MST Program Details: Tracks & Concentrations

Program Tracks

INITIAL CERTIFICATION TRACK – For those who wish to become certified to teach life sciences, physical sciences, or mathematics in grades 7–12

In addition to the core courses, students in this track:

  • Take all required PRAXIS exams for their area of certification
  • Take a course on adapting instruction for students with disabilities, which is required by the state for certification
  • Take one additional course of their choice to strengthen their content or pedagogical knowledge
  • Participate in a 15-week student teaching practicum along with a co-requisite seminar for teacher interns. See K–12 Classroom Experiences page for more information.
  • Document an experience working with students from groups under-represented in science and mathematics

NON-CERTIFICATION TRACK – For those already licensed who wish to increase their content and pedagogical knowledge, those who plan to pursue a PhD in the field of education research, or those who wish to pursue a related career in science/math education that does not require K–12 certification.

Students in this track take the core courses plus 12 additional credits of courses to strengthen their content knowledge and/or research skills.


Students choose one of four possible concentrations:

  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Mathematics
  • Earth Sciences
  • Generalist (a combination of any of the above concentrations, or for those interested in other science fields such as biology or chemistry)

Each concentration has different prerequisites required to apply to the program. 

These concentrations do not directly correlate with the certification areas for K–12 teachers in Maine – rather, they are areas in which the RiSE center has several faculty that specialize in that field. In the program requirements, you will see a core requirement of two teaching methods courses in your area of concentration.  These methods courses are taught by faculty with backgrounds in that particular field.

The center also has faculty who specialize in other science fields including biology and chemistry. An alumni thesis list shows the varied student interests in all fields of science and mathematics.  Students in the generalist concentration are able to take two required teaching methods courses in any of the three content areas above (or they can mix and match). They can then customize their program by targeting their thesis to their area of interest, and/or by taking additional content courses in their area of interest.