Bachelor of Arts in Physics: Teacher Preparation Concentration

The shortage of qualified teachers at the elementary and secondary levels is a nation wide problem, and the need for well-qualified science and physics teachers is especially great. This is troubling news for the future of our nation but may be very good news for you: physics and science high-school teachers are in very high demand and it is easy to get a job!

With the goal of increasing the number of our majors pursing a career in the teaching of science and physics in middle and high schools, the Physics and Astronomy department at Sacramento State has developed the Teacher Preparation Concentration (TPC) for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics. Students enrolled in the concentration:

  • Are eligible to apply for the Physics Teacher Preparation Scholarship.
  • Have the opportunity of working as a teaching assistant at a high-school or university astronomy/physics class under the supervision of an experienced teacher mentor (see below).
  • Are prepared to take the three exams that are required by the state of California for a teaching credential in science with emphasis on Physics; and will be eligible to enter a teacher credential program. 

The Concentration does not affect the required upper division core units in the existing BA Program in Physics. However, the Concentration requires additional lower division units in Biology, Astronomy, and Geology and encourages participation in professional teaching related activities.

Lower Division (52 Units)
BIO 1 (Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology)
ASTR 4 (Introduction to Astronomy)
GEO 10 (Physical Geology)
GEO 10L (Physical Geology Lab)
PHYS 30 (Science and Pseudoscience)
MATH 30, 31, 32, (Calculus I, II, & III)
MATH 45 (Differential Equations)
CHEM 1A, 1B (General Chemistry I & II)
PHYS 11A, 11B, 11C (General Physics I, II, & III)

Upper Division (28 - 29 Units) 
PHYS 105 or MATH 105A (Mathematical Methods)
PHYS 106 (Intro to Modern Physics)
PHYS 110 (Classical Mechanics)
PHYS 115 (Electronics and Instrumentation) or PHYS 145 (Optics)
PHYS 124 (Thermodynamics)
PHYS 135 (Electricity and Magnetism)
PHYS 175 (Advanced Physics Laboratory) 
Physics Elective (8 unit minimum)

Physics Electives: The upper division electives will be customized, in consultation with an advisor, to meet the needs of the individual students as they prepare for a career in the teaching of physics. Options include: upper division physics and astronomy courses drawn from our traditional roster of electives, PHYS 195, and/or PHYS 197. The last elective options were developed with the students in this program in mind:

PHYS 195. Teaching Internship. Supervised teaching internship for a high-school physics class, or for one of the following courses: PHYS 2, 5A-B, 10, 11A-B-C, 107, or ASTR 4. The student will meet weekly with the faculty teaching this class, and with their supervisor/mentor to help prepare and teach the class. Prerequisites: Completion of all math and physics lower division courses required for the BA in Physics and approval of the Teacher Preparation Concentration Coordinator.

PHYS 197. Laboratory Teaching Assistant. Student will be a supervised laboratory teaching assistant for one of the following courses: PHYS 2, 5A-B, 10, 11A-B-C, 107 or ASTR 6. The student will meet weekly with the faculty teaching this class, and with their supervisor/mentor to help prepare and teach the laboratory. Prerequisites: Completion of all math and physics lower division courses required for the BA in Physics and approval of the Teacher Preparation Concentration Coordinator.

Contact Prof. Vera Margoniner if you have any questions or want more information about the TPC program.

Additional info can be found in the TPC Program Flier or the University Catalog.

Last Updated: June 24, 2010