Undergraduate 2017-2018

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

Advising Information:

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

Assigned advisor is available through the Ursa login; ursa.unco.edu; under Student tab Academic Profile channel and is term specific. If no advisor is listed, contact the major program for advisor information.

The program consists of three parts:

  1. Liberal Arts Core (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. 

  • 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. 

Degree Requirements — 123 Credits

Degree Requirements

1. Required Specified LAC — 25 credits

LAC area 2 — Mathematics

MATH 131Calculus I


MATH 132Calculus II


LAC area 6 — Physical and Life Sciences

BIO 110Principles of Biology


CHEM 111Principles of Chemistry I


CHEM 111LPrinciples of Chemistry I Laboratory


ENST 225Energy and the Environment


PHYS 240General Physics I


Remaining LAC — 21 credits

(If you select courses from area 7 and 8 that also count for areas 3, 4, or 5.) 

See “Liberal Arts Core”.

NOTE: Students need to select courses from Areas 7 and/or 8 that also count for Areas 3, 4, or 5.

2. Required Major — 42 credits

Take all of the following courses:

PHYS 241General Physics II


PHYS 320Mathematical Methods I


PHYS 321Elementary Modern Physics


PHYS 340Mechanics


PHYS 341Electricity and Magnetism


PHYS 345Quantum Mechanics I


PHYS 347Optics


CHEM 112Principles of Chemistry II


CHEM 112LPrinciples of Chemistry II Laboratory


SCED 440Strategies in Teaching Secondary Science


Elective Credits in Biological Sciences (consent of advisor)


Elective Credits in Earth Sciences (consent of advisor)


Choose one of the following courses:

AST 301Classical Astronomy and the Solar System


AST 302Stars and the Milky Way


3. Required PTEP — 35 credits

Phase I (6 credits taken concurrently).

EDFE 110 required semester before; see http://www.unco.edu/teach/checkpoint_courses.html

STEP 161Observation and Analysis of Secondary Teaching I


EDF 366Conceptions of Schooling: Context and Process


Phase II (8 credits taken concurrently)

STEP 262Observation and Analysis of Secondary Teaching II


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


PSY 349Educational Psychology for Secondary Teachers


Phase III (8 credits taken concurrently)

EDFE 120 required semester before.

STEP 363Clinical Experience: Secondary


EDRD 340Developing Language and Literacy in the Content Areas


SCED 441Methods of Teaching Secondary School Science


EDRD 340 may be taken outside of Phase III.

Phase IV (14 credits)

EDFE 130 required semester before.

STEP 464Secondary Student Teaching


NOTE: PHYS 343 Electronics (4) is strongly recommended.

MATH 233 Calculus III (4) may be substituted for PHYS 320.

  • Candidates must pass the Praxis or Place 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 courses 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.