62,870 per year.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Science Education Program?

Good teachers love to learn and share their knowledge with others. They are good at speaking, writing, and listening. They demonstrate patience and empathy when working with their students. They know how to get and keep their students' attention.

Many of these traits also make prospective teachers good students. As you prepare for graduate school, consider working to improve these skills, with particular focus on communication.

A master's in science education typically requires 30-36 credits and takes about two years to complete. However, some schools require more credits. The advanced master's degrees from Columbia University Teachers College entail 60 credits. You may be able to complete the program more quickly by taking more credits per term or by taking classes during the summer.

Some master's in science education programs require a final project, thesis, or test. For example, the University of Northern Colorado Extended Campus requires a comprehensive oral exam at the end of the program.

Depending on the school, a master's in science education could be a master of arts (MA), master of science (MS), or master of education (M.Ed.). An MA typically focuses more on the humanities, while an MS focuses on science and an M.Ed. focuses on education.

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Popular Online Master's in Science Education Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Science Education Program?

Advanced Methods - Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology Instruction

This course teaches advanced methods for teaching mathematics, engineering, technology, and science. Students gain skills and knowledge to improve their teaching in these subject areas.

Chemistry for Science Educators

Chemistry for science educators teaches experimental and theoretical chemistry for teachers teaching science in grades 6-12. The course emphasizes water chemistry and requires a lab kit.

Pollution and Environmental Biology for Educators

This course examines how energy production and use impact the environment. Students learn how mercury, sulfur, nitrogen, and carbon pollution affect various biological systems. They also explore methods for reducing emissions. Course participants learn about how to teach science as well.

Physics for Educators: Mechanics

This course focuses on mechanical phenomena in wireless lab environments. Students explore sound, fluid statics, oscillations, frictions, and rotational and linear kinematics. Each student needs a lab kit. Prospective teachers in this course learn to teach physics as well.

Earth Science for Educators

In this course, students learn about energy, climate, the water cycle, geologic time, and rocks and minerals. The course emphasizes societal context and relevance for secondary science teachers. Each student needs a lab kit.

Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

Financial Aid Guide for Graduate Students The Student's Guide to College Loans The Student's Guide to Financial Aid and the FAFSA

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Master's in Science Education Program?

Admission requirements vary among schools, but these requirements are usually the same whether you plan to attend online or on campus. No matter which school you choose, you'll need to prove you have a bachelor's degree. Most graduate schools require transcripts from all previously attended colleges.

Some graduate education programs may prefer applicants with bachelor's degrees in education. If your bachelor's degree is in another subject, you may need to take prerequisites before pursuing a master's in science education. Your school of choice may have additional requirements such as an admission interview.

Application

Many undergraduate candidates use college application systems like the Common App to apply for admission. These systems do not accommodate graduate school applications. You'll have to submit an application to each school separately, accompanied by the required application fee.

Test Scores

Some graduate schools ask for scores from standardized tests like the GRE. If you need to take the GRE, you should prepare well beforehand. Different schools ask for different minimum GRE scores. For example, Melinda Maxwell, director of graduate admissions at the University of North Georgia, recommends that candidates strive for a minimum combined score of 300-315.

Letters of Recommendation

If you have work experience, you can ask for a letter of recommendation from your work supervisor or a human resources manager. Make sure that person is familiar with your work. If you don't have any work experience, you can ask for letters from professors in your bachelor's degree program.

Resume and Work Experience

Some schools require work experience. You might need to provide a college application resume, a list of your work experience, or both. Be sure to include any college or university you've attended in the education section of your resume.

Essays

When applying for a master's in science education program, you may need to submit a grad school essay. This could be in the form of a letter of intent, a statement of purpose, or a personal statement. All of these allow your personality to shine through and convince the admissions team that you are a good fit for the school.

Official Transcripts

You'll most likely need official transcripts from every college or university you've attended, whether or not you earned a degree there. Graduate schools consider applicants' grades from previous schools when determining admissions. If you've taken graduate-level courses, it's possible that some credits may transfer.

