Secondary Education Certification

Secondary Education Certification Master of Arts Teaching (M.A.T.) - Chemistry

About Chemistry 7-12 Teaching Certification

Engage students in an exploration of the elements that shape our world.

From atomic particles to big ideas, share your passions by pursuing Level I teaching certification and a master's degree in chemistry education from PennWest California.

Designed for working chemists, but open to all bachelor's degree holders, this master's program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.  

Take a fast track to a rewarding teaching career.

  • Learn the latest advancements in secondary education pedagogy while expanding your mastery of chemistry.
  • Complete secondary education chemistry certification and your master's degree in four semesters of classes and one semester of student teaching.
  • Acquire career experience through extensive fieldwork in assigned local classroom and student teaching.


Real-Word Experience: Gain confidence in teaching. PennWest California students stand out in the chemistry education job market because they complete 20 to 24 hours of fieldwork per semester in local school districts prior to the full-time student teaching component of this program.

Flexible Hours: Online courses and on-site field experiences allow chemistry education graduate students to continue working while earning their degree. A two-day, on-campus summer residency brings everything together with personalized, face-to-face instruction.

Students that need additional coursework to fulfill the Pennsylvania Department of Education Requirements may need to take on-campus courses.

Top Accreditation: This  degree program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In addition, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accredits PennWest California. CAEP promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement. See CAEP reporting measures of program impact and outcomes.


average annual salary for secondary education teachers in Pennsylvania. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
weeks of full-time student teaching in a real classroom.
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Degree Benefits

Graduate degree courses in pedagogy give you mastery of proven practices in chemistry education, and content-specific classes expand your expertise of chemistry and related disciplines if needed. You'll also gain extensive hands-on experience through fieldwork and student teaching.

  • Study chemistry curriculum development techniques and how to use the Standards Aligned System (SAS).
  • Learn top strategies in lab and classroom management.
  • Master classroom technology for teaching chemistry.
  • Deepen your knowledge of inorganic and organic chemistry, biochemistry, instruments used in chemical experiments, and other related topics.
  • Gain real-world teaching experience.
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Graduate Outcomes

Graduates of this program go on to teach chemistry in middle and high schools in Pennsylvania and other states. They also find jobs as science program coordinators, evaluators and curriculum specialists. PennWest California secondary education alumni are employed in dozens of schools across the country.


Curriculum, Admission Requirements and Related Programs

Our ever-evolving curriculum imparts the latest advancements in secondary education pedagogy while expanding your mastery of chemistry in lab-based classes. Graduate degree program courses are delivered online, and during a two-day, on-campus residency. All students are required to have current school clearances to participate in field experience and sign up for courses.



Course Credits
Required Courses
MSE 641  Orientation to 7-12 Education 3
MSE 642  Standards-Based Instruction in 7-12 Education 3
MSE 643  Content Area Literacy 3
MSE 644  Instructional Strategies in 7-12 3
MSE 645  Technology Integration in 7-12 Education 3
MSE 646  Assessments and Interventions 3
MSE 647  Classroom Management in 7-12 Education 3
MSE 653  Methods of Science Teaching 7-12 3
MSE 661  Student Teaching 9
Total Credits 33

Undergraduate Content Course Requirements

Certification requirements for the Pennsylvania Department of Education include appropriate certification testing. A minimum of 30 credits of content area coursework is required. These courses may be taken at the undergraduate level. Students must demonstrate college coursework with a grade of C or higher in:

  • Chemistry 1 with lab
  • Chemistry 2 with lab
  • Organic chemistry with lab
  • Inorganic chemistry
  • Biochemistry or physical chemistry
  • Chemistry lab
  • Analytical chemistry
  • Chemistry elective
  • Calculus
  • Physics

Note: Pennsylvania Department of Education requirements are subject to change.

Chapter 49-2

Chapter 49-2 requirements (12 credits) mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education must be met in order to receive certification. Courses may be satisfied with previously taken undergraduate or graduate courses, subject to approval of the program coordinator. Undergraduate 49-2 courses cannot be accepted for the graduate special education add-on certification program for students who later complete that program. If not already completed, the following courses are needed in addition to the requirements above:

  • ESP 610  Special Education Foundations and Collaboration
  • ESP 701  Introduction to Behavior Analysis
  • ESP 613  Evidence-based Practices in Secondary Inclusion
  • EDU 650  Supporting the English Language Learner

Student Teaching

Applications for spring student teaching are due October 1. Applications for fall student teaching are due April 1.

Student teaching requirements include:

  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher for all courses, including undergraduate content course requirements
  • A grade of C or higher for all required courses
  • Completion of all required courses prior to student teaching
  • Required clearances
  • No incomplete (I) grades
  • Passing of required Praxis tests
  • TB tests
  • Liability insurance
  • Education requirements, such as seminars and portfolios

Program Notes

  • The summer courses require a two-day residency in July.
  • Clearances are required at all times throughout the program and must be updated every July.
  • LiveText Watermark software is required for this program. 


Admission Requirements

Regular Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.80 or higher (Students with a GPA below 2.80 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements:
    • Bachelor's degree with a GPA under 2.80 will be reviewed for a decision

Provisional Admission:
Applicants who have provided unofficial documentation of test scores, prerequisite courses, transcripts or lack of letter(s) of recommendation may be admitted provisionally.

This policy also applies to undergraduate students who apply for graduate admission pending bachelor degree completion. Upon receipt of all official documents, a student will be changed from Provisional Admission to either Regular Admission or Conditional Admission. Provisional Admission students may take classes for one term but will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid.

Program Requirements

  • Depending on the area of certification chosen, the department will provide guidance if any foundation undergraduate courses need to be completed before applying for student teaching
  • Clearances:  Students are responsible for updating clearances annually through the Office of Field Experience.  In addition, clearances must be on file before applying for student teaching  - Acts 24, 34, 114, and 151

How to Apply:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
PennWest California
Box 91
250 University Ave. 
California, PA 15419 

For additional information:
Phone: 724-938-4187

Out of State Students:
All students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania are responsible for securing and following the certification requirements in the state in which they intend to apply for certification. 

Related Programs


A student in cap and gown.

Land a Job Before Graduation

Work full-time as a teacher before certification, and use your job to fulfill field placement requirements. If you're offered a teaching job while enrolled in the chemistry education master's degree program, you can apply for the Teacher Intern Certification program.

PennWest California student in a chemistry lab.

Course Spotlight: Methods of Science Education

Learn proven methods for teaching scientific concepts that will help your students understand and absorb key principles while igniting their wonder for the natural world.

A professor with k-12 experience.

Professors with K-12 Teaching Experience

Learn best practices for teaching science from professors with real-world experience, such as Dr. Joseph Zisk, who has taught high school chemistry and was a district-wide K-12 science and technology superior.

Chemistry Certification Faculty

Dr. Marcia Hoover
Professor; field coordinator, Department of Secondary Education and Administrative Leadership

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Dr. Connie Monroe

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Dr. Susan Morris-Rutledge
Associate Professor and ESL Program Coordinator

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Dr. Michael Perrotti
Education Department Chair; University-Wide Curriculum Committee Chair; Associate Professor

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Michael Ulderich
Assistant Professor

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Please Note: All students who will be seeking licensure/certification outside of Pennsylvania should consult the State Authorization web page for more information.