Science educators today are presented with a wealth of exciting challenges and opportunities. Unlocking the full potential of your teaching career and inspiring the next generation of scientific enthusiasts becomes attainable through the pursuit of an online masters degree in science education. We understand that juggling the responsibilities of teaching and personal life can seem like a Herculean task. Fear not, for online masters in science education programs are here to empower you with flexibility, accessibility, and top-notch educational experiences!
In this article, we explore the most inspiring and impactful online master’s in science education degrees. Tailored specifically for science teachers, these programs equip you with advanced knowledge, cutting-edge pedagogical skills, and transformative strategies to teach science like never before. Whether you’re an elementary school educator eager to infuse your science curriculum with innovation or a high school science teacher determined to elevate your students’ understanding of the natural world, these science education masters programs offer you a pathway to achieve your academic and professional goals from the comfort of your own home or classroom.
- Affordability (1/3): Combined analysis of overall tuition of the program, financial aid or scholarship assistance programs, and estimated cost per credit hour for out-of-state students.
- Flexibility (1/3): The number of flexibility-enhancing elements specific to the degree program including teaching philosophy concentrations, degree specialties, prior learning or life experience crediting options, accelerated or self-paced courses, personalized student advisement/guidance, and competency-based credit options.
- Academic Prestige (1/3): The academic prestige of the parent institution operationally defined through the analyses of the rankings/reviews of prominent education review entities such as US News & World Report and The Princeton Review.
1. The University of Massachusetts – Lowell, Massachusetts
Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Science Education Program
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $14,956/year in-state and $27,030/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
The University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass) is a public research university with a land-grant located in Lowell, Massachusetts. UMass Lowell is committed to preparing students to work in the real-world. They offer over 120 undergraduate programs and 77 graduate programs. Many of their programs are offered online. UMass Lowell is known for the positive career outcomes of their recent grads. Approximately 98% of 2022 grads are employed, in grad school, or volunteering.
The UMass Lowell offers an online Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction focused on Science Education. The program is designed for K-12 teachers who want to improve science learning in their classroom. The 30-credit hour curriculum includes courses like:
- Leadership in Science Education
- Exploring the Nature of Science
- Climate Change in the Classroom
Applicants must submit an application along with a statement of purpose and two letters of recommendation. Prospective students should send in a resume and office test scores when applicable.
2. Penn State University World Campus – University Park, Pennsylvania
Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction STEM Education
Average Graduate Student Tuition Rate: $24,164/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) represents 100,000 students. Penn State is a flagship research intensive university with a land grant and large history of education based in teaching, research, and service. The World Campus offers more than 100 degrees, professional programs and certificates to over 12,000 distance learners each year. Penn State athletes compete in the Big Ten Championships and tournaments. In addition, fundraising and community engagement are at the heart of their mission. Their most recent fundraising campaign, A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence raised over $2 billion dollars through 697,000 donors.
Penn State’s world campus brings exceptional programs for multiple disciplines to students all over the world. Their online MEd in Curriculum and Instruction focused on STEM education is a great choice for teachers who want to enhance their STEM teaching practices in the classroom. The program uses cutting-edge, research-based practices that teachers can immediately apply with their students. Course offerings include:
- Science Teaching and Learning
- Trends and Issues in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education
- Learning Processes in Relation to Educational Practices
Applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree to be considered for admission. They will also need to submit official transcripts, references, and a statement of purpose. Prospective students do not need to submit GRE test scores for consideration.
3. University of Texas Arlington – Arlington, Texas
Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction-Science Education Program
Average Graduate Student Tuition Rate: $14,262/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) is a public research university located in Arlington. UTA has the highest research activity according to the Carnegie Foundation. They offer a total of 185 degrees; 85 baccalaureate, 74 masters, and 26 doctoral degrees. Additionally, there are 700 different courses offered online that are taught by UT Arlington’s faculty to over 43,000 students! “Texas does it bigger” certainly applies where UTA is concerned.
The program at University of Texas Arlington is a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in science education. This master’s degree program is suitable for those with a teaching license and does not lead to initial certification. This is a comprehensive science specialist program that considers science for grade K through 12. This program has all the benefits of curriculum and instruction design degrees with the added benefits of an enriched understanding of science education as it pertains to today’s classroom. Course offerings include:
- Physical Science: Properties and Changes in Matter
- Physical Science: Force and Energy
- Life Science: Cycles in Nature, Adaptations, and Environmental Science
The capstone for this program is not a thesis, but rather more of a practical project to be implemented in your educational setting. Students can complete their degree in 18 months with five-week accelerated courses.
4. University of Nebraska Lincoln – Lincoln, Nebraska
Master of Applied Science Online-Science for Educators Specialization
Average Graduate Student Tuition Rate: $6,138/year in-state and $17,928/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
The University of Nebraska- Lincoln is a public flagship university located in Lincoln, Nebraska. UNL is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The value of this program lies in its fantastic education standards and low cost. That’s why UNL ranks as one of our top 10 schools for a master’s in science education. In addition to academic rigor, and affordability, Lincoln has more green space (parks) than nearly any other city in America. Students who start at UNL stay at UNL and the graduation rate is also high.
We love this program for many reasons but especially its flexibility. This science education program is suitable not only for secondary science teachers but also community college educators, home school educators and really anyone who wants to expand or even acquire a base of knowledge in science. One of the aims of the program is to integrate science and technology and another is to help you design age-appropriate pedagogy for your classroom. Additional flexibility comes through the diverse electives that include:
- Insect Ecology
- Learning Plant Science
- Earth’s Changing Systems
Students work closely with an advisor to create a personalized education plan. There are no residency requirements and students can earn their degree after completing 30 credit hours of course work.
