Master of Arts in Science Education

The Master of Arts in Science Education in the Mallinson Institute for Science Education at Western Michigan University is designed for anyone with a strong interest in science and the teaching of science, particularly primary and secondary teachers.

The program:

  • Helps students improve their knowledge of science as well as their science teaching expertise.
  • Prepares students for entrance to the Ph.D. program in science education.
  • Requires 30 credit hours which can be completed exclusively online, although students may also take courses on campus in a traditional format if they wish.

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Program requirements

The program requires 30 credit hours (at least 15 credits must be at the 6000 level or above).

Science education core—12 credits

  • SCI 6145–Introduction to History and Philosophy of Science (three credits)
  • SCI 6155–Science Education: History and Philosophy (three credits)
  • SCI 6165–Cognition and Teaching (three credits)
  • SCI 6260–Science Curriculum (three credits)

Science content—12-18 credits

  • Any 5000-6000 level science course with any of the following prefixes: SCI, BIOS, CHEM, GEOG, GEOS, PHYS
  • Up to six credits at 3000-4000 level taken at WMU
  • Up to six credits at the graduate level transferred from another institution*

Electives—0-six credits

  • Three to six elective credits (with advisor approval) or
  • Six credits of SCI 7000 (science education thesis) or
  • Three to six credits of SCI 7100 (science education project)

Traditional classroom courses

The following courses offered as traditional classroom courses at the WMU Main Campus may be used in place of the corresponding online courses:

  • SCI 6140–History and Philosophy of Science (in place of SCI 6145)
  • SCI 6150–History and Philosophy of Science Education (in place of SCI 6155)
  • SCI 6160–Models of Teaching and Learning (in place of SCI 6165)

Course schedule and requirements

Four-year advance course schedule and requirements

Graduate assistantships

Application deadline for on-campus graduate assistant funding is February 15.

For the past several years, most qualified full-time students in the Mallinson Institute for Science Education have received adequate funding through graduate assistantships offered each year by the Institute and the Graduate College. (Most students are part-time and support themselves by other means.)

A limited number of these assistantships are competed for each year. They typically include a stipend, remission of the out-of-state portion of tuition, and, in some cases, remission of all tuition. There is a small stipend to purchase health insurance. Typical duty is teaching a section of one of the introductory science courses for prospective teachers. The courses are in the disciplines of life sciences, physical sciences, and earth sciences. These courses provide opportunities for research as well as invaluable teaching experience.

Information about student loans and other federal, state and University need-based financial aid programs may be obtained from the Office of Student Financial Aid


Application instructions

WMU has a new online graduate application system that allows all students (domestic and international) to submit required information into one system. General application information for the University, as well as specific requirements for individual programs, are captured into this system.

Applicants are asked to include some program-specific information, with a summary for these requirements for the Master of Arts in Science Education found here. Applicants are encouraged to bookmark this information for quick reference while working through the graduate application process.

Note: the GRE is not required for the master's application, and applications may be submitted at any time (no deadline).

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