Natural Sciences Education Master of Natural Sciences Education (M.N.S.E.)

Requirements and Curriculum

The Master of Natural Sciences Education requires completion of 30-31 credits. All courses are offered online and you have two different paths to choose from:

  • Coursework Option
  • Research Option

The option you choose will affect which classes and requirements you'll need to complete to earn your degree.

Coursework Option Requirements

The coursework option requires completion of 30 credits, including:

  • 9 credits of Education Courses
  • 18 credits of Natural Sciences Courses
  • 3 credits of Independent Study

NSCI 695 – Independent Study for MNSE (3 cr., fall, spring, summer)
Independent study immerses you in the primary scientific literature in biology, chemistry, or physics, and allows you to further tailor the degree toward your preferred science discipline. This study can be completed during any semester throughout the degree, and involves weekly meetings (in-person or at a distance) with your research advisor. Advisors are graduate students with regular faculty appointments in the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, or Physics. It does not require access to CSU or another research institution.

Research Option Requirements

The research option requires completion of a 30 credits, including:

  • 9 credits of Education Courses
  • 15 credits of Natural Sciences Courses
  • 6 credits earned for a research project

NSCI 698 – Research Experience in Natural Sciences (6 cr., summer)
In collaboration with an advisor, you develop and complete research in your preferred science discipline. Advisors assist in creating the project and in identifying a research location. The experience can be completed during any semester after your first year in the program, either at CSU or at a research institution convenient to you. Advisors have regular faculty appointments in the Departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, or Physics.


All science-related coursework is tailored for teachers and focuses on how you can incorporate lessons into your own classroom.

Education courses (9 credits)

Develop a foundation in research, curriculum development, and policy. EDRM 602 and EDUC 660 are required for the M.N.S.E. degree. Students select either EDUC 619 or NSCI 612; students cannot receive credit for both courses for the M.N.S.E. degree.

  • EDRM 602 – Action Research (3 cr.)

    Gain the knowledge and skills to plan and implement school-based research to improve teaching and learning.

  • EDUC 619 – Curriculum Development (3 cr.)

    Examine historical traditions, curriculum philosophies, best practice instructional theories, contemporary curriculum issues, standards practices, and backward design theory.
    NSCI 612 – Myth Busters: Science/Controversy/Evaluation (3 cr.)
    Skepticism and the scientific method are critical to modern scientific practice. Throughout history there has always been an uneasy relationship between science and culture as science as a human activity is influenced by culture and vice versa. The course weaves science philosophy, methodology, and history with social and cultural contexts.

  • EDUC 660 – Advanced Methods – Science and Math Instruction (3 cr.)

    Gain the knowledge and skills to improve the teaching of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in grades K-12.

Natural science courses (15-18 credits)

Expand your knowledge in a specific science discipline.

Visit the course descriptions page and the science lab kits page for expanded science course information.

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