Department of Science Education and Mathematics Education


Professor: Thomas R. Butts, Frederick L. Fifer, Jr.
Associate Professor: Cynthia E. Ledbetter
Assistant Professors: Sherry S. Herron, Homer Montgomery, Mary L. Urquhart
Visiting Professor: Russell A. Hulse
Science Education Specialist: Barbara A. Curry
Affiliate Faculty: John Burr, John Hoffman, Scherry Johnson, Lynn Melton, Robert Stern
Disciplinary science and mathematics courses are taught by faculty members in that discipline.


The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree in Science Education stresses training in the art of teaching and advanced knowledge in the science selected for major specialization. Designed for individuals with significant ability in a discipline and a serious commitment to teaching, the program offers an opportunity for professional development of experienced teachers.

The M.A.T. degree in Mathematics Education degree is aimed at mathematics and computer science teachers in grades 8 - 12 and the community college level. [For mathematics teachers in grades 4 - 8, there is a comparable degree in the MAIS program.] It is a content-oriented program that strives to achieve a balance between increasing subject-matter knowledge and investigating relevant pedagogical and content issues of the mathematics curriculum.


Scientific equipment which supports the various programs at the university is available to students in the M.A.T. program. Facilities in biology, chemistry, computer science, geoscience, mathematics and physics are briefly described in the respective disciplinary sections of the catalog.

Admission Requirements

The University’s general admission requirements are discussed here.

Special permission from the Department Head is required for admission.

Science Education

Admission to the Graduate Program in Science Education requires, in addition to general University requirements, at least 24 hours in science. Students with strong backgrounds in an area of specialization are encouraged to discuss alternate plans with the Science Education Graduate Adviser. Students without the required science content backgrounds will be required to correct the deficiencies prior to admission.

Mathematics Education

Admission to the Graduate Program in Mathematics Education requires, in addition to the general University requirements, includes at least one year of calculus and a junior-level course involving mathematical. Those teaching mathematics in grades 4 - 8 may wish to consider the option “The Teaching of Mathematics in Grades 4 -8” in the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies [MAIS] program. Consult the Graduate Adviser for details.

Degree Requirements

The University’s general degree requirements are discussed here.

Additional requirements for each M.A.T. degree are described below.

Science Education (Thesis Option)

All students seeking the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) Science Education degree (thesis option) must satisfactorily complete the following requirements (minimum of 36 graduate semester hours):

In addition to the above requirements, students must submit, no later than the second semester of enrollment, an acceptable research proposal to the supervising committee. Upon completion of the thesis research, the candidate will publicly defend the thesis. The thesis is directed by a Supervising Professor and must be approved by the Head of the Science/Mathematics Education Department.

Science Education (Non-Thesis)

The M.A.T. degree in Science Education requires 36 semester hours, distributed as follows:

Science Education Courses (9 hours)

SCE 5301 Critical Issues in Science Education
SCE 5305 Evaluating Research in Science Education
SCE 5308 Research Design and Methodology for Science Education
Science Content Courses (18-24 hours)

Primary Area: 12-16 hours in biology, chemistry, geosciences, or physics.
Secondary Area: 6-8 hours in biology, chemistry, geosciences, or physics.
Electives (3-12 hours)

Three to twelve hours of electives are taken to complete the required minimum of 36 hours. These elective hours, chosen with the Graduate Advisor, may include additional science, mathematics, education and science education courses.

No more than two of the four courses required for a primary area may be taken during a summer field trip. No more than 15 hours will be accepted for transfer credit. Under appropriate circumstances, the Department Head may make substitutions for portions of these requirements.

Mathematics Education

The M.A.T. degree in Mathematics Education requires 36 semester hours, distributed as follows:

Mathematics Education Core Courses (18 hours)

Six approved courses chosen from:
Analysis: MATH 5301, 5302;
Algebra and Discrete Mathematics: CS 5333, MATH 6311;
Geometry: MATH 5305, 5306;
Probability and Statistics: STAT 5351, 5352
Other relevant courses [e.g. OPRE 6201] approved by the Graduate Adviser

Students wishing to emphasize computer science may substitute appropriate courses for those in the Mathematics Education Core as approved by the Graduate Adviser.

Professional Course (3 hours)

MATH 5310 (ED 5306) Seminar: The Teaching of Mathematics and Computer Science.
Guided Electives (15 hours)

Five courses in mathematics, computer science or other area involving applications of mathematics or pedagogy (approval by Graduate Advisor required). MATH 5320 (which may be repeated up to five times) is highly recommended.