Our Mission

The Department of Science Education at California State University, Chico is committed to providing the North State with the highest quality science education for all learners, programs for teacher subject matter preparation and professional development, and research on teaching and learning to promote scientific appreciation and understanding.

Master's in Science Teaching (MIST)

Currently in Suspension - No new admissions

Download the MiST brochure (PDF)

Courses Offered and Degree Requirements

Requirements of the Program

Admission requirements include a valid teaching credential, teaching experience at the K-12 level, a bachelor’s degree in a science discipline (for those seeking a secondary science teaching focus), or a bachelor of arts degree inclusive of three science courses (for those seeking an elementary science focus), 3.0 GPA in the last 30 semester units of college work, and requirements as described in the university catalog for graduate education.

Program requirements: 30 units of upper division/graduate level course work, including:

  • Three science core courses (9 units)
  • Four education courses (12 units)
  • Two California Science Project (CSP) professional development summer institutes or approved professional development program (4 units) and CSP follow-ups during the year (2 units)
  • Masters Thesis (NSCT 699); must meet with MiST Coordinator for prior registration approval (3 units)

Teachers could finish the program in approximately 2.5 -3 years taking two courses per semester, a project/thesis in the 4th semester, and two summer institutes with follow-ups. Most teachers complete the program in 3-4 years; however, the maximum time limit to complete the program is 7 years.

MiST Courses

NSCT 498: Special Topics 
1 INQ This course is offered for 1.0-3.0 units.
  • Typically the topic is offered on a one-time basis and may vary from term to term and be different for different sections.

NSCT 680: Research Methods in Science Education
3 INQ Admission to master's degree program in science teaching, NSCT 687, faculty permission.
  • The course focuses on quantitative and qualitative methods to conduct research in science education that informs and strengthens their classroom practice. Successful completion of the course requires students to develop a research proposal.

NSCT 681: Physical Science for Elementary Teaching
3 INQ Teaching credential; 3 college science courses.
  • This course will explore natural phenomena that are fundamental to all physical sciences. Teachers will explore the connections between ideas in physical science -- such as light, sound, color and motion, and work with problems and home activities that will deepen their content knowledge and be applicable to teaching elementary science.

NSCT 682: Physical Science for Secondary Teaching 
3 INQ Bachelor's degree in a science discipline; teaching credential.
  • This course will explore natural phenomena that are fundamental to all physical sciences. Teachers will explore the connections between ideas in physical science -- such as energy, force, motion, and atomic theory, and work with problems and home activities that will deepen their content knowledge and be applicable to teaching secondary physical science.

NSCT 683: Earth Science for Elementary Teaching 
3 INQ Teaching credential; 3 college science courses.
  • This course examines fundamental concepts for teaching earth science in elementary school. An emphasis is placed on the design of field trips in the local landscape to connect elementary earth science curriculum with real-world applications.

NSCT 684: Earth Science for Secondary Teaching 
3 INQ Bachelor's degree in a science discipline; teaching credential.
  • This course addresses the professional development needs of secondary earth science teaching. Emphasis is placed on developing students conceptual understanding of fundamental concepts in earth science, and the integration of technology into the science classroom.

NSCT 685: Life Science for Elementary Teaching 
3 INQ Teaching credential; 3 college science courses.
  • This course will explore central life science concepts through an inquiry approach. Course content will integrate plant and animal physiology, photosynthesis, respiration, ecology and evolution. Using these topics, participants will develop lesson plans for implementation in their own classrooms.

NSCT 686: Life Science for Secondary Teaching 
3 INQ Bachelor's degree in a science discipline; teaching credential.
  • This course emphasizes the application of biological principles in the real world. Course content will be driven by participant interest and may include cell biology with human disease implications, genetics with biotechnology applications, and/or ecology and evolution with an outdoor exploration emphasis.

NSCT 698: Special Topics in Science Education 
3 S2 Teaching Credential; four college science courses (elementary track) or science bachelor's degree (secondary track).
  • Typically the topic is offered on a one-time basis and may vary from term to term and be different for different sections.

EDCI 602: Assessment and Evaluation of Learning 
3 FA
  • Develops an understanding of assessment of learning, focusing on assessment instruments, design of multidimensional assessments, and appropriate use of assessment techniques and the data derived from them.

EDCI 625: Curriculum Development and Instruction: SCIENCE
3 INQ
  • This course focuses on curriculum development theory, techniques, and practices in science education and applications of instructional strategies for improvement of K-12 science learning. Examination of current state and national standards.

MiST Course Schedule

Term Course Units
Fall 2008 Curriculum Development in Science (EDCI 625) 3 units
Fa/Sp 2008 California Science Project Follow-up (NSCT 498) 1 unit
Spring 2009 Assessment and Evaluation of Learning (EDCI 602) 3 units
Spring 2009 Earth Science (NSCT 683/684) 3 units
Summer 2009 California Science Project Summer Institute (NSCT 498) 2 units
Fall 2009 Research Methods in Science Education (NSCT 680) 3 units
Fall 2009 Physical Science (NSCT 681/682) 3 units
Fa/Sp 2009 California Science Project Follow-up (NSCT 498) 1 unit
Spring 2010 Life Science (NSCT 685/686) 3 units
Spring 2010 Special Topics (NSCT 698) 3 units
Summer 2010 California Science Project Summer Institute (NSCT 498) 2 units
Fall 2010 Curriculum Development in Science (EDCI 625) 3 units
Fa/Sp 2010 California Science Project Follow-up (NSCT 498) 1 unit
Spring 2011 Assessment and Evaluation of Learning (EDCI 602) 3 units
Spring 2011 Earth Science (NSCT 683/684) 3 units
Summer 2011 California Science Project Summer Institute (NSCT 498) 2 units
Fall 2011 Research Methods in Science Education (NSCT 680) 3 units
Fall 2011 Physical Science (NSCT 681/682) 3 units
Fa/Sp 2011 California Science Project Follow-up (NSCT 498) 1 unit
Spring 2012 Life Science (NSCT 685/686) 3 units
Spring 2012 Special Topics (NSCT 698)

3 units

Computer Capabilities and Internet Connectivity

Students in this program should have a computer with Internet connectivity to view course work, send and receive curricular materials. Often materials are delivered via WebCT Blackboard which has minimum recommended system requirements.

Cost of the Program

  • Application fee to the graduate program.
  • Registration fees each semester.
  • Books and materials vary by course.
  • Travel to Chico also varies by course and distance.

For more information and application deadlines please contact the Department of Science Education.