Requirements for the Physics and Teaching Option

This option is offered by the Department of Physics to encourage well-prepared students with a degree in physics to enter secondary school teaching in the much-needed areas of physics, physics and chemistry, physics and general science, and physics and mathematics. Students who choose this option will complete the Undergraduate Teacher Education Program (UTEP) as part of this program. They will thereby obtain eligibility for the teaching certificate required for public school teaching by about thirty states, including Massachusetts.

Note: Those who plan to teach only in independent schools will not need a teaching certificate, and hence do not need to take this program. However, they too may wish to take UTEP courses to enhance their career preparation. (Basic physics concentrators who plan on teaching in public schools after graduation should inquire at the Graduate School of Education about the possibility of admission to UTEP, independent of this option.)

Under this option, there is a variety of choices depending upon the intended subject area of school teaching. But note that in each case Advanced Placement credit is acceptable in lieu of the corresponding required course work.

Physics with Teacher Certification in Physics

  1. Required courses in physics and related subjects (13 half-courses):

    1. Physics 15a, 15b, 15c or Physics 16, 15b, 15c as in the Basic Requirements.

    2. Physics 143a and 181.

    3. Mathematics at least through Mathematics 21a, 21b (or Mathematics 23a, 23b or Mathematics 25a, 25b).

    4. One half-course chosen from Life Sciences 1a, Physical Sciences 1, or Chemistry 40. See item 6e.

    5. One half-course in a related subject (see item 6b).

    6. Additional courses in physics or related subjects (see item 6b), to make a minimum total of 13 half-courses.

  2. Tutorial: None.

  3. Thesis: None.

  4. General Examination: None.

  5. UTEP: The course and teaching requirements of the Undergraduate Teaching Education program must be completed before graduating under this program. These consist of four half-courses, including Student Teaching, as well as (noncourse) fieldwork, as described in detail in the booklet entitled UTEP Courses that Form Part of the Requirements for the Physics and Teaching Options.
    Normally, it should be possible to meet the UTEP requirements and to also fulfill the requirements in item 1 above during a four-year period as an undergraduate; but it is also possible to graduate under the physics program without the Teaching Certification option and to complete the teacher preparation subsequently under UTEP as a post-baccalaureate student. To obtain more information on this option, contact the UTEP administrator (see item 6f).

  6. Other information:

    1. Courses counted as physics courses: See item 5a of Basic Requirements.

    2. Related courses: See item 5b of Basic Requirements but also including the courses in history of science.

    3. Physical Sciences 2 or 3, Physics 1a, 1b, 11a, or 11b, or any Core course may not be counted for concentration.

    4. Pass/Fail: Two half-courses may be taken Pass/Fail. These may not include Physics 15a, 15b, 15c, 16, or 123.

    5. The appropriate Advanced Placement credit or Harvard Chemistry placement credit may substitute for the required chemistry course in item 1d, but the minimum of 13 half-courses total of actual courses taken in items 1a–f must be completed.

    6. Additional information regarding UTEP, its courses and related activities, financial aid, the option of doing student teaching after graduation, and answers to other inquiries can be found in the UTEP Handbook (available in the UTEP Office, 222 Longfellow Hall). The UTEP administrator (617-495-3732) is responsible for advising all students who are considering or are enrolled in the program. In addition, each student in this option will have a Physics Department adviser for the subject area requirements.

Physics with Teacher Certification in both Physics and Chemistry

The requirements are the same as for Teacher Certification in Physics, except that:

  1. Physics 143a and 181 are replaced by Chemistry 160 and 161.

  2. An additional half-course, Chemistry 17 or 20, is also required; but the minimum number of subject area courses to be taken will still be 13.

  3. If the UTEP program is not completed, Physics 143a must be taken to meet the basic requirements in Physics.

Physics with Teacher Certification in Physics and General Sciences

The requirements are the same as for Teacher Certification in Physics, with the addition of:

  1. Two half-courses in Biology, normally Life Sciences 1a and 1b; but the minimum number of subject area courses to be taken will still be 13.

Physics with Teacher Certification in Physics and Mathematics

The requirements are the same as for Teacher Certification in Physics, except that:

  1. The one half-course in a related subject (see item 5b of Basic Requirements) must be chosen from mathematics, statistics, or computer science courses (excluding Mathematics Ma, Mb).

  2. One additional half-course in probability and statistics is required, normally Statistics 100 or HGSE H-102.

  3. One additional half-course in computer science is required, normally chosen from Computer Science 50 or 51.
    Note: It may be possible in items 2 or 3 to substitute other courses with a strong statistical or computer component, but in all cases the minimum number of subject-area courses taken must be 13.