Master's in Science Education Program

The MA in Science Education is a flexible program designed for prospective and
practicing science teachers in K-12 instruction, science teaching assistants, community
college instructors, as well as for people with interests in informal and outdoor
education. The curriculum is designed to augment and broaden the candidate's
knowledge of current advances in science education research, and connect these
findings to best classroom practices.

Qualified students who have earned a multiple or single subject credential at San Jose State University may apply up to 12 units of credential coursework. 3 of which must be SCED 173. Students who completed a California single subject credential somewhere besides SJSU may transfer 9 units of coursework from their credential to their Master's program. Students who transfer units into the program can complete the degree in two to four semesters.  

NEW! We are piloting a joint single subject science credential and science education MA program. Please email the graduate coordinator for more details.

The Science Education Program's Graduate Advisor is Dr. Cassandra Paul. You can reach her at cassandra.paul@sjsu.edu


Applying for our graduate program:

See our Science Education Master’s Program Application page: 
http://www.sjsu.edu/scied/apply/masters/index.html

Course Work & Tracks:

Students enrolled in the Master’s program should discuss their course interests and constraints with their faculty advisor and the Science Education Program graduate coordinator (currently: Cassandra Paul Cassandra.paul@sjsu.edu). The program is flexible, but students usually follow a part-time track so that they can remain employed. All of our classes begin at 4:00pm or later and most meet only once per week in order to accommodate schedules for working professionals. Below are two sample tracks for students who are interested in a part-time enrollment.

We are also currently piloting a joint single subject science credential and science
education MA. Please email the graduate coordinators on more details on this upcoming
program.

 

Science Education example track #1: PART TIME tuition, 30 unit program total.

Year 1

Fall

SCED 173 (3)*

Spring

SCED 285 (3)

 

Elective    (3)

 

Elective (3)

Year 2

Fall

SCED 220 (3)*

Spring

SCED 205 (3)*

 

SCED 297 (1)*

 

SCED 297 (1)*

Year 3

Fall

SCI 255 (3)

Spring

Elective (3)

 

SCED 297 (2)*

 

SCED 298 (3)*

Notes: SCED 220, SCED 205, 3 of SCED 298 and 3 units of SCED 297 are required.
Project Proposal due at end year 2, Project completed and culminating experience fulfilled by end of year 3.

 

Example #2: Transfer in with SJSU Credential: part-time, 12 units transfer in w/ 3 being from SCED 173

Year 1

NOTE CREDENTIAL UNITS HAVE 7-YEAR EXPIRATION DATE

Fall

SCED 220 (3)*

Spring

SCED 205 (3)*

 

SCED 297 (1)*

 

SCED 297 (1)*

Year 2

Fall

SCI 255 (3)

Spring

SCED 285 (3)

 

SCED 297 (1)*

 

SCED 298 (3)*

Notes: SCED 220, SCED 205 and 3 units of SCED 298 and 3 units of SCED 297 are required. So is SCED 173, which is a credential program requirement.
Project Proposal due at end of year one, Project completed and culminating experience fulfilled by end of year 2.

 

Elective courses other than those that are listed require the approval of the graduate coordinator and should either enhance the student’s science content knowledge (courses through the College of Science), or educational background (Courses through the College of Education).

Science Education Master’s course work rules:

  • At least 15 of the units must be at the 200 level. Most students take the full 6 units of SCI 298 or 299 and the required SCI 220
  • No more than 40% of your units can be non-graded (Credit/No Credit)
  • Students are limited to 9 units from outside the College of Science (COS). 

Course Descriptions

Descriptions of all of our courses can be found here: http://www.sjsu.edu/scied/academic_programs/courses/index.html

Electives

Discuss these options with your faculty adviser and the graduate coordinator. (A list of approved courses coming soon.)

Choosing a Faculty Advisor and a Committee

All Science Education Masters students must have a faculty adviser. Your faculty adviser will help you shape your master’s project, give you feedback along the way, and will ultimately decide (along with your other committee members) if you’ve met the requirements for your culminating experience. On acceptance into the program you will be assigned a temporary adviser. This adviser is someone who has looked at your application and determined that you might be a good fit to work with them. As a part of your SCED 220 course, you will be allowed the opportunity to interact with multiple faculty members, and at the end of the course may decide that a different faculty member is a better fit for your interests, if that is the case you are encouraged to switch advisers. It is not necessary to select a faculty member that has the same disciplinary interests as you (although this can be synergistic) it is more important to select a faculty member that has similar educational interests to you, and who’s current projects sound like something you are interested in. See http://www.sjsu.edu/scied/faculty_staff/faculty/index.html for a current list of faculty and their interests. You may change your adviser at any time, but this should be discussed with the graduate coordinator before doing so.