What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Science Education Degree?

Career Outlook

People with master's degrees in science education often work as elementary school teachers, middle school science teachers, and high school science teachers. The BLS projects average growth for these careers. According to the BLS, from 2020-2030, the economy will add 111,500 new jobs for kindergarten and elementary school teachers, 44,800 for middle school teachers, and 78,200 for high school teachers.

Graduates of online master's in science education programs can expect to earn an average of $2,760-$7,358 more per year than their peers with only a bachelor's degree. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for teachers ranges from $60,660-$62,870 depending on grade level.

See where a master's in science education can take you. Learn more about teaching careers.

Career Paths

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers teach small- to medium-sized groups of students, from kindergarten through sixth grade. They evaluate students' strengths and areas of need and create lesson plans for each subject they teach. These educators teach students social skills. They also teach academic subjects such as science, math, and English.

Median Annual Salary: $60,660

Middle School Teacher

Middle school teachers educate students in grades 6-8. They assess learners to determine their ability levels and create lesson plans to address students' strengths and weaknesses. These teachers may specialize in a single subject or teach multiple subjects. Teachers in larger schools are more likely to teach a single subject.

Median Annual Salary: $60,810

High School Teacher

High school teachers work with students in grades 9-12. They create lesson plans that account for class size and students' strengths and weaknesses. These teachers may have to supervise students outside of the classroom, for instance, during detention or lunch.

Median Annual Salary: $62,870

Elementary, Middle, and High School Principal

School principals oversee class schedules and manage teachers and other school staff members. They create curriculum standards and make sure teachers meet those standards. They also monitor teachers' performance and perform teacher evaluations. They schedule workshops and other professional development programs for staff members.

Median Annual Salary: $98,490

Education Administrator, Kindergarten through Secondary

Education administrators manage schools, preschools, daycare centers, colleges, and universities on a daily basis. They hire and supervise teachers, implement school policies, and balance budgets. College administrators oversee services such as housing, athletics, and financial aid.

Median Annual Salary: $98,490

Science Education Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Data Science Careers Special Education Careers Teaching Careers

Continuing Education

Master's in science education graduates who want to continue teaching at the elementary to secondary school level do not need further education. Those who want to work in school administration or teach at the postsecondary level may benefit from a doctorate in education.

Related degrees at the doctorate level include a doctorate in special education, a doctorate in educational administration, and a doctorate in higher education.

How Do I Choose an Online Master's in Science Education Program?

Cost

Cost can vary significantly among schools and programs. Out-of-state tuition is typically much higher than in-state tuition. Private schools usually charge more than public schools as well. Consider the true program cost when deciding on a school. Keep in mind that some online schools charge in-state rates to all distance learners, regardless of where they live.

Program Format

If you're pursuing an online master's in science education, consider whether the program is synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous programs require you to log in at specific times, providing a more structured schedule. You may be able to choose whether to attend part or full time. A part-time schedule may allow you to continue working. A full-time program may finish more quickly.

Location

Check with each school to see if it requires in-person attendance for online master's in science education students. Some online programs entail labs or other sessions that take place in person. If your program has in-person requirements, you should make sure you live nearby or can easily travel there.

Accreditation

Accreditation provides assurance that a program meets stringent standards set by a third-party organization. There are two types of institutional accreditation: national and regional. Regional is considered more prestigious. Credits transfer more easily among regionally accredited schools.

Student Support

Many schools offer student support services to both online and on-campus learners. These may include mentorship services, career services, internship programs, alumni services, or academic advising. Online schools usually offer online student services.

Best Accredited Online Master's in Science Education Programs

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Best Online Master's in Science Education Programs

  1. North Carolina State University
    Location

    Raleigh, NC

    Tuition

    $14771

    NC State offers an online master of education in STEM education science. Online learning uses an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete all coursework requirements remotely. However, some tests may require a proctor.

