School of Education & Counseling

Elementary Science Specialist (1-6) Certificate  Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

Master the science content and scientific practices required for endorsement in general science, grades 1-6. The Elementary Science Specialist certificate program blends essential science content with best practices in hands-on, inquiry-based science education. Learn through in-person and online science courses.

17 Credits
Starts September 3, 2024


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science class

Elementary Science Specialist (1-6) Certificate Overview

This certificate program combines science teaching methods and science content. Gain an understanding of elementary life sciences and the physical sciences. You will also learn tools and methods for teaching elementary science and creating exciting, hands-on learning experiences for children.

This elementary science curriculum is designed for classroom teachers who hold an initial license in elementary teaching, or another relevant field, and want to add on an endorsement in general science for grades 1-6.

Based out of our Boston location, all classes are taught online or remotely on Zoom.

Elementary Science Specialist (1-6) Certificate Highlights

Graduates of the elementary science certificate program will have the knowledge and skills to:

  • Teach science content by engaging learners in scientific practices and the engineering design process
  • Use best practices in teaching inquiry-based science
  • Develop a balanced approach to hands-on science instruction using methodology and safety procedures according to state standards
  • Identify socially important issues including the impact of technology on our environment
  • Design and conduct scientific inquiries to test scientific hypotheses, using appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze and interpret data
  • Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence, and communicate scientific procedures and explanations
  • Know how science, technology and math inform each other and serve as mechanisms for inquiry into the nature of the universe

Advantages of Cambridge College’s Elementary Science Specialist Program

Take the next step in your education and career. The Elementary Science Specialist certificate program at Cambridge College offers a flexible, affordable option designed for working professionals.

  • Flexible, hybrid class schedules: Our Elementary Science program is offered through a mix of on-campus sessions, scheduled remote sessions and self-paced online sessions to give you flexibility in class formats. Day, evening and weekend-intensive options are designed to fit the needs of adult learners.
  • Affordable tuition: Our tuition rate is among the country’s most affordable for a four-year private nonprofit college, offering quality education at exceptional value.
  • Experienced faculty: Our faculty are accomplished researchers and dedicated, accessible teachers who are committed to helping you succeed.
  • Convenient location: Attend any in-person classes at our Boston campus which is a 5-minute walk from the Orange Line and offers free parking for students.

Elementary Science Specialist (1-6) Certificate Tuition Information

Cost Per Credit
Total Program Tuition
Cost Per Credit$639
Credits* 17 credits
Total Program Tuition $10,863

*See curriculum sheet for a breakdown of credits and credit ranges.

Prospective graduate degree students for programs in the School of Education & Counseling must satisfy the following requirements plus any program-specific requirements your program may have.

  1. Complete and sign the online application.
  2. Pay the application fee. Pay your $50 ($100 for international students) application fee by the term start date.
  3. Send official transcripts. Maildirectly to Cambridge College in a sealed, unopened envelope. Learn How to Send Transcripts. Required degrees must be from accredited colleges or universities.
    • Master's and most graduate certificate programs require an earned bachelor's degree.
    • Post-master's certificates and CAGS require an earned master's degree.
    • International transcripts must be translated and evaluated by an approved agency. See all international student requirements
  4. Send your résumé and work experience. Send your resume that details your education and work experience, including how they pertain to your career goals. If your SEC program has a work experience requirement, it will be listed in the Program-Specific Requirements section below.
  5. Submit your personal statement. Write a 500-word, typed, double-spaced essay describing your professional experience, goals and objectives for graduate study. How do you expect your graduate studies to enhance your future career?
  6. Include two professional recommendations (not required for fully online programs). These should address your professional character and ability to perform graduate work. Download Applicant Recommendation Form
  7. Interview (required for some programs). If your program requires an interview, it will be listed in the Program-Specific Requirements section below.
  8. Satisfy Health Insurance & Immunization requirements. (Massachusetts only). These are required only for graduate students taking six or more credits per term in Massachusetts through on-campus or hybrid classes. Health insurance may be waived.

Teacher Licensure Program Requirements

In addition to the requirements listed above, our Teacher Licensure Programs have these additional requirements:

  1. Earned bachelor's degree with 3.0 or higher GPA.
  2. MA Educator Documentation from the Massachusetts Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) website. Keep copies of all documents submitted and, upon admission, post in your electronic portfolio:
    1. Massachusetts Educator Personnel ID (MEPID number)
    2. MTEL Communication & Literacy Test, successfully completed.

Required if completed:

  • Massachusetts preliminary license, if held
  • Sheltered English Instruction requirement
  • Fingerprinting and Criminal Offender Record Information

Applicants who do not initially meet all requirements (e.g. GPA of 3.0 or MTEL) for admission into their chosen licensure program must enroll in the corresponding non-licensure degree option. Students who achieve a 3.0 GPA upon completion of the first three SEC courses, pass the MTELs, and now meet all requirements, may request a change of program.

Disclosures: For all Licensure Programs

  • Licensure requirements are subject to change per Massachusetts regulations. All Cambridge College licensure programs are based on current regulations.
  • All candidates admitted for licensure programs must successfully complete the program in its entirety.
  • All requirements at the time of program completion must be finalized prior to seeking Massachusetts endorsement for licensure purposes.
  • If you have any licensure questions, please speak to your program chair.

Program-Specific Admission Requirements

Valid Massachusetts Elementary PreK-2 or 1-6 initial license. (No MTEL is required for General Science, Grades 1-6.)

Elementary Science Specialist Careers and Salaries

Adding a general science endorsement will develop your professional credentials and improve your marketability as an elementary science teacher. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for kindergarten and elementary school teachers is $60,490 per year.*


Annual salary for kindergarten and elementary school teachers, May 2022*


Projected annual job openings from 2022 to 2032*

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers, (visited December 5, 2023).

Jobs in Elementary Science

Potential career pathways include:

  • Elementary science specialist, grades PreK-5
  • Middle school general science teacher, grades 5-8
  • Science museum educator
  • Nature center specialist or guide
  • Aquarium and zoo educator

Faculty Spotlight

John N. Papadonis

John N. Papadonis


Program Chair: Science and Digital Literacy

John Papadonis is a distinguished figure in science education, currently serving as the Program Chair of Science and Digital Literacy Programs at Cambridge College. With a wealth of experience and expertise, he has been instrumental in shaping the General Science Program at Cambridge College into one of the premier science education programs in Massachusetts. Notably, under his leadership, approximately 20% of all Massachusetts K-8 licensed science teachers receive certification through the...