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Master of Arts in Teaching Earth Science

This program is designed as a course of study leading to New York State certification for teaching Earth Science in the 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 Geosciences and the D-TALE program, is designed for those who have little or no previous coursework in education or formal classroom teaching experience.

Director, Center for Science and Mathematics Education

Keith Sheppard
(631) 632-2989

Faculty Advisor

Deanne Rogers
318 Earth and Space Sciences
(631) 632-1509

Degrees Awarded

Master of Arts in Teaching in Earth Science
Bachelor of Science in Earth Science /Master of Arts in Teaching in Earth Science



Master of Arts in Teaching Earth Science Admissions
  • Application essay.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores.
  • A bachelor’s degree with an academic major (or a minimum of 36 credits) in the content field. Transcript must reflect a 3.00 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.
Course 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

Each student’s 15-credit content curriculum within the Earth Science MAT will be predicated on background preparation. For further information on possible course offerings please go to:

  • GEO 543 Stratigraphy
  • GEO 546 Mineralogy and Petrology
  • GEO 549 Structural Geology
  • GEO 507 Igenous and Metamorphic Petrology
  • ESS 541 Earth’s Surficial Environment
  • ESS 542 Tectonic Environment
  • ESS 543 Rocks and Minerals
  • ESS 544 Geology of New York 

Professional Studies in Educatio n - 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 sSCI 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)

Written Project

At least one of the chosen graduate courses must require a research report that involves selecting or collecting data or observations, processing and interpreting this information and presenting it in a professional style. A report that consists of a literature review is not acceptable to meet this requirement. A lesson plan in lieu of a research project is also not acceptable.  The research projects are generally associated with the science courses required for this degree. The student must arrange with the instructor and the MAT Earth Science Education advisor before the semester starts, or at the beginning of the semester, about the requirements for these projects. To document that the report requirement has been met, the student must register for the zero-credit course, ESS 600, in the semester that the report is completed.

Course Descriptions

The course descriptions for this program can be found using Class Search in SOLAR and/or on the  program's website.

Teacher Certification

The Master of Arts in Teaching is a New York State registered and approved program that qualifies students for license upon successful degree completion. Students must complete all courses required for the MAT and must receive a grade of B or better in all pedagogy and foundation courses as well as an overall GPA of 3.0 or better in all course work attempted while matriculated in a graduate teacher preparation program.

In addition, all teacher preparation candidates must be fingerprinted and must also complete certification workshops in:

  • Child Abuse
  • Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)
  • School Violence (Project Save)
  • Identification and Referral of Substance Abuse

See  Certification and Licensing Workshops   for details and schedules.

All students will have to complete the Educating All Students Test, and the revised CST (Content Specialty Test) in the area of the Certificate. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor the TEACH website at to ensure that they are taking the appropriate examinations. All students are required to complete and submit the edTPA (Education-Teacher Performance Assessment - Portfolio) in their content field. Students should check with the program director for specific requirements.


Courses may be offered at Stony Brook University and/or at specific contracted offsite locations.


Program faculty are drawn from the Department of Geosciences, as well as from the D-TALE program.