    This online master's degree in science education features 30 credits and typically takes two years to complete. The curriculum includes classes like special problems in mathematics teaching, advanced methods in science education, and introduction to research in science education. This program meets the requirements for advanced licensure established by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

    Qualifying candidates must possess a bachelor's degree in science or science education with a 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA. Applicants must also submit three references and a personal statement. NC State is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  2. University of Georgia
    Location

    Athens, GA

    Tuition

    $15539

    UGA in Athens offers several online graduate programs, including a master of education in science education. This program caters to working educators and uses an asynchronous format. Students may complete all course requirements online.

    This 36-credit master's in science education focuses on teaching at the secondary level. Students explore a variety of topics, such as teaching strategies for secondary science, applied educational assessment, and curriculum planning in science education. Graduates may qualify for a certification upgrade in Georgia and most other states.

    To qualify, prospective students must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, a 2.6 minimum cumulative GPA, and T4 certification. Applicants must submit a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a resume.

  3. East Carolina University
    Location

    Greenville, NC

    Tuition

    $13746

    ECU — based in Greenville, North Carolina — offers an online master of education in science education. This program may appeal to current teachers looking for a part-time pathway that allows them to complete coursework around professional responsibilities. Students may take all courses entirely online.

    The 36-credit program typically takes 2.5 years to complete. The curriculum explores topics like advanced studies in biological science for teachers, perspectives on science education, advanced assessment methods in science education, and teacher research in science education. Graduates may qualify for National Board Certification, and some students go on to pursue a doctoral degree.

    Applicants must submit a copy of their teaching license, a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, and GRE or GMAT test scores. ECU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  4. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
    Location

    Socorro, NM

    Tuition

    $14641

    Located in Socorro, NMT is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Students may pursue a variety of degrees at NMT, including an online master of science for teachers who specialize in a STEM content area. Learners can take all program components online and attend optional two-week summer sessions on campus.

    The 30-credit program is available through a full-time or part-time format, giving teachers the ability to continue working throughout the program. The curriculum covers several topics, such as biology, chemistry, and physics. NMT encourages students to participate in research projects with faculty members.

    Prospective students must possess a bachelor's degree and at least one year of K-12 teaching experience. Applicants must also submit official transcripts and at least one professional or academic reference letter.

  5. Texas Tech University
    Location

    Lubbock, TX

    Tuition

    $15531

    TTU is a public school in Lubbock. The university offers an online master's in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in STEM. The program caters to current teachers looking to advance their skills in curriculum planning and enhance STEM learning in their schools.

    The 36-credit program focuses on teaching participants to effectively design, implement, and assess STEM education. The curriculum includes a six-credit practicum or research requirement. Learners must also pass a comprehensive final exam or complete and defend a thesis.

    TTU's College of Education is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and boasts a 100% pass rate among graduates for teacher certification. Students with previous college coursework may transfer in up to six credits. To apply, students must submit an application and official school transcripts.

  6. Western Governors University
    Location

    Salt Lake City, UT

    Tuition

    $6670

    WGU offers an affordable and convenient online master of arts in science education. WGU uses a unique, self-paced, proficiency-based format that helps experienced students progress through courses rapidly. The average student completes this program in about two years.

    Students can complete all coursework online at their convenience. This master's program comprises 14 courses, including concepts in science; general physics; teaching in middle school; and science, technology, and society. To graduate, students must successfully complete a final teacher performance assessment and a capstone that entails leading a classroom of at least 10 students.

    Prospective students must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited university and a valid teacher's license. Applicants should submit official transcripts and complete a telephone intake interview with an enrollment counselor.

  7. Hamline University
    Location

    Saint Paul, MN

    Tuition

    $22079

    HU — based in St. Paul, Minnesota — offers an online master of education in natural science and environmental education. The program holds accreditation from the North American Association of Environmental Education. Faculty use an asynchronous delivery format that allows students to complete all coursework remotely.

    Learners can complete their 34-credit master's in 18 months. The curriculum includes coursework in understanding learning, environment and society, research design, and foundations in natural science and environmental education. Students need to complete a capstone project or thesis to graduate.

