Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades STEM Education


For Program Information/ Academic Advising:

Dr. Vickie Williams
Director of Student Services
Phone: (410) 455-2327
Cheryl Blackwell Johnson
Program Management Specialist
Phone: (410) 455-3388


Why a Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades STEM Education?


  • Declared a critical needs area throughout Maryland
  • UMBC is the only higher education institution in Maryland that offers a Middle Grades STEM
  • Uniquely developed in collaboration with UMBC’s STEM powerhouse – Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics department & the College of Engineering and Information Technology
  • Highly marketable degree that will prepare you for employment immediately after graduation


The University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) offers the Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades STEM in response to the critical shortage declared by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) of middle grades (4-9) teachers in mathematics in science and the call by the University System of Maryland (USM) 10-year strategic plan (“Powering Maryland Forward”) to “triple the number of STEM teachers graduating from USM institutions.” With only 41% of teachers in Maryland being prepared in-state, the proposed degree is timely and uniquely prepares graduates for employment in this critical occupational growth area. No other institution of higher education in Maryland offers a Middle Grades STEM degree.

UMBC Middle Grades STEM degree was developed in collaboration with UMBC’s Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics departments along with its College of Engineering and Information Technology to ensure that the program includes an in-depth understanding of all STEM content areas. The education coursework is patterned after existing UMBC teacher certification programs but tailored to focus on characteristics of teaching specific to middle grades and STEM so that graduates can engage their students in meaningful inquiry-driven instruction as required by new education standards (e.g., Maryland College and Career Readiness Mathematical Standards, Next Generation Science Standards). The new degree will further UMBC’s mission to prepare its talented undergraduate students for entry into the workforce, community service, and leadership.

What Are the Required Courses for the Degree?

Total Credits Required for Graduation: 124


Course Number and Title


Education Major Requirements (41 credits)
EDUC310 Inquiry into Education

This course introduces reflective practice as a foundation for the study of teaching and learning. The macro- and micro-sociocultural contexts of education across diverse settings will be examined. Students will draw upon anthropological and sociological research methods to study the dynamics of classrooms, schools and communities.

(Social Science GEP)

EDUC311 Psychological Foundations of Education

The psychology of school learning will be explored. There will be an overview of theories of teaching, learning, motivation and related research, including the philosophical assumptions underlying each – within the dynamics of context of class, culture, race and gender issues.

(Social Science GEP)

EDUC388 Inclusion and Instruction

The course examines the legal, philosophical and programmatic underpinnings of instructional inclusion, broadly defined.

EDUC410 Reading in the Content Area I

Major approaches to teaching reading to students in grades 7 to 12. Emphasis on skills in all content areas ranging from English to science, which the secondary teacher can apply toward improving secondary students’ reading ability and their attitude toward reading.

EDUC411 Reading in the Content Area II (Writing Intensive)

This course is designed to develop competency in the utilization of reading and writing strategies, assessments, vocabulary building, comprehension, and special-needs adaptations.

EDUC412M Introduction to Middle Level Teaching and Learning

This course is an introduction to a systematic approach to instruction for middle grades (4-9). Special emphasis is placed on formal lesson plan development, use of research-supported strategies, and methods of differentiation. The use of technology resources in instructional planning is emphasized. Students will develop skills to create meaningful learning experiences for students of diverse cultural, ethnic, linguistic and intellectual backgrounds. These skills are then practiced in actual peer teaching situations that may occur off campus.

EDUC466 School, Family, and Community Partnerships for Middle Grades STEM Success

Students examine the theory, research, and best practices on school, family, and community partnerships, with a particular emphasis on strategies to support young adolescents’ success in STEM subject areas.

EDUC435 Integrated STEM Content and Pedagogy

Students will review the integrated approaches to teaching Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Integrated STEM pedagogies include project/problem-based (PBL), design-based, and inquiry-based approaches to teaching.

EDUC431 Methods for Teaching STEM in The Middle Grades

This course introduces pedagogical practices associated with the teaching and learning of integrated STEM practices at the middle levels. The course addresses ideas that include (1) middle grades science, mathematics, engineering and technology (STEM) content, (2) understanding and developing middle grades students’ thinking; (3) designing, selecting, and sequencing instructional tasks and assessments for learners in the middle grades; and (4) self-reflection on learning and teaching STEM at the middle school level.

