Science Education

The Science Education major in the Curriculum and Instruction degree is designed to prepare you to address current issues or problems related to learning, teaching, diversity, and policy in science education through research. Overall, the science education major has four signature features:

  • A 21st century understanding of science education best practices. Teachers guide students as they engage in productive, meaning-making work in the classroom—work that involves a talk, joint attention, and shared activity aimed at the construction and critique of explanations.
  • An interdisciplinary experience. Our science education graduate degrees are designed to foster connections and collaborations between education and the sciences.
  • Methodological pluralism. The questions challenging science education today are complex and multifaceted and cannot be adequately addressed through a narrow range of methods. Thus, the major is designed to help you develop a familiarity with a wide range of methods and approaches used in educational research.
  • An intellectual community of scholars. In this major, you will not only move through a set of required and elective courses, but you will also be part of a diverse and collaborative community of inquiry. You will be viewed and treated as a colleague who has relevant experience and expertise as you relate to questions of shared importance.


We offer an online master’s degree for individuals who are practicing educators. In addition, there are face-to-face masters and specialist degrees for individuals who want to perfect their science teaching and/or explore the world of science education research.

In the doctoral program, we select students with the necessary preparation and dedication needed to succeed in this content and research-intensive major. The major has been designed to maximize interactions between faculty and students and to focus on current issues of research and practice. It also provides you with considerable flexibility as you pursue your developing goals and interests. A central feature of the major is the scaffolded teaching and research apprenticeships to allow you to become a productive researcher and scholar of science teacher education.

Please note: These are advanced programs designed for current teachers. If you are seeking teacher certification for Science Education (grades 6-12), please see our FSU-Teach program.



Faculty who advise graduate students in the Science Education program include:

Lama Jaber: Dr. Jaber’s research explores learners’ engagement in scientific inquiry in various contexts, focusing on learners’ feelings and emotions within that engagement as well as the study and design of responsive teaching classrooms that promote students’ engagement and epistemic agency.

Amal Ibourk: Dr. Ibourk is interested in finding ways in which elementary students engage in deeper learning when using learning technologies and develop the ability to engage in STEM practices.

Sherry A. Southerland: Dr. Southerland’s research focuses on the interplay between culture, emotions, and affect in the learning of science, the ways in which instruction and instructors can effectively navigate this interplay, and the barriers and affordances to the adoption of novel instructional practices.

Miray Tekkumru-Kisa: Dr. Tekkumru-Kisa’s research focuses on designing and studying the effectiveness of tools and environments (e.g., video cases, educative curriculum materials, professional development programs) for supporting science teachers’ learning and instructional improvement.

Roxanne Hughes: Dr. Hughes’ research focuses on the science identity of underrepresented minorities in STEM, mentoring in STEM and informal STEM education.

Check out the currently funded projects in Science Education at FSU!

Admission Requirements

In order to meet minimum University admission requirements, applicants must have:

  • A bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA – An earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or a comparable degree from an international institution, with a minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average (GPA) in all coursework attempted while registered as an upper-division undergraduate student working towards a bachelor’s degree.
  • GRE test scores. Official test results are required from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). These scores are considered official only when they are sent directly to the Office of Admissions from the testing agency. Examinee copies are not considered official. Graduate Record Exam (GRE): – FSU Institution Code: 5219.

M.S. and Ed.S. Applicant Target Scores:
Verbal – 146+
Quantitative – 140+

Ph.D. Applicant Target Scores:
Verbal – 151+
Quantitative – 145+
Writing – 3+

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) does not retain scores longer than five years. If your test scores are older than five years, you may have to retake the test to have official scores sent directly to FSU from the testing agency. If you have the report that was mailed to your home address for older scores, then FSU will accept that report.

NOTE: The GRE admission requirements for master's and specialist programs have been waived through Fall 2022.

  • Language proficiency test (international students only)– FSU accepts scores from TOEFL (minimum 80), IELTS (minimum 6.5) and MELAB (minimum 77).
  • Transcripts – Applicants must submit an official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college and/or university attended to the Office of Graduate Admissions. The address for submitting transcripts is:

Florida State University
Office of Graduate Admissions
314 Westcott Building
P.O. Box 3061410
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1410

Applicants must upload the following REQUIRED supporting documents to the Admissions Application Portal:

  • Statement of purpose – should describe your purpose for pursuing a degree, qualifications and long-term career goals.
    • At least one (1) page for M.S. and Ed.S. applicants
    • At least two (2) pages for Ph.D. applicants
  • Letters of recommendation
    • Two (2) for M.S. and Ed.S. applicants
    • Three (3) for Ph.D. applicants
  • One page resume/curriculum vitae
  • Writing Sample – it is acceptable to submit a paper used in another class, or one that was published.

Application Deadlines

Master’s and Specialist programs:

Fall: July 1
Spring: November 1
Summer: March 1

Doctoral program:

Fall: December 1
Spring: November 1
Summer: March 1


Tuition & Aid

Information about tuition and fees at Florida State is available here. You can learn more about the scholarship and aid opportunities for College of Education students here.

Career Opportunities

Curriculum choices in our master’s and specialist programs are designed to enable students to become teacher leaders, college instructors, as well as curriculum specialists, state testing specialists and textbook company representatives. Doctoral program graduates are prepared to become university professors, researchers and leaders in the field.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job outlook for high school teachers is expected to grow 7.5%  through 2026, which equates to approximately 79,500 new jobs. The job outlook for instructional leaders/coordinators is expected to grow up to 10.5% through 2026. That translates into over 17,000 new jobs nationwide. The median national annual salary range for instructional leaders/coordinators is $64,450 per year.  For university or college professors, the Bureau predicts a 9.9% increase in jobs by 2026, totaling 2,300 new jobs. The median national salary is $79,550 per year.

A career in science education can be very rewarding, and a typical path offers ample opportunities for professional development and growth. Educators make a difference in the lifelong learning experience of their students, as well as, the quality and standards of the programs they teach.

Admissions Contact

On-campus programs: Katie Sanchez

Online master's program: Jeannie McDowell