2013-14 Graduate Catalog 
    Jul 15, 2024  
2013-14 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Adolescence Education: Biology (7-12) [ABI] M.S.Ed.

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Biological Sciences Department
Peter Ducey, chair
Bowers Hall, Room 241

Adolescence Education: Science
Rena Janke, co-coordinator

Angela Pagano, co-coordinator



With your initial certification to teach biology in hand, you now have the challenge of meeting the New York State Education Department’s requirements for professional certification. SUNY Cortland’s M.S.Ed. in adolescence education: biology (7-12) will help you fulfill those requirements. Whether you choose to enroll in full-time or part-time graduate study, the degree will give you the opportunity to broaden and deepen your knowledge of the biological sciences and related fields while continuing to improve your teaching skills.

Program Highlights

You’ll enhance your knowledge in the sciences with graduate course work in biology, as well as with advanced study in chemistry, geology, and/or physics. You have two options for furthering your knowledge of adolescent learners and how to create and maintain a positive teaching-learning environment for science.

Option I 

You will extend your teaching skills through exploration of emerging teaching methodologies and resources. You’ll examine the social, historical, philosophical or psychological foundations of education.

Option II 

You’ll study the nature of the middle school adolescent learner and the teaching strategies that work best at that developmental level. With this option, you can earn a middle level extension of your grade 7-12 certificate to include grades 5 and 6 for biology.

Culminating Experience

In addition to fulfilling any specific degree requirements determined by the Biological Sciences Department, you’ll complete a culminating master’s project. 

Outdoor Education Facilities

Take advantage of SUNY Cortland’s exceptional outdoor environmental resources, including our Outdoor Education Center residential facility at Raquette Lake in the Adirondacks and Hoxie Gorge, a 170-acre nature preserve located just seven miles from campus.

Career Potential

With Option I, you’ll qualify for SUNY Cortland’s institutional recommendation for New York state’s professional certificate for biology 7-12. With Option II, you’ll qualify for an institutional recommendation of an extension of your 7-12 certificate to include grades 5 and 6 for biology. 

Graduate Admissions

Evaluation Policy

At the State University of New York College at Cortland we seek a diverse and academically strong student body. Our admission policy and practice will not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, national origin or marital status.

Required Materials

  1. Completed online Graduate School Application - Apply Now
  2. Official transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended to be forwarded directly to SUNY Cortland Graduate Admissions Office indicating a major in biology or functionally related area. Note: Candidates for admission must present evidence of bachelor’s degree conferral prior to the start of their academic program.
  3. Evidence of pending or awarded initial/provisional certification or a certificate of qualification for provisional certification issued by the New York State Education Department to teach biology in grades 7-12.
  4. Three letters of recommendation from former professors or professional colleagues who can speak to the candidate’s preparation and competence for teaching biology in grades 7-12 (submitted online with the application)

Admissions Criteria

Preference will be given to candidates with the following:

  1. An overall undergraduate GPA of 2.7 and above on a 4.0 scale in all courses, in the major, and in related areas of science and mathematics.
  2. At least 30 credit hours of course work in the area of certification


Fall semester applications: July 1
Spring semester applications: Dec. 1
Summer semester applications: April 1

Applications submitted after the deadline may be considered on a space availability basis.
Please contact the Graduate Admissions Office at 607-753-4800 to check on availability. 

Program Requirements

A. Major: 12 credit hours

  • 12 credit hours in graduate biology

B. Related Areas of Science: Nine credit hours

  • Nine credit hours in graduate chemistry, geology, and/or physics

C. Pedagogy: Six credit hours

D. Culminating Master’s Project: Three credit hours

  • (3 cr. hr.)
  • Any student who receives an incomplete grade in SCI 699 must register for SCI 697 Extension of Graduate Culminating Activity (1 cr. hr.) each subsequent semester until the master's project is completed, not to exceed one year.

E. Course in teaching students with disabilities: 0-3 credit hours

F. Award of the degree

Award of the degree requires completion of all course work with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 overall and in each of the three categories A, B, and C shown above.

Additional Requirements

Other requirements for the award of the degree may be determined by the departments concerned and must be ascertained by the student in consultation with the coordinator of adolescence education: science (7-12).

Note: Specific information regarding additional requirements for qualification for the professional certificate in New York state may be found at Teacher Certification .

Total Credit Hours Required: 30-33

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