EDUC454 Phase I Seminar

This seminar course provides a forum for discussing and processing Phase I Internship experiences and current topics/issues/trends in STEM teaching and learning.

EDUC456 Phase II Internship

This intensive internship provides students with the opportunity to take progressive responsibility for teaching in their specialty area and developing professional teaching competencies in a Professional Development School with support from a mentor teacher and a university supervisor.

EDUC457 Phase II Seminar

The seminar provides a forum for discussing and processing field experiences and current issues/problems in teaching and learning.

STEM Content Courses (61 credits)
MATH 131 – Mathematics for Elementary and Middle School Teachers I

Intended primarily for prospective elementary and middle grades teachers. Structural aspects of mathematics and the ‘why’ of arithmetical computations. Topics include numbers and number system structures, fundamental ideas of number theory, properties of mathematical operations, techniques for computation, rational and real number properties, vector and matrix properties and operations, algebraic notation, functions, functional representations, and patterns of change in proportional and inversely proportional relationships. Note Enrollment is intended primarily for students pursuing teacher certification.

MATH 132 -Mathematics for Elementary and Middle School Teachers II

Continuation of MATH 131. Topics include core concepts of Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometry, transformations, congruence, similarity, scaling, right triangles, trigonometry, geometric formula rationale, geometric constructions, axiomatic reasoning and proof, statistical variability, randomness, creation and implementation of surveys and statistical designs, data distributions, empirical and theoretical probability, and probability distributions. Note Enrollment is intended primarily for students pursuing teacher certification.

MATH 150 – PreCalculus Mathematics

This course provides the mathematical preparation necessary for success in calculus. It also provides preparation for basic physics, computer science and engineering science courses. Topics covered include review of functions and graphing techniques; logarithmic and exponential functions; review of basic right-angle trigonometry followed by an extensive treatment of trigonometric functions, identities and applications to the analytic geometry of the conic sections, applications to two-dimensional vectors and to the geometry of complex numbers.

MATH 155 – Applied Calculus

Basic ideas of differential and integral calculus, with emphasis on elementary techniques of differentiation and integration with applications, are treated in this course.


MATH 151 – Calculus and Analytic Geometry I

Topics of this course include limits, continuity, the rate of change, derivatives, differentiation formulas for algebraic, trigonometric, logarithmic, and exponential functions, maxima and minima, integration and computation of areas, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, areas and volumes of solids of revolution, and applications.

STAT 350 – Statistics with Applications in the Biological Sciences

Organization and presentation of data, summary of descriptive measures, probability, binomial and normal distributions, sampling natural populations and the estimation of population parameters, hypothesis testing, chi-square analysis experimental designs and the analysis of variance, linear regression and correlation, and nonparametric statistics. Students will be introduced to statistical computing. All the statistical procedures will be illustrated using data from biology and the health sciences.


STAT 355 – Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Scientists and Engineers

An introduction to applied statistics designed for science majors and others with demonstrated quantitative ability. Topics include nature of statistical methods, random variables and their distribution functions, general principles of estimation and hypothesis testing. A laboratory introduces students to computer techniques in statistical analysis.

BIOL 141 – Foundations of Biology: Cells, Energy, and Organisms

This course for majors provides a broad overview of contemporary biological concepts.

BIOL 142 -Foundations of Biology: Ecology and Evolution

This course provides a broad overview of contemporary biological concepts. It is designed to prepare students for upper level biology core and elective courses. It is one of two introductory courses.

BIOL 300L – Experimental Biology Laboratory

An upper level course of experiments designed to give students the essential laboratory and critical thinking skills in experimental design, implementation and analysis that every biologist should know.

BIOL 302 – Molecular and General Genetics

Modern principles of heredity have been established through studies at the molecular, cellular and organismic levels. This course explores the fundamental biology of gene structure, organization, expression, and function as deduced from analyses of viral, prokaryotic, and eukaryotic systems and the gene interactions that underlie them.

