Secondary Education - Physics, Bachelor of Science in Education
If you have a fascination with physics and a passion for helping others understand it, you may enjoy a career in teaching high school physics. Earning a degree in secondary education and physics could be the best way to get there.
While you develop expertise in physics, you’ll also take course preparing you to develop curriculum and make your classroom a productive environment for your students. Enjoy a rigorous but collaborative learning environment, where you’ll graduate ready to put your new-found knowledge to work shaping the educational experiences of generations to come.
Note:In addition to being admitted to the university, you must also meet the additional admission requirements and apply for admission to the Professional Education Programs.
This degree is intended for secondary education students whose primary emphasis/teaching area is physics. This academic plan also prepares you to obtain additional certification in mathematics or chemistry. This plan meets or exceeds the No-Child-Left-Behind "highly qualified" national and state standards. This plan gives you the tools to open the minds of high-school students to the wonders of the universe as seen through the practical eyes of physics.
This program is nationally recognized by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).
This program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
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Career Accordion Open
Career opportunities that might be pursued:
- Secondary physics teacher
- Curriculum specialist
With further education, one of these paths is possible:
- School psychologist
- Curriculum specialist
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To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.
- All of Northern Arizona University's liberal studies, diversity, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
- All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
- At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
- At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
- A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
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In addition to University Requirements:
- At least 78 units of major requirements
- At least 33 units of Teacher Preparation coursework requirements
- Up to 9 units of liberal studies requirements can have the same prefix as the major. Required courses in this major also satisfy 16 of your 35 liberal studies units. See your advisor for details..
- Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units
Candidates in this program are required to demonstrate content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and skills, professional knowledge, and professional dispositions to be eligible to enter student teaching or internship placements. Content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge or skills, professional dispositions are demonstrated through candidate performance on key assessments embedded in the following course(s):
Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.
|Minimum Units for Completion||120|
|Highest Mathematics Required||MAT 239|
|Additional Admission Requirements||Required|
|Student Teaching/Supervised Teaching||Required|
|University Honors Program||Optional|
|AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-S||Recommended|
|Progression Plan Link||View Progression Plan|
The NAUTeach program is a challenging undergraduate course of study solely designed to prepare mathematics and science teachers for grades 6-12. The program emphasizes the pre-service teacher’s ability to develop research-based pedagogy through a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) focused, field intensive, rigorous curriculum. This allows undergraduate students to be highly supported by faculty who specialize in mathematics and science education research and Master Teachers that have years of professional classroom experience. Our program is designed for students with strong skills in mathematics or science seeking certification to teach biology, chemistry, physics, Earth sciences, general science, or mathematics at the secondary level.
The NAUTeach program, modeled after the successful UTeach program at the University of Texas, provides opportunities for you to:
- graduate in four years. Students earn a Bachelor of Science in education in their field of study.
- earn dual degrees. Students have the ability to earn degrees both in specific fields of science or mathematics and in teaching science or math.
- have early classroom teaching immersion. Students are in the K-12 mathematics or science classroom teaching and observing from the first semester and throughout the NAUTeach program to prepare for their capstone student teaching experience.
- work cooperatively in a STEM focused center. Course of study partnered with the department of Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, and Physics.
- experience “student-centered” instruction. Course structure supports deep student understanding of concepts related to teaching, science, and mathematics.
- develop numerous STEM based lessons and a full STEM based unit. Students teach numerous STEM lessons and a STEM unit at local secondary schools, which build towards a capstone student teaching experience that utilizes the full range of skills and experiences.
- engage in educational dialogue and planning. Students plan lessons that promote deep content knowledge, analytical reasoning, creative thought and use of appropriate teaching strategies.
- use technology to enhance learning. Students experience technology throughout NAUTeach courses and develop lessons that model technology use in 6-12 classrooms.
- earn scholarships, internships and loan forgiveness. Numerous financial opportunities exist for secondary mathematics and science education majors.
- inspire future scientists, engineers, and mathematicians to change the world. Visit Teachers who inspired great scientists to see how teachers change the world.
Outcomes align with Standards from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, the National Science Teachers Association, and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium
- Design instruction that develops all students’ abilities to meet academic standards
- Reflect on teaching practices including the creation of a classroom environment based on respect and rapport that fosters a positive climate for learning, equity, and excellence.
- Create and maintain a learning climate that supports the development of all students’ abilities to meet academic standards.
- Implement and manage instruction that develops all students’ abilities to meet academic standards.
- Assess learning and communicate results to all students, parents and other appropriate professionals with respect to all students’ abilities to meet academic standards.
- Collaborate with colleagues, parents the community and other appropriate agencies to design, implement, and support learning that supports all students’ abilities to meet academic standards.
- Review and evaluate personal performance in order to improve teaching practices through reflection.
- Develop and nurture current professional knowledge of the teaching/learning process.
- Provide evidence of student learning through the design and implementation of instruction that makes use of effective communication techniques, is based on student prior knowledge, actively engages students in the learning process, and provides timely high-quality feedback.
- Reflect on the roles and responsibilities and adhere to legal and ethical requirements of the profession.
- In collaboration with other professionals, participate in the design, implementation, and assessment of individual education programs.
- Provide evidence of meeting the Arizona Professional Teaching Standards by taking the AEPA Secondary Professional Knowledge exam.
