Online Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction: Science Education Option, M.Ed.

students studying science

Learn More About UMass Lowell's Online Graduate Education Programs

The online Master of Education Degree in Curriculum & Instruction: Science Education Option, offered by UMass Lowell's College of Education, is designed to help K-12 teachers enhance their school's science curriculum and learn about new pedagogical techniques that can be used to improve science learning in their classrooms. Available entirely online, this program offers a comprehensive curriculum that prepares teachers to facilitate inquiry-based, hands-on science learning. Participants will have the opportunity to select from courses featuring science topics such as evolution, energy, meteorology, and cell biology.

Students may take up to two graduate-level courses on a non-matriculated basis after consultation with the program advisor. Please email for more information.

Note: This program does not lead to teacher licensure, but may be appropriate for professional licensure for some Massachusetts teachers, please contact

Admission into the Master's Degree

kids with a microscope photo Complete the online application for the Master's Degree in
Curriculum and Instruction: Science Education Option at the
Graduate Admissions website.

Applicants will be required to submit:

  • Statement of Purpose (1-2 pages in length)
  • All official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Application fee
  • Proof of valid teaching license or if in a private setting where licensure is not required, individuals with a minimum of three years teaching experience, should submit a letter from their school's chief academic administrator providing proof of teaching in the school.

Program Outline

Total courses required: 10 courses (30 credits)

Note: Candidates pursuing the Science Education option must include 6 courses (18 credits) of science education and/or science content course work in their program.

Core Courses - (4 courses; 12 credits)

  1. EDUC.6300 Educating Diverse Populations - Available Summer 2017!
  2. EDUC.6350 Dynamics of Curricular Change
  3. EDUC.6370 History & Theory of Curriculum - Available Summer 2017!
  4. EDUC.6380 Curriculum Design K-12 (focus research on science education) - Available Summer 2017!

Specialization - Choose (5 courses; 15 credits)

  1. EDUC.5761 Promoting Healthy Lifestyles Among Students
  2. EDUC.6750 Leadership in Science Education
  3. EDUC.6760 Exploring the Nature of Science - Available Summer 2017!
  4. BIOL.5080 Cell Biology for Teachers - Available Summer 2017!
  5. BIOL.5470 Evolution in Context for Teachers
  6. ENVI.5850 Climate Change in the Classroom - Available Summer 2017!
  7. PHYS.5010 Energy, Force and Motion
  8. XX.XXX One other instruction-related course with permission of program advisor.

Capstone - 3 credits:

  1. EDUC.6501 Capstone Project: Advanced Programs *

*Focus project on science education, must be taken as the last course or in conjunction with one other course in the final semester. This capstone course is taken as the culminating course in the program and is offered only in Fall and Spring semesters.

Questions About the Master's Degree

For questions about the Online M.Ed. Program in Curriculum and Instruction: Science Education Option, email or call 978-934-4601.

ncatelogo UMass Lowell's College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), a national accrediting body for schools, colleges, and departments of education authorized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Note: Science content courses from UMass Amherst may be transferred into the degree with permission of advisor.

Course Descriptions

BIOL.5080 Cell Biology for Teachers

This online course will examine the structure and function of cells and the regulation of cellular processes characteristics of living organisms. Students will explore the complexity of the eukaryotic cell and gain an understanding of the mechanisms of cellular control and regulation. Course activities will make connections to state frameworks and national standards, and lead to the development of grade-appropriate curriculum materials for use in the elementary and middle school classroom. Class activities will include discussions, quizzes, lesson plans, web reviews, current events, and a final project. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

BIOL.5470 Evolution in Context for Teachers

This course empowers life science teachers of all levels with the skills and knowledge to more effectively foster student understanding of evolution by natural selection. By exploring evolution in multiple contexts, the Darwinian framework for how life evolved (and continues to evolve) are presented in an interactive and engaging manner. Teachers learn to use virtual resources to enhance their students learning while digging deep into some of the most profound and interesting science conducted in the last 100 years. Evolution in context makes the science of evolution come alive in a real and relevant manner. From the historical and scientific to the environmental and political, Teachers will learn about evolution in ways they never imagined. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

