Our dedication to Racial Equality and Social Justice (RESJ) spans decades. Learn more about our RESJ Initiative

time exposed photo of headlights in urban center

General Science (1-6)

  • Grade Levels:
  • Credits for Licensure:
  • Credits:
  • Degree:
    Master of Education
  • Program Approved:
    Massachusetts Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education

Program Description

The General Science (1-6) program prepares you to teach effective, hands-on, inquiry-based science education to elementary school students. The curriculum is firmly rooted in the Massachusetts science education model with a balance of earth, life, physical, and engineering sciences. The program is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Massachusetts Teaching Licensure

This program offers the option to earn your general science teaching licensure (grades 1-6) in Massachusetts. A non-licensure option is also available. Please note that, at Cambridge College locations outside of Massachusetts, this program is currently non-licensure only.

Cambridge College General Science Program Highlights

Prepare for rewarding careers teaching science to students in grades 1-6. The master’s degree in general science offers a flexible, affordable graduate program option that fits your life.

  • Career-focused learning. The general science degree focuses on how to integrate the eight practices of science with the subject matter knowledge content standards in PK-8 general science.
  • Hands-on training. Licensure students will complete a general science practicum (and supporting practicum seminar) that provides real-world classroom experience with the guidance of an experienced science teacher.
  • Flexible course schedules. Combining face-to-face and online course options, this program offers flexible options designed to fit the needs of working professionals.
  • Affordable education. Cambridge College is one of the most affordable four-year private nonprofit colleges in the United States, giving you exceptional value for your education.
  • Convenient location. Save time and money on your commute. All Cambridge College classrooms are located close to major highways and public transportation and/or offer free parking for students throughout the year.

Enrich your life and education by working with other adult learners from around the world. Cambridge College welcomes more than 300 students from 50+ countries and was recently ranked among the most ethnically diverse colleges in America.

General Science (1-6) Learning Outcomes

Our graduates are career-ready, technology savvy, and equipped to advance social justice. They take on a variety of jobs for science teachers, prepared to engage young learners in scientific practices and the engineering design process. Knowledge and skills covered include how to:

  • Design and conduct scientific inquiries to test scientific hypotheses.
  • Communicate scientific procedures and explanations.
  • Convey how science, technology, and math inform each other and serve as mechanisms for inquiry into the nature of the universe.
  • Use best practices to teach inquiry-based science and develop a balanced approach to hands-on science instruction.
  • Create a safe and collaborative learning environment to engage all students in their learning.
  • Implement well-structured lessons with measurable assessments of learning and engage in ongoing reflection on practice.  

General Science Degree Jobs

There is a growing demand for qualified science teachers. This degree will provide the specific training and licensure for teaching science in Massachusetts, in addition to preparing you for a variety of other science teacher jobs:

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

Science Teacher Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for elementary school teachers in Massachusetts is $76,590.

Example General Science (1-6) Courses

The master’s degree in teaching general science features courses such as:

  • Methods and Materials for Teaching General Science
  • Teaching Engineering and Technology
  • Logistics of Teaching Science

Download the General Science (1-6) program sheet.

General Science Scholarships and Financial Aid

You may qualify for grants, scholarships, loans, and other types of financial assistance to help pay for your master’s degree in general science. Learn more about applying for financial aid at Cambridge College.

Many companies also offer tuition assistance programs that can help to pay for education. Find information about getting your company to help.

Related Programs at Cambridge College

If you’re still exploring degree options, you might be interested in learning more about these programs at Cambridge College:


Non-licensure option: All program components are required (including pre-practicum) except for SEI, Practicum Readiness course, Practicum, Practicum Seminar, and MTEL exams. Eleven credits of science content coursework are required. These courses must be selected in consultation with the program chair.

Please note: At Cambridge College locations outside of Massachusetts, this program is currently non-licensure only.

Science Methods Courses (grades 1-6)

Option: take SCI 680 or ELE 653.

Program Portfolio Integration
EED 735

Students are required to enroll in this 0-credit course during the first semester of their program experience. Enrollment in this 0-credit course activates student access to the Tevera portfolio which facilities the tracking and storage of essential documents required for program completion.

