Mathematics/Science Composite

preparing science and math teachers

The interdisciplinary mathematics/science composite major is designed to complement the 7-12 secondary education (SEED) program at Augustana and can only be earned as a second major in conjunction with another course of study. The mathematics/science composite major draws faculty from the departments of mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics, as well as the department of education.

Why Study Education and Mathematics/Science?

This major provides the flexibility for students to specialize in multiple STEM subjects, allowing them to apply to a variety teaching positions after graduation and certification is reached.

The shortage of many STEM teachers in the Midwest has been noted by many educators in South Dakota. Some school districts have had holes to fill for years in their science department. In some cases, they will go two or three years without a single qualified applicant. 

The composite math/science major is designed to integrate the triad of strong science/math content, evidence-based science and math pedagogy, and cultural competence to assure inclusive excellence in STEM education.

More specifically, the composite major includes:

  • Use of best practices to support a learning community that fosters identity formation, self-efficacy, and confidence as STEM professionals and as a STEM educators, with particular emphasis on underrepresented groups in STEM.
  • Expanded science and/or science and math content learning opportunities for secondary education teacher preparation.
  • Enhanced integration of content and pedagogy across science, math, and education courses.

As a result of this program's completion, candidates can test for certification to teach in two fields, chosen from biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics.


Core courses in the math/science composite major will prepare students to succeed in multiple areas of STEM education. As the pipeline of secondary education science teachers is drying up, there is a growing need for teachers with dynamic backgrounds in science and math education. doors will open for graduates of this new program.

Core Courses: 7 Credit Hours

  • MATH 151 Calculus I
  • GENL 255 Navigating a Diverse Society for Equality in Math/Science

Students select 2 areas of study from the following 4 options:

  • Mathematics emphasis: 16 credit hours
  • Biology emphasis: 20 credit hours
  • Chemistry emphasis: 20 credit hours
  • Physics emphasis: 16 credit hours

Details of each emphasis can be found in the SmartCatalog.