Master of Arts in Science Teaching Degree (MAST)

The MAST degree is designed to meet your needs as a professional science educator.  The program can be taken on the Flagstaff campus or synchronous online through video conferencing. Whether you want to increase your knowledge of pedagogy or science content in order to improve your practice or you are interested in becoming a leader in your school or district, we are here to help you.

The MAST degree is designed for:
  • Licensed secondary (middle or high school) science teachers pursuing advanced knowledge in the profession.
  • Secondary science teachers preparing for leadership roles such as secondary curriculum, instruction or professional development specialists, department heads, etc.
  • International science educators interested in extending their knowledge and skills through engaging in the American school system.
While many MAST students continue to work during the program, it is possible to complete the program as a full-time, on-campus student. This allows you to take a greater variety of science content courses and provides the opportunity to engage with faculty on science education research projects. Competitive graduate assistantships are available to mitigate tuition costs and provide a monthly stipend (see the funding section below). We would highly recommend this option for incoming international students.

Degree requirements

For this degree you will take the following 33 hours of coursework:
  • 12 hours of science education coursework including:
    o SCI 610 – Advanced Science Teaching and Learning
    o SCI 611 – Advanced Science Curriculum and Instruction
    o SCI 612 – Using Science Assessments to Facilitate Instructional Change
  • 15 hours of graduate level science content courses including:
    o SCI 613 – Nature of Science: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives
    o Other content courses at NAU or other institutions (including biology, physics, chemistry, earth sciences, environmental sciences, forestry, etc.)
  • 3 (min.) hours of capstone courses (may be divided over multiple terms)
You will be required to complete and defend a capstone project to your graduate committee.  These include:
  • A professional  portfolio (entails the production of an innovative curriculum, professional development session, etc. to benefit yourself and other science teachers); or
  • A master’s thesis  (entails the design and implementation of a research study in science education).
Your degree coursework and culminating experience (portfolio or thesis) will be defined in coordination with your faculty advisor. Please see the general guidelines for more information.

For those interested in applying as an online student, please be aware that the program is ‘synchronous online’ meaning that you are expected to join classes at the required time through video conferencing. Therefore the core SCI courses are not online only. All SCI courses are scheduled on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 4:30-7:00pm. Other courses such as graduate level content courses may have varied delivery methods and times. We are committed to providing a minimum of one graduate level content course each term through the synchronous online model for both on campus and online students to ensure the degree can be completed in a timely manner.


  • Applications are accepted through the Graduate College’s online system.
  • You may apply to begin in the following terms:
    o Summer (due by April 15th)
    o Fall (due by July 15th)
    o Spring (due by November 15th)
  • We strongly recommend that SCI 610 (Fall) and 611 (Spring) be taken in sequence regardless of the term you are admitted.
  • General requirements include:
    o 2 letters of recommendation
    o Minimum of 24 units of appropriate content-specific coursework in the sciences with a grade of “C” or better.
    o Resume or Curriculum Vitae
    o Personal statement or essay
    o List of courses taken in the field
  • Please see MAST’s entry in the Academic Catalog for details on the admission requirements.

Are you a resident of Alaska, American Samoa, California, Colorado, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Marshall Islands, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Palau, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming? If so, you may be eligible for in-state tuition through the Western Regional Graduate Program. Click HERE for more information.

See here for the MAST program of study form to be used with your faculty advisor.

Funding your education

There are many funding sources available to help you afford your education.


Please contact the lead faculty advisor:

Ron Gray, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Science Education
Center for Science Teaching and Learning
Northern Arizona University
Building 21, Room 159
(928) 523-3618