Department of Environmental Sciences


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M.S.E. in Geology or Biology


The Master of Science and Education (MSE) is a degree offered by the Judith Herb College of Education, Health Science and Human Services (JHCEHSHS) in collaboration with the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Within the degree program, area concentrations are possible in both Ecology and Geology. The MSE is intended for persons who (1) already have a baccalaureate degree, (2) are already licensed to teach Earth Science or Life Science at the junior high or high school level, and (3) want the degree in order to expand their knowledge in the area of their teaching specialization.

Students with a Biology, Geology or other baccalaureate degree that are not licensed to teach Earth or Life Science should not pursue the MSE degree but rather apply to the College of Education's Licensure Alternative Master's Program (LAMP), which will provide them with a Master of Education degree and a teaching license in Earth or Life Science (for more information see the last section of this document).

The present document describes the interdisciplinary MSE degree program as administered jointly through the Department of Curriculum and Instruction (CI), and the Department of Environmental Sciences (ES).

Students wishing to pursue the MSE degree must apply to and be accepted by both the CI and ES departments. The minimum requirements for admission are those stipulated by the Graduate School: an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, and three letters of recommendation. Students with a GPA of less than 2.7 may be granted a "provisional admission".  
 Faculty Advisors

A student pursuing the MSE degree will have two faculty co-advisors, one in CI and the other in ES. Both co-advisors have equal authority and responsibility in directing the student's project/thesis research and in specifying the graduate coursework in the chosen area of specialization. The two co-advisers together prepare, for the Graduate School, the student's Plan of Study, and approve the student's research project/thesis.  

 Required Coursework

A total of 36 hours of graduate coursework approved by the CI and ES co-advisors is required for the MSE degree. The coursework will be taken in the following areas:

 College of Education Core Courses (12 hours)
One of the following 3-hour courses in Educational Psychology
EDP 5110 Basic Education Psychology
EDP 5120 Alternative Approaches to Discipline
EDP 5210 Child Behavior and Development
EDP 5220 Adolescent Behavior and Development
EDP 5230 Adult Development
EDP 5310 Issues and Innovations in Learning and Instruction
EDP 5320 Instructional Psychology

EDP 5330

Behavior Management
One of the following 3-hour courses in Research Foundations
RESM 5110 Quantitative Methods I
RESM 5210 Educational Testing and Grading
RESM 5310 Educational Research

RESM 5330

Qualitative Research I
One of the following 3-hour courses in Social Foundations
TSOC 5100 Group Processes in Education
TSOC 5110 Modern Education Controversies
TSOC 5200 Sociological Foundations of Education
TSOC 5210 Multicultural Non-Sexist Education
TSOC 5230 Intergroup and Intercultural Education
TSOC 5300 Philosophy and Education

TSOC 5400

History of Schooling & Teaching in the U.S.
One of the following 3-hour courses in Curriculum                
CI 6800 Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction
CI 6810 Curriculum Development: K-12
CI 6830 Curriculum Trends and Issues
CI 6840 Curriculum for Educational Leaders
CI 5860 Middle-Junior High Curriculum
CI 5870 Secondary School Curriculum
SPED 5000 Issues in Special Education
 Specialization Courses in ES (18 hours)
EEES courses at the 5000 level or above (courses must be approved by the ES faculty co-adviser)
 Research Project/Thesis (6 hours)
CI 6690 Theory and Research in Science Education
CI 6920 (project) or CI 6960 (thesis)

The research component of the degree will involve an investigation into the teaching or learning of Earth Science (with a Geology emphasis) or Life Science (with an Ecology emphasis). The student may elect to do either a 'project' or 'thesis'. Projects require an original written report on a specific need or concern in either teaching or learning science, and include a review of the pertinent professional literature. Projects typically have an applied focus, and may involve such things as the development of a rationale for a course unit plan, a teacher in-service session, a web site, a plan for a school yard nature center, a plan for incorporating technology into teaching, a plan for introducing a controversial topic (like evolution) into a curriculum, etc. Theses require a written report on an original independent investigation involving empirical work as well as a review of the pertinent professional literature, and are typically concerned with how students in a given age group respond to a laboratory or field experience in science education. What distinguishes a thesis from a project is that the former involves the collection and analysis of observational data. The project committees will include only two members, the CI and ES co-advisers. A thesis committee will include one additional member (total three committee members).

 Teaching Licensure in Earth or Life Science, and the Master of Education

Students with a baccalaureate degree who want a teaching license in either Earth or Life Science should pursue the Master of Education degree through the College of Education's Licensure Alternative Master's Program (LAMP). For more information about the specific course requirements see the LAMP director.

For LAMP's MEd degree, students will first take the required undergraduate courses within the College of Natural Science and Mathematics as an 'undergraduate with degree' (UWD). In most cases, some of these courses will already have been taken for a student's baccalaureate degree and so need not be taken again. Once these undergraduate courses are completed, the student then enters the College of Education's graduate program, where they will take the required graduate courses, complete the research seminar/project/thesis, take the state-mandated PRAXIS II test of knowledge in the area of specialization and in the practice of learning and teaching, and fulfill the student teaching requirement.

Last Updated: 6/9/16