Natural Science Education

Teaching the next generation

If you're interested in becoming a high school science teacher and want a broad-based background in the natural sciences, this is a great fit for you.

Admission requirements

Entrance requirements

A student must hold certification to teach secondary education and meet all graduate school requirements.  Students in education-related occupations or professions other than secondary school teaching which require licensing or certification by state or national boards may be recommended for admission.  The student must complete any required prerequisite courses.  Such courses do not count toward completion of the degree requirements.

Program requirements

Degree requirements (33 hours total)

  1. Required Core Courses (6 hours)
    1. SFR 750 Philosophies of Education
    2. SFR 780 Educational Research Methodology
  2. Professional Core Courses  (6 hours)
    Course work designed for improvement of classroom instruction.  Courses should be selected from two of  the six areas below*:    
    1. EDT 650 Selection and Utilization of Educational Technology
    2. MID 725 Advanced Theory and Practice in the Teaching of Early Adolescents
    3. PSY 705 Psychology of Adolescence OR PSY 710 Psychology of Education
    4. RDG 710 Content Area Literacy
    5. SEC 701 Secondary School Curriculum
    6. SPE 613 Physical and Health Needs of Students with Disabilities

      * Other electives specifically related to classroom teaching may be identified and substituted for numbers 1 through 6 above in conference with, and approval of, the degree advisor.
  3. Research and Specialized Core Experience (6 hours)
    Includes research (see below) and other course work to total 6 hours.  Of these 6 hours, a minimum of 2 hours must be in one of the following two research options.  Additional course work is needed if less than 6 hours of research is chosen. 
    1. Option I: Completion of a thesis.  Thesis credit may not exceed 6 hours of the total program. Students writing a thesis may enroll in the appropriate course for their certification area (SFR 799 or thesis course in the emphasis area).  Students must obtain their program director and/or advisor approval for their thesis course(s).
    2. Option II:  Completion of an extensive research project or major creative work.  Students must obtain their program director and/or advisor approval for their research course(s) component.
  4. Emphasis Area (15 hours)
    This emphasis must be an area in which the State of Missouri currently offers a certificate for grades K-12 or 9-12.  At least 3 hours of 700-level credit must be earned from Missouri State University in the emphasis area.  Refer to your emphasis area departmental section of this catalog for specific information. 

    Course work in some emphases is limited and may not be offered every semester.  Students should check with the advisor as to availability of specific course offerings.

Comprehensive examinations

A comprehensive examination must be passed by the candidate before a degree will be granted.

Graduation requirements

In addition to requirements established by the Graduate College, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 on all work attempted in education and in all work attempted in the emphasis area.

Advisement

The advisor works with the student to determine the Program of Study which will be developed according to the needs and interest expressed by the advisee; the advisee's formal training at the undergraduate level; the teaching assignment of the advisee; and, professional assignments in which the advisee hopes to be involved in the future.

The seminar paper or original work must be approved by the advisor from the area mentoring the project.  The advisor will determine the number of copies of the seminar paper or original work to be submitted.

Careers and outcomes

Career options

A master's degree in natural science education will prepare you for a career in any of the following fields:

  • Secondary education
  • Administration
  • Astronomy and astrophysics
  • Corporate training
  • Human resources

Career Center

To help you prepare and search for jobs, the Missouri State Career Center provides a database of current openings, tips for preparing your résumé and on-campus interview opportunities. The Career Center also compiles information about what you can do with a master's degree in natural science. Also, our department encourages students to use resources like Physics Today and the American Physical Society as they look for jobs in their field.

Program contact information

This program is officially administered by the College of Education. If you have questions regarding this degree in secondary education, contact Dr. Denise Fredrick, director of secondary education, at 417-836-5944.

If you are interested in pursuing a Master of Science in education with an emphasis in natural science, contact Dr. Tamera Jahnke, program coordinator, at 417-836-5249.

For more information on the MSEd with an emphasis in natural science, contact Dr. Tamera Jahnke.