Earth System Science with General Science Licensure (5-8), B.S.

Group of students working together in a Chemistry lab.

Explore Your Path to Science Teaching

You love science and want to share your knowledge and enthusiasm with kids and teens. Today in Massachusetts and across the U.S., the demand for science teachers is higher than ever. Teaching science to middle school students is a rewarding career that positively shapes students’ sense of self, their understanding of the world and their own future career prospects.

A degree in Earth System Science with General Science Licensure allows you to pursue a science-related career and/or a teaching career after graduation.

You’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the Earth as a dynamic system and investigate its many fascinating spheres (geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere). Adding licensure to your science degree means you will take education classes and practice science teaching in real classrooms through supported field placements. Most students complete their degree and licensure requirements in four years.

Program Highlights

  • Dig into your passion for science
  • Expand your science-related career options
  • Make a difference in the lives of young people

Empower future generations through science education.

Gain the expertise to inspire and guide students in understanding science.

Prepare for a career that can make an impact.

  • Students working together in a outdoor lab at Stanley Park.

    Specialized courses

    Explore coursework covering the interconnected disciplines of geology, hydrology, astronomy, chemistry, physics, biology, and environmental science.

  • Students in chemistry classroom wearing lab aprons and eye protection.

    Opportunities for research experience

    Tailored science research experience opportunities to align with individual interests and career goals.


  • Professor Vaitheeswaran working alongside two students in classroom.

    Confidence to launch your teaching career

    Gain the comprehensive preparation needed to excel from day one in the program. Learn about teaching through science methods and curriculum courses and practice your skills, with guidance and supervision, in real middle school classrooms. Receive support for the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTELs) and access tutoring services, student resources, and additional pathways to ensure your readiness for success.

Ready to learn more?

Course Requirements

Requirements for General Science Licensure

Students seeking initial licensure in General Science (grades 5-8) must satisfy the following requirements prior to practicum placement:

  • Completion of all courses required for the Earth System Science major with General Science Licensure (5-8), B.S., with a minimum GPA of 2.50 and no grade lower than a C- in those major courses.
  • Completion of the appropriate professional sequence of education courses for the Middle and Secondary Education certification program, including the appropriate academic Methods course: either GNSC 0371 - Methods of Science Education for the Middle School or GNSC 0373 - Methods of Chemistry Education.
  • Achievement of a passing mark on both the Commucation and Literacy test and the appropriate subject matter exam of the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL).
    • Students generally should attempt the Communication and Literacy MTEL exam during their first year, and the subject matter MTEL exam during the fall term of the junior year.

Students are typically accepted for Advanced Standing in the Education Department's licensure programs as juniors, after having passed the Communication and Literacy MTEL and after meeting all other Advanced Standing requirements. In addition to on-campus work, the professional sequence includes an extensive student teaching practicum, which is usually completed in the spring semester of the senior year.

OPTION II - Middle School Licensure in General Science (5-8)

Get big school features with small school advantages. 

We offer high-quality academics, unique learning opportunities, and a gorgeous campus—and we have small classes, accessible faculty, and one-on-one support. 

You'll join fellow motivated students ready to make the most of the college experience through active participation. Become part of a caring and committed community that understands and embraces the bridge between academic study and civic responsibility.

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  • Learn


Learn from those who love science, and love to teach.

Dedicated and talented, our faculty come to Westfield State with graduate degrees from some of the most respected universities in the nation. You’ll benefit from engaging classes taught by those with a passion for teaching.

Faculty directory

Professor Aaron Reyes teaching in classrooom.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to submit SAT/ACT scores or an essay when I apply?

Westfield State University does not require an application essay, SAT and/or ACT scores, or letters of recommendation (except for special program admissions).     

All first-year applicants are reviewed for admission based on their high school record. First-year applicants must meet the minimum eligibility requirements established by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) in order to qualify for admission to a state university.   

Learn more about the application process and admissions here.

How much does Westfield State University cost?

Westfield State University offers a comprehensive university experience at an affordable cost—with many options for financial aid. Visit our Cost and Aid page to learn more. 

Will I receive academic support?

We’re invested in your success. Whether you need a little help adjusting to college, study strategies, tutoring, or disability services, the team at the Academic Achievement Department is ready to help. Our mission is to provide you with the tools to explore academic opportunities as well as to plot strategies for continued growth. 

Learn more about our student support services here.

What scholarships are available?

STEM-ACT is a program that provides scholarship support for Westfield State University STEM (Biology, Chemistry, General Science, or Mathematics) secondary education students that are passionate about social justice and advancing STEM education. Students are encouraged to apply in their sophomore year to be admitted to the program for their junior and senior years. 

Learn more

Request Information

We’re here to answer your questions and deliver the support you need along your academic journey. Please provide your contact information and area of interest, and we’ll be in touch shortly.


Earth System Science with General Science Licensure (5-8), B.S.