Jul 24, 2024  
2015-2016 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
2015-2016 Graduate Studies Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Science Education, MSEd

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Professor Singer, Graduate Program Director, 516-463-5853

Courses in the science education program taken in combination with the appropriate liberal arts and sciences courses, lead toward New York state initial teacher certification in biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics (adolescent education, grades 7-12). This program is designed to blend on-campus preparation with field experiences in a variety of school settings, culminating in full-time student teaching. Literacy, multicultural education, and information technology are integrated throughout all aspects of the program. Regardless of the certification area in science that is selected, the program provides necessary course work for additional certification in general science, as well. This program conforms with the New York State Learning Standards in Mathematics, Science and Technology and with the recommendations of the National Science Teachers’ Association.

Admission Requirements

Applications for admission to a Master of Science in Education program in the Department of Teacher Education Programs  are made to the Graduate Admission Office. Admission is based on a comprehensive review of multiple criteria, including the following:

  1. A completed application form to the master’s program.
  2. A minimum grade point average of 2.75 in each of two categories:
    1. Overall undergraduate course work,
    2. Course work in the content area in which certification will be sought.
  3. Completion of General Education Core requirements for teacher education programs.
  4. A written personal statement of professional intent and rationale.
  5. Two letters of reference that address the applicant’s potential to succeed in the teaching profession and in graduate course work.
  6. A bachelor’s degree with a major (or equivalent) in the content area of science education in which certification will be sought (for exceptions see Science Content Requirements on the following page).

The department understands that any single criterion may not reliably predict a candidate’s potential for success in a graduate program. Consequently, candidates are welcome to apply if they do not meet one of the criteria but feel that other aspects of their experience may compensate.

General Education Core Requirements

In order to ensure that prospective teachers have a broad education in the liberal arts and sciences, all students must have completed undergraduate course work from each of the content areas below.

  1. Artistic Expression/Humanities (3 s.h.)
  2. Communication (3 s.h.)
  3. Information Retrieval or placement exam (0-3 s.h.)
  4. Concepts in History/Social Science (3 s.h.)
  5. Language other than English (3 s.h.)
  6. Scientific Processes (3 s.h.)
  7. Mathematical Processes (3 s.h.)
  8. Literature, Analysis and Written Expression (6 s.h.)

Course work for the general education core in the liberal arts and sciences must have a GPA of 2.75 or above with no grades below a C-.

Please note that programs may have general education requirements that exceed the minimum registered with the state. Degrees will not be conferred unless all general education core deficiencies have been met.

Science Content Requirements

Students admitted to the MSEd program in science education should possess a bachelor’s degree in the certification content area sought or a minimum of 36 s.h. in college-level course work in the content area of certification, distributed over specified categories (see below).

Candidates who do not possess a bachelor’s degree in their chosen science certification area, but who have succeeded in completing a majority of the required content courses with a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or higher, may apply for admission to the MSEd program. Upon matriculation in the program, candidates may continue to complete the required contend courses while they are completing the requirements for the master’s program. Prior to conferral of the MSEd degree, transcripts must indicate successful completion of all required course work in the area in which certification will be sought.

The following sections delineate the science content requirements for those seeking certification in either biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics. Courses for certification in general science are required of all students in the science education program at Hofstra University.

General Science (required of all students seeking certification in any of the sciences) (24 s.h.):

  • General chemistry, 6 s.h.
  • General physics, 6 s.h.
  • Geology (earth science), 6 s.h.
  • Calculus-based mathematics, 3 s.h.
  • Statistics, 3 s.h.

Note: Biology major only:

  • Calculus-based mathematics, 6 s.h. or
  • Calculus-based mathematics, 3 s.h. and
  • Biostatistics or any other course work in statistics, 3 s.h.

Biology (required of all students seeking certification in biology) (30 s.h.):

  • General biology, 6 s.h.
  • Genetics, 3 s.h.
  • Comparative anatomy, 3 s.h.
  • General ecology, 3 s.h.
  • Invertebrate zoology, 3 s.h.
  • Plant physiology, 3 s.h.
  • Biology electives, course work in related content area (with advisement), 9 s.h.

Chemistry (required of all students seeking certification in chemistry (30 s.h.):

  • Inorganic chemistry, 6 s.h.
  • Organic chemistry, 6 s.h.
  • Quantitative analysis, 3 s.h.
  • Physical chemistry, 3 s.h.
  • Chemistry electives, course work in related content area (with advisement), 12 s.h.

Geology (required of all students seeking certification in earth science) (30 s.h.):

  • Physical geological science, 3 s.h.
  • Historical geological science, 3 s.h.
  • Earth science, 6 s.h.
  • Geology electives, course work in related content area (with advisement), 18 s.h.

Physics (required of all students seeking certification in physics) (30 s.h.):

  • General physics, 3 s.h.
  • Electricity and magnetism, 3 s.h.
  • Modern physics, 6 s.h.
  • Optics, 3 s.h.
  • Thermodynamics, 3 s.h.
  • Mechanics, 3 s.h.
  • Quantum mechanics, 3 s.h.
  • Physics electives, course work in related content areas (with advisement), 6 s.h.

If one or more of the above content areas are missing from any student’s transcript, those content areas must be completed prior to completion of the MSEd degree. Of these 36 s.h., six may be taken at the graduate level and counted toward the MSEd.

Where academic subject matter deficiencies in the candidate’s chosen science certification area are so great as to prevent completion of requisite work within the 37 s.h. master’s program, additional course work may be required. Matriculated students must complete a minimum of 28 s.h. of the MSEd program in-residence at Hofstra. No more than 9 s.h. may be transferred into the program. Student Teaching may be used to meet the 28 s.h. residency.

A maximum of 12 s.h. of graduate course work leading toward the MSEd degree may be completed prior to matriculation in the program. To register for courses in the program other than SED 205 , 213 , or 264 , a student must (1) be matriculated in the program, or (2) have written permission of the course instructor or departmental chairperson prior to the beginning of the course.

Program Requirements - Semester Hours: 37

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 while in the program. Grades of D or lower will not be counted toward the graduate degree but will be included in determining the grade point average. Grades lower than B do not confer credit in required (non-elective) courses in the program. Students may repeat courses to meet grade point average requirements.

The major in science education consists of at least 37 semester hours of education course work including each of the following:

Introductory Courses - Semester Hours: 9

Choose One From - Semester Hours: 3

General Methods Courses - Semester Hours: 6

Special Methods and Curriculum Courses - Semester Hours: 7

Electives Supporting the Content Area of Certification - Semester Hours: 6

(With advisement) Graduate course work in FDED, MATH, CT, SPED, RES, LYST, ELED or SED recommended.

Student Teaching and Corequisite Seminars - Semester Hours: 9

Field Experience Prior to Student Teaching

At least one field placement must be in a district identified as high-needs by the New York State Education Department. All field experiences are incorporated into course curricula. Students enrolled in SPED 201/264 are placed in educational settings to work with students who have special-needs or disabilities. A minimum of 100 clock hours of participation/observation is required prior to student teaching. Placements are arranged by the Office of Field Placement. Departmental policy is to place prospective teachers in districts other than those in which they currently reside or in schools that they attended.

Participation/observation field experiences in designated secondary schools are required in each of the following courses:

Student Teaching Prerequisites

Students will qualify for admission to Student Teaching, SED 217, when they have satisfied the following requirements:

  1. Completion of SED 205, 213, 264, 293; LYST 215, 217, 225; SPED 201, 264 with a grade of B or better.
  2. A grade point average of 3.0 or higher in overall graduate course work.

Application forms are available from the Office of Field Placement. Applications are due on May 1 for the succeeding spring semester and February 15 for the succeeding fall semester.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Completion of all General Education Core requirements with a minimum GPA of 2.75.
  2. Completion of all science content requirements with a minimum GPA of 2.75, with no grades lower than C- accepted as fulfilling this requirement.
  3. Completion of the 37 s.h. course requirement in the MSEd program with no fewer than 31 s.h. in-residence.
  4. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 in overall graduate course work, and no grades lower than B in required courses.
  5. An electronic portfolio, illustrating the student’s education course work, program objectives and professional accomplishments.
  6. Completion of all required Educational Law Seminars.
  7. All course work taken in satisfaction of the degree requirements must have been completed within a five-year period.


*Course requires participation/observation in designated schools.


Teacher Certification Requirements

Upon the successful completion of a Hofstra state-approved teacher education program, students are eligible for the University’s recommendation for New York state certification. A request for recommendation must be submitted to the Office of Educational Support Services the semester in which the student is graduating. There will be opportunities to attend a certification workshop during the student’s final semester, to receive all the necessary information regarding applying for certification. Individuals who apply directly to New York state for certification are responsible for learning about and satisfying the certification requirements set by the state. It should be noted that such requirements may differ from those in Hofstra’s registered programs.

All prospective early childhood (birth-grade 2), childhood (grades 1-6), adolescent (grades 7-12) and special subject, students with disabilities, gifted, TESOL, bilingual, literacy, speech and language disabilities teachers, as well as school leadership candidates, are required to pass the New York State Certification Examinations (NYSTCE) administered by National Evaluation Systems, Inc., including the Educating All Students Test (EAS), Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST), Content Specialty Test(s) (CST) and the edTPA. Prospective School Leaders will be required to take the appropriate leadership exams. For more information regarding state testing, please contact the Office of Educational Support Services at 516-463-5747 or visit www.nystce.nesinc.com.

In addition to fulfilling the required courses of study, the Commissioner’s Regulations mandate that all prospective teachers, pupil personnel and education leaders receive instructions regarding:

  1. Identification of Child Abuse and Maltreatment
  2. Fire and Arson Prevention
  3. School Violence Prevention and Intervention
  4. Prevention of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Abuse
  5. Highway and School Safety/Prevention of Child Abduction
  6. Training in Harassment, Bullying and Discrimination Prevention and Intervention required under the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)

New York state legislation also requires all persons seeking certification in special education, speech and language disabilities or school administrators working in special education, to have training in the area of children with autism.

Hofstra University offers the above listed educational law seminars through the Office of Educational Support Services. All of these seminars must be completed before the conferral of the degree and recommendation for certification.

Forms for applying for certification can be found at the Office of Educational Support Services Web page under the certification tab.

Chapter 180 of the Laws of 2000, the Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE), requires that applicants for teaching and administrative and pupil services personnel certification and perspective employees of covered schools (school districts, charter schools and BOCES) must undergo fingerprint supported criminal history background check. However, many school districts and institutions across the metropolitan New York area are now requiring that all student teachers, observers, interns or externs receive fingerprint clearance before they are placed in educational settings that are required for this degree program. Therefore, we recommend that you apply for fingerprint clearance upon acceptance to the program. Fingerprint clearance is also required for New York state certification. For information on how to register to be fingerprinted, visit http://www.hofstra.edu/Academics/colleges/soeahs/CESS/cess_requirements_fingerprints.html.

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