    Prospective students must possess a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university and a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. Applicants should submit official transcripts, a two-page essay detailing their personal goals and educational philosophies, and three letters of recommendation.

  8. Georgia State University
    Location

    Atlanta, GA

    Tuition

    $14501

    Atlanta's GSU offers an online master of education in science education through its College of Education & Human Development. The program caters to licensed teachers looking to advance their knowledge. Online learning uses a fully online asynchronous format.

    This 36-credit master's in science education typically takes 4-5 semesters to complete. The curriculum includes classes like methods of research and evaluation, science in the school curriculum, trends and issues in teaching science, and conceptual physics. To graduate, students must complete a portfolio.

    Candidates should possess a bachelor's degree with a 2.5 minimum cumulative GPA. Applicants must submit official school transcripts, a goals statement, proof of teacher certification, a resume, and two letters of recommendation. GSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  9. Lesley University
    Location

    Cambridge, MA

    Tuition

    $32225

    Lesley is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The school offers over 80 graduate programs, including an online master's degree in science education. Online learning uses an asynchronous format that allows students to complete all coursework online.

    Participants complete 33 total credits, including science, pedagogy, and elective courses. The curriculum features coursework like life science, earth and space science, investigating equitable science classrooms, and a final capstone course. This program meets requirements to earn professional teacher licensure in Massachusetts.

    Lesley reports that 94% of its program graduates find employment or continue their education shortly after graduation. Prospective students must possess at least a bachelor's degree. Applicants should submit official transcripts, a 750-1,000-word personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and a resume.

  10. Nova Southeastern University
    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Tuition

    $25867

    NSU — in Fort Lauderdale, Florida — offers a variety of online graduate programs, including a master of science in science education that is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Students may complete all program requirements online.

    The 36-credit program includes coursework in classroom management and organization, methods in science education, and teaching comprehensive ocean science. To graduate, students must also complete an applied professional experience. This entails working in an educational setting and creating a final portfolio.

    Qualifying candidates must possess a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 2.5 minimum cumulative GPA. Applicants should submit official transcripts from previously attended colleges and universities.

Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Science Education Programs

Is a master's in science education worth it? true

For many students, yes. When determining whether a master's in science education is worth it for you, consider costs, including housing, transportation, and lost wages. Also account for how much you expect your salary to increase after earning your degree. For example, if your program costs $50,000, and you expect to earn an extra $5,000 per year after graduating, it will take 10 years for the degree to pay off.

The higher you expect your salary to be with the degree, the less time it will take for the degree to pay for itself. If you plan to go into school administration, your online master's in science education may pay off more quickly than it would if you plan to continue teaching.

What can I do with a master's in science education? true

A master's in science education provides new teaching strategies, mostly targeted to teaching middle and high school science. This degree best serves those who teach science and want to become better science teachers.

A master's degree can also qualify you for administrative positions, such as high school principal or school superintendent. However, if you know you want to get into school administration, a master's in school administration may be a more appropriate choice.

Are science education graduates in demand? true

Demand for science education graduates is about average. The BLS projects a job growth of 7-8% from 2020-30 for these professionals. Most of the job openings for science teachers, school principals, and other administrators will result from workers retiring or changing careers.

As of March 2022, a search for science teachers on Indeed returned about 16,000 jobs. Vacancies will likely increase closer to summer months, since that is when most schools are looking to fill vacant positions.

How much money can I make with a master's in science education?

March 2022 Payscale data shows an average base salary of $63,000 per year for people with an MS in education. Payscale does not offer data specifically for a master's in science education.

Many graduates with master's degrees in science education teach high school or middle school science. High school teachers earn a median of $62,870 per year. Middle school teachers earn a median of $60,810 per year.

What are the highest paying jobs with a master's in science education?

High-paying jobs for those with a master's in science education include school principal and other administrative positions. According to the BLS, elementary, middle, and high school principals earn a median of $98,490 per year. The BLS reports the same median income for education administrators, kindergarten through secondary.

For kindergarten through secondary education administrators, the lowest 10% earn $65,150 or less per year, and the top 10% earn $152,500 or more.

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