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Master of Science in Teaching (MST) Program - FAQs for Current Students

FAQs for Current Students

For those seasoned veterans in the MST program, here are some answers to your questions and additional information to help guide your academic path.

Various Links/Forms:

MST Program of Study (form)
MST Graduate Student Progress Report (form)
Maine Secondary Teaching Certification Requirements
Graduate School Forms Page
MST Core Courses
MST Research Intern Application 2012
Campus Map

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

  1. What is a thesis committee?
  2. How do I form a thesis topic?
  3. Program of Study … what’s that?
  4. Is there a timeline for my thesis progress?
  5. I’m ready to defend my thesis … what do I do now?
  6. My defense is done … now what?
  7. What color hood do I buy for the Hooding Ceremony?
  8. I want to be certified to teach in the State of Maine … what do I do?
  9. What is involved in student teaching?
  10. Which Praxis exams do I need to take?
  11. What classes am I required to take? 


  1. What is a thesis committee?
    Every student is required to complete a thesis project in order to graduate from the MST program. A thesis committee is a group of 3-4 instructors, (two of which must be associated with the Center for Science and Mathematics Education Research), who help guide you through all the steps associated with the Thesis process.Back to Top

  2. How do I form a thesis topic?
    Your thesis topic needs to be based upon original research related to science or mathematics education. Your thesis committee can help you come up with some ideas, but in the end you need to ask yourself…”What am I interested in?”  Click here for more tips on choosing and writing your thesis.
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  3. Program of study…what’s that? This is a form, along with the Graduate Student Progress Report, that must be filled out and submitted to the Graduate School and the Center each semester, and must be signed by your thesis committee members AND by the MST Graduate Coordinator (Susan McKay).  This form helps to keep a record of your progress in the MST program.MST Program of Study (POS) form
    MST Progress Report form

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  4. Is there a timeline for my thesis progress? Once you have formed a thesis committee and thesis topic you need to start collecting data through original research. You are required to meet with your committee at least once every semester until you defend.Back to Top

  5. I’m ready to defend my thesis … what do I do now?
    A printed copy of your thesis must be in the Center office (120 Bennett Hall) 2 weeksbefore you defend, or your defense date may not be accepted by the program. Your defense date is the date you defend your thesis to your committee.Back to Top

  6. My defense is done (and I passed!) …. now what?
    Complete all re-writes recommended by your thesis committee. Once your final thesis has been accepted by the Graduate School you are entitled to 3 copies of your bound thesis (provided by the program).  This is in addition to the copy that you submit to the Graduate School. One copy is for you, one is for your advisor, and one copy is for you. If you have co-advisors, we will also pay for an additional copy for your 2nd advisor.  Bring the final version to Leisa Preble or Tracy Richardson on 25% cotton bond paper.  If you need assistance, you can contact Leisa at 581-4672 (or Tracy at 1-4673).  For additional information, consult the Thesis Guidelines booklet provided by the Graduate School.Back to Top

  7. What color hood do I need for the Graduate School Hooding Ceremony and for Graduation?
    Our graduate degree is officially called the “Master of SCIENCE in Teaching”, and is affiliated with the College of Arts and Sciences. The hood color that you should buy is GOLD.Back to Top

  8. Teaching certification?
    For those students seeking certification, the following link will help answer any questions you may have: 

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  9. What is involved in student teaching?
    Don’t be scared, this is a milestone in every teacher’s life. You will be placed into a Middle School or High School and serve seven weeks as a student teacher in either a science or mathematics classroom. You will be placed with an experienced teacher to supervise your instruction. In the beginning you will observe. Over time your role will become more active as you eventually take the lead in instructing the majority, if not all, of your supervisors’ classes.Back to Top

  10. Which Praxis exams do I need to take?
    In order to become a certified teacher through student teaching, you need to take the Praxis I exam, and the Praxis II (content specific) exam.  If you wish to be certified in more than one content area, you will need to take the Praxis II exam for each of your chosen areas. You are notrequired to take the Praxis Methods exam. Completing SMT 501-502, 503-504, or 505-506 classes satisfies this methods requirement for the state.Back to Top

  11. What classes am I required to take? The following link will show you the 19 credits of Core classes you are required to complete for the MST program:  These will be tailored to your individual program by you and your advisor.You are also required to take 12 Additional course credits. These may include:
  • (6 credits) Two additional 400-600 level courses to strengthen content or pedagogy. (Students working toward certification generally take SED 500 as one of these classes, as it is required for certification.)
  • (6 credits) Either a practicum that consists of supervised student teaching at the middle or high school level and a companion seminar (SMT 590 and SMT 591- required for certification), or six additional credits of courses to strengthen content or pedagogy.

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