2019-20 Graduate Catalog 
    Dec 11, 2023  
2019-20 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Adolescence Education: Biology (7-12) [ABI] M.A.T.

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Biological Sciences Department
Patricia Conklin, chair
Bowers Hall, Room 240
Fax: 607-753-5455

Adolescence Education: Science
Rena Janke, co-coordinator
Sean Nolan, co-coordinator


As an undergraduate majoring in biology or a closely related field, you developed and expanded your knowledge of life on Earth and the interactions of living organisms with each other and with their environment. Whether you were interested in concepts related to cellular biology and genetics or in concepts related to organismal biology and ecology, your studies and experiences fueled a desire to share this science through teaching. The M.A.T. in adolescence education: biology (7-12) will broaden and deepen your knowledge and help you develop the skills you need to teach biology in middle and high schools.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the major concepts of biological sciences (see B.S. Biology) and supporting disciplines as recommended by the National Science Teachers Association, and the supporting role of science-specific technology.
  2. Understand state and national curriculum standards and their impact on the content knowledge necessary for teaching.
  3. Plan multiple lessons that demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how all students learn science, including active inquiry lessons based on data collection and interpretation and applicable use of instruments and/or technology
  4. Design instruction and assessment strategies that address and evaluate student preconceptions and ideas and understandings they have formulated.            
  5. Plan fair and equitable assessment strategies to analyze student learning and to evaluate if the learning goals are met
  6. Design a learning environment and plan activities that demonstrate proper laboratory safety and emergency procedures that comply with established state and/or national guidelines.
  7. Plan activities that emphasize safe, humane, and ethical treatment of in compliance with the legal restrictions on use of living organisms.
  8. Collect, analyze and reflect on evidence of a change in mental functioning of students, demonstrating that scientific knowledge is learned.
  9. Provide data to show that students are able to distinguish science from non-science, and critically analyze assertions made in the name of science.
  10. Engage in professional development opportunities such as talks, conferences, symposiums, research opportunities, or projects within their community.

Program Highlights

As you advance your study of biology, you will immerse yourself in learning about successful classroom teaching. You'll explore the nature of the adolescent learner in your introduction to adolescence education and advanced developmental psychology classes. Courses in literacy development, language acquisition and science teaching methodology help you develop teaching strategies that work best with students whose ability, motivation and interests differ widely. Through field experiences and student teaching, you'll work in public school science classrooms with veteran teachers who support your integration of educational theory with the best teaching practices.

Outdoor Education Facilities

Take advantage of SUNY Cortland's exceptional outdoor environmental resources, including Hoxie Gorge Nature Preserve at William H. Parks Family Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education — a 170-acre nature preserve located just seven miles from campus — and the William H. Parks Family Outdoor Center, Raquette Lake, a residential facility in the Adirondacks.

Culminating Experience

In addition to fulfilling specific requirements for the degree and for New York state teaching certification, you'll complete a culminating master's project.

Career Potential

When you earn the M.A.T. in adolescence education: biology (7-12), you will have fulfilled the New York State Education Department's requirements for initial certification in biology for grades 7-12.

 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. Three letters of recommendation from former professors or professional colleagues who can speak to the candidate's preparation and competence for teaching science in grades 7-12 (submitted online with the application).
  4. New York State mandates that all SUNY teacher preparation programs adopt college entrance assessments for admissions consideration.  Anyone submitting an application for admission is required to submit scores for either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), with a minimum score of 375, or Miller Analogies Test (MAT), with a minimum score of 425.
  5. Resume
  6. Statement of Goals (250 words or less)

Admissions Criteria

Preference will be given to candidates with the following:

  1. An undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale)
  2. 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
  3. At least 30 credit hours of course work in biology
  4. At least 12 credit hours of course work in chemistry
  5. At least eight credit hours of introductory physics
  6. At least four credit hours of physical geology


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.

Master of Arts in Teaching - Adolescence Education: Biology 7-12

Program Requirements

The M.A.T. in Adolescence Education: Biology (7-12) is designed for applicants who have a bachelor's degree in biology or closely related field and who are seeking initial certification to teach biology in grades 7-12.

A. Content

* Nine credit hours in graduate biology

C. Culminating Master's Project: Three credit hours

  • (3 cr. hr.)
  • Any student who does not successfully complete 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.

D. Continuation in the Program and Eligibility to Student Teach

To remain in the program and to be eligible to student teach, a minimum grade point average of 3.0 must be earned in three categories: overall, in graduate biology and in pedagogy. Nine credit hours in graduate biology and 22 credit hours in pedagogy must be completed prior to student teaching. Additionally, eligibility to student teach requires a minimum grade point average of 3.0 overall, in graduate biology and in pedagogy during the semester immediately prior to student teaching.

Total Credit Hours Required: 48


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

For example, completion of the following must be documented to fulfill New York state certification requirements:

  1. HLH 110: Personal and Community Health (3 cr. hr.) or HLH 199: Critical School Health Issues (2 cr. hr.)
  2. One year college-level foreign language or its equivalent
  3. Completion of the following workshops:
  • Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting (CARR)
  • Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)
  • Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE)

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