Minnesota Science Education Masters Programs Online
Pursuing an Online Masters in Science Education Degree may be a convenient, best way to balance your desire to advance your teaching skills and strategies with a full schedule. Many teachers enter the workforce with an undergraduate degree and may teach math, physics or biology, true. But this doesn’t mean they have a comprehensive understanding of the learning theories or top instructional best practices that make a science teacher both informative and able to qualify for their own potential professional advancement. If you are looking for more subject-specific expertise in the physical, natural or STEM disciplines, earning an online masters Degree in Science Education may fit your own academic and vocational goals.
What is an Online Masters in Science Education Program?
An Online Masters in Science Education is a graduate program that may be designed for science-educators or non-science teachers and is delivered through a computer-mediated format - which may vary between colleges. Some programs are going to require prospective e-learners to have a Bachelor’s degree and teaching license.
Distance-learning means you take your online courses from home or office, wherever you have Internet. As with campus programs, a Masters in Science Education online degree may entail a capstone project, and possibly, a thesis.
Online Masters in Science Education Program Features
Sometimes, a graduate school actually offers their campus program in an online format, meaning you are be taught by the same faculty, and learn the same material. This means that online programs are neither ‘easier’ nor of lesser quality.
However, if you are a working professional, or current teacher, you may find some of these online program features offer you more flexibility:
- 100% online format – usually suited to more research-oriented degrees.
- Partially online – means you may have to visit the campus at regular intervals or to present your capstone
- Asynchronous learning – rather than being live-streaming, classes are recorded and you get 24/7 access
- Online research and library tools
- Submit assignments through a web portal
- Stay in touch with classmates and professors via digital technology (web chat, web cams, email, text messaging, online group discussion boards etc.)
- Self-paced study, since courses are structured, but not conducted in real time
Check the Tech
Again, not every online program is created equal. But they all involve some technology, so before enrolling, ‘check the tech’ to make sure you have everything you need. For instance:
- Personal computer
- Computer software
- Computer databases
- Modem or direct Internet (reliable)
Also, your program may involve course manuals, textbooks, evaluation and other activities even though you may not have to physically attend lectures.
How to Choose an Online Masters in Science Education Program
Searching form Online Science Education masters programs is very easy on Gradschools.com. Here are a few options you might find in your initial search: Master of Arts in Teaching –Secondary Social Science online, Master of Science in Physical Science, Master of Natural Sciences Education and Science for Educators Masters.
Choose a program that is suitable for who you are and what you need from your degree. For instance, are you intending to pursue a Phd in Science Education in the future? Many states require teachers to have a Masters degree, so there are opportunities to enter programs that will take you to the next level, but what is that?
What type of Science Educator are you?
- Are you an experienced teacher who wants to stay current with educational technology or refresh your classroom skills?
- Are you a Science teacher who wants to develop expertise in teaching a particular type of science such as chemistry, biology, earth science or physics?
- Do you have an undergraduate degree in science, and now hope to start teaching?
- Do you have an undergraduate degree in another field that is related to science and want to teach science?
- Are you looking for a professional development program?
- Are you a Licensed teacher with a bachelor’s degree who wishes to earn certification in general science as well as a master’s degree?
What ‘science type’ are you?
It may be helpful to figure out what type of science you want to teach. Is it: biology, chemistry, earth science, ecology, engineering, environmental science, land resources, microbiology, physics, or plant sciences?
Who do you want to teach science to?
Are you interested in teaching to high school students or first graders? Are you on a Masters/doctorate track to qualify to teach at the post-secondary level? Is teaching middle grade science appealing?
FUN FACT: 51% of Postsecondary Chemistry Teachers have a Doctoral degree, 27% have post-doctoral training, and 18% have a masters degree.[i]
Different online Masters Degrees in Science Education
Online Master of Arts in Science Education (MA): Students earning an MA often conduct research that might translate to continued education in a PhD or EdD program. Usually a thesis or report is involved.
Online Master of Science in Education (MSSE): MS programs are typically more interested in the research and science behind learning, and may have a more technical focus.
Online Master of Education (MEd): This professional degree is designed to prepare students for administrative positions. These may be non-thesis, coursework-only programs.
Online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Science Education: The core subject of instruction is in this type of degree is the science, and may involve how to plan a curriculum for a specific population.
Take the next step
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that some states require high school teachers to earn a master’s degree after earning their teaching certification[ii]. If you are one of those educators at the elementary and secondary level who needs to pursue a master's degree while you work, make sure to look into the variety of online masters in science education programs that might help you accomplish your goals!
Sources: [i] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-1052.00 | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm
Colorado State UniversityMaster of Natural Sciences Education