Your second committee member must have a PhD and be associated with SJSU, but does not need to be a faculty member in Science Education (although, they can be). (Often students select committee members from the College of Education or College of Science in their discipline.) You should talk this over with your adviser and select this individual when you are taking SCED 220 or SCED 205.

Your third committee member can be a faculty member at SJSU, but also could be a community member or professional mentor. This individual must have at least a master's degree, can not be a family member, and should be someone who has some expertise in the area of your project. Discuss options with your faculty adviser, the graduate coordinator, and/or your SCI 220 and SCI 205 instructors. You should have selected this individual prior to completing SCED 205.

Your second and third committee members will provide you will feedback at the proposal stage of your candidacy, and also be present for your culminating talk, and provide feedback on the written component of your culminating experience.

Advancing to Candidacy

It’s a good idea to advance to candidacy after you have submitted your project proposal to your faculty adviser. Usually this will be done at the end of your first year, but should absolutely be completed during your third semester in the program. Before applying for candidacy, you will need to have determined your target graduation date, and all the courses that you plan to take to get there. Candidacy forms are typically due 1.5 semesters prior to graduation. Schedule a meeting with the graduate coordinator in order to make a plan to graduation that suits your needs. You will also want to run this by your faculty adviser to check for feasibility given the state and nature of your master’s project. Check the graduate studies website for important deadlines, as there are forms that need to be completed up to two semesters ahead of graduation: http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/current_students/deadlines/

Applying for Graduation

After you have completed, submitted, and received word that your candidacy form has been approved, you need to submit the Application to Graduate form, which can be found on the graduate studies website. Pay close attention to the deadlines listed there. http://www.sjsu.edu/gape/current_students/deadlines/

Project and Culminating Experience Requirements

All students in the Science Ed MA complete a multi-semester project as a part of their master’s degree. Students often have lots of questions about what their project and culminating experience will look like. Here are some general guidelines for our projects:

The essential components of project & culminating experience are: 

  • The project is grounded in educational literature 
  • The student engages in reflection and analysis 
  • The student writes a paper (to promote reflection and demonstrate expertise in research or research to practice)

There are three typical types of projects that work well with these components:

  1. Empirical study grounded in literature, including reflection/analysis as appropriate, for example:
    1. Some kind of treatment and analysis of treatment
    2. Qualitative examination of learning environment
  2. Grounded curricular/research design project including the following elements:
    1. Discuss design principles strongly grounded in literatur
    2. Produces novel curricular artifact
    3. Includes reflection (metacognitive piece)
  3. Conceptual paper that draws deeply on existing literature to create new knowledge through development of theory (pushing theory forward)
    1. Requires analysis of literature, historical documents, policy and/or public available data
    2. Result is recommendation or theory generation

This list is not exhaustive, it merely provides an example for how the criteria for the project can be met. In recent years, most students have chosen to do empirical studies, but recent students have also chosen to design projects. In general, all culminating experiences consist of a project paper, and a culminating oral presentation. Different advisers have slightly different guidelines for their students given the norms that are consistent with their fields of expertise. Talk with your adviser about this often, so that you know your expectations are the same.

Final Considerations for Graduation

Your adviser needs to do the following before you can graduate:

  1. Submit change of grade forms for any SCED 298 or SCED 297 units that you earned an “RP” or “NC” in. It’s a good idea to remind your adviser of this, and when you do, tell them which semesters, how many units and what grade you previously received.  This form is closely guarded by the registrar, so your adviser will need to get it from the Office Administrator or the Program Director.
  2. Indicate to the graduate coordinator that all aspects of the culminating experience (talk and written portion) have been met and approved by all three committee members. Remind your adviser to tell the graduate coordinator to submit the “Culminating Experience” memo.

Walking in Commencement

Commencement is held every year in the spring. It’s a really exciting time, and we love being able to ‘hood’ our master’s students. We strongly encourage you to attend when you graduate, and would love to meet your family and friends. Notify your adviser and the graduate coordinator ASAP if you plan to walk. All students walking are required to have graduation regalia, and the deadlines for rental are often as early as March. See the commencement page for more information: http://www.sjsu.edu/commencement/