Teaching & Learning


M.S. in Adolescence Education - Earth Science (Grades 7-12)

Graduate students majoring in Adolescence Education (Grades 7 to 12) may select an academic specialty from the Liberal Arts and Sciences curriculum. Such study complements the Adolescence Education courses and provides you with specialized knowledge in one particular discipline. This adds depth and breadth to your level of teaching expertise. Our hope that you, as a teacher, will transmit your enthusiasm for the focused subject to young learners, helping them to grow intellectually and socially. You may select Earth Science (20 credits) from among the Liberal Arts and Sciences curriculum. Students in Adolescence Education: Earth Science also will take 27 credits in teacher education courses.


Earth science explores the interrelations among the four systems that make up our planet: the atmosphere (air), the hydrosphere (water), the lithosphere (the solid earth), and the biosphere (all living creatures). Within the 47-credit Master of Science program in Adolescence Education (Grades 7 to 12) in Earth Science, you will be prepared to guide middle or high school students to a deeper understanding of their own environments, including climate change, and the challenge of managing natural resources for the common good. Along with education courses that cover teaching concepts from “Psychology of the Adolescent Student” to “Methods and Materials of Teaching Science in Secondary Schools,” you will take a two-semester course in “The Earth Environment,” and you will have an opportunity to choose electives that deal with such topics as “Continental Drift and Plate Tectonics,” “Environmental Geochemistry” and “Principles of Meteorology.” These courses will help you understand the interactions of human beings within their natural and physical environments. The course of study follows an orderly path to a broader and deeper comprehension of the earth sciences.

The number of credits required for the program 47 or 50, depending on your culminating experience. You can choose from among three culminating experiences:

  • Option 1: Student Teaching Portfolio (47 credits), which consists of artifacts from your student-teaching experiences and teacher education program (i.e., lesson plans, journal of experiences, research, reports and projects)
  • Option 2: Comprehensive Exam that covers your education courses (47 credits).
  • Option 3: Education Thesis (50 credits), which consists of an original research paper. This option is for students whose student-teaching requirements are waived.

In addition, all students in this major must take an Earth Science Written Comprehensive Exam at the conclusion of their studies that covers the Earth Science coursework.

After you complete the total degree requirements (47 to 50 credits and maintain a B average or better and successfully pass all certification tests (LAST, ATS-W and CSTs and the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences content comprehensive examination) as well as required state workshops, you will be awarded Initial Teaching Certification by the New York State Department of Education to teach Earth Science to grades 7 to 12.


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