The Master of Arts in Teaching program is designed as a course of study leading to New York State certification for teaching Biology in secondary schools (grades 7-12), with an extension option for grades 5-6. Candidates admitted may also qualify for a General Science Extension for grades 7-12. This program, offered in collaboration with the School of Professional Development, the University's Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology and D-TALE, is designed for those who have little or no previous coursework in education or formal classroom teaching experience.
Keith Sheppard, EdD
Director, Institute for STEM Education
Linda Padwa, PhD
Associate Director for Science Education
Zuzana Zachar, PhD
Graduate Advisor, Biology
Master of Arts in Teaching in Biology
Bachelor of Science in Biology with Teacher Preparation Option/Master of Arts in Teaching in Biology
Program faculty are drawn from the Department of Biology, as well as from D-TALE.
Descriptions for 500-level education content courses (e.g., CEE, CEF, etc.) offered through the School of Professional Development may be found in this Bulletin.
Descriptions for 500-level content courses (e.g., CBE, SCI, etc.) are published in the Graduate Bulletin.
The undergraduate course descriptions for this program are published in the Undergraduate Bulletin.
Master of Arts in Teaching
MAT Program Requirements
The degree program consists of 44 credits, distributed among the areas listed below. Unless otherwise noted, each course is three credits. All degree requirements must be completed within five (5) years from the semester date of admission as a matriculated student.
Graduate Science Courses- 15 credits
Courses not listed are selected with the approval of a departmental advisor
Core courses (select 3 of the following):
- CEB 546 Current Topics in Biotechnology
- CEB 547 Current Topics in Molecular Genetics
- CEB 553 Biology of Human Behavior
- CEB 554 Current Topics in Immunology
- CEB 556 Ecology
- CHE 591 - Chemistry in Society
- BIO 542 - Model Systems for the Living Environment
Plus two of the following*:
- CEB 505 History of the Long Island Environment
- CEB 557 Forensic Science
- CEB 548 Current Topics in Microbiology
- CEB 549 Laboratory Science Curriculum Development
- CEN 508/CHE 593 Demonstrations in Chemistry
*With prior approval of the MAT Biology program director, you may choose a content course from one of the master’s or PhD programs in Marine Science, Genetics, Molecular & Cellular Biology and Ecology & Evolution to satisfy requirements in this area.
Professional Studies in Education - 23 credits
- CEE 505 Education: Theory and Practice
- CEF 547 Principles and Practices of Special Education
- CEE 565 Human Development
- SCI 510 Introduction to Science Teaching (co-requisite SCI 549)
- SCI 520 Science Teaching Methods (prerequisite SCI 510; co-requisite SCI 550)
- SCI 549 Clinical Experience I (one-credit; co-requisite SCI 510)
- SCI 550 Clinical Experience II (one-credit; prerequisite SCI 549; co-requisite SCI 520)
- SCI 554 Student Teaching Seminar (prerequisites SCI 510, 520, 549, 550, CEE 505, CEE 565, and CEE 594, and all content courses required for completion of the degree; interview with and permission of Science Education Committee 631.632.7059; matriculation in degree [MAT/BIO, CHE, ESS, or PHY] program. Co-requisites SCI 551 and SCI 552.)
- CEE 594 Language Acquisition and Literacy Development
At the program director’s discretion, an undergraduate course from a registered and approved program may be approved as a substitution for any of the courses listed below. In all cases, the undergraduate course must have been completed with a B or higher and the student must then take a different graduate pedagogy course to fulfill the graduate credits required for the graduate degree.
- CEE 505: Education: Theory and Practice
- CEF 547: Principles and Practices of Special Education
- CEE 594 OR LIN 544: Language Acquisition and Literacy Development
- CEE 565 OR PSY 595: Human Development
- Speak to your graduate program director for more information and approval.
Supervised Student Teaching - 6 credits
- SCI 551 Supervised Student Teaching High School Grades 10-12: Science (prerequisites SCI 510, 520, 549 and 550; co-requisite SCI 552 & SCI 554)
- SCI 552 Supervised Student Teaching Middle School Grades 7-9: Science (prerequisites SCI 510, 520, 549 and 550; co-requisites SCI 551 & SCI 554)
Students will be required to complete a teaching project approved by the sponsoring department.
BS/BA degree in biology (including two semesters chemistry, two semesters organic chemistry, two semesters physics, at least one semester of calculus, and one semester of statistics); GPA of 3.0 overall.
- Application essay.
- A bachelor’s degree with an academic major (or a minimum of 36 credits) in the content field. Transcript must reflect a 2.75 minimum cumulative GPA as well as a 3.0 minimum GPA in science courses.
- One year of college-level study of a foreign language with a grade of “C” or better (this may include American Sign Language)
- Three letters of recommendation. Two of the three recommendations must be from faculty with whom you have completed a course of study at the college level. It would be preferable that these faculty be in the area of your major.
- In those cases where the departmental admissions committee deems it desirable, personal interviews with departmental representatives may be necessary.
