Master of Education: STEAM

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM)

Adding Arts to the traditional STEM framework


Considering the Role of Each STEAM Discipline to Develop Student Understanding

The STEAM masters specialization takes STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to the next level by adding Arts (liberal, social, manual, physical and fine arts) to the framework for integrated instruction. STEAM empowers teachers to employ a project-based learning approach that crosses all of these disciplines in solving everyday problems. This approach aligns with Common Core Standards and has been shown to engage students and allow them to use both left and right brained thinking in the same exercise.

It’s full steam ahead when you begin this degree now!

Course of Study

Earn this online Master of Education degree specializing in STEAM by completing 10 courses (3-units each) for 30 units of coursework. Your online Masters in Education program consists of five foundation courses including a capstone action research project as well as five specialization courses. You may begin your study in any semester with any of the courses offered. The Capstone Seminar is the final course in the program and builds on knowledge gained in the research and specialization courses. Earn your masters in STEAM at the University of San Diego today.

Program Course Curriculum

The Master of Education with STEAM specialization program spans over five different semesters which includes a mandatory orientation course. Each semester is fourteen weeks and is split into two different courses. The first course is seven weeks and the second course is seven weeks. Below is a sample outline of what the span of the MEd with STEAM masters specialization program may look like:


Course Units
Master of Education Orientation

This course introduces you to the University of San Diego and provides important information about the program. Throughout the orientation, you will learn to successfully navigate through the Blackboard learning environment and locate helpful resources. You will practice completing tasks in Blackboard as preparation for success in your online graduate courses. This orientation course will be available to you as a reference tool throughout the entirety of your program.


Semester 1

Course Units
Social Justice and Educational Equity

Analysis of the American educational system with a particular focus on issues of diversity, inequity, conflict and social justice within a school context. Historical case studies, contemporary policies and practices, and international comparisons compel consideration of the social construction of education.

Artistic Modeling and Representation in Science and Math Education

An exploration of educational strategies and classroom approaches that leverage the multi-dimensional connections between artistic, scientific, and mathematical knowledge, modeling and representation to strengthen K-12 students' content understanding, critical thinking skills and capacity for innovation. The course will prioritize connections to the crosscutting concepts described in the next generation of science and math standards.


Semester 2

Course Units
Cognition & Learning

Explore key cognitive studies on human cognition and learning. You will critically discuss research and contemporary debates on cognitive processes, learning, memory, reasoning, problem-solving, developmental mechanism, cognitive styles, motivation, and the socio-cultural foundations of learning with an emphasis on the implications for educators and educational researchers.

STEAM and Special Student Populations

Investigation of classroom practices that contribute to historical and contemporary inequities in learning outcomes in STEAM subjects for students based on gender, race, language, and need. Exploration of how STEAM methodologies provide opportunities to increase equity and improve outcomes for all students.


Semester 3

Course Units
Educational Research Methodology

Introduction to the major educational research methods and paradigms with an emphasis on reflective, practitioner-directed inquiry. The course encompasses quantitative methods, qualitative methods, mixed methods, and action research frameworks. Particular emphasis is placed on action research as a reflective and collaborate inquiry for improving educational practices.

Communication, Technology, & Curriculum Design

Applied exploration of qualitative research methodologies such as ethnography, grounded theory, case-study and cross-case comparisons, surveys, observations, document analyses, focus groups and interviews. Opportunity to learn and apply a variety of techniques to analyze data and interpret findings.


Semester 4

Course Units
Qualitative Methods in Educational Research

Applied exploration of qualitative research methodologies such as ethnography, grounded theory, case-study and cross-case comparisons, surveys, observations, document analyses, focus groups and interviews. Opportunity to learn and apply a variety of techniques to analyze data and interpret findings.

Engineering Design Process in Math and Science Education

Investigation of the intersection between conceptual understanding and real-world application with a focus on the engineering design process. Drawing on NASA's Beginning Engineering, Science and Technology (BEST) program, students will explore strategies for engaging K-12 students in structured inquiry learning to enhance disciplinary understanding and ensure knowledge transfer.


Semester 5

Course Units
Capstone Pathways

For the concluding phase in the program, Masters candidates have the option of three culminating final projects: studies employing action research, studies employing other methodologies, or the curriculum research project.

Creativity and Innovation in STEAM

Examination of points of convergence and divergence in the creative processes of artists, scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. Students will develop a strong foundation of theoretical and applied STEAM knowledge, practical guidance in the development of their own unique STEAM toolkits, and opportunities to experience and experiment with STEAM learning in their classrooms.


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