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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. Employment as a teacher of science or related field.
  3. Submission of a completed department application, including:
    1. Two letters of reference.
    2. A statement of plans and objectives for graduate study.
  4. Submission of a completed application to CSUN via Cal State Apply.
  5. Cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5 or score at or above the 50th percentile on one of three portions of the general test of the GRE.

B. Requirements for Classified Status

Can be fulfilled during the first semester of the program.

  1. Cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 or score at or above the 50th percentile on one of three portions of the general test of the GRE.
  2. Passing score (8 or higher) on the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam or score of 3.0 or higher on the GRE Analytical Writing portion.

C. Corequisites

  1. Preliminary teaching credential (may be waived for private school teachers or college instructors).
  2. Completion of one or more years of successful secondary school teaching.
  3. 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) 677-2181

Student Learning Outcomes

Secondary Education M.A. candidates will develop as professional educators who demonstrate:

  1. Reflective practice by critically examining their subject knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and pedagogical skills to improve their diverse students’ learning.
  2. Theoretical understanding by reading, synthesizing and evaluating educational theory and research in their field and applying research findings to their practice in diverse classroom and school settings.
  3. Research skills by designing and conducting research ethically and effectively and presenting their findings at a professional level in oral and written forms.
  4. Educational awareness by knowing current discipline-based and general educational issues and how those impact schools.
  5. Leadership by influencing policy and practice in educational communities through advocacy and example.