Graduate School Programs

Professional Master of Arts in Environmental Science Education

Kelly McConnaughay,
Program coordinator

The PMA in Environmental Science Education is a professional master's degree for secondary and middle school (6-12) teachers who want to become teacher-leaders in middle-school/secondary level STEM education. The degree is designed to provide the appropriate courses and experiences to lead to two endorsements, one as a teacher of environmental science (ENS) and another in teacher leadership. Program objectives for the PMA in Environmental Science Education specify that the teachers will be able to gain knowledge and expertise in the following areas:

  • increase the teachers' content knowledge in math, science, and engineering
  • increase teachers' ability to use inquiry-based teaching of ENS in their classrooms
  • improve the ENS achievement for all learners in the classrooms of the teachers
  • help enrollees develop leadership skills to become teacher leaders
  • teachers will understand the transdisciplinary and universal nature of environmental science.

Admission Requirements

Entrance requirements for the program include all held by the Graduate School. In addition, applicants must be a certified, secondary science teacher or a certified teacher who has completed at least 18 hours of course work in at least two different science content areas with a C or better and must pass a mathematics placement exam demonstrating proficiency in college-level algebra and precalculus skills. Regulations for the teachers to continue to be enrolled will be those established by the Graduate School and a requirement of continuous enrollment in the course of study as described at the time of admission. Other requirements to complete the program include those described by ISBE to satisfy the endorsements included in the program design. Students progress through the program as a cohort. A new cohort will begin no more than once per calendar year. Check with the Graduate School for the next cohort start date.

Degree Requirements

The program is comprised of 35 hours of graduate (600 level) courses to be completed in 36 months, the majority of which will be in environmental sciences, including related work in mathematics and technology, content, and in STEM education.

Sample Course of Study

Spring I

MST 615: Introduction to the Interdisciplinary Nature of ENS - 3 hrs.

3 hours

Summer I

  • MST 62x: Science through Inquiry II - 3 hrs.
  • MST 661: Directed Research in ENS - 1 hr.
  • MST 612: Introduction to Teacher Leadership - 1 hr.
  • MST 63x-64x: first elective in Environmental Science Education - 2 hrs.*

7 hours

Fall I

MST 616: The Mathematics of Environmental Science - 3 hrs.

3 hours

Spring II

MST 665: Environmental Systems A - 2 hrs.

2 hours

Summer II

  • MST 666: Environmental Systems B - 2 hrs.
  • MST 650: Inquiry Based Curriculum Development and Analysis - 3 hrs.
  • MST 662: Research in ENS - 2 hrs.

7 hours

Fall II

  • MST 670: Action Research: Methods and Practice - 1 hr.
  • MST 63x-64x: second elective in Environmental Science Education - 2 hrs.*

3 hours

Spring III

MST 681: Advanced Teacher Leadership - 2 hrs.

2 hours

Summer III

  • MST 680: Nature of Inquiry and Innovation - 3 hrs.
  • MST 63x-64x: third elective in Environmental Science Education - 2 hrs.*

5 hours

Summer/Fall III

  • MST 685: STEM Education Project - 3 hrs. or
  • MST 686: ENS Research Project - 4 hrs.

3–4 hours

*Electives options currently include: MST 635, MST 637, MST 640, and MST 641.