Master of Science Program
The program of study at the master’s degree level is designed to increase the professional competency of science and mathematics teachers and to provide the coursework necessary to meet standards of teaching certification at this advanced level. The Master of Science in Science Education degree is offered with an emphasis in biology, chemistry, coastal science, marine science, mathematics, earth and environmental sciences, or physics. The program outcomes expressed in terms of student learning include demonstration of (a) graduate-level mastery of knowledge in the student’s selected emphasis area; (b) the ability to integrate content knowledge into curricular, instructional, and assessment strategies for students at different educational levels; and (c) the ability to formulate, implement, and sustain changes in reforming science education to meet national standards at a school level.
In addition to the general admission and academic requirements for all graduate programs as set forth in this Bulletin, regular admission to the master’s program in science education requires a bachelor’s degree in any area of science (or combination of science and professional education) and a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in undergraduate study and a 2.75 GPA on the last 60 hours. A Mississippi Department of Education Class-A license is required if advancement to a Class-AA licensure is desired. Applicants are required to present to the center director for consideration verbal, quantitative and writing scores on the Graduate Record Examination, three letters of recommendation from persons qualified to assess the applicant’s readiness for graduate study and a one- to two-page statement of the applicant’s teaching philosophy in the areas of knowledge to be addressed, teaching methodology, and assessment.
Students who fail to meet the criteria for regular admission may be considered for conditional admission if the Program Admissions Committee, center director, dean of the college, and dean of the Graduate School are satisfied that the applicant shows promise of successfully completing graduate degree requirements. Regular admission will be granted with the completion of nine (9) semester hours of Southern Miss graduate work (500 level or higher of which 3 hrs must be in SME) with a minimum of a B average on all courses taken while completing this nine (9)-hour requirement, the removal of deficiencies, and a positive recommendation from the student’s adviser.
The master’s degree requires a minimum of thirty-four (34) semester hours of graduate work with a 3.0 GPA as specified below (18 hours must be 600 level or higher)
- Twenty-one (21) semester hours in a content area with a minimum of 12 hours in the emphasis area and a minimum of 3 hours in a related discipline
- Six (6) semester hours in professional education (REF 601 and REF 607 if seeking AA certification in the State of Mississippi)
- Seven (7) semester hours in science education (including SME 601 , and 1 hour of SME 789 , and limiting hours of special problems to 3 semester hours)
- All students must subscribe to the TK20 Assessment system. TK20 provides an electronic portfolio and storage system for students as well as tracks, stores, retrieves and analyzes data for accredidation purposes.
After completing 18 semester hours of required courses, the student should arrange a three-member graduate committee with the approval of the Center Director. To graduate, students must complete an approved program of study with a 3.0 grade point average, complete written comprehensive exams or compile and submit a portfolio showing evidence of mastery of the program learning outcomes, and pass an oral comprehensive examination administrered by the student’s graduate committee.
Plan of Study. Students must submit their signed, official Plan of Study Form to the Graduate School by the end of the second semester they are enrolled. The Plan of Study Forms are available at www.usm.edu/graduateschool/planofstudy.php - click on the "Plans of Study" link.
Responsible Conduct of Research Training
All faculty holding Regular or Associate graduate faculty status, must complete RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the RCR training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester they are enrolled in graduate school. The RCR policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page – www.usm.edu/graduateschool. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy of training information.
Continuous Enrollment Requirement: Students must meet the requirement specified in the front section of this Bulletin.