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Indiana University Bloomington

Applications of Physics: Physics Education

Improving the scientific preparation of prospective K–12 teachers is currently receiving a great deal of increased attention; teacher preparation has been identified as a federal priority. The Department of Physics is pleased to respond to the mandate for improved science instruction from the scientific societies listed below and is taking an active role in improving the training of K–12 physics and science teachers.

American Institute of Physics
American Physical Society
American Association of Physics Teachers
American Astronomical Society
Acoustical Society of America
American Association of Physicists in Medicine
American Vacuum Society

To teach in a public school in Indiana, students will need to obtain Indiana State Licensure through the School of Education. There are several possible paths to obtaining a teaching license.

Invest in our future. Enlighten the brilliant minds of the next generation.

For more information:

Recommended electives in Physics Education

W 200 (EDUC) Using Computers in Education
H 205 (EDUC) The Study of Education and Practice of Teaching
M 300 (EDUC) Teaching in a pluralistic Society
P 310 Environmental Physics
P 312 (EDUC) Learning Theory and Practice
P 313 (EDUC) Adolescents in a Learning Community
P 314 Introduction to Medical Physics
H 340 (EDUC) Education and American Culture
P 425 Introductory Biophysics
P 454 Modern Physics
P 460 Modern Optics

Obtaining State Licensure

  1. Option 1: Include the teacher certification requirements in your undergraduate curriculum.
    EDUC-M 300 Teaching in a Pluralistic Society
    EDUC-P 312 Learning Theory into Practice
    EDUC-P 313 Adolescents in a Learning Community
    EDUC-W 200 Using Computers in Education
    EDUC-H 205 The Study of Education & Practice of Teaching
                   or EDUC-H 340 Education & American Culture
    Block I:   EDUC-M 346 Exploring School Science Teaching
                   EDUC-M 303 Field Experience I
                   EDUC-M 469 Content Area Literacy
    Block II:  EDUC-M 446 Methods of Teaching Jr/Middle/Sr High School Science
                   EDUC-M 403 Field Experience II
                   EDUC-S 303 Classroom Management
    Block III: EDUC-M 420 Professional Development Seminar
                   EDUC-M 480 Student Teaching
  2. Option 2: Complete the Transition to Teaching program without obtaining a master’s degree.
  3. Option 3: Undergraduate/Graduate Joint program (accelerated master’s degree)

Students interested in pursuing state licensure should contact the School of Education for supplemental advising.

Appointments can be made through the front desk in School of Education
Suite 1000 201 N. Rose Avenue,
IU Bloomington, IN 47405-1006

For quick questions:

Graduate students only: alclegg @ (Ms. Alfreda Clegg); 856-8514

The School of Education offers a BS in Secondary Education with a concentration in physics as an alternative to a degree in Physics. This curriculum requires fewer courses in Physics with increased courses in education.

Advanced Degrees

  • Secondary Transition to Teaching
    The ST-to-T program is for those individuals who have already earned a baccalaureate degree in a subject area and who are interested in becoming secondary teachers in science or mathematics. The program is designed to develop innovative practices and reflective teaching in secondary schools. Candidates are expected to earn their secondary teaching license in one academic year, plus the preceding summer session.
  • Community of Teachers Graduate Program

    The CoT program is composed of both professional education courses and subject area requirements. The seminar with its accompanying field experience is the cornerstone of the program. Through the seminar and field experience a portfolio is developed in which a student demonstrates his/her knowledge and experience in teaching the content area.
    • CoT Course Requirements
      Minimum of 22 credit hours of graduate work

      Educ S500 Field-Based Seminar
                  (Completion of portfolio of 30 expectations is required for certification)
      Educ L517 Advanced Study of Content Reading and Literacy
      Educ (TBD) Subject Methods Course II
      Content or subject requirements in physics
      Educ M550 Student Teaching (10 weeks)
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
    The M.A.T. is designed for students with experience in secondary education (teachers) who are interested in specializing in teaching physics, math or science. Candidates for the M.A.T. degree must hold a teacher’s license by the time they complete the M.A.T.
    • M.A.T. Admission Requirements
      8 credit hours of undergraduate physics courses.
    • M.A.T. Course Requirements
      20 credit hours in physics courses numbered P300 or higher, selected from the course listings that follow (recommended: P301, P309, P331, P332, P360, P451, P453, P454), the remain­ing 16 credit hours in mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, or computer science and graduate education.

For useful career information, see the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook