An online master's in science education prepares you to become a skilled teaching professional by building and expanding your understanding of educational theory and research. This degree program prepares you to work as a math, science, engineering, and technology (STEM) educator and teach you a deep understanding of evidence-based instruction, various pedagogical innovations, and a range of subject areas, including biology, chemistry, physics, and environmental science.
Earning a master's in science education online also teaches you the skills needed to prepare young people for rewarding college and career experiences. Furthermore, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects about 1.9 million job openings in the teaching profession between 2014 and 2024.
What are the best science education programs of 2020? Here are our top 10:
|1||North Carolina State University||Raleigh, NC|
|2||University of Georgia||Athens, GA|
|3||East Carolina University||Greenville, NC|
|4||New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology||Socorro, NM|
|5||Texas Tech University||Lubbock, TX|
|6||Western Governors University||Salt Lake City, UT|
|7||Hamline University||Saint Paul, MN|
|8||Georgia State University||Atlanta, GA|
|9||Lesley University||Cambridge, MA|
|10||Nova Southeastern University||Fort Lauderdale, FL|
2020 Best Accredited Online Master's in Science Education Programs
North Carolina State University
|Raleigh, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 81%||
NC State offers an online master of education in STEM education science. Online learning uses an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete all coursework requirements remotely. However, some tests may require a proctor.
This online master's degree in science education features 30 credits and typically takes two years to complete. The curriculum includes classes like special problems in mathematics teaching, advanced methods in science education, and introduction to research in science education. This program meets the requirements for advanced licensure established by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
Qualifying candidates must possess a bachelor's degree in science or science education with a 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA. Applicants must also submit three references and a personal statement. NC State is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of Georgia
|Athens, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 86%||
UGA in Athens offers several online graduate programs, including a master of education in science education. This program caters to working educators and uses an asynchronous format. Students may complete all course requirements online.
This 36-credit master's in science education focuses on teaching at the secondary level. Students explore a variety of topics, such as teaching strategies for secondary science, applied educational assessment, and curriculum planning in science education. Graduates may qualify for a certification upgrade in Georgia and most other states.
To qualify, prospective students must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, a 2.6 minimum cumulative GPA, and T4 certification. Applicants must submit a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a resume.
East Carolina University
|Greenville, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 65%||
ECU — based in Greenville, North Carolina — offers an online master of education in science education. This program may appeal to current teachers looking for a part-time pathway that allows them to complete coursework around professional responsibilities. Students may take all courses entirely online.
The 36-credit program typically takes 2.5 years to complete. The curriculum explores topics like advanced studies in biological science for teachers, perspectives on science education, advanced assessment methods in science education, and teacher research in science education. Graduates may qualify for National Board Certification, and some students go on to pursue a doctoral degree.
Applicants must submit a copy of their teaching license, a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, and GRE or GMAT test scores. ECU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
|Socorro, NM||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 56%||
Located in Socorro, NMT is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Students may pursue a variety of degrees at NMT, including an online master of science for teachers who specialize in a STEM content area. Learners can take all program components online and attend optional two-week summer sessions on campus.
The 30-credit program is available through a full-time or part-time format, giving teachers the ability to continue working throughout the program. The curriculum covers several topics, such as biology, chemistry, and physics. NMT encourages students to participate in research projects with faculty members.
Prospective students must possess a bachelor's degree and at least one year of K-12 teaching experience. Applicants must also submit official transcripts and at least one professional or academic reference letter.
Texas Tech University
|Lubbock, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 60%||
TTU is a public school in Lubbock. The university offers an online master's in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in STEM. The program caters to current teachers looking to advance their skills in curriculum planning and enhance STEM learning in their schools.
The 36-credit program focuses on teaching participants to effectively design, implement, and assess STEM education. The curriculum includes a six-credit practicum or research requirement. Learners must also pass a comprehensive final exam or complete and defend a thesis.
TTU's College of Education is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and boasts a 100% pass rate among graduates for teacher certification. Students with previous college coursework may transfer in up to six credits. To apply, students must submit an application and official school transcripts.
Western Governors University
|Salt Lake City, UT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 29%||
WGU offers an affordable and convenient online master of arts in science education. WGU uses a unique, self-paced, proficiency-based format that helps experienced students progress through courses rapidly. The average student completes this program in about two years.