Five Year Combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts Teacher Preparation Program
The BS/MAT program in Biology Education is based upon the completion of a combined BS in Biology and Master of Arts in Teaching in Biology. It is possible to complete both degrees in 5 years (instead of 5 ½ years) because of credit sharing between the programs. This program requires a combination of the courses that are required for each of the individual degree programs.
Applicants to the BS/MAT Biology Teacher Preparation Program must:
- Have taken at least 4 science lab courses
- Contact a Biology advisor in the Biology Undergraduate Program Office, Kelsie Poe (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rachel Ulysse (email@example.com) for a transcript review and to plan a course of study
- Achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.00 and a GPA of 3.00 in science courses
- Apply for the combined program during junior year
- Complete the BS/MAT application
- SPD Student Application/Information Sheet
- Three (3) letters of recommendation
- Official transcript from each college or university attended
- Application Essay
- Any additional items required by SPD
- Submit application prior to SPD deadline as posted on the SPD website (www.stonybrook.edu/spd)
Upon entry to the program, candidates must declare a Teacher Preparation option along with their Undergraduate major by submitting the “Declaration of Major/Minor Form” with ED/TP to the Registrar. Forms are available at the Registrar’s Office, the Undergraduate
Biology advisor’s office in the Biology Learning Laboratories Building, and the Science Education Program Office, Life Sciences 061.
Number of Semesters of Full-Time Study Required for Program Completion at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels
Students should apply to the combined BS/MAT program during their fifth or sixth semester of study. The first six semesters of the program are full-time study at the undergraduate level.
Semesters seven and eight will include a mix of undergraduate and graduate courses. Semesters nine and ten will consist of graduate courses only. Candidates will generally advance to Graduate status during their eighth semester.
Note: The two degrees are conferred only when the entire combined degree program has been completed. Both degrees are conferred together unless the student elects to exit the combined degree program and receive only a BS in Biology. Students must maintain a B average in their graduate courses. Students who are unable to maintain a B average in their graduate courses will be encouraged, while in Semester 8 of their studies, to leave the program and graduate with a BS degree in Biology.
Biology BS/MAT Sample Course Sequence
The below listing of courses provides a suggested sequence for coursework. There is a degree of flexibility in the order of courses, but any deviation from the above without permission of the program advisor may lead to a delay in completion of the program.
A student wishing to complete the five-year combined program is strongly encouraged to consult with the Biology advisor for individualized guidance in course selection.
Student Teaching, Field Experience and Portfolio
Additional requirements of all students
- Seventy-five days of student teaching are required. Depending on the semester and public school vacation schedules, student teaching may extend beyond the university semester calendar.
- Student teaching is divided into two placements of approximately equal duration, one in a middle school/junior high school and the other in a high school.
Prior to admission to student teaching, candidates will be interviewed by a committee to assess their ability to speak extemporaneously about both biology concepts and pedagogical issues.
Candidates who are not successful in this interview will be counseled in order to remedy deficiencies. Upon completion of the remediation another interview will be held. In the event that a candidate is unable to satisfy the interview component, the candidate will not advance to student teaching.
Field Experience sites for all teacher candidates are arranged through SCI 549 and SCI 550. Assignments and details are distributed in SCI 510 and SCI 520. New York State requires 100 hours of field experience in secondary schools prior to student teaching. Each teacher candidate is required to obtain 15 hours of field experience that includes a focus on understanding the needs of students with disabilities. These hours will be noted on the Field Experience Time Sheets from SCI 549, SCI 550, or a combination of both. While earning these field experience hours, teacher candidates will be encouraged to observe inclusion (integrated co-teaching) classes in their certification area and other special education classroom situations as available.
It is recommended that candidates take the EAS upon completion of PSY 327/CEE 565, CEF 347/547 and LIN 344/CEE 594, and take the CST during SCI 510.
The Professional Portfolio is presented and defended at the conclusion of student teaching. It includes many performance indicators of standards-based teaching competencies.
Additional Requirements for Certification
In addition to the stated course and program requirements listed in this section, New York State also has workshop, fingerprinting and other requirements for certification, which can be found on the SPD website.
Workshops and Fingerprinting
To be certified in New York State, candidates must take a selection of workshops and must be fingerprinted. For descriptions and registration links, visit Certification and Licensing Workshops.
New York State certification requires at least one year (6 credits) of college-level study of a foreign language. Satisfaction of SBU’s SBC LANG fulfills the foreign language requirement.
General Science Certification
In order to qualify for the General Science (grade 7 – 12) certification, candidates must complete a minimum of 18 semester hours in two or more sciences other than physics.
Candidates who wish to qualify to teach grades 5 and 6 in a middle school setting may obtain an extension to their grades 7-12 certification by completing two additional courses, prior to graduation. The courses are: CEE 601 Early Adolescent Development and CEE 602 Middle Child Education-Instruction. Information about these courses can be found on the SPD website (www.stonybrook.edu/spd).