M.Ed. in Earth Sciences Degree Curriculum

The Master of Education in Earth Sciences degree program includes 21 required credits and a minimum of 9 elective credits to comprise the 30-credit degree program. A minimum of 18 of the 30 credits must be at the 500-level or 800-level (with at least 6 credits at the 500-level).

The program courses are offered in Penn State's traditional semester format, with courses offered three times a year (Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters) unless otherwise noted in the chart below.

The chart below provides a listing of the required and elective courses in the program. As noted, EARTH 501 is the recommended introductory course for the program and EARTH 591 is the required capstone course. For course availability information, see our Course Calendar. The content of many of our courses is available as part of the Open Educational Resources initiative of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State. Those courses are linked to their course home page in the table below. Check them out!

REQUIRED COURSES (21 credits)
EARTH 501

Recommended first course
CONTEMPORARY CONTROVERSIES IN THE EARTH SCIENCES (3)

Exploration of current areas of research in the Earth sciences.

Prerequisites: None.
3 credits
ASTRO 801 PLANETS, STARS, GALAXIES, AND THE UNIVERSE

Overview of the structure, formation, and evolution of planets, stars, galaxies, and the universe.

Prerequisites: None.
3 credits
C I 501 TEACHING AS INQUIRY

Course guides teachers to develop systematic inquiries into effective teaching and learning.

Prerequisites: None
3 credits
C I 550 OVERVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM

Current school programs and options and their impact on pupils; problems in introducing new content into the curriculum.

Prerequisite: 12 credits in education and psychology or teaching experience*
3 credits
EGEE 401 ENERGY IN A CHANGING WORLD

Energy is in transition, with increased international energy demand and increasing environmental pressures. Energy transitions, approaches, and outcomes are addressed.

Prerequisites: EGEE 101 or EGEE 102 or CHEM 013*
3 credits
METEO 801 UNDERSTANDING WEATHER FORECASTING FOR EDUCATORS

Fundamental principles of synoptic and physical meteorology, satellite and radar imagery and data analysis in the setting of mid-latitude weather forecasting.

Prerequisites: None.
3 credits
EARTH 591

Required capstone course
INDIVIDUAL STUDIES

Development of a capstone project, supervised on an individual basis outside the scope of formal courses.

Prequisites: Completion of (or concurrent enrollment in) all other required courses in the program: EARTH 501, ASTRO 801, C I 501, C I 500, EGEE 401, and METEO 801*
3 credits
ELECTIVE COURSES (minimum of 9 credits)
EARTH SCIENCE (EARTH) COURSES
GEOGRAPHY (GEOG) COURSES *Note: These Geography courses are offered in a compressed 10-week schedule and are available 4 times per year, beginning in the months of January, April, July, and October.
METEOROLOGY (METEO) COURSES
  • METEO 469 UNDERSTANDING GLOBAL WARMING (3 credits)
  • METEO 802 MESOSCALE WEATHER FORECASTING FOR EDUCATORS (3 credits)
  • METEO 803 TROPICAL WEATHER FORECASTING FOR EDUCATORS (3 credits)
  • METEO 804 ADVANCED TOPICS IN WEATHER FORECASTING FOR EDUCATORS (3 credits)
EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY (EDPSY) COURSES
  • EDPSY 421 LEARNING PROCESSES IN RELATION TO EDUCATIONAL PRACTICES (3 credits)
SCIENCE EDUCATION (SCIED) COURSES
  • SCIED 551 HISTORY, PHILOSOPHY, & SOCIOLOGY OF SCIENCE AND SCIENCE TEACHING (3 credits, residential)
  • SCIED 597 SPECIAL TOPICS (1 - 9 credits, residential)

* NOTE: Prerequisites as listed may be waived by the course instructor if you can demonstrate the required level of competency.

Typical Plan of Study

Students accepted into the program may begin their coursework during any academic semester.  The typical student course load is expected to be three to four courses per year. It is strongly recommended that students take only one course at a time while working full time.  However, it is anticipated that students will enroll in two courses during the Summer semester. At the rate of four, three-credit courses each year, most students will complete the M.Ed. in Earth Sciences program in about two and a half years of part-time study.

The M.Ed. in Earth Sciences program can be tailored to provide a focus in a desired discipline based on the student's choice of elective course(s). Two sample course pathways are provided below, one with a focus on geosciences and one with a focus on meteorology.

Pathway Example 1: Student focus in Geosciences

SEMESTER REQUIRED COURSES OTHER COURSES
Summer #1 EARTH 501 EARTH 530
Fall #1 METEO 801  
Spring #1 EGEE 401  
Summer #2 C I 550 EARTH 520
Fall #2 C I 501  
Spring #2   EARTH 540
Summer #3 ASTRO 801
EARTH 591
 

Pathway Example 2: Student focus in Meteorology

SEMESTER REQUIRED COURSES OTHER COURSES
Summer #1 EARTH 501, METEO 801  
Fall #1 METEO 802  
Spring #1 EGEE 401  
Summer #2 C I 550 METEO 803
Fall #2 C I 501  
Spring #2   METEO 804
Summer #3 ASTRO 801, EARTH 591  

Note:

By successfully completing the four METEO courses this student would also have met the requirements for the “Certificate of Achievement in Meteorology,” a four-course postbaccalaureate program.