Program Details

Adolescence Education: Earth Science (7-12) [AES] M.A.T. (Graduate)

Geology Department
David Barclay, chair
Bowers Hall, Room 342
Fax: 607-753-4973

Adolescence Education: Science
Rena Janke, co-coordinator
Angela Pagano, co-coordinator


As an undergraduate majoring in geology or a closely related field, you developed and expanded your knowledge of the way Earth’s systems work. Your study of the lithosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere merged to increase your appreciation of the world around you and fuel your interest in teaching. The M.A.T. in adolescence education: Earth science (7-12) will broaden and deepen your knowledge of the geosciences and help you develop the skills you need to teach Earth science in middle and high school.

Program Highlights

Enhance your knowledge of geology as you 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. Through courses in literacy development, language acquisition and science teaching methodology, you’ll develop teaching strategies that work best with students whose ability, motivation and interests differ widely. In your 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. 

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. 

Environmental Facilities

The Brauer Education Center, SUNY Cortland’s field station near Albany, offers you exceptional opportunities for environmental fieldwork, collaboration with faculty on research projects and weekend outings.

Career Potential

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

Admissions Criteria

Preference will be given to candidates with the following:

  1. An overall undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or 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 geology/earth science, including a course in meteorology
  3. At least eight credit hours of course work in chemistry
  4. Three credit hours of astronomy
  5. At least eight credit hours of introductory biology plus four credit hours of introductory physics or eight credit hours of introductory physics and four credit hours of introductory biology


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: Earth Science 7-12

Program Requirements

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

A. Content

* Nine credit hours in graduate geology

B. Pedagogy

* 36 credit hours (22 credit hours of course work plus 14 credit hours of student teaching)

  • AED 600 - Introduction to Adolescence Education (3 cr. hr.)
  • AED 642 - Methods I: Teaching the Sciences in the Middle and Secondary Schools (3 cr. hr.)
  • AED 643 - Methods II: Teaching the Sciences in the Middle and Secondary Schools (3 cr. hr.)
  • AED 644 - Seminar for Field Practicum (1 cr. hr.)
  • AED 645 - Student Teaching: Adolescence Education - Science (14 cr. hr.)
  • ESL 506 - Educating English Language Learners (3 cr. hr.)
  • LIT 549 - Literacy in the Middle and Secondary School (3 cr. hr.)
  • PSY 533 - Advanced Developmental Psychology (3 cr. hr.)
  • SPE 520 - Teaching in Inclusive Classrooms (3 cr. hr.)
C. Culminating Master's Project: Three credit hours
  • SCI 699 - Master’s Project (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.

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 geology, and in pedagogy. Nine credit hours in graduate geology and 22 credit hours in pedagogy must be completed prior to student teaching. Additionally, eligibility to student teach requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 overall, in graduate geology, 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. HLH110: 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) workshops