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The University of Texas at Dallas
Graduate Admissions

Department of Science and Math Education


Professors: Robert C. Hilborn (chair), Thomas R. Butts, Frederick L. Fifer, Jr.(emeritus), Russell Hulse, Cynthia Ledbetter, Lynn Melton
Associate Professors: Titu Andreescu, Homer Montgomery, Mary L. Urquhart
Assistant Professors:
Nikki Hanegan, Phillip Kisunzu
Science Education Specialist and Senior Lecturer: Barbara A. Curry
Clinical Professors: Katherine Donaldson, Bill Gammons,
Jim McConnell, Bill Neal, Floyd Dorsey
Affiliate Faculty: John Burr, Matthew Goeckner, John Hoffman, Scherry Johnson, Robert Stern

Objectives and Structure

The Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in Science Education Program and the M.A.T. in Mathematics Program are designed to enhance the content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teachers. Both programs share a set of core courses that allow students to explore knowledge common to both disciplines. Students in Science Education or Mathematics Education can then collaborate to integrate science and mathematics education and to provide a better education for their students. Because many graduates of these M.A.T. programs will rise to leadership positions such as department head or science/mathematics coordinator, the core courses provide fundamental skills in cognition, education research, and assessment so that M.A.T. graduates can evaluate educational strategies and thoughtfully advise their colleagues about them. The STEM Content courses provide additional depth in specific science and mathematics content areas. Students may elect to write and defend a research-based thesis.

Both programs are designed for individuals with significant ability in a science/mathematics discipline and a serious commitment to teaching. They provide forward-looking opportunities for professional development for both new and experienced teachers.

The M.A.T. in Science Education seeks to address the professional development of science teachers at all levels, while the M.A.T. Mathematics Education more specifically addresses the professional development of mathematics and computer science teachers in grades 8 – 12. (Mathematics teachers in grades 4 – 8 may wish to consider the option, "The Teaching of Mathematics in Grades 4-8" in the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program.)

Departmental Activities and Facilities

The Science/Mathematics Education (SME) Department is a hub for many important activities. In addition to the graduate M.A.T. in Science Education and M.A.T. in Mathematics Education degree programs, faculty in the Science/Mathematics Education Department direct and carry out the UT-Dallas implementation of UTeach, the nationally-acclaimed program for recruitment, preparation, and support of STEM teachers. The Science and Engineering Education Center, directed by Nobel Laureate Russell Hulse, is housed in facilities adjoining the SME area, and collaborations with SEEC continue to grow. Joint meetings with faculty from the School of Brain and Behavioral Sciences and the Center for BrainHealth lead to discussions of ways in which neuroscience and STEM education can grow symbiotically. External grants provide student support and connect the Science/Mathematics Education Department at UT-Dallas to larger science/mathematics education communities.

In Fall 2010, UT-Dallas opened its new Science Learning Center. It contains not only undergraduate teaching areas for the science students, but also a specially designed class room area for SME that can be configured for interactive classes. SME instructors can model the best of educational practices and develop research projects to evaluate such strategies.

Scientific equipment supporting the various programs at the university can be available to students in the M.A.T. program. Facilities in biology, chemistry, computer science, geosciences, mathematics and physics are briefly described in the respective sections of the catalog.

Admission Requirements

The University´s general admission requirements are discussed here.

Science Education

Admission to the Graduate Program in Science Education requires, in addition to general University requirements, a significant background in science. A background of 24 semester hours in science at the undergraduate level or higher is preferred.

Mathematics Education

Admission to the Graduate Program in Mathematics Education requires, in addition to the general University requirements, at least one year of calculus, a course in linear algebra, and a junior-level course involving mathematical proof.

Background Checks

For both Science Education and Mathematics Education programs, opportunities may arise for students to work directly in local schools.  Public schools and many private schools in the state of Texas require criminal background checks of all volunteers or individuals working within the schools regardless of the potential for direct contact with students.

Degree Requirements

The University´s general degree requirements are discussed here.

The M.A.T. in Science Education and the M.A.T. in Mathematics Education have a common set of four core courses. Both degrees require satisfactory completion of a minimum of 36 semester credit hours, and both degrees allow a student to select a Practitioner Option (coursework only) or a Research Option (coursework plus thesis).

