Secondary Education - Physics, Bachelor of Science in Education
Department of Physics and Astronomy
College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences
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.
This program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
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.
In addition to University Requirements:
- At least 78 units of major requirements
- At least 30 units of Mathematics and Science Teaching 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 students 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|
|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
Additional Admission Requirements
Admission requirements over and above admisssion to NAU are required.
To be eligible for admission to the teacher education program, candidates must meet the following requirements and apply for the program online.
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 content major coursework (must have taken at least 12 units) AND 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)
Take the following 78 - 80 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)
- (AST 183 and AST 184L) (4 units)
- MAT 136, MAT 137, MAT 238, MAT 239 (15 units)
- PHY 333W (3 units)
- TSM 360 (3 units)
- POS 220 (3 units)
Note: It is highly recommended that all new students take our 1-unit first-year seminar, PHY 103
Optional Concentration Requirements for students wishing to obtain additional certification in chemistry
Mathematics and Science Teaching Courses (30 units)
Note: TSM 495C meets Northern Arizona University's senior capstone requirement.Note: In order to be approved for student teaching, you must complete TSM 350, TSM 404, and TSM 450, earning a grade of "B" or better in two of the three courses and earning a "C" or better in the remaining course. TSM 350, TSM 404 and TSM 450 may be repeated with a grade of “C”.
In all of our teacher education programs, you are required to apply for, and complete a student teaching or internship experience. Applications are due one year prior to the student teaching semester. In addition, a minimum number of units of practicum is required, which involves supervised field experience with a practicing teacher.
Before being accepted to student teaching, the following criteria must be met:
- Admission to the teacher education program
- NAU GPA must be at least 2.5, with a GPA of 2.5 in all teacher preparation courses, with no grade lower than a "C"
- Passing score on the required Professional Dispositions Modules
- Complete all plan requirements
- Take the appropriate AEPA or NES Subject Knowledge test.
- All major coursework, with the exception of TSM 101, must be completed within six years prior to student teaching.
- All candidates must demonstrate social and emotional maturity consistent with professional standards of classroom instruction as well as adequate physical health for teaching.
- Candidates requesting student teaching placements in TSM 495C must take the NES Physics Subject Knowledge Exam prior to final clearance to student teach.
In order to obtain an AZ teaching certificate, you must pass the following required Arizona Educator Exams
- Physics Subject Knowledge Exam
- 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.)
Be aware that Arizona state teacher certification requirements leading to Institutional Recommendations 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 click on the course or see your advisor.
This degree plan is supported through the NAUTeach program.