Attaining Science Literacy
SCI 680 3 credit(s)
This course addresses science literacy by (1) examining the development of the knowledge and skills needed to understand the natural world and to intelligently participate in decisions that affect it, (2) considering science as a way of knowing and as a basis for thinking and problem-solving, and (3) reviewing strategies for promoting science literacy in school programs. Course content includes practical and theoretical constructs with emphasis on connecting theory to practice, applying conceptual understandings to individual teaching settings, and developing skills for independent professional development and scholarship. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Teaching Science, Engineering, and Technology
ELE 653 3 credit(s)
This course provides the knowledge, tools and methods for making early childhood and elementary science an exciting, hands-on learning experience for children. Educators learn how to develop lessons that address student experimentation and design techniques using readily available materials. Safe laboratory practices for the classroom are also addressed. A standards-based approach to science education is our template for lesson development, covering the major domains in science: life, physical, earth, inquiry-applied and engineering technology; and historical scientific discoveries in each area. Alignment of curriculum is emphasized; national benchmark standards in elementary science are also supported. Analysis of elementary summative science assessments, based on the National Science Standards is incorporated in the coursework. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Methods and Materials for Teaching Physical Science
SCI 686 3 credit(s)
Educators will develop competency in the skills and methods used in the teaching of physical science. Basic concepts in matter and energy will be illustrated and supplemented with a rich assortment of activities suitable for the classroom Educators will demonstrate their knowledge of concepts, methods, and classroom management of the experiences that best help their students construct understandings in these areas . Attention will be given to the construction and understanding of inquiry skills as they apply to traditional classroom experiments and activities. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Teaching Engineering and Technology
SCI 690 2 credit(s)

This course is designed to support the 2017 Massachusetts Science/Technology and Engineering Standards, specifically aligned to the Technology and Engineering Standards. Students will be instructed utilizing best practices in engineering design processes, material, tools and manufacturing and technological systems at the intermediate level of understanding. Special focus will be directed in the integration of life, earth and physical sciences as they are used to solve problems and challenges in the field of engineering.

Logistics of Teaching Science
SCI 692 2 credit(s)

This course is designed to provide the elementary science specialist (1-6) and the middle school science teacher (5-8) with the specialized skill set to meet the Massachusetts Professional Standards for Teachers, science safety standards, lab/classroom set-up and design, and management of science equipment. Students will also be guided in the opening of an electronic portfolio system (TaskStream) that will capture all of their academic and licensure requirements as highly qualified science teachers.

Methods and Materials for Teaching Life Science
SCI 682 3 credit(s)
Educators will develop competency in the skills and methods used in the teaching of natural science. Basic concepts in chemistry, biology, and ecology will be illustrated with applications suitable for the classroom. Educators will demonstrate their knowledge of concepts, methods, and classroom management of the experiences that help their students construct understandings in these areas. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Methods and Materials for Teaching Earth Science
SCI 684 3 credit(s)
Educators will develop competency in the skills and methods used in the teaching of earth science. Basic concepts in astronomy, geology, geography, and paleontology will be illustrated with applications suitable for the classroom. Educators will demonstrate their knowledge of concepts, methods, and classroom management of the experience that help their students construct understanding in these areas. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Methods and Materials in Teaching Middle School Chemistry
SCI 688 3 credit(s)
Seated course: This course will focus on providing middle school science teachers with a clear understanding of scientific inquiry and basic chemistry concepts. Grade level appropriate activities will be highlighted with special consideration for the middle school classroom environment and safety issues. Fundamental chemistry concepts discussed and reinforced with experimentation will include: physical properties and physical change, states of matter, density, solutions, mixtures, compounds, chemical change and the applications our elements to technology. This will be a lab-centered course. Pre-practicum hours of directed field-based training required.
Science Content Courses (grades 1-6)

For licensure, select eight 1-credit online courses below.
For non-licensure, select 11 credits.

  • Confer with advisor before choosing courses.
  • Be sure to address your weakest areas of science content.
Aquatic Ecology
SCI 601 1 credit(s)
Online course. This course leads teachers to investigate principles of ecology through examples from fresh water, marine, and other water environments. Content includes interactions among living organisms, energy flow within and among living communities, dynamics of adaptive evolution, and survival strategies. Week one focuses on the variety of water habitats from rain puddles to oceans. Week two examines adaptations of organisms for survival in water. Energy flow and interactive relationships among producers, consumers, and decomposers are featured in weeks three and four. The final course week considers the human impact on aquatic environments. Each course participant becomes an in-depth expert in at least one ecosystem.
Electricity and Magnetism
SCI 603 1 credit(s)
This course explores concepts in electricity and magnetism by addressing basic topics and fundamental misconceptions. Topics include electrostatic charging; charge separation and its role in electric pressure, current electricity, and the circuits through which it moves; Ohm’s Law; schematic diagrams; and current that flows from wall outlets—all leading to exploration of the intimate relationship between magnetism and electricity.
Structure of the Earth
SCI 607 1 credit(s)
Online course. This course examines the physical earth including its internal structure and the processes that make it an ever-changing place. Week one begins by looking at rock formation and its characteristics. The second week explores sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic processes and their contribution to the rock cycle. Week three takes a close-up look at constructive forces of earthquakes and volcanoes and at weathering, erosion, and other destructive forces that re-shape earth’s surface. Finally, in week four, the learner digs deep into the inner depths of the planet to examine plate motion and plate tectonic theory and in week five a geological locale project pulls together greater understanding of the forces which help shape and drive our dynamic earth.
Ocean Science
SCI 611 1 credit(s)
The oceans dominate our planet, influencing every aspect of Earth’s environment. This course reviews the physical science, geology, and biology of the oceans emphasizing a systemic approach. Week one reviews the basic geography and geology of the Earth’s oceans and the forces that shape and propel ocean waters. Week two looks at the water in the ocean, its chemistry, and what is dissolved in it. The mysteries of the ocean depths are explored in week three, with investigations of how humans explore the world beneath the ocean surface. Week four examines the effect of Earth’s oceans on climate and on the land. In week five, learners examine ocean life and investigate the effects of ocean environments on the living things within the water.
Earth's Place in the Universe
SCI 613 1 credit(s)
This course examines Earth from the perspective of its place in space, its movements and examines Earth’s relationship to the sun and moon, its place in the solar system and beyond. The first week is an exploration of earth-bound celestial observations and the origins of modern astronomy. The second week we examine the movement of the Earth within our solar system including a look at gravity and orbits. Week three features an in-depth look at the moon and its motion including eclipses, phases and tides. In week four we explore the sun and the reasons we have seasons on Earth. Our final week we look beyond our solar system to explore that Earth and its solar system are one of many in the Milky Way galaxy. The course is cross-disciplinary when appropriate and is especially designed for teachers who are currently teaching or who are preparing to teach courses in earth science.
Transfer of Energy
SCI 609 1 credit(s)
Online course. This course focuses on the National Science Education Standards’ approach to energy and its transformation between forms. Week one begins with common misconceptions in the types and characteristics of energy forms. Week two deals with the transformation of energy and applies this transfer to conservation of energy and fallacy of perpetual motion machines. Week three takes a close-up look at heat to explore the fundamentals of this energy form. Week four shifts focus to sound waves as pressure waves and light, both sun and man made, and a review of electromagnetic spectrum. Week five opens with Rube Goldberg machines, looking at energy transfer devices and energy usefulness and efficiency.
Teaching Project-Based Science
SCI 619 1 credit(s)
Online course: This course presents the advantages of project-based science, guidelines on how to succeed in using this instructional and assessment approach, and strategies for customizing for individual school settings. Week one presents comparisons between traditional and project-based science curriculum and includes management issues and requirements for student success. Week two deals with student projects that involve science, society and decision-making and connections to service learning. Assessment and evaluation of student projects are the focus of week three. In weeks four and five, teachers develop a unit of instruction for use with their own classes and to share with online colleagues.
Chemistry Through Inquiry
SCI 627 1 credit(s)
This course focuses on the national science education content standards for physical science and “science as inquiry”. As teachers do hands-on science investigation, read science background, and participate in discussions, they will enhance their own science content knowledge and develop an inquiry-based approach to science learning.
Practical Meteorology
SCI 629 1 credit(s)
This course examines meteorology from a practical perspective. The course is cross-disciplinary when appropriate and is especially designed for educators who have degrees and backgrounds in sciences other than meteorology. The course combines technical explanations of weather and climate phenomena with practical guidelines for observing, evaluating and forecasting weather. The course content web pages are supplemented by images of weather phenomena, links to other web-based resources and self-directed reviews of literature on various weather and climate phenomena.
Forces in Motion
SCI 615 1 credit(s)
Online course. Focusing on conceptual understanding, Week one introduces kinematics, the study of how things move on a straight path. Week two advances this understanding into accelerated motion and introduces inertia. During this week, gravity is introduced within a multi-disciplinary arena. Week three introduces dynamics, the study of forces and why things move, and looks at inertia, mass, and weight. Week four presents opportunities to measure forces and to examine their effects. Coverage includes Bernoulli’s principles, friction, terminal velocity, and buoyancy. Week five explores the everyday world with its focus on mechanical advantage, work, and simple machines.
Earth's History
SCI 617 1 credit(s)
Online course. This course focuses on the basic geologic principles that have shaped the history of the earth, integrating thematic content in the life and earth sciences with a chronological approach. Week one sets the stage with a review of basic geological principles and field geology. Week two presents the earth's first billion years with the formation of the earth and moon. Reading the fossil record is covered in week three with evolution and extinction providing the major themes. The Proterozoic and Paleozoic eras are the focus of week four, and the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras are covered in week five.
Cell Biology
SCI 600 1 credit(s)
This course examines the origin, evolution, fine structure and function of cells. Beginning with single celled organisms such as archaea and bacteria, the student looks at how cells conduct the processes necessary for life. Students examine the processes through which eukaryotic cells differentiate into tissues, organs and systems and review the basics of continuity and genetics. Enzyme function and physiology are linked to genes. Finally, students explore the future of cell biology.
Practicum Prerequisites
  • Pass all MTELs required by Massachusetts for this license: Communication & Literacy test and, for 1-6: Successful completion of coursework
  • SEI605    Sheltered English Immersion or ESE-endorsed course or SEI MTEL.
  • Pass all required courses.
  • Pre-Practicum — Successfully complete program-specific hours in diverse settings (0 credit)
  • EDU704    Practicum Readiness (1 credit)
  • Submit Practicum Application and Placement Approval Forms.
SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) Content License Endorsement Course
SEI 605 3 credit(s)
This Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Content License Endorsement Course is designed for educator licensure candidates in all core academic areas, to prepare them to address the needs, and build on the multilingual and multicultural assets, of a diverse and ever-changing student population in Massachusetts. The course is a key element of the Massachusetts RETELL initiative (Rethinking Equity and Teaching for English Language Learners). RETELL also includes statewide implementation of the WIDA ELD (English Language Development) standards, and the WIDA-ACCESS assessment tools. Participants will be introduced to ELD standard and WIDA tools, and will practice applying research-based SEI instructional strategies as they teach their content to English language learners (ELLs). They will also be introduced to a variety of professional growth opportunities to prepare them to extend their learning by making SEI the focus of professional practice within the new educator evaluation process.
Practicum Readiness
EDU 704 1 credit(s)