Students can complete all coursework online at their convenience. This master's program comprises 14 courses, including concepts in science; general physics; teaching in middle school; and science, technology, and society. To graduate, students must successfully complete a final teacher performance assessment and a capstone that entails leading a classroom of at least 10 students.
Prospective students must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited university and a valid teacher's license. Applicants should submit official transcripts and complete a telephone intake interview with an enrollment counselor.
|Saint Paul, MN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 63%||
HU — based in St. Paul, Minnesota — offers an online master of education in natural science and environmental education. The program holds accreditation from the North American Association of Environmental Education. Faculty use an asynchronous delivery format that allows students to complete all coursework remotely.
Learners can complete their 34-credit master's in 18 months. The curriculum includes coursework in understanding learning, environment and society, research design, and foundations in natural science and environmental education. Students need to complete a capstone project or thesis to graduate.
Prospective students must possess a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university and a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. Applicants should submit official transcripts, a two-page essay detailing their personal goals and educational philosophies, and three letters of recommendation.
Georgia State University
|Atlanta, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
Atlanta's GSU offers an online master of education in science education through its College of Education & Human Development. The program caters to licensed teachers looking to advance their knowledge. Online learning uses a fully online asynchronous format.
This 36-credit master's in science education typically takes 4-5 semesters to complete. The curriculum includes classes like methods of research and evaluation, science in the school curriculum, trends and issues in teaching science, and conceptual physics. To graduate, students must complete a portfolio.
Candidates should possess a bachelor's degree with a 2.5 minimum cumulative GPA. Applicants must submit official school transcripts, a goals statement, proof of teacher certification, a resume, and two letters of recommendation. GSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
|Cambridge, MA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 61%||
Lesley is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The school offers over 80 graduate programs, including an online master's degree in science education. Online learning uses an asynchronous format that allows students to complete all coursework online.
Participants complete 33 total credits, including science, pedagogy, and elective courses. The curriculum features coursework like life science, earth and space science, investigating equitable science classrooms, and a final capstone course. This program meets requirements to earn professional teacher licensure in Massachusetts.
Lesley reports that 94% of its program graduates find employment or continue their education shortly after graduation. Prospective students must possess at least a bachelor's degree. Applicants should submit official transcripts, a 750-1,000-word personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and a resume.
Nova Southeastern University
|Fort Lauderdale, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 50%||
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.
What Else can I Expect from an Online Master's in Science Education Program?
While pursuing a master's in science education online, you will learn how to address students' educational needs by engaging in scientific problem solving; these lessons can subsequently be incorporated into your instructional practice. While the exact curricula depends on the school and program you select, your new-found scientific knowledge can be combined with an understanding of student assessment techniques and equitable learning strategies.
CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE MASTER'S DEGREE IN SCIENCE EDUCATION
While each institution offers its own curricula for this program, examples of classes include:
- Global Themes of Science
Learners examine evolution, energy, and systems and interactions as they connect the concepts of biological, earth, and physical sciences. This connected approach enables educators to more effectively teach these themes to students. These skills are necessary to succeed as an elementary school teacher.
- Secondary School Science
Students develop the knowledge and techniques necessary to deliver instruction to secondary school students. This course includes theory and practice that are specifically geared toward this population of learners. These are skills necessary to work as a high school science teacher.
- Advanced Natural Science
This course explores topics in earth science with special attention paid to leadership instruction and peer teaching. Participants engage in field projects while learning teaching strategies for educating K-12 students. These skills are required to pursue a career as a museum education specialist.
- Curriculum Design
Degree candidates learn how to create curricula that emphasize the application and evaluation of best practices with a focus on local and national science education standards. Students also learn how to ensure smooth transitions between grade levels and subject matter. These skills are necessary to work as an instructional coordinator.
- Student Assessment
Students cover assessment objectives, the tools needed to perform assessments, and the differences between formal and informal assessments. In addition, they learn how to interpret assessment data to strengthen their teaching abilities and improve student performance. These skills are needed to teach community college.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE MASTER'S IN SCIENCE EDUCATION?
The time required to complete your master's in science education online depends on the program you choose, the school in which you enroll, and the number of credits you earn each term. In general, earning an online master's in science education requires between one and two years of study. The decision to attend class part-time while working full-time also influences how long it will take to finish; fortunately, most online programs allow you to pursue a degree at your own pace.
While enrolling in an online program allows you to attend classes at your convenience, some schools may require students to take synchronous courses at a specific time in order to provide a cohort learning experience. This requirement can also affect the length of a program depending on what classes you are required to take and when you can take them.
Accreditation for Online Master's in Science Education Degrees
It is important to make sure that you earn your online master's in science education at an accredited institution; this accreditation means that an education authority, like the U.S. Department of Education (ED) or Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has evaluated and determined the quality of a school's curricula. Employers look favorably upon graduates of accredited schools; they are assured that an external body has verified the intellectual rigor required to obtain a degree from those institutions. The ED and CHEA recognize six regional accreditation bodies that accredit schools across the country: Middle States, New England, North Central, Northwest, Southern, and Western Associations of College and Schools. Most institutions are regionally accredited, but CHEA also approves some agencies to award national accreditation; this is usually reserved for a specific kind of education like vocational and distance learning.
Both the ED and CHEA closely monitor the academic quality of institutions. The ED reviews accrediting agencies and ensures that they enforce accreditation standards. The CHEA is comprised of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. The ED and CHEA each maintain a list of accredited institutions on their respective websites. In addition, you should look for a school that has been accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The CAEP advances equity and excellence in educator preparation by assuring that schools continuously improve their curricula and provide a quality education.
Employment Outlook for Master's in Science Education Graduates
Your online master's in science education training prepares you to be an educator in both formal and informal learning settings, including schools, museums, and afterschool programs. You will gain the intellectual and practical knowledge needed to help your students understand a range of subjects and support their academic growth. In addition, your abilities to think critically and innovatively will enable you to effectively reach younger learners and ensure their immediate and long-term success.
- Elementary School Teacher
This career prepares young students for future schooling by helping them learn fundamentals, including science education. These professionals develop lesson plans, deliver instruction, and observe and assess students' performance. An advanced degree enables educators to perform these tasks more effectively. In addition, an elementary school teacher is responsible for communicating a student's strengths and challenges to their parents and report on their progress.
- High School Teacher
A high school teacher develops and delivers lesson plans, grades and assesses students' performance, and works one-on-one with students to ensure that they understand a range of subject matter, including science education. High school teachers also prepare young people for college and/or their careers by making certain they possess the competencies necessary for success as an adult. An advanced degree helps prepare teachers to do this.
Median Annual Salary
Entry Level: $41,316
Late Career: $60,394
- Museum Education Specialist
Workers in this profession conduct public service activities for museums, including workshops, seminars, and camps. Museum education specialists come up with programmatic strategies for new education programs as well as gallery activities that relate to permanent and special exhibits. These museum initiatives engage school and family groups and make complex information easier to understand; an advanced degree in science education teaches educators how to better convey ideas to a wide range of audiences.
Median Annual Salary
Entry Level: $30,940
Late Career: $42,840
- Instructional Coordinator
An instructional coordinator oversees teaching standards and school curricula to make certain that educational institutions effectively support student learning. An advanced degree allows workers in this career to analyze student data and recommend professional development techniques to teachers to help them deliver high-quality instruction. Instructional coordinators also review and recommend textbooks and other course materials.
Median Annual Salary
Entry Level: $41,890
Late Career: $66,670
- Community College Instructor
In addition to designing lessons and teaching high school graduates, community college instructors sometimes lead research activities and publish scholarly papers; an advanced degree prepares them to do this. Community college instructors also frequently work with their colleagues to develop and/or modify the degree requirements for a program of study.
Median Annual Salary
Entry Level: $44,346
Late Career: $51,899
MASTER'S IN SCIENCE EDUCATION SALARY
Your salary after earning a master's in science education online depends on your occupation and years of experience. A career in education can be professionally, personally, and financially rewarding, even during your entry-level years, and your salary increases as you gain experience. Moreover, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a highly positive job outlook for education careers, projecting nearly 2 million more jobs by 2024.
Financing Your Online Master's in Science Education Program
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step that you should take if you need financial support to help you pursue your master's in science education online. A part of the ED, Federal Student Aid provides federal grants, loans, and work-study funds to help students pay for college. In addition, you can check with your school's financial aid department to learn about specific scholarships and fellowships. You might also qualify for reduced tuition if you are an active member or veteran of the U.S. armed services.
Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.
Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.
Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.
Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.