Master of Science Teaching (MST) Degree

Program Learning Outcomes for the MST Degree 

Upon completing the MST degree, students will be able to: 

  1. Solve problems based on Kepler's Laws and Newton's Laws using non-calculus mathematical techniques. 
  2. Demonstrate best practices for teaching scientific content. 
  3. Present an oral report on a scientific topic using presentation software such as Powerpoint. 
  4. Learn how to use scientific and astronomical equipment such as telescopes, digital cameras, GPS, and electronic devices, including multimeters, and/or portable planetariums.  
  5. Prepare a Final Project, which will include scientific research, educational research, and/or curriculum creation or analysis.   

Requirements for the MST Degree  

The MST degree is a non-thesis master's degree. For general university requirements, please see Non-Thesis Master's Degrees. For additional requirements, regulations, and procedures for all graduate programs, please see All Graduate Students. Students pursuing the MST degree must complete: 

  • A minimum of 30 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements. 
  • A minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate-level study (graduate semester credit hours, coursework at the 500-level or above). 
  • A minimum of 24 graduate semester credit hours must be taken at Rice University.
  • A minimum of 24 graduate semester credit hours must be taken in standard or traditional courses (with a course type of lecture, seminar, laboratory, lecture/laboratory). 
  • A minimum residency enrollment of one fall or spring semester of part-time graduate study at Rice University.
  • A maximum of 2 courses (6 graduate semester credit hours) from transfer credit. For additional departmental guidelines regarding transfer credit, see the Policies tab.
  • A minimum of 15 credit hours from Content or Content/Skills Courses.
  • A final project. Students will prepare a final project which will include scientific research, educational research, and/or curriculum creation or analysis.  
  • The requirements for one area of specialization. The MST degree program offers nine areas of specialization1:
    • Astronomy, or
    • Computer Science, or   
    • Earth Science, or   
    • Engineering, or
    • Informal Science, or   
    • Integrated Physics and Chemistry (IPC), or   
    • Mathematics, or
    • Middle School Science, or   
    • Physics.
  • A minimum overall GPA of 2.67 or higher in all Rice coursework.
  • A minimum program GPA of 2.67 or higher in all Rice coursework that satisfies requirements for the non-thesis master’s degree.

Each student will have a 3-person committee, with at least 2 members from the tenure-track faculty, to approve the student's proposed program, advise on which specific courses will best suit the student's needs, and approve their final project. At least 1 of the members of the committee will be an experienced Education Professional, who will ensure the appropriateness of the courses to the educator's program. At least 1 person of the committee will be an expert in the content area that is the student's primary teaching interest.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this degree program. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the program's academic advisor, or where applicable, the department or program's Director of Graduate Studies. Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the department or program's Official Certifier. Additionally, these must be approved by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.


Total Credit Hours Required for the MST Degree30

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
Select a minimum of 15 credit hours of Content or Content/Skills courses at the 500-level or above: 215
Additional Content/Skills or Education Courses
Students must complete a minimum of 3 additional credit hours from content, skills, or education courses: 33
Research or Practicum
Select at least 3 and no more than 12 credit hours of research (educational or scientific) or practicum teaching: 3,412
Total Credit Hours30

Footnotes and Additional Information

Policies for the MST Degree 

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities.

Program Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the MST degree should be aware of the following program-specific transfer credit guidelines:

  • No more than 2 courses (6 credit hours) of transfer credit from U.S. or international universities of similar standing as Rice may apply towards the degree.
  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director on an individual case-by-case basis. 

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Science Teaching website:

Opportunities for the MST Degree

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Science Teaching website: