2018-2019 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jun 21, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Science/Chemistry Education: Preparation (7-12), MS

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Sharon Dotger, 150 Huntington Hall, 315-443-9137, sdotger@syr.edu


A master’s degree program in science/chemistry education is available for those with no education background seeking New York State teacher certification for grades 7-12 (preparation program). Our certification programs combine multiple clinically rich field experiences with campus-based coursework emphasizing theoretical and practical knowledge in research-based science teaching and learning.

For decades, science education at Syracuse University  has been a national leader in promoting science literacy by advancing the knowledge base for effective science teaching and learning at all levels of education. We are well known for our commitment to both components of a seamless tradition: student-centered science teaching and cutting-edge research in pursuit of effective educational practices. We subscribe to the guiding principles that underlie the Next Generation Science Standards::

  1. children are born investigators;
  2. teaching science means students use core scientific ideas and practices;
  3. students’ understanding develops over time;
  4. science requires both knowledge and practice;
  5. science education should connect students’ interest and experiences;
  6. all students should be provided with equitable opportunities to learn science and become engaged in science practices.

The program prepares students to become science educators in 21st century classrooms, who are proficient in five areas:

  • Critical reflection and explanations of practice.
  • Content knowledge.
  • Inclusive and culturally relevant pedagogy.
  • Assessment of student learning and development of scientific literacy.
  • Professional conduct and collaboration.

The M.S. in Science/Chemistry Education, in combination with the science and liberal arts distribution credits described below, meets the academic requirements for New York State initial teacher certification in Chemistry 7-12. There are also application, tests, and other requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes

1.Acquire knowledge of each student, and demonstrate knowledge of student development and learning to promote achievement for all students.
2.Know the content they are responsible for teaching, and plan instruction that ensures growth and achievement for all students.
3.Implement instruction that engages and challenges all students to meet or exceed the learning standards.
4.Work with all students to create a dynamic learning environment that supports achievement and growth.
5.Use multiple measures to assess and document student growth, evaluate instructional effectiveness, and modify instruction.
6.Demonstrate professional responsibility and engage relevant stakeholders to maximize student growth, development, and learning
7.Set informed goals and strive for continuous professional growth

Master’s Degree Course Requirements

The program requires 36 credits, and may be completed in 15 months, beginning in May. However, students who enter with education study equivalent to one of the courses below may have their syllabi reviewed for waiver of courses.  In no case will fewer than 30 graduate credits be required.

First Summer

(courses with * include field experience)

Fall - Candidacy Semester

Spring - Standard Student Teaching Semester

Second Summer

Intensive Examination

A master’s degree intensive examination is also required.

Liberal Arts Course requirements

The requirements of this program include several undergraduate science and liberal arts distribution courses. It is not unusual that an applicant will have one or more of these courses left to take. These do not need to be completed before applying and may be taken at an institution other than Syracuse University. However, some of the courses need to be done before starting the graduate program, and all must be finished before a degree can be granted. We help prospective students identify appropriate courses.

Interested students should contact the program coordinator as early as possible (including before applying) to have unofficial transcripts reviewed against the liberal arts requirements. This allows more time to enroll in needed courses.

Science Content

This program requires: A major in biology or chemstry or earth science or physics; OR by the end of the MS program, a minimum of 30 semester hour credits in the science area in which certification is sought, with at least 18 credits beyond the introductory level, including at least two laboratory courses, with one laboratory beyond the introductory level. Courses from departments other than these science areas (e.g., engineering science) will be evaluated on an individual basis for appropriate science content to be used toward the 30 credits. A sufficient amount of science must be completed before beginning the program. Appropriate science content courses taken during the program may count toward the minimum requirement. Specific courses that must be included for those without a science major include:

Students without a biology major seeking biology certification must have completed coursework with some attention to three areas: organismic biology, genetics/molecular/cell biology; population biology/ecology.

Students without a chemistry major seeking chemistry certification must have completed courses with some attention to inorganic, organic, analytical, and physical chemistry - including engineering.

Students without a geology or earth sciences major seeking earth science certification must have completed courses with some attention to earth history, paleontology, mineralogy, structural geology, hydrology, and glacial geology. Earth science courses may include courses in geology, meteorology, and astronomy including applied courses in subjects such as soils or limnology.

Students without a physics major seeking physics certification must have completed courses with some attention to mechanics, electricity, thermodynamics, and modern physics such as relativity, kinetic theory, quantum theory, etc. Other courses might include such topics as optics, circuits, or particle physics.

Liberal Arts Distribution courses

(one each, with no grade less than a C)

  • Writing (course or equivalent)
  • Mathematics
  • History
  • Social Science (other than history or psychology)
  • Artistic Expression (course or equivalent)
  • Humanities other than history or artistic expression
  • Language other than English including American Sign Language (Completion of a high school Foreign Language Level 3 or higher may be substituted.)

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