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Integrative STEM Education

*Graduate Certificate


Graduate Certificate

Campus (s): Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus and Virginia Tech Online (Virtual)
Instructions: Residential/On Campus  and Online Courses for VIrtual Option

Program Overview

Expand your understanding of Integrative STEM Education as you research curricular connections and integrative strategies for design-based teaching and learning of STEM content and practices. 


Why choose this program?

  • What makes Virginia Tech's Integrative STEM Education program different from other S.T.E.M. programs is our emphasis on the integrative approach and the connections among the subjects. We have found that framing problems in terms of a design-based challenge provides an excellent springboard for such investigations.
  • For example, challenging students to design a prototype power source for an off-grid hospital location would lead to (student-directed!) investigations of weather, climate, and electricity; solar- and wind-based technologies; material properties and specifications; and calculations of area and speed. Placing these concepts in a relevant context helps students see the immediate value of what they are learning, while they are constantly practicing their 21st-century skills of teamwork, communication, and problem-solving.

What You'll Study

12 graduate semester hours (from the Integrative STEM Education core courses) that prepare educators and leaders to teach and/or facilitate new integrative approaches in STEM education.

To be awarded the “Integrative STEM Education Graduate Certificate” students must successfully complete 12 semester hours (SH) of coursework offered by the Integrative STEM Education.

Program at Virginia Tech as follows:

Complete the following Integrative STEM Education Core Courses:

  • EDCI 5814: STEM Education Pedagogy (3 SH – Fall Semester)
  • EDCI 5804: STEM Education Foundations (3 SH – Fall Semester)
  • EDCI 5774: PR: Readings in Technology Education (3 SH – Spring or Fall Semester)
  • EDCI 5854: Biotechnology Literacy by Design (3 SH – Spring Semester)

Alternative Course (can replace EDCI 5854)

  • EDCI 5824: STEM Education Trends and Issues (3 SH – Spring Semester)

Graduates of the Virginia Tech Integrative STEM Education program are among the most sought after professionals in higher education.

The School of Education provides students with a plethora of research opportunities, including experimental and observational research, field research, and secondary data analysis. Graduate students are also encouraged to lead research projects and publish in scholarly journals. The school provides support for professional development to participate in conferences through travel grants. Additional professional development and research support resources are provided by the Graduate School at Virginia Tech.

The program may be completed at the Blacksburg campus, or online through the Virtual campus.

The Blacksburg campus offers students the full services of the university, including an extensive library, technology support, and the Graduate Life Center. Virtual campus students likewise enjoy library access, electronically and by mail, and technical support.

At Virginia Tech, Integrative STEM Education is operationally defined as "the application of technological/engineering design based pedagogical approaches to intentionally teach content and practices of science and mathematics education through the content and practices of technology/engineering education. Integrative STEM Education is equally applicable at the natural intersections of learning within the continuum of content areas, educational environments, and academic levels" 

(Wells & Ernst, 2012/2015)

Bachelor’s degree, 3.0+ GPA (min.) in final 60 SH of bachelor’s degree program; Undergraduate Transcripts; Resume

Current and Admitted Students at Virginia Tech

  • Graduate students accepted to any other graduate program at Virginia Tech will be admitted to the Graduate Certificate in Integrative STEM Education on the basis of acceptance into their home department.

Applicants New to Virginia Tech

Recommendations for admission to the certificate program for nondegree-seeking students will be made by our Graduate Admissions Committee, based on transcripts, the letter of interest, and the minimal requirements specified in the Graduate Catalogue. These admissions criteria differ from our regular degree admissions in that they require neither the GRE nor letters of recommendation.

Visit this page for more information on how to apply, including requirements, deadlines, and what you'll need in detail.

There is a discount for in-state K-12 teachers; use this application form in order to receive the reduced costs. Otherwise, as with on-campus students, we refer you to the VT Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for information on financial assistance. Generally, distance learners may qualify for federal loans if they take 5 or more credit hours per semester.

Find out what loans are available as a graduate student and other opportunities.

Deadlines for non-degree students
Spring: September 1
Fall:  April 1

John Wells
Program Leader
Public Safety Building, Suite 201 (0313)
330 Sterrett Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Nancy Nolen
Enrollment Services Assistant
402 Wallace Hall (0565)


John Wells
Program Leader
Public Safety Building, Suite 201 (0313)
330 Sterrett Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Faculty Experts in Integrative STEM Education