Program: M.A., Secondary Science Education

Program Description

The Master of Arts degree in Secondary Science Education is designed to prepare secondary science teachers for advancement to mentor teaching, supervision of student teachers, positions as science-teaching specialists or science-department chairpersons, and/or doctoral study, in addition to becoming more effective teachers. School districts frequently award salary increases to teachers who hold master’s degrees, and master’s degrees are usually required for part-time teaching at the community college or university level.

During this program, students:

  • Experience and implement innovative science-teaching practices, especially drawing on reform methodology and curricula.
  • Acquire greater fluency with educational technologies, including Internet resources, science-experiment simulations and graphing technology, in particular in the service of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning.
  • Investigate current research in science teaching and learning and how it translates into practice.
  • Conduct applied classroom-based research.
  • Deepen their knowledge and understanding of broad issues, policies and controversies that impact schools in general and science teaching in particular.
  • Develop as leaders in science education through presentations and participation in professional organizations and support networks.

Program Requirements

A. Requirements for Admission

  1. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
  2. Experience as a teacher of science or related field.
  3. Teaching credential (may be waived for private school teachers or college instructors).
  4. Submission of a completed department application.
  5. Submission of a completed application to CSUN via Cal State Apply.
  6. Cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5.

B. Requirements for Classified Status

By the end of the first semester of the program, students must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 or a GPA of at least 3.0 for the M.A. program.

C. Corequisite

Maintenance of a 3.0 GPA.

D. Degree Requirements

1. Core Courses (21 units)

SED 600 Research in Secondary Education (3)
SED 610SC Leadership in Science Education (3)
SED 616 Computer Supported Collaborative Science (3)
SED 625SC Theory and Research in Teaching Secondary School Science (3)
SED 656 Computers in Science Teaching (3)
SED 676 Advanced Laboratory Curriculum Development (3)
SED 690SC Advanced Research in Science Education (3)

2. Electives (6 units)

Electives are selected from various graduate-level course offerings across the college or university, with the approval of the program advisor. In some cases, preliminary credential program courses may be approved.

3. Culminating Experience (3 units)

SED 697 Directed Comprehensive Studies (3)
or SED 698 Thesis or Graduate Project (3)

Total Units Required for the M.A. Degree: 30


Department of Secondary Education
Chair: Julie Gainsburg
Education (ED) 1208
(818) 677-2580

Graduate Coordinator: Mira Pak
(818) 677-2131

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a Master or Arts in Secondary Science Education will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in science for enhancing their diverse students’ learning.
  2. Demonstrate theoretical understanding of teaching and learning science by reading and synthesizing educational theory and research in science education.
  3. Demonstrate graduate-level research skills by designing, conducting, and presenting research ethically and effectively.
  4. Critically analyze current issues in science, science education, and general education and how those issues impact schools.
  5. Demonstrate leadership in science education.