Information for Current Students

The University of Northern Iowa is highly respected as a premier teacher education program. For nearly 150 years, UNI has been a leader in pre-K through 12 education, and our Master of Arts in Science Education offers the next level of teaching excellence. Our courses are planned strategically to help you achieve your degree in a flexible environment that is supportive and focused on your success.

However, to achieve the quality of education that UNI is known for some restrictions are in place to guide our students and faculty in ways that are efficient and intentional, so that you get the best from your UNI master's degree. Read below to learn more about how some of this course planning might affect your time at UNI.

two students in safety goggles work with lab equipment

Course Restrictions/Limitations for Graduate Students


All course credits are viable for seven years from the time of enrollment in the first course counted on a program. After seven years, those specific courses cannot be used as part of a graduate program. For example, if a course was taken in the spring of 2010 but the student does not graduate until fall of 2017 that course will not count toward program requirements. However, courses completed in spring of 2010 CAN be applied for a spring 2017 graduation. Required core courses older than seven years must be retaken and content or elective courses must have more recent course work substituted.


Requests for extension can be filed via Student Request if extenuating circumstances exist. Extensions must be approved by both the Science Education program and the Graduate College.


Credit Limits

Several limits exist regarding the types of courses and credit that can be applied to a graduate program:

  • No more than 6 credits of C+, C or C- grades can be applied to any graduate program at UNI.
  • No more than 9 credits of Guided Independent Study (GIS) or Self-paced Online Courses can be applied to a graduate program at UNI.
  • No more than 7 credits of Techniques for Science Teachers (SCI ED 5500) can be applied to the science education graduate program.
  • No more than 8 credits of course work earned prior to admittance to the graduate program can be applied to the science education graduate program.

Transfer Credits

Transfer credits from other institutions can account for up to ten (10) hours of the degree program and must be at the graduate level. All transfer courses must be approved by faculty advisors and the science education graduate coordinator before they can be applied to a science education MA program.

Courses may (and should) be approved BEFORE enrolling. Earning credit in a course does not guarantee that it will be accepted on the program. NOTE: As of May 2018, the Transfer Credit Evaluation form is no longer being used. All course approvals will go through the science education chair and/or graduate program coordinator.

Generally speaking, graduate-level courses taken at Iowa State University and the University of Iowa are accepted, however, courses taken through Iowa Area Education Agencies, Drake or Morningside College tend not to be accepted. Courses are evaluated on a case by case basis.

After the transcript listing the course is submitted to the Registrar’s Office, a student request must be filed to apply the credit to your program. Students should check with their advisor regarding which elective credits (science content or education), if any, the transfer course applies toward.

Transfer courses must satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Course must be a regular graduate course with a graduate course number (not professional development or college credit earned through an educational agency or conference).
  2. Course must be taken by the student in graduate status and the official transcript must show a grade of B- or better earned.
  3. Course must count as a graduate requirement at the institution where it is taken.
  4. Course must be taught by regular graduate faculty.
  5. Course must meet the recency requirement listed above.