- Core Knowledge in Physics:
- Energy, work, and power
- Motion, major forces, and momentum
- Newtonian physics w/ engineering applications
- Conservation mass, momentum, energy, and charge
- Physical properties of matter: solids, liquids, and gases
- Kinetic-molecular motion and atomic models
- Radioactivity, nuclear reactors, fission, and fusion
- Wave theory, sound, light, the electromagnetic spectrum and optics
- Electricity and magnetism
- Fundamental processes of investigating in physics
- Applications of physics in environmental quality and to personal and community health
- Advanced Competencies in Physics
- Thermodynamics and energy-matter relationships
- Nuclear physics including matter-energy duality and reactivity
- Angular rotation and momentum, centripetal forces, and vector analysis
- Quantum mechanics, space-time relationships, and special relativity
- Models of nuclear and subatomic structures and behavior
- Light behavior, including wave-particle duality and models
- Electrical phenomena including electric fields, vector analysis, energy, potential, capacitance, and inductance
- Issues related to physics such as disposal of nuclear waste, light pollution, shielding communication systems and weapons developments
- Historical development and cosmological perspectives in physics including contributions of significant figures and underrepresented groups, and evolution of theories in physics
- How to design, conduct, and report research in physics
- Applications of physics and engineering in society, business, industry, and health fields
- General Supporting Competencies
- Biology: Organization of life; Bioenergetics; Biomechanics; Cycles of matter
- Chemistry: Organization of matter and energy; Electrochemistry; Thermodynamics; Bonding
- Earth Sciences: Structure of the universe; Energy; Interactions of matter
- Mathematics: Statistics; Use of differential equations; Calculus
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Additional Admission Requirements
- Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
- 30 units of coursework which includes:
- TSM 101, TSM 102 and TSM 303 with grades of "C" or better
- Program Mathematics Foundations requirement with a grade of "C" or better
- The English foundations requirement (ENG 105 or equivalent) with a minimum GPA of 3.0. (If your English GPA is below 3.0, you may take an approved writing course to achieve the 3.0 GPA.)
- Completion of or enrollment in TSM 303
- A minimum GPA of 2.5 in all Major Requirements, excluding the Teacher Preparation courses (must have taken at least 12 units)
- One of the following grade point average requirements:
- A cumulative 2.5 GPA in Liberal Studies courses
- A cumulative 2.5 GPA in all courses
- You must be declared in this major
- Submission of a copy of your State-approved Identity-Verified Print (IVP) fingerprint clearance card, obtainable through the Arizona Department of Public Safety (602-223-2279)
- 30 units of coursework which includes:
This major requires 78 to 92 units distributed as follows:
- Physics Content and Teaching Support Course Requirements: 45 units
- Teacher Preparation Course Requirements: 33 units
- Optional Concentration to obtain certification in Chemistry: 14 units
Take the 78 - 80 units outlined below. A minimum NAU cumulative GPA of 2.5 is required. For all coursework, a passing grade is required or a grade of “C” or better is required for courses evaluated on an A-F scale. Additionally, a GPA of 2.5 in major requirements and a grade of “B” or better in at least two of the following three Teacher Preparation courses TSM 350, TSM 404, and TSM 450 is required. TSM 350, TSM 404 and TSM 450 may be repeated with a grade of “C”.)
- AST 183 and AST 184L (4 units)
- MAT 136, MAT 137, MAT 238, MAT 239 (15 units)
- PHY 161 or PHY 171* (4-5 units)
- (PHY 262 and PHY 262L) or PHY 172* (4-5 units)
- PHY 263, PHY 264, PHY 321, PHY 361 (12 units)
- PHY 333W which meets the junior-level writing requirement (3 units)
- TSM 360 (3 units)
*PHY 171 and PHY 172 are strongly preferred
Note: It is highly recommended that all new students take our 1-unit first-year seminar, PHY 103
Teacher Preparation Courses (33 units with a grade of “C” or better, except where noted*)
Optional Concentration Requirements for students wishing to obtain additional certification in chemistry
Note: Students wishing to obtain additional certification in mathematics are encouraged to take the mathematics education minor.
Teacher education programs require a student teaching or internship experience. A minimum number of practicum units are also required, which involves supervised field experience with a practicing teacher. These required experiences are embedded in the major requirements courses.
Before being accepted to student teaching, the following criteria must be met:
- Admission to the Professional Education Programs (PEP)
- GPA and course grade requirements for degree program as stated in Additional Admission and Major Requirements
- Take and pass the designated content knowledge exam
- Complete all plan requirements
- All major coursework, with the exception of EDF 200 must be completed within the six years prior to student teaching
- Passing score on the required Professional Dispositions Modules
- All candidates must demonstrate professional and ethical standards of practice as described in the Model Code of Ethics for Educators and adhere to NAU’s and PEP’s Student Code of Conduct
- All outstanding PEP Alerts must be resolved per improvement plan
- Attend mandatory Student Teaching Orientation
In order to obtain an AZ teaching certificate, you must pass the following required Arizona Educator Exams
- Secondary Professional Knowledge Exam
Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.
You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)
It is highly recommended that you take POS 220 (3 units) either as one of your electives or to meet one of the liberal studies requirements.
Be aware that Arizona state teacher certification requirements leading to an Institutional Recommendation may change at any time, and may impact program of study requirements.
You may not count more than one "D" toward the major and emphasis requirements for this degree.
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information, see course information contained in the catalog or your advisor.
This degree plan is supported through the NAUTeach program.