Master’s in Secondary Education: STEM Emphasis

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

Work Toward Making an Impact as a STEM Education Teacher

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

Pursue Your Master’s in Secondary Education: STEM Emphasis From GCU

This master’s in secondary education with a STEM emphasis is designed for educators who desire to not only impact education but impact STEM fields that affect our everyday lives. 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.

This master's degree in secondary education: STEM emphasis is designed for teachers who already hold a teaching license. This program does not contain the in-classroom teaching experience component necessary to obtain a teaching license. However, certified educators in this program will engage in 100 hours of observational and practice-oriented field experiences. These experiences are designed to support you in assimilating theories, concepts, and research methodologies into your classroom practices.

If you are looking for a master’s program with STEM curriculum that leads to licensure, our MEd in Secondary Education with an Emphasis in STEM (Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure) program may be a good option. However, if licensed educators already hold a certification in STEM, this non-initial licensure version of the initial licensure program is not an appropriate degree program for practicing teachers looking to further their career, knowledge or skills as they already hold a certification in the area covered by the program. 

Pursue your online master's in secondary education at your convenience. This option may allow you to achieve balance between working toward your academic goals while maintaining your busy schedule and family commitments. Our online modality can provide the flexibility you need to access quality education from anywhere, empowering you to position yourself to potentially seek advancement within your career in secondary education while accommodating your busy lifestyle. Join an online learning community that can help you learn essential skills in the field of STEM education.

Experience the convenience of in-person evening classes while pursuing your STEM education for secondary teachers. Our on-campus evening classes can provide a flexible learning option for those who strive to balance their educational goals with their daytime commitments. Join our academic community during the evenings with peers who prefer face-to-face instruction while working toward earning a master’s degree.

Get More Information

Loading Form

Skills Taught in This MEd Program

Enrolling in a Master of Education program with a focus on secondary education in STEM can help equip you with a variety of skills that can potentially prepare you to:

  • Design curriculum with STEM standards 
  • Demonstrate leadership skills 
  • Execute data analysis and assessments
  • Analyze student progress and adapt teaching methods
  • Build strong communication and problem solving skills
  • Implement cross-disciplinary teaching
  • Utilize foundations that promote English language development among students

STEM Curriculum and Coursework to Expect

This master’s in secondary education degree requires 33 credits for completion and approximately 101 hours of practical field experience hours. You will be taught in both informative and interactive classes. Courses in this program include coursework and topics on the following:

  • Adolescent literacy: Explore the essential principles of language acquisition, cultural factors in learning, and effective strategies to promote English language development among students.
  • Innovative STEM pedagogy: Explore teaching methods and strategies tailored to STEM subjects, fostering student engagement and understanding into middle and high school instruction.
  • Assessing and evaluating STEM education teachers: Cultivate leadership qualities that can equip you with skills to guide and inspire both students and fellow educators in the STEM field.
  • Tools for creating and managing learning environments: Develop the ability to create and adapt curriculum materials that align with STEM standards.
  • Comprehensive STEM Instruction: Study the skills and knowledge to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics to middle and high school learners. This includes utilizing inquiry-based instructional strategies, promoting practical applications and integrating engineering and technology concepts into your curriculum.

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 field experience hours within the courses to help prepare them to teach in the grades 6 through 12.

For information on the application process as well as admission requirements, visit our admissions page

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


Career Paths for Master’s in Secondary Education: STEM Emphasis Graduates

According to the U.S. Department of Education, their launch of a new initiative aims to support STEM educators and organizations to advance their STEM education.1 With an increase for more next-generation innovators in STEM disciplines, GCU aims to create opportunities for secondary educators skilled in STEM.2 Graduates of GCU’s in-person or online master's in secondary education, specializing in STEM, have the opportunity to pursue the following career paths:

  • Postsecondary education teacher
  • Secondary school teacher

STEM education for secondary teachers can serve as a pathway for teachers to help fulfill the shortage of STEM education teachers.

GCU Offers Accredited Master of Education Programs

GCU has been fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1968. This accreditation affirms our commitment to maintaining high educational standards and providing a quality academic experience. If you would like more information about this accreditation and how it and others help to serve the greater purpose of GCU, visit our University Accreditation page. 

