Physics/Mathematics—Secondary Education

Students in the Secondary Education program learn how to teach within a mathematical and science context and conduct thorough studies of mathematics and physics.Western's Physics/Mathematics Secondary Education degree program offers formal clinical preparation in education, an extended internship, and continual experiences as a student, learner, and problem solver in mathematics and physics.

Students in the program focus on expanding their personal understanding of mathematics and physics and capitalize on the opportunities available to tutor pre-college students, assist in classrooms, and obtain a position as a practicum student or novice teacher in their internship.

This major must be accompanied by the professional preparation program in Secondary Education offered through Woodring College of Education. Western’s Physics and Astronomy Department is part of the College of Science and Engineering.


Beyond the Classroom

Students wishing to stay involved with the Mathematics and Physics community have the opportunity to immerse themselves in extracurricular activities that often pertain to teaching as well as math and science:

  • Physics Teaching Assistants (TAs) assist professors in principally two ways: lab assistance and grading. Duties for lab TAs may include attending weekly training meetings, running lab sessions, and grading lab reports. Students are paid an hourly rate based on experience with the department. Students often find that they have a much deeper understanding of physics after being a TA. One of the favorite benefits to being a TA is having a key to the student study space, affectionately called "The Zoo."

  • Physics Department Seminars include colloquia and conferences put on by faculty and field scholars, which all students are invited to attend.  

  • Student stay involved with mathematics by working in the Math Center (staffed by undergraduate Math Fellows, it is a great place to get help with homework, meet other students, and form study groups), join the Putnam Exam group, or participate in the Math Modeling Competition or the Kryptos Cryptography Competition.


Careers and Graduate Studies

Students in the Physics/Mathematics Secondary Education program often go on to graduate schools or find teaching positions in middle or secondary education.


Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.


Sample Careers

  • Secondary Education Teacher

Department of Physics/Astronomy

Physics/Mathematics—Secondary Education, BAE

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