Master’s in Secondary Education - STEM (Non-Licensure Degree)

Master of Education in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in STEM (Does Not Lead to Initial Teacher Licensure)Initial Program – Does Not Lead to Initial Teacher Licensure

Offered By: College of Education

What is a Master's in STEM Education Degree?

The Master of Education in Secondary Education with a STEM Emphasis Non-Initial Teaching Licensure (NITL) program at Grand Canyon University can prepare students to lead STEM education for sixth grade to twelfth grade. Students will be taught to integrate grades 6–12 subject matters, including STEM and educational psychology, as well as various 21st century instructional methods and strategies to produce positive student outcomes.

This master’s in secondary education STEM emphasis targets educators who desire to not only impact education, but impact STEM fields that affect our everyday lives and determine our future. Graduates of this program will have the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge to provide a solid STEM foundation, interdisciplinary curriculum and hands-on learning experiences within their classroom. An emphasis on technology and classroom diversity exposes graduate students to modern classroom learning tools and identifies practices on how to meet diverse student needs that promote the most effective learning.

The increase for more next-generation innovators in STEM disciplines creates opportunities for secondary educators skilled in STEM.1 This program serves as a pathway for teachers to help fulfill the shortage of STEM educators. If you enjoy a career in motivating young learners to explore STEM, generating interest and curiosity in these critical areas, inspiring young learners to be passionate about the world, preparing them for STEM education at the postsecondary level and encouraging them to pursue a career as tomorrow’s leaders of innovation, this degree may be right for you.

This non-licensure degree does not include a student teaching capstone and therefore does not lead to an Institutional Recommendation (IR) from GCU to obtain certification. However, candidates will be required to complete 101 practicum hours within the courses to prepare them to teach in the grades 6 through 12.

What Does It Mean to Earn a Non-Licensure Degree at GCU?

This institutionally accredited program is designed to meet the needs of the adult learner and build upon the content knowledge that the candidate already has in the subject areas. Courses are led by instructors who use their knowledge and experience to teach you in the areas of secondary education, STEM and educational psychology.

All courses directly align with the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) and International Society of Technology Educators (ISTE) standards. Throughout the Master’s in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in STEM program, you have the opportunity to learn and apply concepts, theories and research. Secondary education field experiences also guide you through 100 hours of observational and practice-based learning. This 33-credit program does not lead to licensure.

What Can You Do with A Non-Licensure Master’s in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in STEM?

Potential career opportunities for program graduates may include teaching positions at the secondary or postsecondary levels (where alternative certification is accepted2). Graduates may be assigned according to their subject matter specialty.

What Are the Program Requirements for Earning a Master’s in Secondary Education for STEM Degree?

This degree includes 33 credit hours and 101 required practicum hours. You will be taught in both informative and interactive classes. Courses in this program may include topics on adolescent literacy, how to integrate STEM methods into middle and high school instruction, assessing and evaluating STEM teachers, tools for creating and managing learning environments and many others. GCU faculty can prepare you with the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure you will have the opportunity to become a secondary educator in the area of STEM. For information on the application process as well as admission requirements, visit our admissions page.

1 FIRST with Insider Studios. (2021, June 10). The future of innovation relies on students’ interest in STEM. Here’s how one robotics program is creating a competitive talent pipeline. Insider. Retrieved on May 18, 2023.

2 Candidates in this program are not issued as Institutionally Recognized (IR) as they do not complete student teaching. Due to this, candidates would need to seek an alternative route to certification if applicable and state-identified.

If seeking licensure or certification, applicants to the program are responsible for contacting their state department of education for licensure requirements and program approval. In addition, fingerprint/background clearance is required.

