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Division of Natural Sciences & MathematicsDepartment of Physics & Astronomy

Degree Programs

Physics & Astronomy

Teaching Secondary Education


The BA in Physics requires a year of University Physics and a minimum of 35 quarter hours of upper-division courses in Physics. No more than 60 quarter hours in Physics may be counted toward the minimum 183 quarter hours required for the degree. Mathematics must include one year of calculus and differential equations. There must be a minor of at least 20 quarter hours (5 at the 2000 or 3000 level) in a second department. Students must complete all requirements. Of the 183 quarter hours minimum requirement, at least 75 must be at the 2000 or 3000 level. Students must have earned B- or better grades in subject coverage and core courses and have an overall GPA of at least 2.75.


Students interested in teaching at the pre-college level must include courses in chemistry, biological science, earth and environmental science, astronomy, and history. Students should develop solid skills with computer tools, such as the application of Excel and Mathcad to scientific problems. While not presently required for the physics degree, students preparing for secondary teaching should include work with data acquisition systems and image acquisition and processing. Students may profit from ENGR 1611, 1621, 1631 Engineering Concepts and Practice I, II, III.

Three options are available through the Morgridge College of Education for prospective elementary or secondary teachers.

  1. Teacher Education Program (TEP) taken as an undergraduate minor This work is to be taken beginning in the fall of the senior year. TEP is a nine-month, 40 quarter-hour graduate-level program in which students are placed in an urban public school 12 days during fall quarter and 23 days in the winter quarter. Beginning in mid-February, students complete 13 weeks of full-time student teaching. Because all major and core curriculum requirements be completed before entry into TEP, the time available for physics, mathematics, history, and other required science courses is limited, and for a minimum program it is necessary for Physics majors to take three Core or other required courses during summers before the senior year. (Note: undergraduate TEP students are not eligible for CLAMP, described below.) A sample program for this option is shown on an attached sheet.
  2. TEP taken as a graduate student Students who wish to first earn a bachelor's degree or who already have a BA or BS may enter TEP and earn graduate credits in Education. The first 40 credits in this program are charged half tuition; however, most financial aid is available in loans only. This option permits a much more complete undergraduate experience than Option 1 and does not require summer study during the undergraduate program.
  3. Teacher Education/Master's Completion Program This program requires 12 credits beyond TEP, 6 in curriculum leadership and 6 in an area of concentration (Aesthetic Education, Literacy Education, Technology, Urban Education, Content Area [which could be Physics]). These courses are charged at full tuition.

Students with a teaching interest should contact DU's Teacher Education Program during their sophomore year at the latest to learn about current licensure requirements. For the undergraduate option, applications are due in March of the junior year. For the graduate options, applications are due in March of the senior year.