An Online Masters of Education Degree at SUNY Buffalo-Science and the Public

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The State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo is the largest university in New York State with a current enrollment of over 29,000 students. Over 9,000 of these students are enrolled in one of the 133 graduate programs that SUNY at Buffalo has to offer. However, only two of these programs are offered completely online as of today. They are available through the Graduate School of Education and are as follows:

Ed.M. in Science and the Public

M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling

Ed.M. in Science and the Public

The Science and the Public online Masters degree program was established and implemented in the fall of 2006 in order to close the gap on science related issues in our world today. The main purpose of the program is to prepare professionals with a scientific background on such significant world issues as global warming and climate change, pollution, energy conservation, and other major environmental factors that may pose serious health and economic risks to our country as well as those in other parts of the world. Often times, many people do not realize how the benefits of scientific research can keep us safe. This program is going to provide these “students” with the knowledge necessary to be able to inform the public of current global issues and how we as a people can help to make our world better. With science, there comes skepticism, but the University of Buffalo plans on filling the void of apprehension through this two-year, 33 credit hour program.

The versatility of online learning, is to really “inject” knowledge into students from a worldwide perspective. Science is one topic that affects us all on a global level and therefore Science and the Public is the perfect program for a self-paced, world-wide online experience.

Several job opportunities may arise from this degree. While certain employers may not require a Masters degree in Science and the Public directly, it is the knowledge and background that is valuable. Some of these opportunities may include:

  • broadcast media jobs involving current research
  • book and journal editing and publishing on current science-based studies
  • K-12 teachers and school program coordinators
  • legislative aides and assistants in local, state and federal legislatures involving science-related political issues
  • technology-based/science research company positions
  • journalism in science and global issues

Some of the courses offered through the program are as follows:

-the scientific method

-critical thinking

-statistical analysis

-ethics of scientific research

-the relationship of science to human values and the challenges it faces

-research methodology and theories

-current science education and curriculum

-scientific writing through the media

A thesis is to be completed at the end of the program as well.

For more detailed information on this program, these courses and for application and contact information visit:

M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling

The online Masters in Science degree for Rehabilitation Counseling is a 3 year (part-time) program that is the first completely online counseling program available at SUNY at Buffalo. Its purpose is to train students to work with disabled people that are struggling to become independent in their lives and in the community. Often times, many people with disabilities have to overcome obstacles associated with their condition, such as physical changes, emotional outbursts and psychological woes, and even practical issues in their everyday lives. These could be as simple as operating the washing machine or using the remote control or as complicated as planning a shopping excursion. Even crossing the street or getting around the house can be a challenge for some, however, through this program, students can become professional “helpers” so to speak. Rehabilitation counselors may also help these types of people get back on their feet in the career world as well.

The program requires a minimum of 48 credit hours for completion. There are 13 courses of study with one consisting of 50 hours of field work in a rehabilitation agency, one being a practicum of 150 hours in a clinical situation, a comprehensive exam, and a 600 hour internship on an individual assignment. In the Spring semester of their second year, students may also take the certified rehabilitation counselor exam to gain certification in the field.

For more information on application requirements, detailed course descriptions, careers, and contacts, please visit

The Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros of both online Masters degree programs at SUNY at Buffalo:

Cost-Both programs cost the same as a regular, on-campus graduate program. Each credit hour cost $288. Just like most universities, it is cheaper for residents of NY. I love how it doesn’t cost more for convenience like some other online colleges and programs.

Communication-It is much easier to communicate with both peers and professors in these online programs. Email and discussion boards make sharing experiences, demonstrating ideas, and discussing issues very simple and less stressful. There is something about being in the comfort of your home that makes people open up more. There is no peer pressure and vulnerability.

There are only a few cons that I can think of and they are relatively minor. They are:

Technological malfunctions- this only happens once in a great while, and is often readily fixed by the great tech staff that UB has to offer.

Extra fees-These are required of all graduate students, however, as an online student who does not have access to the computer labs, library, etc., I feel they should not apply. I have found, though, that it is standard practice of many institutions.

If you are looking to change your career and have a similar background in one of these career fields, you may want to check out these great online Masters programs. You can’t beat the price either!