A grade of B or better must be obtained in the Introductory Graduate Seminar and the four core courses, and an overall grade point average of B (3.00) or better is required for graduation

Requirements common to the M.A.T. in Science Education and to the M.A.T. in Mathematics Education

1.     SME 5100 Introductory Graduate Seminar  

2.     Four (4) Core courses:

SME 5301 Science, Mathematics, and Society

SME 5302 Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics

SME 5303 Introduction to Research and Evaluation in Science and Mathematics Education

SME 5304 Reflections on Science and Mathematics Education

3.     Six (6) STEM Content Courses (Practitioner Option) or four (4) STEM content courses plus at least six semesters hours of SME 6V98 (Research Option). In both cases, four STEM content courses must be taken within a single STEM content area subject to the specific requirements for each program given below.  

4.     Elective Courses sufficient to bring the total hours to a minimum of 36 SCH. Electives must be approved by the SME Graduate Studies Committee. Research Option students must use one of their electives to take SCI 5340 Statistics for Science/Mathematics Education, which must be taken prior to enrolling in thesis hours.

Students may petition the Graduate Studies Committee for waiver of requirements or substitution of alternate means of meeting requirements. Students who have particularly strong STEM content backgrounds are encouraged to meet with the Graduate Advisor and develop an appropriate degree plan.

Thesis Option

Students who wish to pursue the thesis option must consult with potential faculty advisors and present to the Graduate Studies Committee the name of the proposed thesis advisor, the proposed thesis topic, and potential committee members. The Graduate Studies Committee may assist in the selection of the full thesis committee. The Graduate Studies Committee will forward the names of proposed committee members to the Graduate Dean, who has the power of appointment. In order to fulfill the thesis requirement, the student must pass a minimum of six semester hours in thesis research, SME 6V98, and submit an acceptable thesis. The thesis is directed by a Supervising Professor and must be approved by the student´s thesis supervisory committee. In addition, the student must comply with the rules set by the Graduate Dean and successfully defend the thesis.

Requirements Specific to the M.A.T. in Science Education

Students in the M.A.T. in Science Education must pass four courses in one of the following Science Content areas: (1) Earth and Space Sciences, (2) Life Sciences, or (3) Physical Sciences. For Practitioner Option students, the other two courses must be taken in a different STEM content area, which may include both Mathematics content areas described below.

Requirements Specific to the M.A.T. in Mathematics Education

Students in the M.A.T. in Mathematics Education must pass four courses in the Mathematics A content area and at least two courses in the Mathematics B content area. It is recommended that those in the Practitioner Option use their elective courses to take two additional courses in the Mathematics B content area.

Requirements Associated with Community College Teaching

Many community colleges require that instructors have 18 SCH of graduate course work in the discipline to be taught. Students with an interest in teaching in community colleges should consult with the Graduate Studies Committee as soon as possible to identify the courses taken as part of the M.A.T. in Science Education or the M.A.T. in Mathematics Education that meet the expected requirements.

STEM Content Area Courses

Earth and Space Sciences  

SCI 5322 Basis of Evolution

SCI 5337 Rockin´ Around Texas

SCI 5326 Astronomy: Our Place in Space

SCI 5327 Comparative Planetology  

Life Sciences  

SCI 5322 Basis of Evolution

SCI 5324 Ecology

SCI 5329 Bioethics

SCI 5330 Emerging Topics in Biology  

Physical Sciences  

SCI 5323 Laboratories and Demonstrations for Middle School Science Teachers

SCI 5331 Conceptual Physics I: Force and Motion

SCI 5332 Conceptual Physics II: Particles and Systems

SCI 5333 Conceptual Physics III: Atoms, Charges, and Interactions  

Mathematics A  

MATH 5301 Elementary Analysis I

MATH 5302 Elementary Analysis II

MATH 5305 Higher Geometry for Teachers

MATH 5306 Non-Euclidean Geometry for Teachers

MATH 6311 Abstract Algebra I

STAT 5351 Probability and Statistics I

STAT 5353 Probability and Statistics II

CS 5333 Discrete Structures  

Mathematics B  

MTHE 5321 Problems Using Algebra

MTHE 5322 Problems Using Geometry

MTHE 5323 Problems Using Pre-calculus

MTHE 5324 Problems Using Discrete Mathematics

MTHE 5325 Problems Using Mathematical Modeling

MTHE 5326 Problems Using Statistics and Probability

 The courses available to students to meet the STEM Content requirements include, but are not limited to, the courses listed in the STEM Content areas above. Use of courses outside these sets must be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee.

Online Course Work and Degree Options  

Courses applicable to the M.A.T. in Science Education and M.A.T. in Mathematics Education may be offered online. However, the Science/Mathematics Education Department cannot guarantee that a student can carry out the entire degree program online. Students interested in online work should consult course schedules and contact the Graduate Studies Committee for current advice.

Last Updated: September 28, 2011