GES 110 – Physical Geography

Study of the principles and processes of climate, earth materials, landforms, soils and vegetation that give logic to their integrated patterns of world distribution.

CMSC 104 – Problem Solving and Computer Programming

This course is designed to provide an introduction to problem solving and computer programming that does not require prior programming experience.


CMSC 201 – Computer Science I for Majors

An introduction to computer science through problem solving and computer programming. Programming techniques covered by this course include modularity, abstraction, top-down design, specifications documentation, debugging and testing. The core material for this course includes control structures, functions, lists, strings, abstract data types, file I/O, and recursion.

CHEM 101 – Principles of Chemistry I

An introduction to chemistry for science majors and other students who require a thorough grounding in the principles of chemistry.

CHEM 102 – Principles of Chemistry II

Principles of chemical and physical equilibrium, liquids and solids, elementary thermodynamics, electron and proton transfer reactions, electrochemistry, chemical kinetics and a further study of the periodic properties of the elements.

CHEM 102L-Introductory Chemistry Lab I

A laboratory course designed to illustrate fundamental genetic principles by experimentation.

PHYS 111 Basic Physics I

Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory period a week. A general physics course intended primarily for students in psychology, biology and health related sciences.

PHYS 112 Basic Physics II

Continuation of PHYS 111. Topics include electricity, magnetism, optics and modern physics.

ENES 101-Introduction to Engineering

Introduction to engineering that covers dimensional analysis, data analysis, professional practice, and an introduction to engineering subjects such as statics, heat transfer, and linear circuits.

Additional General Education Program Requirements (22 credits)
Composition (Recommended: ENGL100 Composition)

ENGL100 Composition A course in critical thinking, reading, and composing, with an emphasis on integrating academic research and documentation.

Foreign Language 201 4
Social Science (Recommended: GES 326 American Conservation Thought)

GES 326 American Conservation Thought An exploration of the major ideas and events of American conservation history from European colonization through to the modern environmental movement. The course focuses upon changing attitudes towards nature, wildlife, and natural resources and also covers the evolution of federal policy regarding the establishment and management of national parks, forests and wilderness areas. In addition, we will review and analyze some of the major environmental and resource controversies of the last 100 years.

Arts & Humanities (Recommended: AMST200 What is an American?)

AMST200 What is an American? This course will explore the evolving question of what constitutes American identity and belonging through important readings on race, class, ethnicity, religion, immigration, gender, sexuality, freedom, and equality.

Arts & Humanities (Recommended: PHIL251 Ethical Issues in Science and Engineering)

PHIL251 – Ethical Issues in Science and Engineering The primary focus of the course will be inquiry into the ethical responsibilities of scientists, engineers and information technologists in today’s high-tech, information-oriented society.

Arts & Humanities (Recommended: THTR242 – Presentation Skills for Non-Actors)

THTR242 – Presentation Skills for Non-Actors An introduction to theatre performance skills that can be applied to public presentations. Emphasis is placed on developing greater expressiveness through the study of a range of acting, voice and movement techniques. Students will make presentations in class as they explore the relationship of the speaker/performer to the listener/ audience.

Culture (Recommended: GES 102 Human Geography)

GES 102 Human Geography Study of the distribution of human activities and the causes and consequences of these distributions, including population, resources, economic activity, urban and rural settlements and cultural phenomena.



As part of an honors university experience, students will be introduced to the richness and diversity of the various academic disciplines through general education requirements. Specifically, they will be required to take a single language through the 201- level or equivalent proficiency; three social science courses; three arts and humanities courses; and one cultural studies course in addition to their coursework in mathematics, science, engineering, technology, and education.

Students will be required to take 123 credits to complete the program.  The sequence of courses is based on an integration of theory and practice, and includes field experiences as well as an internship in a professional development middle school that will extend for two consecutive semesters at the end of the program. The four-year plan of study will include courses aligned with accreditation standards established by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), AMLE, and MSDE.  Successful completion of all course work including the two-semester internship will be required for Maryland teaching certification.



All Photos on this page are by UMBC professional photographer Marylana Demond

2022 06_17