Physics Teacher Program

The Department of Physics and the School of Education at Duquesne University team up to offer a five-year dual degree program for students interested in becoming physics teachers in high school. The program leads to a Bachelor’s degree in Physics (Science or Arts) and a Master of Science in Secondary Education.

The 4+1 model

This is an accelerated course of studies that combines the senior year of the undergraduate physics program with the first year of the graduate education program. Admission into the physics major is the first step. In the spring of the third year, candidates apply to the graduate school of education for fall entrance into the second degree. Candidates graduate from the school of natural sciences with a bachelor degree in physics at the end of the fourth year and continue graduate studies in education for one more year to receive their master’s degree.

The curriculum

The curriculum for both physics degree options combines a strong mathematical foundation with an intense physics curriculum comparable to that of major physics programs nationwide. Both options include all general science and specific physics content required for teaching certification. The BS option includes a research experience and prepares students for professional employment as well as graduate studies in physics, astronomy, chemistry or engineering. The BA option accommodates a double major with mathematics.

Teaching experience

Required graduate education courses, including teaching experiences, are sequenced in the fourth year, but elective teaching courses with field experiences are available as early as the sophomore year. Joint advisement with the school of education is required.

The advantage

Teachers that have a bachelor’s degree in physics are rare and highly competitive in the educational job market. Plus, they have a superior skill at teaching physics because they know well beyond what is presented in the high-school textbook.

Be one of a kind

Physics is a small community, and it feels like one, especially at Duquesne. Small classes, highly individualized attention and close advisement are all conducive to a solid learning experience. Plus, opportunities for additional training through tutoring, lab assistantships and undergraduate research are available and strongly encouraged.

What was YOUR physics experience in high school? If you think high school students deserve better, consider majoring in physics at Duquesne University as your first step to becoming the best teacher ever.

View the Physics Teacher Program Curriculum.