Science Education, M.A. - Information

The Master of Arts in Science Education at UNI integrates theory, application and content, allowing teachers to update pedagogy, content knowledge and add endorsements to their teaching licenses if needed.

This program builds a strong foundation in science content knowledge to complement research-based pedagogical practices. Graduates are prepared to continue on in the classroom as highly qualified practitioners. Many also continue with additional education, move into administration, Area Education Agencies or state agencies as science consultants or other leadership positions. Several have become National Board certified teachers. Many are professionally active in state science teaching organizations and conferences.

What are the program basics?

Specifically designed with K-12 science teacher practitioners in mind, the Master of Arts in Science Education strives to:

  • Educate practicing K-12 science teachers in science education theories, philosophies of science, educational research methods and curriculum development in science education with the goal of influencing change in teaching practice.
  • Support students as they make and communicate scholarly contributions to science education, demonstrating their ability to reflect on the impact of this contribution and its connection to significant knowledge acquired in the master’s program and relevant science education research.

Does this program require licensure?

Most students in the program are teacher practitioners. While teacher licensure is not required for program acceptance, students without a current teaching license must complete the requirements for licensure concurrently with their degree. However, licensure courses are only offered on campus at this time.

Course Requirements

All students are required to take all courses within the core sequence (Table 1).

Table 1: Science Education Core (required by all programs)


Title Credits

SCI ED 6500

Research Methods in Science Education

SCI ED 6600 Developing Science Curricula 2
SCI ED 6700 History, Philosophy and the Nature of Science 3
SCI ED 6800 Teaching-Learning Models in Science Education 2
SCI ED 6900 Trends and Issues in Science Education 3
    Total     14



In addition to the science education core, course requirements differ slightly between thesis and non-thesis options (Table 2).

Table 2: Course requirements for Thesis vs. Non-thesis options

  Thesis Option Non-Thesis Option
Science Education core (Table 1) 14 14
Science content electives 6 8
Education, Science, or Science Education electives 4 5
Research (SCI ED 6299) 6 3
Total 30 30


a student gives a presentation in class
Thesis or Non-Thesis?

In addition to slight differences in course requirements, the main difference between the thesis and non-thesis option is the extent of independent research and creative activity of the final product.

Students choosing the thesis option are expected to do an extensive, independent and original data collection research study. Students anticipating further graduate work (such as a doctoral degree) are advised to choose the thesis option.

The Non-thesis option requires a slightly less extensive (although still rigorous) product but additional course credits.

Regardless of which option is chosen, all final products require a formal proposal to your advisor and committee/outside reader, a significant amount of writing, and final presentation.  


‌Consider the Thesis Option if:

  • You are interested in conducting some form of research.
  • You have a specific researchable question in mind.
  • You are considering further graduate work (possibly toward a PhD or EdD).

‌Thesis Project Guidelines and Requirements

‌Thesis Formatting Information

‌Consider the Non-Thesis Option if:

  • You are interested in a little more course work in content and electives.
  • You would prefer less emphasis on research.
  • One of the non-thesis project options fits your situation well.

‌Non-Thesis Project Guidelines and Requirements

‌Non-Thesis Preliminary Pages and Formatting


 Whether you choose the thesis or non-thesis option, you can learn more about the Important Dates and Suggested Timelines for Completion for you selected project here.

Student performing an experiment.
Student performing an experiment.

Get involved in meaningful research

Through unique research experiences, our students have the chance to take their learning beyond the classroom. Working side-by-side with faculty, you’ll explore real-world problems and conduct research that moves the field of science education forward.

Interested in joining the program? Next cohort begins Summer 2025

The science education MA program is currently unable to accept applications at this time. We anticipate the next opportunity to accept students into the program will be for the Summer 2025 term. If you are interested in receiving email notifications when applications open, please complete the Request Information form on the Distance Education Website.

Each science education program requires application materials in addition to the generic Application to Graduate Study. However, all materials are submitted directly online as file attachments in the same application. These materials include the following:


1. CV/Resume that includes only:

  • Employment history
  • State where you hold a teaching license (if applicable)
  • Subject area endorsements
  • Names and contact information for 3 references

2. Writing Sample
Include a writing sample of career goals that integrates your views on the aspects critical to teaching science including the Next Generation Science Education Standards.

3. Letter of Recommendation
A single letter of recommendation from one of the references listed in the CV/Resume must be submitted directly from the reference person.

4. Applicant statement that addresses the following specific topics/questions:    

  • Why are you interested in pursuing a Master’s degree in Science Education?
  • Science Content area in which you have a specific interest (if interdisciplinary, state disciplines)
  • What do you consider the strengths and weaknesses in your science background?
  • What do you consider the strengths and weaknesses in your education background?
  • How do you hope to enhance your teaching by participating in the Science Education MA program?
  • What factors attracted you to UNI for the pursuit of your graduate degree in science education?

If you have a preference to work with a specific faculty member or on a specific research topic as part of your degree program, please include that preference.


Application questions can be directed to the Science Education Graduate Coordinator at: