University Catalog 2023-2024

Science Education

The Science Education Program offers a Master’s of STEM Education (MEd) Distance Education with a Concentration in Science Education. We prepare educators and researchers for positions as teachers, leaders, and science educators of the highest quality at the university, community college, middle and/or high school level, or informal science education centers. We are particularly proud of our emphasis on the use of technology to enhance teaching. Students take courses in their educational specialty in Science Education, and in academic discipline areas including: biological sciences, chemistry, earth science, environmental science, interdisciplinary science or physics.

Our STEM Ed Master’s program (MEd) leads to North Carolina M-licensure as a teacher of science at grades 6-12 or advanced credentials for informal educators. Programs are also available for those seeking advanced graduate-level certification as a teacher. Finally, students may design a program to prepare for teaching careers in post-secondary education.

Some of our students elect to move directly from our master’s into our doctoral program in Learning and Teaching in STEM – Science Education. These students are knowledge-seekers and are eager to pursue educational problems and develop critical thinking skills in a collaborative environment. The programs prepare individuals for positions in their fields of study related to:

  1. scholarly inquiry and discourse in science education,
  2. preparation of K-12 teachers and informal science educators,
  3. instruction and development issues in K-16, and
  4. leadership positions.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the STEM MEd degree with a concentration in science education must submit a completed application specific to the program. No GRE is required. Please see the Science Education website for details. The deadlines for submission of an application, and academic and professional background necessary for admission differ by specific program.

Student Financial Support

A small number of scholarships may be available through the College of Education or NC State University. For those who apply for financial aid, there may be some grants available through the university. Please discuss these opportunities directly with program area faculty.


Full Professors

  • Margaret R. Blanchard
  • Carla Johnson
  • Melissa Gail Jones
  • Soonhye Park
  • Eric N Wiebe

Associate Professors

  • Sarah J. Carrier
  • Cesar Delgado

Assistant Professors

  • K. C. Rogis Busch

Practice/Research/Teaching Professors

  • W. Matthew Reynolds

Emeritus Faculty

  • Glenda S. Carter
  • John H. Wheatley


EMS 521  Advanced Methods in Science Education I  (3 credit hours)  

Contemporary learning theories and current research will guide students to create effective science learning environments for all students. Students will engage in critical analysis of current trends, issues and problems in science education in terms of multiple perspectives. Students will also have opportunities to contemplate what it means to teach science, what it means to teach a diverse population of students and how to develop, interpret, and implement alternative assessment.

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing in MAT: STEM-Science Education and Doctoral Standing in Learning and Teaching in STEM

Typically offered in Fall only

EMS 522  Advanced Methods in Science Education II  (3 credit hours)  

Examines science instruction through analysis of curriculu, instructional practices, current research on science learning and teaching. Five areas of interest: curriculum, instruction, assessment, diversity, learning environments and technology in science education.

R: Graduate Standing in MAT: STEM-Science Education

Typically offered in Fall only

EMS 531  Introduction to Research in Science Education  (3 credit hours)  

Introduction to science education research, within two focal areas. One focus is to learn to read, understand, evaluate, and apply published educational research in your own practice, with scaffolding to support your understanding of techniques and designs specific to and/or in the context of science education research. Another focus is to learn to conduct research in order to improve your effectiveness as an educator or solve educational problems. You will learn about ethics connected with research and will perform and interpret quantitative and/or qualitative analyses commonly used in science education research while carrying out a research project that you designed. You will learn about how research papers are structured and organized, and communicate your research findings in both oral and written form.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Science Education

Typically offered in Spring only

EMS 575  Foundations Of Science Education  (3 credit hours)  

Study and analysis of philosophical, historical, sociological, political and economic factors affecting science education in schools of the U.S. Implications for science education of various learning theories along with models for curriculum development and program planning.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Science Education

Typically offered in Spring only

EMS 592  Special Problems In Mathematics Teaching  (1-6 credit hours)  

In-depth investigation of topical problems in mathematics teaching chosen from areas of curriculum, methodology, technology, supervision and research.

Prerequisite: EMS 471

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

EMS 695  Master's Thesis Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Thesis research.

Prerequisite: Master's student

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer