Oct 02, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Physics Major, B.A. with Secondary Science Teacher Licensure Concentration

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Department of Physics  

College of Letters, Arts and Sciences  

  Available Program Format(s): In-Person  

About the Program

The Department of Physics at the Metropolitan State University of Denver offers programs leading to a Bachelor of Science in Physics, a Bachelor of Arts in Physics, and a minor in physics. We also offer a Bachelor of Arts in Physics with Secondary Science Teacher Licensure. We offer introductory courses designed for both STEM majors as well as for the enrichment of non-science majors, including introductory physics, astronomy, and cosmology. We prepare our physics majors for graduate study in a wide range of disciplines including physics, astronomy, engineering, and science education, and for successful employment in technologically oriented industries. Our faculty are outstanding classroom teachers, bringing rigorous coursework, laboratory experience, advising and mentoring to our students. They maintain professional currency and engage in scholarly activities through involvement in undergraduate research, personalized professional development programs, and projects associated with teaching and learning. We seek to increase the science literacy of the Denver community through science outreach and an increasingly strong role in the education of future teachers.

Degree seeking candidates who wish to obtain Colorado teacher licensure for Secondary Science Education with a major in Physics must earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. Included in the requirements for the Physics major with a concentration in Secondary Science teaching is a core curriculum designed to ensure that the Physics education program meets the Colorado Science Licensure Standards and addresses the objectives of the General Science content area examination. The core curriculum adds a firm foundation in Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, and Mathematics. The Colorado Academic Standards are strongly emphasized within the curriculum. The core curriculum is supported by the depth of the major in Physics. 

Student Outcomes

Secondary Education

  • Students in Secondary/K-12 Education teacher licensure programs will demonstrate awareness of multiculturalism, diversity, equity, and inclusion.  
  • Students in Secondary/K-12 Education teacher licensure program will gain readiness and eligibility for student teaching
  • Teacher candidates will successfully complete student teaching

Physics Major B.A.

  • Develop mathematical skills that facilitate their understanding of the fundamental principles of physics and enable problem solving. 
  • Apply advanced mathematical techniques (understanding vectors in multiple coordinate systems, solving differential equations, and basic computational skills). 
  • Use standard laboratory equipment to collect data and perform quantitative evaluations of the experimental outcome. 
  • Communicate the process and outcomes of scientific experiments using scientifically sound reports including posters, papers, and oral presentations. 
  • Demonstrate content and pedagogical expertise in teaching science.
  • Plan and deliver effective instructions in science to the diverse body of students. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of language acquisition and culturally linguistically diverse learners.

General Degree Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the four areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements. 

Program Requirements

  • A total of 123 semester hours are required for graduation. 
  • A grade of C- or better is required for each course in this program to count toward the bachelor’s degree. Students should note that programs differ in the minimum grade required. 
  • A minimum GPA of 2.75 in the Physics Major and Additional Content Courses for Secondary Science Licensure is needed to apply for student teaching. 

General Studies Requirements: 33 credits

Students should consult the General Studies Requirements  for a list of courses that fulfill the General Studies Requirements for degree completion.  

  • Written Communication (6 credits) 
  • Oral Communication (3 credits) 
  • Quantitative Literacy (3 credits) 
    • Recommended: MTH 1410 - Calculus I  (Note: this course also meets the Mathematics requirements for Additional Content Courses for Secondary Science Licensure. Depending on the course selected, this category may exceed 3 credits.) 
  • Arts and Humanities (6 credits) 
  • Historical (3 credits) 
  • Natural and Physical Sciences (6 credits) 
    • Recommended: this category of General Studies can also be met by courses required in Additional Content Courses for Secondary Science Licensure. Depending on the course selected, this category may exceed 6 credits.  
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credits) 
  • Global Diversity (0 or 3 credits**) 


** Students will fulfill the global diversity requirement by taking an approved course within one of the following categories: arts and humanities; historical; natural and physical sciences; or social and behavioral sciences. 

Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Requirement: 0 or 3 credits

Students should consult the Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Graduation Requirement  for a list of courses that fulfill the ESSJ Requirement for degree completion.  

Additional Courses for Secondary Science Licensure: 33 credits

All students must complete courses in the following disciplines to prepare to teach Secondary Science. Ten or more credits in this category can also satisfy General Studies requirements for Quantitative Literacy and Natural and Physical Sciences. 

Foundation and Methods Courses for Secondary Education: 28 credits

All the courses in the this area are required for Secondary Science Licensure. Some course pairs must be taken together; please see an advisor in the School of Education for more detail on recommended sequence.

Senior Experience: 12 credits

Summary of Requirements

General Studies Requirements 33 credits
ESSJ Requirement 0-3 credits
Physics Major Core Courses 32 credits
Additional Courses for Secondary Science Licensure 33 credits
Foundation and Methods Courses for Secondary Education 28 credits
Senior Experience 12 credits
Total for the Physics Major, B.A. with Secondary Science Teacher Licensure Concentration 123 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and ESSJ requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree.

Up to 15 of the 33 General Studies credits in this program may be fulfilled through requirements for the degree.

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