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Science & the Public, Ed.M.

The planet earth

The Science and the Public Ed.M. degree program, a cooperative initiative of the University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education and the Center for Inquiry, is offered solely as a part-time online program.  All professionals with an interest in promoting the public understanding of science and a desire to become leaders in science and the public interface may apply. 

This program is designed to prepare professionals to better engage in public activities and debates related to science, promote science literacy and understanding in the public at large, and promote scholarship in science communication, science and humanism, science and public policy, and science in the political, religious and secular environments.

As a graduate of the Science and the Public program, you will be equipped to work in such diverse organizations as: 

  • Informal science institutions such as museums, science centers, and zoos
  • Government offices and legislations
  • Large science and technology corporations
  • K-12 schools
  • Mass media
  • Research institutions

Why Science and the Public?

The 21st century will pose a number of extremely serious challenges to both the United States and the world at large. These challenges include issues around:

  • Energy
  • Climate change
  • Population growth
  • Gene-based technologies
  • Surveillance and privacy, etc.

Solutions to these challenges demand that critical and urgent public policy decisions be made and implemented and will require substantial public dialog and input. For this process to be effective we need a scientifically literate populace.

Achievement of scientific literacy and an understanding of the nature of science cannot be achieved by formal science education alone: involvement of all professionals in promoting science understanding through both formal and informal approaches is necessary. As a Science and the Public student, you will learn how to influence and promote science understanding in the public.

The Science and the Public Program will enable you to engage in public activities and debates related to science and promote scholarship in:

  • Science communication
  • Science and humanism
  • Science and public policy
  • Science in the political, religious, and secular environments

Application Requirements

Students are accepted into the program and may start coursework in either the fall or spring semester. The application deadline for a spring semester start is December 1 and July 1 for a fall semester start.

Application Requirements:

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, an adequate science background (i.e., at least three undergraduate level science courses), and must submit:

  • An online application
  • Transcripts of previous academic work. Applicants who are currently at UB or have studied at or graduated from UB do not need to request an official UB transcript. GSE's Office of Admissions can download and print the transcript.
  • A $50 non-refundable application fee in US currency, either by check, money order, or electronically along with the online application. If you choose to pay by check or money order, please make it payable to "State University of New York at Buffalo."

Former/Maiden Name: The Graduate School of Education must be made aware if applicants have ever changed their name.  If this is the case, be sure to ask the institution sending your transcripts to indicate your current name and any former or maiden names.

Supporting Documentation

All supporting documents must be uploaded and attached to your online application. This includes unofficial copies of your transcripts and any other documents required for review.

 

Program Requirements

Required Courses

Below are the courses required to complete this 33 credit hour master of education degree program. Each course is three credit hours except for LAI 701 which is a six credit course.

  • LAI 505 Scientific Writing
  • LAI 524 Critical Thinking
  • LAI 525* Science, Technology and Human Values
  • LAI 531* Science Curricula: Current Approaches
  • LAI 575 Seminar in Informal Science Education
  • LAI 639* History and Philosophy of Science
  • CEP 500 Fundamentals of Educational Research
  • CEP 532 Understanding Statistical Research
  • PHI 640* Research Ethics
  • LAI 701 Project or Thesis (This course is the program's capstone project.)

* Students only interested in receiving a Certificate in Science and the Public, issued by the Center for Inquiry, need only complete these courses.

Besides courses on science and the public content and approaches, the courses on critical reasoning and statistical analysis will provide you with the background for critical analyses on the soundness of scientific conclusions, the course on research methodologies is designed to acquaint you with the approaches to scientific research, and the course on ethics will give you a broad familiarity with the issues of scientific integrity and the moral-scientific interface around the increasing importance of the "new biology."

The capstone project is a thesis providing a critical and original analysis of a problem or approach in the broad area of the science and the public program that serves to integrate the skills and knowledge derived from the required courses.

University Computing Standards

All students are required to have access to an adequately equipped computer that meets the University computing standards as well as daily access to a reliable DSL Internet connection. Students are also expected to have basic computer competency before beginning their course work.

Faculty

The Science and the Public, Ed.M. degree program is within the Department of Learning and Instruction, Graduate School of Education, at the University at Buffalo.

University Computing Standards

All students are required to have access to an adequately equipped computer that meets the University computing standards as well as daily access to a reliable broadband  connection (i.e., DSL or cable). Students are also expected to have basic computer competency before beginning their course work.