Science Education Ph.D. Program

We anticipate accepting the next cohort of students for Fall 2018

 

About the program

Entrance requirements

Program timeline

Coursework requirements

Statistics and research requirements

Science breadth and depth

Qualifying examination

Thesis Proposal

Thesis Research, Writing and Defense

Apply to the program - transcripts should be sent to the following address:  
       
Institute for STEM Education
       Stony Brook University
       092 Life Sciences Building
       Stony Brook, NY   11794-5233

 

About the program 

This program will provide graduate education for those who wish to work as:

i) university or college science educators, directing science teacher education programs, working closely with schools and school systems on local, state and national science projects;

ii) university research or policy specialists, with the bulk of their time spent on guiding research on various aspects of science instruction;

iii) directors and supervisors in K-12 school systems, covering the design and implementation of science programs at local, county and state levels; and,

iv) classroom teachers with improved knowledge of science education theory and practice.

A carefully sequenced series of science education core courses and research experiences, coupled with exposure to science education events at state and national levels, will provide the backbone of the program. Students will be introduced to current science education research areas such as science learning, science teaching (physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, environmental science), curriculum and assessment (nature and history of science, scientific literacy, reform), science teacher education (professional development, teacher knowledge) and societal issues (gender, culture and diversity). As part of the coursework students will be required to complete research projects, write and submit articles for publication, make presentations at science education conferences and learn to use computer and library research resources.

Beyond the science education core coursework, students will be required to take courses in statistics and research methodologies, will complete breadth and depth requirements in science content areas and will undertake independent research under the guidance of advisors in science education and in their science cognate discipline. Initially, the program will target part-time students from the region, but will expand after the first cohort groups by attracting full-time students. Part-time students will complete the program in approximately five to six years.

Entrance requirements

The following will be required:

A.  A bachelor’s degree in a science subject
B.  A master’s degree in either a scientific field or in education
C.  Official transcripts of all colleges and universities attended
D.  GRE general test scores (required for PhD programs - taken within last 5 years)
E.  Graduate GPA of at least 3.0
F.  3 letters of recommendation
G.  Acceptance by the graduate school
H.  Completed application form
I.  Interview and writing sample
J.  Statement of intent

Program Timeline for Part Time Students:

Year

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Science education coursework

Science education core courses and independent study course

 

 

 

 

Other required coursework

Statistics and research methodology courses

 

 

 

 

Elective coursework

Science breadth and depth courses

 

 

Major events

 

 

Qualifying exam

Thesis proposal

Thesis research, writing and defense

Program Timeline for Full Time Students:

Year

1

2

3

4

Science Education Coursework

Science education core courses and independent study course

 

Other Required coursework

Statistics and Research Methodology courses.

 

Elective Coursework

Science Content Breadth and Depth Courses

 

Elective Coursework

Cognitive sciences, history, social studies educational leadership and assessment (when appropriate)

 

Major Events

 

Qualifying examination

Thesis Proposal

Thesis Research, Writing and Defense

           

Science Education Coursework requirements

Students will take a series of courses in science education at the start of the program. The intent of these courses is to introduce the students to both the field of science education and its related research, and to the professional competencies required in the field. On completion of these courses students will be prepared to take their qualifying doctoral examination and will have delineated a general thesis topic area. The six core courses, with brief catalog descriptions are:

CSM 600  History and Philosophy of Science Education
CSM 610  Nature and Practice of Science
CSM 620  Science Teacher Education
CSM 630  Science Education Research Seminar
CSM 640  Directed Study in Science Education
CSM 650  Introduction to Measurement and Assessment in Science Education

History and Philosophy of Science Education. An introduction to the history of the field of science education and the related philosophical underpinnings. The course will survey the major events, ideas and philosophies and how these have changed over time. Particular focus will be on the time period from 1890 to the present day.

The Nature and Practice of Science. An overview of the nature and practice of science through the analysis of current issues in science. Through the extensive use of case studies, students will address questions such as: What is science? What distinguishes science from other ways of knowing? What standards of evidence and scientific explanations, processes, and conventions are used in science? What philosophical, social, ethical, and historical perspectives are important in understanding science?

Science Teacher Education. Introduction to the historical, philosophical and pedagogical issues surrounding science teacher education. Introduction to the nature of the research that has been conducted on teacher education in the past and current trends.

Science Education Research Seminar. Introduction to the major theoretical frameworks and paradigms in science education including societal issues (gender, culture and diversity). Students will be required to critique research papers in the field and will conduct a literature review in their general thesis area. (To be offered annually after the introductory phase of the program).

Directed Study in Science Education. In their fifth semester students will individually complete a directed study with a faculty advisor. The intent of this course is to prepare the students for the doctoral qualifying examination and assist them in refining their research topics. (To be offered annually after the introductory phase of the program).

Introduction to Measurement and Assessment in Science Education. The objective of this course is to introduce students to core ideas in educational measurement and assessment and illustrate applications to the field and practice of science education. The course will survey major theories, empirical methods, and communities of practice relating to the measurement and assessment of scientific knowledge, practices, and attitudes. Focus will be directed at the concepts of reliability and validity and their applications in developing, using, and evaluating the inferences derived from measurement instruments in science education. The course will utilize lectures, lab activities, and discussions.