Students smile showing pride in their robotic hand giving a LOPES UP sign
GCU Offers a Licensure Version of This Program

GCU offers a licensure version of this master’s in secondary education STEM emphasis tailored for individuals who aspire to strengthen their knowledge in STEM and pedagogy subjects while seeking to fulfill teaching licensure requirements. This licensure version may be ideal for professionals who want to work toward becoming a licensed secondary education teacher (grades 6-12). Education students who pursue the licensure version of this STEM emphasis will be prepared to earn a teaching certificate by completing practical/field experience hours and passing the state exam for teaching licensure. As you choose the right degree program for you, it is important to be aware of different certification requirements specific to your state.

Learn More!

Master’s in Secondary Education: STEM Emphasis FAQs

Discover answers to frequently asked questions about pursuing a STEM education for secondary teachers. Whether you're curious about program details, career prospects or admissions, we have you covered.

Earning a non-licensure education degree means that the program does not contain the in-classroom teaching experience component necessary to obtain a teaching license. However, students are still required to complete 100 hours of practical field experiences to apply theories, concepts, and research findings effectively in educational settings. The non-licensure degree programs are typically designed for teachers who already hold a teaching license. This program is designed to meet the needs of the adult learner and build upon the content knowledge that the candidate may already have in the subject areas. Courses are led by knowledgeable instructors who use their 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. 

In an age where technology and outsourcing have diminished the need for repetitive tasks, the capacity to tackle new and unique challenges has gained greater importance.3 Therefore, the benefits of a STEM education has the opportunity to serve as a catalyst for nurturing students' critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.4 It has the potential to empower students to embrace creativity and autonomy in their thought processes, facilitating their grasp and application of intricate concepts and innovative ideas.

STEM education, which encompasses science, technology, engineering and mathematics, employs an interdisciplinary approach that emphasizes hands-on learning, problem-solving and critical thinking. STEM education works by integrating these subjects into a cohesive curriculum and encourages students to engage in hands-on projects and experiments, fostering teamwork and practical skill development. Educators may undergo tailored training to adeptly mentor students along their STEM educational path, with the goal of preparing students for potential careers in STEM-related fields.

According to the Department of Defense, more than 80% of jobs over the next decade will require STEM related skills.5 STEM teachers are important to the next generation of learners for a variety of reasons because they can:6 

  • Equip students with critical skills needed in STEM fields
  • Foster problem solvers to face global challenges
  • Promote diversity
  • Drive innovation
  • Enhance scientific literacy
  • Inspire the next generation of leaders

Becoming a certified STEM teacher typically involves completing an initial teacher preparation program before pursuing this STEM education emphasis. In this master’s in secondary education, licensed educators will complete 100 hours of observational and practice-based learning field experiences that can guide you through incorporating concepts, theories and research into your own classroom. Knowledgeable GCU faculty can prepare you with the skills and tools to help you pursue becoming a secondary educator in the area of STEM.

If you enjoy 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 in-person or online master’s in secondary education degree may be right for you.

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 and background clearance is required.

1 U.S. Department of Education (n.d.). Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, including Computer Science. Retrieved on Oct. 31, 2023. 

2 NSTA (2020, Feb.). STEM Education Teaching and Learning. Retrieved on Oct. 31, 2023. 

3 Deangelis, Stephen F. (n.g.). Why STEM? Success Starts With Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving Skills. Wired. Retrieved on Nov. 1, 2023.

4 National Math and Science Initiative (2023, Aug. 25). Unlocking the Benefits of STEM Education for Every Student. Retrieved on Nov. 1, 2023. 

5 National Inventors Hall of Fame (n.d.). What is the Value of STEM Education? Retrieved on Nov. 1, 2023. 

6 Norris, Maria (2022, Oct. 19). Why is STEM important? The Impact of STEM Education On Society. Study in the USA. Retrieved on Nov. 1, 2023. 

Course List

33 credits
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 encounter in the field. Emphasis is placed on deepening understanding of personal biases and accessing resources to promote ethical practice, build strong relationships, and uphold the expectations of the profession. 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 the development of adolescents will allow candidates to build foundational knowledge for constructing learning opportunities that support individual students’ development, acquisition of knowledge, and motivation. Emphasis is placed on creating a collaborative environment to enhance student learning and well-being. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required. Prerequisite: 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.

* 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.

Scroll back to top