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Integrative STEM Program

Integrative STEM Education (I-STEM ED)

Investigating technological/engineering design based teaching and learning practices to promote integrative STEM education

two students, under the supervision of their teacher, work on small robots

Exploring Possibilities

In Spring 2006, Virginia Tech’s School of Education became the first in the United States to offer an Integrative STEM Education graduate program. We develop 21st century K-16 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) educators, leaders, scholars, and researchers prepared to investigate, teach, and disseminate new integrative approaches to STEM education. Our focus on implementation and investigation of new integrative technological/engineering design based teaching and learning practices for STEM education uniquely sets us apart from other STEM programs. 


"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; Sanders & Wells, 2010


The Integrative STEM Education program at Virginia Tech offers a graduate certificate and degrees at three different levels: master of arts in education degree (M.A.Ed.), education specialist degree (Ed.S.), and doctoral degrees (Ph.D. or Ed.D.). Graduates of the Virginia Tech Integrative STEM Education program are among the most sought after professionals in higher education. Since the program’s inception, there has been a 100% post-secondary education placement rate for our doctoral graduates.

Integrative STEM Education serves as the theoretical and pedagogical premise for technological/engineering (T/E) design based teaching and learning practices. The goal of T/E design based learning is distinct in that it seeks to promote integrative STEM thinking through the design of a product, system, or environment that provides solutions to practical problems. Technological/Engineering design embodies habits of both hand and mind that together afford the learner knowledge and understanding necessary for developing appropriate solutions to human wants and needs. The faculty works closely with students to tailor their learning experiences to meet their goals. 

Reimagining the future begins with practices that put educational excellence, innovation, and equity at the fore. At the Virginia Tech School of Education, you will develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to transform teaching and learning, conduct groundbreaking research, and engage with learning communities around the globe. 

As a global catalyst for individual transformation, we’re pushing the boundaries of knowledge and practice to reimagine a more equitable and just world.

Program Application Due Dates

Starting Semester:




Domestic Applicants:

May 1

August 1 *

January 1

International Applicants:

January 1

April 1 *

September 1

* Deadline for early decision admission with full funding consideration for Fall semester start: March 1

Integrative STEM Education News

Integrative STEM Education Events: Past, Present, and Future

Coming soon!

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John Wells smiles cheerfully at the camera. He has short cropped grey hair with a bald pate, and is wearing a red hawaiian floral shirt
John Wells, Professor and Program Leader
bradly bowen smiles warmly at the camera - he wears a navy suit with a blue button down shirt and a multi-colored striped  tie. His hair is curly and dark brown
Bradley Bowen, Assistant Professor