5. Colorado State University – Fort Collins, Colorado
Master’s in Science Education Online
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $10,834/year in-state and $26,564/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Colorado State University (Colorado State) is a public coeducational school founded in 1870 and enrolls over 33,000 students. Located an hour from Denver, and with easy access to the Rocky Mountains, Fort Collins provides the students with city convenience and nature at its doorstep. The ethos at Colorado State is one of acceptance, health, and balance. With a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio, high freshmen return rate, and over $313 million spent on research, it’s clear why Colorado State boasts a warm welcome and a unique experience for its learners. The online program provides you with the flexibility afforded from an online degree merged with the rigor and high standards of a research university. Online programming includes:
recorded lectures from live on-campus sessions
- real-time sessions with your instructors
- interactive videos
- peer-reviewed research articles
- team projects
Colorado State University’s program is a Master of Natural Sciences in Education. It really is for anyone with a science background. Though this program does not in its own right get you a certification to teach, all materials presented will get you on track. This science education degree is relevant for current teachers. You will learn to enhance your pedagogical techniques and develop new ones. According to Colorado State, they graduate “more STEM disciplines than any other Colorado campus.”
Students can choose from two paths to complete their degree. The coursework option includes three credits of independent study. The other option is a research option. Research option students earn six credits for completing a research project.
6. Western Governors University – Salt Lake City, Utah
Master of Arts in Teaching-Science Education Degree
Average Graduate Student Tuition Rate: $7,765/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 42:1
Western Governors University (WGU) is a private, nonprofit school based in Salt Lake City, Utah. However, this university is actually 100% online. Its innovative approach to education means less time and money (tuition is nearly half of other online universities) an extremely flexible schedule, as well as personal individual faculty support. This program was created by U.S. Governors and currently serves over 156,000 students across the United States and overseas military. Many organizations accredit programs at WGU including the NCATE.
The Master of Arts in Science Education is for grade (5-9). This program is appropriate for students with a bachelor’s degree in an area other than education. This 20-course master’s degree in science education covers courses like:
- Science Methods
- Science, Technology, and Society
- Educational Psychology and Human Development of Children and Adolescents
Students earning their degree from WGU complete coursework when it is most convenient. Students can move on to the next lesson once they have demonstrated competency. This allows students to breeze through certain courses and take more time for others. The program should be treated like a part-time job, regardless of this added flexibility.
7. Oregon State University – Corvallis, Oregon
Online Master’s in Science Education
Average Graduate Student Tuition Rate: $13,446/year in-state and $28,242/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Oregon State University is a public research university with a land, sea, space, and sun grant- only one of two universities with all for designations. In fact, the Carnegie Foundation classifies OSU as a doctoral university with the “highest research activity”. The total student enrollment is over 34,000 and programming is comprehensive. There are over 40 bachelor’s and master’s programs and 900 courses offered completely online. All programs are accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Oregon State University offers an advanced science education degree for existing and aspiring teachers. Students without their teaching license can earn their Oregon preliminary teaching license upon completion of the program. Students also have the opportunity to earn one or more endorsements in areas like biology and integrated science.
This science education program is offered in a hybrid format. Students complete asynchronous online coursework in addition to their participation in face-to-face classes. The on-campus class meetings occur two Saturdays per quarter, but students are allowed to join through Zoom. Both full and part-time program options are available.
8. University of Northern Colorado – Greeley, Colorado
Master of Arts in Science Education
Average Graduate Student Tuition Rate: $11,628/year in-state and $21,762/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
The University of Northern Colorado is a four-year public university with almost 10,000 students. UNC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Founded as a teacher’s college back in 1889, UNC has graduated more educators than any other university in the state.
UNC offers an online master’s in science education designed for working teachers. Students can complete this 30-credit hour program in about two years. Courses are delivered fully online through a blend of synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Course offerings include:
- Learning and Instruction
- Action Research in Science Education
- Science Education Seminar
Applicants are required to hold a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0. Preference is given to those with a teaching license who are actively working in the field.
9. North Carolina State University – Raleigh, North Carolina
Master of Education in STEM Education
Average Graduate Student Tuition Rate: $9,095/year in-state and $28,301/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
North Carolina State University is a STEM powerhouse. There are hundreds of degrees to choose from at this top public school. Over 37,000 students are enrolled at NC State, with 1,800 pursuing an education related degree. With over 9,000 faculty and staff, NC State has a strong reputation for interdisciplinary innovation. NC State is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
North Carolina State University offer a Master of Education in STEM Education with three concentration areas:
- Mathematics Education
- Science Education
- Engineering and Technology Education
The science education master’s degree is suitable for pre-college teachers (grades 6-12) and is relevant for community college instructors, informal educators, and others working the field of engineering or technology. Though this is our most expensive pick, NC State is one of the top 100 schools in the nation. For those who are looking for a top-notch education available from home this is about as good as it gets! Full-time students can complete this program in 2 years and part-time students complete this program in about 3-4 years. Mathematics and science education graduates are in demand since the program meets the requirements for National Board Certification and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
10. Nova Southeastern University – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Master of Science in Education-Science Education
Average Graduate Student Tuition Rate: $22,062/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Nova Southeastern University is a private, four-year university with over 150 degree programs. NSU is Florida’s largest private research university with 14 colleges, 10 campus locations, and five medical schools. The average class size is just 17 students at the undergraduate level. NSU is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for its High Research Activity and Community Engagement.
The College of Education and School of Criminal Justice at NSU Florida offers a 36-credit hour master’s in science education. Coursework is delivered entirely online, making this a great program for working professionals. Coursework includes:
- Methods in Science Education
- Classroom Management and Organization
- Inquiry-Based Space Science for Teachers
All students participate in an applied professional experience during their final semester. Students create a portfolio showcasing their final project which showcases the knowledge and skills they have gained.