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Master of Science Teaching Program : Requirements

This non-thesis Master's program requires at least 30 hours of credit (at least 30 at the 500 level or above), and a special project. The special project can be s science research project, a curriculum project or a curriculum review.

Candidates should read carefully the MST Handbook and the MST Project Template.

Each candidate for the Master of Science Teaching (MST) will specify a major area of concentration (e.g. middle school science, Astronomy, Physics, IPC (Integrated Physics and Chemistry), Math, Earth Science or Informal Science). Each student will work with his or her committee to create a plan of study that is best able to yield improvement in content knowledge and skills. Students also desiring certification must work with the educational certification officer to ensure that their program meets those requirements; however , preservice teachers who desire only certification should apply to the M.A.T. program instead. No requirement for a fulltime semester on campus; however, students are encouraged to come to campus as often as possible to check for mail, consult with graduate coordinator, participate in seminars, etc.

Content Courses: At least 15 hours in content or content/skills combined courses at the 500 level or above. At least 9 of the hours should be directly related to the student's area of concentration.

Content, Skills or Education Courses: At least 3 additional hours in content, skills, or education courses.

Research or Practicum: Up to 12 hours can be research (educational or scientific) or practicum teaching. Students are expected to take at least three hourse of graduate research or practicum, developing a research project in conjunction with a science or educational advisor.

Transfer Credit: Up to 9 hours taken as a "visiting student" may be transferred to the degree program. Up to 6 hours taken as a graduate student elsewhere may be transferred to the program, if an equivalent Rice University course exists.


Many teacher-focused courses already exist on campus, and additional other courses will be developed as appropriate for the program. High school teachers would be expected to take one or more courses from the regular upper-level Rice offerings, as their schedules permit and their needs demand, but we recognize that most teachers will not have the background to compete with research graduate students in upper division science courses.

Sample Content or Content/Skills courses already routinely offered for teachers (Many are seminars and may be repeated for credit, since the content changes from year to year):

  • ASTR 502 (EDUC/PFDV 588) : Teaching Earth and Space Science
  • ASTR 503 (EDUC/PFDV 589): Astronomy for Teachers
  • ASTR 530 : Teaching Astronomy Laboratory
  • PHYS 501 : The Physics of Ham Radio
  • ESCI 511 : Earth Science classes (a four-semester sequence, repeatable for credit)
  • Other PHYS or ASTR upper-level content courses, as appropriate
  • Other NSCI, EDUC, MATH, ESCI, BIOC, EEB, CHEM or PFDV content courses, if approved by the student's committee and the department

Skills/Practicum/Research courses (sample):

  • EDUC 519 : Teaching and Learning with Inquiry
  • EDUC 520 : Teaching Diverse Learners
  • EDUC 563 : Theory and Methods of Mathematics
  • EDUC 565 : Theory and Methods of Science
  • PHYS 800 : Graduate Research