BS Degree in Physics Education {23-24}

B.S. Degree in Physics Education

The Physics Education major is designed for students who are interested in teaching high school physics. This major develops the mathematical, modeling, computational and lab skills necessary to be a successful educator. Students take practical courses covering concepts and activities relevant to the physical science topics that they will be teaching. Students have the opportunity to develop and practice pedagogical skills by working as a Learning Assistant for their physics courses. Students are also encouraged to participate in the nationally award winning Society of Physics Students which is involved in a range of outreach events. In addition to formal and informal education, students may participate in various research projects. A student pursuing this degree is strongly encouraged to also take additional life science and earth science courses to obtain the general science licensure in grades 5 through 8. To receive the B.S. Degree in Physics Education, the student must meet the minimum university requirements and specific requirements for the program. Completion of 120 credits and a 2.5 GPA or above is required to graduate with this degree which includes the Liberal Arts and Sciences Curriculum and Secondary Teaching Licensure Education requirements. Teacher licensure requirements must be met in order to receive a secondary teaching license in the state of Minnesota.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of our program can demonstrate the ability to:

  • Model physical systems conceptually.
  • Model physical systems analytically.
  • Model physical systems computationally.
  • Experimentally test physical models using contemporary techniques and equipment.
  • Apply the scientific method to studying a physical system.
  • Communicate professionally both in written and oral forms appropriate to the discipline.

Program Delivery Mode
Land plus: face-to-face where some online courses may be available or required

Core Requirements ( 66 credits )

PHYS 200 Physics I with Calculus & Lab (4)
PHYS 201 Physics II with Calculus & Lab (4)
PHYS 202 Introduction to 20th Century Physics (3)
PHYS 305 Experimental Physics I (3)
PHYS 322 Elementary Modern Physics (3)
PHYS 350 Computational Methods (3)
PHYS 330 Intermediate Mechanics (4)
PHYS 312 Analog Electronics (3)
PHYS 325 Optics (3)
PHYS 440 Secondary Science Teaching Methods (3)

Students may substitute PHYS 160 and PHYS 161 for PHYS 200 and PHYS 201
Total: 33 credits

Secondary Education Licensure Requirements
Students must earn at least a C- or higher in all licensure coursework.

COMM 100 Speech Communication (3)
ED 205 Introduction to Education (3)
ED 294 Educational Psychology (3)
ED 310 Social Foundations of Education (3)
ED 498 The Professional Teacher in the Classroom (3)
ED 448 Reading Study Skills in the Content Areas (3)
SPED 413 Teaching in Inclusive Environments (3)

Minimum of 12 credits of student teaching to include any combination of the following:
ED 461S Student Teaching: Secondary or
ED 460S Student Teaching: K-12 or
ED 461V Student Teaching: Secondary/K-12 or
ED 460M Student Teaching: Middle School

Total: 33 credits

To register for the appropriate student teaching courses, please consult with academic advisor and The School of Teaching and Learning Field Experience Office. Teacher licensure requirements must be met in order to receive a secondary teaching license in the state of Minnesota. The MN Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board information can be found HERE.

Information on MSUM Teacher Licensure can be found HERE

Designated Writing Intensive Course for Major
PHYS 305 Experimental Physics I (3)

Related Requirements ( 23 credits )

MATH 261 Calculus I (4)
MATH 262 Calculus II (4)
MATH 323 Multi-Variable and Vector Calculus (4)
MATH 366 Differential Equations (3)

CHEM 150 General Chemistry I (3)
CHEM 150L General Chemistry Laboratory I (1)
CHEM 210 General Chemistry II (3)
CHEM 210L General Chemistry II Lab (1)

Recommended Electives

The following courses, plus one year of chemistry and one year of physics, are required for the middle-level science endorsement (grades 5-8). You will also need to have a middle-level practicum experience or middle-level student teaching experience in addition to your secondary student teaching experience.

BIOL 111 Cell Biology (4)
BIOL 115 Organismal Biology (4)

GEOS 109 Process and History of a Dynamic Planet (3) and
GEOS 109L Introductory Geology Lab (1) 
GEOS 116 Historical Geology (3)
GEOS 360 Planetary Science (3)