This course is specifically designed to determine readiness for the practicum. It will assist the teacher candidate to develop his/her skills to be ready to assume the role of student teacher from the first day of practicum. Students will understand the requirements of CAP by engaging in and completing the forms for each of the "essentials" and completing their own goals. All of the Tevera components, other than the practicum documents, will be completed. MTELs will be completed. Those having difficulty with the MTELs will be directed for support. Fieldwork assignments will be required.

Practicum & Seminar

Guided and evaluated by a licensed/certified general science teacher in the classroom and a Cambridge College general science supervisor. Practicum locations are subject to ESE regulations and must be discussed with the program chair and approved by the pre-practicum/practicum coordinator.

Practicum General Science 1-6
SCI 794A 2 credit(s)
300 hours, levels 1-6. Prerequisites: complete pre-practicum with 75 or more hours of directed field-based training in conjunction with selected courses, pass all required courses, pass all teacher tests required by Massachusetts for this license. Practicum Seminar required concurrently. The practicum, required for all concentrations that lead to Massachusetts initial licensure, must be completed in a school that uses the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS). Practicum hours must be in the role and at the level of the license sought under a cooperating practitioner with the appropriate license, with Cambridge College supervision. The Practicum experience provides student teachers with an opportunity to gain insights into the profession and to master the current Professional Standards for Teachers by working with young people in public schools and classrooms. This Practicum experience is geared primarily for those teachers seeking the position of middle school science/engineering technology instructor”. The content delivery within this experience is aligned to the Next Generation of Science Standards at the 5-8 level of comprehension. Students work with the guidance and support of an experienced science teacher and by observing his/her instructional and classroom management strategies in action. Students develop instructional strategies for a variety of learning formats, align lesson plans with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks/NGSS, appropriate curriculum materials for the science teacher, classroom management skills, strategies for creating a learning environment that fosters an appreciation of diversity and interactive learning. Students reflect on their own professional growth and examine theory through actual classroom practice. An Exit Performance Portfolio documents their experiences. The Exit Performance Portfolio and its artifacts will be uploaded to a web-based portfolio system/Task Stream. (3 formal assessment observations required by College supervisor)
Practicum Seminar: General Science (1-6) (5-8)
SCI 791 2 credit(s)
The seminar for classroom experience supports students’ growth as they assume the teaching role. It is the setting for students to interpret their field-based experiences and transform them into skills, knowledge constructs, attitudes and values. The seminar provides a cohort/support for students to address problems and find solutions, while utilizing current academic research and practices. They master understanding and practice of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Science/Engineering Technology, develop the skills necessary for the teacher tests, and become familiar with the current reforms and changes in state regulations on educator licensure. The Next Generation of Science Standards reflecting the national science initiatives is also referenced as a guide to best practices in science education. As evidence of the Practicum experience, each student will develop an Exit Portfolio as an integral part of the Practicum Seminar. The Exit Portfolio will be contained and uploaded to a web-based evaluation program called Task Stream. Each student will open their own Task Stream account and contribute the necessary academic artifacts and evidence that demonstrates their competency as they complete their fieldwork experience in the science classroom. The artifacts and evidence can be viewed in Task Stream.

Program Chair

Core Faculty

Senior Instructor



  • Admission Test:

    No standardized graduate school tests required for admission into non-licensure programs

  • Admissions Office:
  • Application Form:
  • Application Fee:
    $50 ($100 for international students)

Health Requirements for Massachusetts Students 

The Massachusetts Health Department and Cambridge College require the following of students in Massachusetts:

Immunizations – All students in Massachusetts are required to get certain immunizations before you can register for your first term. See form

Health Insurance – In Massachusetts, undergraduate students taking nine or more credits/term and graduate students taking six or more credits/term must enroll in the College’s health insurance plan. Students who have insurance with comparable coverage may request a waiver. See information and enroll or waive.


School Requirements

International Students 

International students need to provide supplemental documentation:

  • Official demonstration of English language proficiency
  • Supplemental documentation for issuance of I-20
  • International transcripts, evaluated by an accepted evaluation service

Transfer Credit 

Please complete the transfer credit request form if you wish to have prior course work evaluated for transfer. Learn more about transferring credits.



  • Credits for Licensure:
  • Credits:
  • Cost per credit hour:
  • Application Fee:
    $50 ($100 for international students)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $3,940 - Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.)
  • Internship/Practicum Fee:

Note: Rates are as of July, 2022, and are subject to change without notice. Rates apply to all students, unless otherwise noted.

Financial Aid

Cambridge College offers financial aid to students in our degree programs who are enrolled at least half time. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits each term. Graduate and doctoral students must be enrolled in at least 4 credits each term. Learn more

Grants, Scholarships and Loans

Cambridge College welcomes the opportunity to support your efforts to pay for college.  Federal, state and local resources in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study, including Cambridge College Scholarships, are available to help defray the cost of tuition. Learn more

Getting Your Company to Help

Many companies have tuition assistance programs, designed to help their employees with their professional development. Learn more

Take the Next Step Toward Your Master's Degree in General Science