Science & Agricultural Education

Science and Agricultural Education

Two young students examining plants in a field

The Science & Agricultural Education emphasis area focuses on the process of learning and teaching science, environmental and/or agricultural content, the design and evaluation of novel curriculum, and the impact of technology on teaching and learning. Faculty and students conduct research in authentic K-16 settings to understand the role of classroom culture and practice on science and agricultural education.

Required Courses

In addition to the Ph.D. program general core courses and research methodology requirements, science and agriculture education students complete 32 units of intensive course work in education and content domains. The core of the curriculum comprises 16 units of required course work (3 courses from the list below and the SAM seminar for 4 units).

Three courses selected from this list:

  • 260 – The Modern History of Science Education (4)
  • 262A or 262B – Research Topics in Science Education (4)
  • 264 – Science Literacy and Science Education Reform (4)
  • 292 – Experiential Learning (4)
  • 292 – History of Agriculture Education (4)

Science/Agriculture/Math (SAM) Seminar: EDU 294*

This is a variable unit course that is offered at least twice each academic year. Each quarter it will be taught by a different faculty member, and the topic of study will be determined by that faculty member and the interests of the current cohort of science, agriculture, and math graduate students. Science and Agriculture education graduate students are required to take this course for the full 4 units at least once and are expected to enroll in the course an additional 3 times during their program (these can be for fewer units however).

Disciplinary Training

To ensure that students have appropriate subject matter expertise, 16 units of advanced coursework in a particular area of science, agriculture or environmental science is required. Selection of these courses is based on each student’s particular interests in consultation with the faculty advisor. For example, a student interested in physics education would take 16 units (4 courses) of physics; a student interested in the teaching of biology would take 16 units (4 courses) in biology. Students who possess a Master’s degree in a science or agriculture domain are not required to take these additional courses, and with advisor approval they may count up to 16 units of appropriate previous graduate-level coursework toward fulfilling the 32 unit emphasis area requirement.


Students in this emphasis area are strongly suggested to take a minimum of eight units (2 courses) of additional course work in areas relevant to their research interests. These courses, determined in consultation with the faculty advisor, are intended to add breadth and/or depth to the student’s program of study. They may be courses offered within or outside the School of Education.

*Any course marked with an asterisk is a proposed course with a tentative course number. Proposed courses are offered as sections of EDU 292, Special Topics in Education, until they have completed the approval process.

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