Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022

Physics B.S. - Secondary Teaching Emphasis – Licensure: Science (Grades 7-12)

College of Natural and Health Sciences

Contact: Cynthia S. Galovich, Ph.D., Department Chair

Location: Ross Hall 0232

Telephone: 970.351.2961

Website: www.unco.edu/nhs/physics-astronomy

Advising Information:

Students must consult with their assigned major advisor each semester prior to registering.

To find your advisor, log into ursa.unco.edu; go to 'Student' tab and click 'View Student Information' link. If no advisor is listed, contact the major program for advisor information.

The program consists of three parts:

  1. Liberal Arts Curriculum (LAC) Credits
  2. Required Major Credits
  3. Professional Teacher Education Program (PTEP) Credits

Program Description:

The program emphasizes the laws, principles and applications of physics and other sciences, along with the communication skills and teaching methods to effectively teach these concepts at the junior high and high school levels (grades 7-12). Graduates of this degree would help to combat a shortage of physical science teachers and help meet the nationwide goals of excellence in science preparation.

With additional physics and mathematics courses, students could qualify for graduate study in physics or for employment in industry or governmental research laboratories.

Program Admission Requirements:

Academic Good Standing

Program Requirements:

  •  A 2.0 GPA or better is required in PHYS prefix courses for graduation.
  • In accordance with University Policies, coursework earned more than 10 years prior to the date of matriculation to UNC may not be used to satisfy any major or minor requirements.  Any exception to this policy is at the discretion of the academic program. 

PTEP Program Requirements:

Teacher candidates who complete an approved content degree and the UNC professional teacher education program, as well as pass the appropriate Colorado Department of Education designated PRAXIS exam (if applicable), will be eligible for recommendation from UNC for a Colorado Department of Education teaching license. 

If you are seeking licensure in your program area, the following items are required to complete your program.

  • Completion of Application for Initial Admission to PTEP
  • Completion of Full Admission to PTEP
  • Completion of Application for Student Teaching
  • Completion of content specific PRAXIS test prior to Student Teaching
  • Candidates may not take extra courses with Student Teaching without prior approval from the Program Coordinator and the STE Director.
  • All PTEP Field Experiences and methods courses need to be successfully completed prior to Student Teaching.
  • Student Teaching outside the supervision of UNC Faculty may or may not be approved.
  • Teacher Candidates will not be placed in a school where they were once students or where they have a close relative attending and/or working.
  • Teacher education and educator preparation licensure programs do not accept Professional Teacher Education Program (PTEP) or field based courses that are more than ten years old. PLEASE NOTE: Teacher Candidates have the right to petition this policy at the discretion of the program coordinator.

Please work with your content advisor to determine when these requirements will be completed throughout your program.

Degree Requirements — 122 Credits

1. Liberal Arts Curriculum — 31 credits

To complete the degree in 122 credits as outlined, the program recommends the below LAC courses that also count toward the required 63 major credits.

Any additional coursework completed outside of the recommended list below may extend the length of the program of study.

Written Communication — 6 credits

SCI 225 (3) is recommended to fulfill the Intermediate Writing Course requirement. 

See Written Communication courses.

Mathematics — 3 credits

MATH 131 (4) and MATH 132 (4) are recommended to fulfill the Mathematics requirement and will fulfill both LAC and major requirements.

See Mathematics courses

Arts & Humanities, History, Social & Behavioral Sciences, U.S. Multicultural Studies, and International Studies — 15 credits

To complete the LAC in the minimum number of credits, be sure to choose at least one course with an IS designation and one course with an MS designation.

Select any courses to fulfill this requirement from the currently approved LAC course list.

See Arts & Humanities, History, and Social & Behavioral Sciences courses

Natural & Physical Sciences — 7 credits

BIO 110 (4), BIO 111 (4), CHEM 111 (4), CHEM 111L (1), CHEM 281 (3), CHEM 281L (1), GEOL 100 (4), and PHYS 240 (5) are recommended to fulfill the Physical & Natural Sciences requirement and will fulfill both LAC and major requirements.

See Natural & Physical Sciences courses

See Liberal Arts Curriculum

2. Required Major — 63 credits

Take all of the following courses:

BIO 110Biology: Atoms to CellsLAS1LASL


BIO 111Biology: Organisms to EcosystemsLAS1LASL


CHEM 111Principles of Chemistry ILAS1


CHEM 111LPrinciples of Chemistry I LaboratoryLAS1LASL


CHEM 281Fundamentals of BiochemistryLAS1


CHEM 281LFundamentals of Biochemistry LaboratoryLAS1LASL


GEOL 100General GeologyLAS1LASL


MATH 131Calculus ILAX1


MATH 132Calculus IILAX1


PHYS 240General Physics ILAS1LASL


PHYS 241General Physics II


PHYS 320Mathematical Methods I


PHYS 321Elementary Modern Physics


PHYS 323Elementary Modern Physics Laboratory


PHYS 340Mechanics


PHYS 341Electricity and Magnetism I


PHYS 345Quantum Mechanics I


PHYS 347Optics


Choose one of the following courses:

AST 301Classical Astronomy and the Solar System


AST 302Stars and the Milky Way


3. Required PTEP — 38 credits

Phase I (5 credits taken concurrently).

EDF 366Conceptions of Schooling: Context and Process


STEP 161Observation and Analysis of Secondary Teaching I


Phase II (8 credits taken concurrently)

EDSE 360Adaptation, Modification, and Integration of Curriculum for the Secondary Exceptional Learner


PSY 349Educational Psychology for Secondary Teachers


STEP 262Observation and Analysis of Secondary Teaching II


Phase III (11 credits taken concurrently)

EDRD 340Academic Language/Literacy Development in the Content Areas at the Secondary Level


ET 449Integrating Technologies into Secondary Education Pedagogy


SCED 441Methods of Teaching Secondary School Science


STEP 363Clinical Experience: Secondary


EDRD 340 may be taken outside of Phase III.

Phase IV (14 credits)

STEP 464Secondary Student Teaching


4. University-Wide Credits — 0 credits*

*Note: Students must apply the recommended courses to both the liberal arts curriculum requirements and the major requirements to complete this degree program in 122 credit hours. This degree does not require university wide electives and has received an exception from the CDHE to exceed the typical limit of 120 credit hours.