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Total Credits: 33
Online: 6 weeks
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Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $590 per credit [More Info]

Course List

33 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
33 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

Teacher candidates will survey the philosophical, historical, and sociological influences upon which secondary educational theories and practices are constructed and explore a variety of the common issues, trends, and opportunities that professional educators face in the field. Candidates will prepare for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University by developing and strengthening the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in the College of Education. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

Candidates examine the United States Constitution, and the constitution of the State of Arizona. From this foundational review, candidates will explore application of the United States Constitution and the constitution of the State of Arizona in educational contexts. Practicum/field experience hours: 3. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates will survey how early adolescents and adolescents grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, social/emotional, and physical areas. This survey of the seminal concepts, principles, theories, and research related to development of adolescents will allow candidates to build foundational knowledge for constructing learning opportunities that support individual students’ development, acquisition of knowledge, and motivation. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required. Prerequisite: SEC-501 or SEC-502.

Course Description

Teacher candidates are introduced to the educational needs of students with mild to moderate disabilities and their families, including the definitions, characteristics, prevalence, causes and educational approaches to these disabilities and disorders. Teacher candidates will identify cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional patterns of learning and development for students with mild to moderate disabilities. Teacher candidates also survey the special education process involving the application of various laws and regulations. Practicum/field experience hours: 6. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

This course is designed to allow the teacher candidate the opportunity to learn techniques involved in the successful engagement and management of a learning environment. Major emphasis is placed to the establishment of a realistic discipline plan to manage student behavior, as well as engagement and management techniques and strategies to maximize instructional time, classroom procedures, and physical space. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SEC-501 or SEC-502 or approved enrollment in the Graduate Certificate of Completion Canyon L.E.A.P. to Teach, Secondary Education.

Course Description

Various orientations to curriculum development and assessment are investigated and elements of model curricula are examined specific to the areas of STEM. Emphasis is placed on understanding current structures and trends in middle and high schools, as well as critical issues, as these relate to curriculum and assessment. Course content is strategically planned to enable participants to make informed curriculum decisions in STEM classrooms to meet the needs of a diverse student population. Also emphasized is the alignment of educational objectives to standards and building both formative and summative assessments, including rubrics to analyze student learning. This course focuses on the principles and practices involved in curriculum design for STEM classrooms. Teacher candidates develop their own curriculum unit. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates will investigate multiple methods of assessment that support student engagement, monitor student progress, and guide decision-making, specifically to STEM classrooms. Candidates will build foundational knowledge regarding formal and informal assessment strategies for planning, evaluating, and strengthening instruction to promote continuous intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development of each student. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates explore research-based strategies for delivering differentiated reading instruction to promote reading proficiency. Language and literacy development is examined to inform assessment, remediation and intervention practices to support middle to high school readers and ability levels, including students with dyslexia and other reading disabilities. Using this foundational knowledge, teacher candidates will select, adapt, and use research-based instructional strategies and interventions with attention focused on reading in academic curricula to advance learning for adolescent students. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This course is designed to foster application of proven teaching and learning methodologies for both instructor and student in order to make appropriate and data-driven decisions about all aspects of teaching. Major emphasis is focused on planning instructional objectives and lessons, assessing objectives, and developing teaching methodology that encourages problem solving, active participation, and assessment. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: SEC-515 or SEC-516 or SEC-517.

Course Description

In this course, teacher candidates examine the fundamentals of the legal, historical, and educational foundations of Structured English Immersion (SEI) and other instructional programs for English language learners. Theoretical principles of language acquisition and the role of culture in learning are examined. Methods of assessment are identified and analyzed. Teacher candidates identify strategies to promote English language development and improve student achievement. Through Universal Design for Learning they plan, deliver, and evaluate standards based instruction for English language learners. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Teacher candidates examine fundamental concepts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Teacher candidates build foundational knowledge on a variety of age-appropriate inquiry-based instructional strategies to teach science, to build student understanding of personal and social applications, to convey the nature of science, and student development for the practice of skills that contribute to good health. Emphasis is placed on developing a deep understanding of the major concepts and procedures that define number and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis and probability and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways. Teacher candidates will build foundational knowledge on integrating engineering and technology concepts in Math and Science curriculum. Practicum/field experience hours: 12. Fingerprint clearance required.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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