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Science Education Programs

Masters in Science Education

Designed for practicing science teachers, the fully online master’s degree in science education emphasizes practical skills for the classroom and beyond. Sharpen your teaching techniques and deepen your content knowledge, while gaining a top-quality master’s degree that qualifies you for advanced job responsibilities and higher pay.   

Recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s top online education graduate programs, the science education degree offers flexible times that enable you to balance coursework with a full-time teaching job. You’ll gain expertise in inquiry-focused teaching strategies, position yourself to teach in multiple STEM disciplines and gain experience in assessment, advanced pedagogy and teaching for diverse learners.  You can focus broadly across the sciences or earn 18 credit hours in either Biology or Earth Science and be ready to teach dual enrollment coursework. 

This flexible online master’s degree is designed for working teachers, so you can complete it in as little as 15 months while working full-time . You’ll do your coursework online, at times that fit conveniently into your schedule. The program includes an action research component, enabling you to test new techniques in your own classroom and evaluate the outcomes. Choose electives in a variety of STEM content areas. You can tailor the degree to earn 18 credits in biology of earth sciences of focus on your own interests and professional objectives. 

We have scholarships and New Summer Graduate Assistantships (GAs) to support you as you learn. GAs will engage with the elementary and secondary education programs on projects that can be completed on campus or remotely.With a contract for 16 hours/ week for eight weeks (June and July), the stipend is $2,700 and covers up to 10 credits of coursework over the summer, for 8 hours/weeks (June and July) the stipend is $1,350 and covers up to 5 credits of coursework over the summer. Connect with Byron Straw for additional information. 

Partnership with Walking Mountain Science Center. Walking Mountains Science Center offers a two-year, full-time graduate fellowship that focuses on K-12 field science education and leadership.  Fellows earn a Masters Degree in Science Education from UNC while working in beautiful Avon, Colorado.     

View the degree requirements and admissions requirements

Ready to apply?   

Have questions?  Email Byron Straw for more information. 

Interested in Teaching Science in Middle or High School?

Become a middle school or high school science teacher! Major in any of the four core science disciplines with an emphasis in teaching.Embark on a fulfilling career with competitive salaries and benefits. The average salary for secondary science teachers varies by state and district but typically ranges from $50,000 to $70,000 for a 9-month contract. Additionally, teachers often enjoy comprehensive benefits, including health insurance, retirement plans, professional development and advancement opportunities, and summers off. Some even have a 4-day work week! 

Why Choose UNC for Teacher PreparationYou will earn your degree in a content area—biology, chemistry, earth and atmospheric sciences, or physics—with an emphasis in secondary teaching. You will gain broad expertise in science and learn how to teach scientific topics to engage and support the next generation of scientists and educators.  The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) is renowned as one of the best teaching schools in the nation, offering a premier Secondary Science Education program.  At UNC, you'll engage in impactful learning through hands-on, experiential opportunities that prepare you for real-world teaching scenarios.  You'll become part of a supportive community of educators and students dedicated to making a difference in science education.  Our program emphasizes diversity and inclusion, ensuring you're equipped to teach in diverse environments.  With experienced faculty, comprehensive programs, and a strong alum network, UNC provides a pathway to a rewarding career in education, shaping the minds of future scientists and innovators. Curious what classes you could take?   

Want to Learn More about the Courses and Requirements?  

Check out our four-year plans

Biological Sciences

Chemistry & Biochemistry

Earth Sciences


Our Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion 
UNC Science Education believes that a diverse and inclusive environment enriches the educational experience and fosters a culture of respect and understanding. We are dedicated to promoting equity and inclusivity in all aspects of our program, ensuring that all students, regardless of their background, have the opportunity to succeed and thrive in their pursuit of a career in Science Education. 

If you already have a Bachelor of Science or Engineering, the Secondary Education graduate licensure program allows you to earn your general science teaching license in as little as one year.  

Interested in Teaching Science in Elementary School?  

The Elementary Education teacher licensure program includes a strong selection of five science courses ranging from Physical Science Concepts to Teaching Science in the Elementary School. Our faculty includes experienced elementary educators who tailor these courses to preparing teacher candidates. 

If you have a bachelor's degree, the Elementary Education M.A.T. program allows you to earn both a master's degree and your elementary teaching license in 14 months.