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Science Education

Our Mission:

The Department of Science Education at California State University, Chico is committed to providing the North State with the highest quality science education for all learners, programs for teacher subject matter preparation and professional development, and research on teaching and learning to promote scientific appreciation and understanding.

About our Department:

The Science Education Department (SCED) is an interdisciplinary community of faculty, staff, and students from the College of Natural Sciences who work to improve the teaching and learning of science in formal and informal settings. In collaboration with our colleagues in the School of Education and science teachers in public and private schools, we contribute to an expanding knowledge base of theory, innovation, research, and practice. The department of science education offers programs in:

  • Science teacher subject matter preparation (pre-service)
  • Professional development for in-service teachers
  • Informal science education

Undergraduate Program:

The B. A. in Natural Sciences is designed to provide training for students with broad science interests. The program provides excellent preparation for careers in:

  • Formal educational settings, such as teaching science at the elementary, intermediate, or introductory high school level, or serving as an elementary science specialist;
  • Informal educational settings, such as zoos, botanic gardens, arboreta, aquaria, museums, observatories, nature centers, preserves, state parks, or national forests; and
  • Interdisciplinary arenas such as environmental law, science policy, and science writing.

The strengths of the B.A. in Natural Sciences program include:

  • Faculty with degrees from multiple science disciplines who offer a strong pedagogical and content background in the natural sciences;
  • A concentration in one specific content area; and
  • Professional knowledge and skills needed for success in a chosen profession.

Students interested in teaching high school in specific science disciplines (biology, chemistry, geology, or physics) must complete a designated major in that discipline. You can find links to these Programs for Future Science Teachers on the Science Education web site.

Advisors in the Department of Science Education help students develop individual plans that include meeting all the requirements for teacher certification programs in the State of California, if that is a student’s eventual goal. To schedule an advising appointment phone or email the department office at 530-898-4599 or

Scholarships for Future Teachers

For a list of special financial incentives for future science teachers, visit the Scholarships for Future Teachers webpage on the Department of Science Education’s website under Programs for Future Science Teachers. In addition, for information on all California State University, Chico scholarships, contact the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office in Student Services Center (SSC), Room 250.

Career Outlook

Science teachers are on the cutting edge of a new generation of knowledge professionals, and the need for well-educated science teachers has never been greater. A recent report of the National Science Foundation found that over 50% of all public secondary schools in the United States currently have vacant positions in all the sciences. In response to this national crisis, the CSU system has made a long-term commitment to increasing the number of science teachers. As a result, significant financial assistance is available for future science teachers, amounting to a substantial fraction of tuition and fees if awarded. Come by and see us; we are here to help students on the path to an exciting and fulfilling career in science education.  

Catalog Cycle:15