Statistics and Research Methodology courses (3 courses)

This will include statistics and research methods courses. These courses will be taken towards the start of the program and should be completed before students take their qualifying examination. The specific courses that will be taken depend upon the nature of the dissertation research and will be determined in conjunction with faculty advisors, but will require both quantitative and qualitative courses to be taken.

Science Content Breadth and Depth Courses (6 courses)

The courses to be taken depend upon the type of master’s degree that the entering student holds. Students holding a master’s degree in a specific scientific discipline will be required to complete graduate courses in other science disciplines. Students holding masters degrees in education will be required to complete graduate coursework in their scientific field. Students will be advised individually upon acceptance to the program as to their requirements in this area.

The PhD program has a scientific breadth and depth component. The courses to be taken depend upon the type of master’s degree that the entering student holds. Students holding a master’s degree in a specific scientific discipline will be required to complete graduate courses in other science disciplines. Students holding masters degrees in education will be required to complete graduate coursework in their scientific field. Students will be advised individually upon acceptance to the program as to their requirements in this area. As there are a large number of possible courses that may be taken to meet the requirements two examples are given below.

Example 1. A student who meets the science breadth requirement with a BS degree in Physics and an MAT degree in science education would be required to take 4-6 courses in physics. Suitable courses include but are not limited to:

Physics:

PHY 501 Classical Mechanics

PHY 505/506 Classical Electrodynamics

PHY 511/512 Quantum Mechanics

PHY 514 Current Research Instruments

PHY 516 Methods of Experimental Research II

PHY 521 Stars

PHY 522 Interstellar Medium

PHY 523 Galaxies

PHY 524 Cosmology

PHY 580 Special Research Projects

PHY 582 Optics Rotation

PHY 585 Special Study:

Example 2. A student who meets the depth requirement entering with a Masters degree in chemistry would not be required to take any further graduate chemistry courses but would be required to complete courses (4-6 courses) divided between physics, biology, earth and marine sciences, and will include courses that include science research projects as part of coursework. Suitable courses include the physics courses described above and the following other science courses:

Earth and Marine Sciences

CEN 512 The Planets

CEN 514 Geology of Long Island 

GEO 514 Introduction to Physical Hydrogeology

GEO 520 Glacial Geology

GEO 526 Low-Temperature Geochemistry

GEO 533 Geochemistry of the Solid Earth

GEO 535 Regional Structure and Tectonics

GEO 540 Solid Earth Geophysics

GEO 543 Stratigraphy 

GEO 546 Mineralogy and Petrology 

GEO 549 Structural Geology (Science research project required as part of course.)

GEO 567 Sedimentary Rocks/Crustal Evolution

GEO 585 Directed Studies

MAR 506 Geological Oceanography

MAR 521 Groundwater Problems

MAR 527 Global Change

MAR 528 Ocean Atmosphere Interactions

MAR 546  Marine Sedimentology 

MAR 566 Air Pollution and Its Control 

MAR 596 Principles of Atmospheric Chemistry

 

Chemistry Courses

CHE 501 Instrumental Methods in Chemistry

CHE 502 Mechanistic Organic Chemistry

CHE 503 Synthetic Organic Chemistry

CHE 504 Structure and Reactivity in Organic Chemistry

CHE 507 Biomolecular Structure and Reactivity

CHE 511 Structural Inorganic Chemistry

CHE 514 Transition Metal Chemistry

CHE 515 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry

CHE 521 Quantum Chemistry 1

CHE 593 Chemical Demonstrations

 

Biology

CEB 546 Current Topics in Biotechnology

CEB 547 Current Topics in Molecular Genetics

CEB 548 Current Topics in Immunology

CEB 553 Biology & Human Behavior

CEB 556 Ecology

In addition, with advisor approval students may choose content courses from one of the graduate programs in Genetics, Molecular & Cellular Biology and Ecology & Evolution.

Some courses are already offered in the summer and in the evening and we will work with the various programs to make sure that a sufficient number of courses will be offered to allow the students to meet these requirements

Qualifying examination

To ensure the quality of the program students will complete a qualifying examination after their fifth semester and upon the completion of all the science education core courses. The qualifying examination will have three components:

1.

Paper 1 – a common examination question for all students based on a topic from the science education core courses.

2.

Paper 2 - an individualized examination question, written by the student’s advisor, based upon a student’s dissertation research area

3.

An oral presentation and defense of the two papers

Thesis Proposal

Students are required to prepare and defend a dissertation proposal based on their proposed research. The students will present a formal written dissertation proposal that includes details of the research questions, theoretical framework, a complete literature review, the methods and measures chosen to answer the research questions and details of how the collected data will be analyzed. The proposal will be presented and defended in an oral hearing before the dissertation committee, and revised as necessary prior to beginning work. If appropriate, Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval to conduct the research will be secured. On satisfactory completion of the dissertation proposal, a recommendation for advancement towards candidacy will be forwarded to the graduate school.

 

 

Thesis Research, Writing and Defense

The dissertation research outlined in the thesis proposal will be supervised by the committee, which will normally include both science education and science faculty.

The dissertation defense, which completes the requirement for the PhD consists of a public seminar presentation of the dissertation work followed by an oral examination before the dissertation examining committee.