Secondary Education Certification

Secondary Education Certification Master of Arts Teaching (M.A.T.) - Earth Science

About Earth Science 7-12 Teaching Certification

Impart vital knowledge of Earth's systems to the next generation.

Launch a successful Earth science teaching career with this top-quality graduate program that prepares you to teach grades 7-12 in Pennsylvania. Complete your Level I secondary education certification and master's degree within five semesters - four semesters of courses and one semester of student teaching.

The Earth science education master's program is designed for students with a background in Earth science, but open to bachelor's degree holders in any field.  

Gain experience and expertise on a flexible schedule.

  • Rigorous courses in pedagogy combine with lab-based Earth science classes to give you mastery of discipline-specific teaching skills
  • Extensive fieldwork in assigned Pennsylvania classrooms and student teaching make you job-ready.
  • Online classes, on-site fieldwork and a two-day summer residency enable you to earn your degree while working full time.


Top Accreditation: This graduate degree program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Cal U's education programs have also been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, and we are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). See CAEP reporting measures of program impact and outcomes.

Over 160 Years of Experience: Cal U was founded as a teachers college and has a long-standing reputation of producing top-quality educators in Pennsylvania.


Average annual salary for secondary education teachers in Pennsylvania. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
weeks of full-time student teaching in a real classroom.
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Degree Benefits

Before beginning the full-time student teaching component of this program, Cal U students gain hours of fieldwork in local school districts. This helps them excel in student teaching and stand out in the Earth science education job market.

  • Study Earth science curriculum development techniques and how to use the Standards Aligned System (SAS).
  • Learn top strategies in classroom management.
  • Master classroom technology for the teaching of Earth science.
  • Deepen your knowledge of astronomy, geology, oceanography, meteorology and other related topics.
  • Gain real-world teaching experience.
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Graduate Outcomes

Graduates of this program are prepared to teach Earth science in middle and high schools. They also thrive as science program coordinators, evaluators, and curriculum specialists. Cal U secondary education alumni have teaching careers in dozens of schools across the country.


Curriculum, Admission Requirements and Related Programs

This professional graduate degree program is delivered online, on-site through fieldwork and on campus during a two-day summer residency. Our ever-evolving curriculum will deepen your scientific knowledge base while equipping you with the latest theories and practices in Earth science education. All students are required to have current school clearances to participate in field experience and sign up for courses.



Course Credits
MAT 181  College Algebra (or higher) 3
Required Content Courses (a grade of C or better is required for certification)
CHE 101  General Chemistry I  4
EAS 150  Introduction to Geology 4
EAS 163  Introduction to Oceanography 3
EAS 200  Historical Geology 3
EAS 230  Earth Resources or 39X 3
EAS 240  Introduction to Meteorology 4
EAS 242  Climatology 3
EAS 303  Hydrology 3
EAS 343  Geomorphography 3
PHY 121  General Physics  4
PHS 145  Astronomy 3
Science Elective (EAS, CHE, BIO, PHS, PHY) 3
Cal U Required Courses
EDU 650  Supporting the English Language Learner 3
ESP 610  Sp. Ed. Foundations & Collaboration 3
ESP 613  Evidence-Based Practices for Sec Inclusion 3
ESP 701  Introduction to Behavior Analysis 3
MSE 641  Orientation to 7-12 Ed. 3
MSE 642  Standards-Based Instruction in 7-12 Ed 3
MSE 643  Content Area Literacy in 7-12 Ed. 3
MSE 644  Instructional Strategies in 7-12 Ed. 3
MSE 645  Technology in 7-12 Education* 3
MSE 646  Assessments and Interventions* 3
MSE 647  Classroom Management in 7-12 Ed. 3
MSE 653  Methods of Science Teaching 7-12* 3
MSE 661  Student Teaching & School Law** 9
Total Graduate Credits 45

* Two-day on-campus July residency will be integrated into the summer MSE courses.

** Must earn a recommendation for student teaching.


Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements (Regular)  

  • Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.80 or higher (Students with a GPA below 2.80 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution
  • International Graduate Applicants

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements:
    • Bachelor's degree with a GPA under 2.80 will be reviewed for a decision

Provisional Admission:
Applicants who have provided unofficial documentation of test scores, prerequisite courses, transcripts or lack of letter(s) of recommendation may be admitted provisionally.

This policy also applies to undergraduate students who apply for graduate admission pending bachelor degree completion. Upon receipt of all official documents, a student will be changed from Provisional Admission to either Regular Admission or Conditional Admission. Provisional Admission students may take classes for one term but will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid.

Program Requirements

  • Depending on the area of certification chosen, the department will provide guidance if any foundation undergraduate courses need to be completed before applying for student teaching
  • Clearances:  Students are responsible for updating clearances annually through the Office of Field Experience.  In addition, clearances must be on file before applying for student teaching  - Acts 24, 34, 114, and 151

How to Apply:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
California University of Pennsylvania
Box 91
250 University Ave. 
California, PA 15419

For additional information:
Phone: 724-938-4187

Out of State Students:
All students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania are responsible for securing and following the certification requirements in the state in which they intend to apply for certification. 

Related Programs


Student in cap and gown

Land a Job Before Graduation

If offered a teaching job while enrolled in the Earth science secondary education master's degree program, you can apply for the Teacher Intern Certification program. This allows you to work full-time as a teacher before certification, and use your job to fulfill field placement requirements.

High school teachers learn in woods.

Course Spotlight: Methods of Science Education

Help middle and high school students comprehend key principles while igniting their wonder for the natural world. In this course you'll learn proven methods for the teaching of science.

Residence halls on campus.

Faculty Know-How

Learn best practices in teaching from faculty members who have worked in secondary education classrooms. You'll benefit from the know-how of professors like Dr. Marcia Hoover who, in addition to teaching in P-12 classrooms, has served as a consultant to faculty in developing instructional uses of technology in education.

Earth Science Certification Faculty

Dr. Keith Hepner

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Dr. Marcia Hoover
Professor; field coordinator, Department of Secondary Education and Administrative Leadership

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Dr. Connie Monroe
Professor and chair, Department of Secondary Education and Administrative Leadership

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Dr. Susan Morris-Rutledge
Associate Professor and ESL Program Coordinator

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Dr. Michael Perrotti
Coordinator of Graduate Secondary Ed Programs and Associate Professor

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Dr. Joseph Zisk
Professor; director, Teaching and Learning Center

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Please Note: All students who will be seeking licensure/certification outside of Pennsylvania should consult the State Authorization web page for more information.