Apr 24, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 

Master of Science in Teaching

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The M.S.T. is designed for licensed teachers seeking teaching endorsements at the master’s level in disciplines approved by the university. All students pursuing the degree will be required to complete core experiences in which they demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to assessment, diversity and special needs, human development and learning, and pedagogy in their content area.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.


All applicants for the M.S.T. program must meet requirements for admission to the Graduate School and be accepted for admission by the faculty of the specialization.

Specialization in Geoscience Education

The Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences offers a master’s degree specialization in Geoscience Education. Applicants admitted to the program must be licensed to teach secondary school Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) (6-12) or licensed to teach in the elementary school (K-9) and who are actively seeking a science endorsement. Successful completion of this specialization will provide the student with the courses and background necessary to pass the State of Illinois Science Content Exam. After successful completion of the program and passing the Illinois State Exam, students may apply for their Earth and Space and/or Environmental Science Endorsement(s) through the State of Illinois. Other endorsements such as teacher-leadership are also possible depending upon the individual’s selection of elective course work.

The central goal of the program is to empower teachers to implement generative and transformative pedagogy by using research-based instructional practices and geoscience content. Five strands permeate the program: (1) active learning through such approaches as project-based learning and inquiry, (2) adolescent identity development, (3) meeting the challenges of diverse and special needs students, (4) assessment of student learning in science, and (5) geoscience content knowledge. All participants will show mastery of these strands through experiences targeting action research and teacher leadership.

Check departmental information for any additional requirements.


The student must complete at least 34 semester hours of graduate work. At least 28 of the 34 hours must be in the geosciences. All courses outside the geosciences must be approved by the department in advance. There are 22 hours of required core courses all candidates must successfully complete. In coordination with their adviser, students will select the additional content courses from the general geoscience graduate catalog per the candidate’s choice of endorsement(s) and their previous background.

Additional Required Electives (12)

Geology graduate-level courses 500 or above (12). May include up to 6 semester hours in approved graduate-level courses outside the department in such disciplines as Biology, Chemistry, Geography, or Physics.

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