EDUC.5761 Promoting Healthy Lifestyles Among Students

The focus of this course is on applying nutrition concepts relevant to elementary and middle school children and how these concepts can be integrated into the classroom at an age appropriate level. This course will address a broad range of issues including eating habits, disordered eating, sports nutrition, food allergies and school wellness policies. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

EDUC.6300 Educating Diverse Populations

As the world becomes increasingly diverse, educators must be prepared to examine, confront, and manage the factors that affect the education of all children. This course addresses several central issues focusing on how teachers address the problems that confront students who differ from the majority population in language, ethnicity, culture, gender, and sexual orientation. Ensuring that their families and communities are actively involved in the educational process is also an important component of the course. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

EDUC.6350 Dynamics of Curricular Change

This course considers alternative perspectives of curriculum and explores issues and strategies involved in the process of changing the curricular visions and practices of schools. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

EDUC.6370 History & Theory of Curriculum

This course examines the historical development of American curriculum from the colonial period to the present, with a focus on theories that shaped what was taught in schools, and how those theories reflected social, cultural and political values and conflicts. Particular attention will be paid to curriculum theories that have shaped contemporary curriculum, and to examination of programs that reflect those theories. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

EDUC.6380 Curriculum Design K-12

A review of state mandates which, by law, shape the curriculum of the school. Examination of "new" curricula and their sources, as well as the development of a rationale for curriculum design and an evaluation of the personnel and techniques by which these curricula can be developed. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

EDUC.6501 Capstone Project: Advanced Programs

Students will have the opportunity to develop a teacher work sample consisting of work in six major areas: (1) contextual factors, (2) learning goals, (3) assessment plan, (4) design for instruction, (5) analysis of student learning, and (6) reflection. 3 credits. Prerequisite: M.Ed. matriculated only

EDUC.6750 Leadership in Science Education

There are many issues in science education that can be clarified as a result of reading current literature and engaging in discussion with other teachers. In this course, we will examine some of the most pressing issues that face us as science teachers e.g. What is science literacy? What role should inquiry play in a science curriculum? What is the role of technology in science education? Is ability grouping approproate for learning in science? Each week we will examine a different issue and share our expertise, as we explore what it means to be a leader in science education. You will share your own science teaching expertise by developing an article to be submitted to an NSTA publiction via a peer review process. Additionally, you will put your progam learning into practice and will be assessed through written evidence captured in a professional portfolio. 3 credits.

EDUC.6760 Exploring the Nature of Science

If you were asked to describe the characteristics of science what would you say and would you know whether professional scientists agree with you? National professional societies such as the NSTA and the AAAS, believe that if middle and high school students understand how science has been and is practiced, they will be more likely to question their own thinking, recognize the power of scientific theories and understand that there are no absolute truths. This course will take you on an exploration of some fascinating discoveries in the history of science, engage you in debate about controversial issues in science, and involve you in raising your own scientific questions. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

ENVI.5850 Climate Change in the Classroom

The course is designed to help teachers from all levels improve their ability to foster student learning about the earth's changing climate. The course addresses the scientific, sociological, and pedagogical dimensions associated with climate change science. How to incorporate climate change into existing curriculum across disciplines is considered. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

PHYS.5010 Energy, Force and Motion

An introduction to the most fundamental area of physics: the nature of motion, what affects it, and how it is measured. We examine Newton's laws, including the law of gravity, and how forces produce acceleration The course also examines the nature of energy - potential and kinetic - and how it relates to motion and forces. We will concentrate on how to analyze physical situations and solve the basic equations of motion. This course is intended to help teachers develop their understanding of the physics of motion. 3 credits. Prerequisite: CSCE Graduate Restrictions

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