Academic Programs Catalog

College of Natural Science

Graduate Study

Master of Arts for Teachers

The Master of Arts for Teachers degree is designed to provide an enriching educational experience for teachers who are interested in a program of graduate study with less specialization in a science area than is common in most master's degree programs. The degree is for teachers who wish to take graduate work in a subject–matter area but who do not anticipate continuation of graduate study beyond the master's level. However, the student who holds the Master of Arts for Teachers degree may, upon the satisfactory completion of additional work as recommended by the appropriate academic unit, become eligible for admission to a doctoral program.

The degree may be earned with a major in chemistry, geological sciences, or mathematics.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University as described in the Graduate Education section of this catalog, students must meet the requirements specified below.


An applicant for admission to the Master of Arts for Teachers program must be a senior in or a graduate of an institution having substantially the same requirements for the bachelor's degree as Michigan State University, and possess, or be a candidate for, a teacher's certificate. Admission is recommended by the director of the program in which admission is sought, with approval of the Dean of the College of Natural Science.

Requirements for the Master of Arts for Teachers Degree

An appropriate course of study is planned with the candidate by an advisor from the academic unit in the College of Natural Science to which the candidate has been admitted. The minimum number of credits required for the degree is 30, in addition to any credits which must be taken to complete requirements for provisional teacher certification. A comprehensive written or oral examination may be required. A thesis is usually not required, but should one be required, a maximum of 10 semester credits may be allotted for it. The student must complete the requirements for provisional teacher certification before the degree may be granted.

Academic Standards

The minimum standard is a 3.00 grade–point average. Standards may be set higher than the minimum by the academic unit responsible for the degree program. The accumulation of grades below 3.0 in more than three courses of 3 or more credits each, or deferreds in more than three courses of 3 or more credits each at any given time, or a combination of the above in excess of four courses may remove the student from candidacy for the degree. A student who fails to meet the academic standards for any program may, on recommendation of the director, be required by the dean to withdraw at the end of the semester.


The minimum residence requirement is 8 credits on campus. Some programs may require more.

Time Limit

The time limit for the completion of the Master of Arts for Teachers degree is six years from the beginning of the first semester in which credit was earned toward the degree.