MAT in Science Education

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program is designed for graduates who have completed an undergraduate major in the science content area for which they seek initial teaching licensure.

The MAT Program aims to prepare culturally responsive leaders in science education who advance the foundations of scientific literacy and scientific ways of thinking through leadership in equity, pedagogy, and content knowledge. Successful MAT candidates will earn a master’s degree in science education and endorsement for Massachusetts initial licensure in biology, chemistry, or physics for grades 8–12 or general science for grades 5–8. In addition, the MAT Program requires candidates to complete 12 credits in their respective licensure content areas that can be applied toward professional licensure after teaching three years with an initial license.

Emphasis is put on classroom practice by engaging candidates in field experiences every semester. Candidates assume increasing responsibilities in each field experience, culminating in a full student teaching practicum during the final semester.

Full-time students typically begin during summer term 2 and graduate the following spring. Full-time students may also begin in September and complete the program the following summer. It is also possible to complete the degree over a longer period as a part-time student.

Learning Outcomes

  • Curriculum, Planning, and Assessment: Promotes the learning and growth of all students by providing high quality and coherent instruction, designing and administering authentic and meaningful student assessments, analyzing student performance and growth data, using this data to improve instruction, providing students with constructive feedback on an ongoing basis, and continuously refining learning objectives (Well-structured lessons, adjustments to practice; Reflective Practice).
  • Teaching All Students: Promotes the learning and growth of all students through instructional practices that establish high expectations, create a safe and effective classroom environment, and demonstrate cultural proficiency (High Expectations; Meeting diverse needs; Safe Learning Environment).
  • Family and Community Engagement: Promotes the learning and growth of all students through effective partnerships with families, caregivers, community members, and organizations.
  • Professional Culture: Promotes the learning and growth of all students through ethical, culturally proficient, skilled, and collaborative practice (Meeting Diverse Needs).
  • Demonstrates Subject Matter Knowledge.

Coursework and Requirements (42–44 credits)

Students complete two content courses in their chosen field of study in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and learn pedagogy and teaching methodology in the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. Field experiences in science classrooms begin in the summer and continue throughout each semester.

Education Coursework (12 cr)

  • SED CT 534 Classroom and Behavior Management (2 cr)
  • SED DS 502 Introduction to Adolescent Development (2 cr)
  • SED ED 502–503 Professional Teaching Seminar: Analyzing Foundations of Teaching (0/2 cr)
  • SED SE 510 Special Education: Curriculum and Instruction (2 cr)
  • SED TL 525 Teaching English Learners in the Middle/High School (4 cr)

Science Coursework (22–24 cr)

  • SED ME 530 Equitable Pedagogies in STEM Education (2 cr)
  • SED SC 570 Science Teaching Methods I (4 cr)
  • SED SC 572 Science Methods II: Teaching in the Science Disciplines 5–12 (4 cr)
  • SED SC 575 Introduction to Science Education Theory and Practice (2–4 cr)
  • SED SE 576 Science Teaching Pre-practicum (2 cr)
  • CAS Science elective I (4 cr)
  • CAS Science elective II (4 cr)

Elective coursework is chosen in consultation with the student’s academic advisor.

Practicum (8 cr)

Licensed classroom teachers and Boston University faculty supervise student-teaching experiences. Students select the appropriate practicum experiences from either of the two below.

  • SED SC 509 Student Teaching Practicum: Science 5–8 (8 cr)
  • SED SC 510 Student Teaching Practicum: Science 8–12 (8 cr)

Add-On License in Teaching English Language Learners (ESL)

The TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages) Program offers a six-course, 26-credit add-on license pathway that allows MAT students in content-specific areas (e.g., English Education, Social Studies Education, Mathematics Education, and Science Education) to meet requirements for a Massachusetts licensure endorsement as Teacher of English Language Learners. In this course of study, students are exposed to a theoretical introduction to the nature and structure of language, key factors affecting second-language acquisition, and communicative approaches to the teaching of English as a second or foreign language. In addition to the six courses, students are required to complete an ESL Practicum. This pathway requires MAT candidates to add one additional summer and part-time semester to their regular MAT program timeline.

This pathway consists of the following courses:

  • SED BI 504 Seminar: The Student Teaching Experience (2 cr)
  • SED BI 530 English Language Development: Grade 5–12 English Language Learners (2 cr) or SED BI 535
  • SED BI 535 Literacy Development for Bilingual Students: Instruction and Assessment (4 cr)
  • SED BI 620 Educational Issues in Bilingualism (4 cr)
  • SED LS 565 Introduction to Linguistics (4 cr)
  • SED LS 658 Second Language Acquisition (4 cr)
  • SED TL 508 Methods in Teaching English as a Second Language (4 cr)
  • SED TL 582 and 583 Student-Teaching Practicum I and II: ESL, 5–12 (6 cr)