Careers in Science Education
The Mallinson Institute for Science Education at Western Michigan University offers a number of career paths for those interested in science education.
- Are you a teacher who would like to broaden your knowledge of science and the teaching and learning of science?
- Are you a teacher wondering about the Michigan integrated science (DI) endorsement?
- Are you interested in becoming a science teacher educator?
- Would you like to pursue a career teaching science at the college level?
- Are you interested in researching how students learn science and the implications for how science should be taught in both formal and informal settings? Are you interested in science education policy or curriculum?
Broadening your knowledge of science and the teaching and learning of science
The 30 credit hour M.A. program is designed for teachers interested in broadening their knowledge and understanding of science, the history and philosophy of science, and of science education. This degree can be used for professional advancement, personal enhancement, or as step toward a doctorate in science education. Our graduate students come from K-12 schools, community colleges, informal science education settings, and more.
Seeking the Michigan DI endorsement
If you are a certified teacher in Michigan and wondering about the Michigan endorsement for integrated science teaching, our M.A. program is Michigan-approved for the DI endorsement.
Becoming a science teacher educator
If you already have a master’s degree then you may wish to consider the Ph.D. program with an emphasis in science curriculum and instruction. This program prepares professionals for careers in science teacher education, school science department leadership, school science curriculum and policy leadership, informal science leadership, and science education research. Admission requires a master’s degree in science education or a closely related field.
Becoming a college teacher of science
Are you interested in college science teaching? Are you currently a secondary teacher of science? Are you an undergraduate in some field of science, a science-related field, or engineering? We have a unique program of study that prepares professionals for teaching undergraduate science at community colleges, liberal arts colleges, and teaching-focused universities. Students who enter this concurrent enrollment program apply for admission into a master's program in one of the sciences (biology, chemistry, geography, geology, or physics) while simultaneously indicating their interest in subsequently pursuing a doctoral degree in science education.
Or, do you already hold a master’s degree in science, a science-related field, or engineering? Students already holding a master’s degree in a science can apply directly to the doctoral program in science education (with or without a discipline emphasis in biology, chemistry, geography, geology, or physics).
The program for the college teaching of science strongly emphasizes both teaching and research, where the research focus can be on the teaching and learning of a specific science discipline.
Becoming a science education researcher
Are you interested in research? Actually, all of our Ph.D. tracks require significant research, because we believe that even those planning to focus on the teaching of science need to have research experience. Similarly, all of our students are required to have science teaching experience, even if they plan to focus on research. Thus, whether one’s goal is to become a science teacher educator or a college teacher of science, research experience is required—at the doctoral level we believe that research and teaching go hand-in-hand. Of course, some of our students are seeking careers as faculty researchers and for that career they are exceptionally well-prepared by our program. At the institute, research students work closely with nationally recognized faculty holding significant publication records and a wide range of research expertise.