Secondary Education Certification

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

About Physics 7-12 Teaching Certification

Introduce students to the fundamental workings of the universe.

Whether you have a bachelor's degree in physics or are changing careers from another field, Level I certification and a master's degree in physics education from California University of Pennsylvania enable you to teach secondary school grades 7-12.

Complete your secondary education certification and master's degree within five semesters ­- four semesters of courses and one semester of student teaching.

Experience how Cal U excels in teacher education.

  • Cal U's teaching programs are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In addition, Cal U education programs have been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, and we are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
  • Cal U has a 160-year reputation of producing top-quality educators in Pennsylvania and beyond.
  • This master's program focuses on pedagogy courses, applicable instruction and student teaching.


Flexibility: A combination of online courses, on-site fieldwork and a two-day, on campus summer residency give physics education graduate students the flexibility to continue working while earning their degree.

Real-World Experience: Before beginning the full-time student teaching component of this program, Cal U students experience hours of fieldwork in local school districts. This helps them excel in student teaching and stand out in the physics education job market.  

Top Accreditation: This graduate degree program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Cal U's education programs have also been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, and we are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). 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 will give you mastery of the latest practices and theories in physics education while deepening your discipline-specific expertise. You'll also gain extensive hands-on experience through fieldwork and student teaching.

  • Study physics curriculum development techniques and how to use the Standards Aligned System (SAS).
  • Learn top strategies in classroom management.
  • Master classroom technology for teaching physics.
  • Deepen your knowledge of calculus, differential equations, physics, mechanics and other related topics.
  • Gain real-world teaching experience.
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Graduate Outcomes

Our graduates are prepared to teach secondary education physics at public or private schools. They also thrive as physics program coordinators, evaluators and curriculum specialists. Cal U secondary education alumni employers include dozens of schools across the country.


Curriculum, Admission Requirements and Related Programs

This professional graduate degree program is delivered online, on-site at assigned fieldwork locations and on campus during a short summer residency. Our rigorous, discipline-specific courses will deepen your physics knowledge while equipping you with the latest theories and practices in physics education. All students are required to have current school clearances to participate in field experience and sign up for courses.



Course Credits
Required Content Courses (a grade of C or better is required for certification)
CHE 101  General Chemistry 4
MAT 281  Calculus I 3
MAT 282  Calculus II 3
MAT 381  Calculus III 3
MAT 382  Calculus IV 3
MAT 406  Differential Equations 3
PHY 101  College Physics I 4
PHY 202  College Physics II 4
PHY 203  College Physics III 4
PHY 221  Intermediate Elect & Mag 4
PHY 301  Intermediate Mechanics 4
PHY 331  Modern Physics 3
PHY 495  Physics Seminar 1
Science Elective 3
Cal U Required Courses
EDU 650  Supporting the English Language Learner 3
ESP 610  Sp. Ed. Foundations & Collaboration 3
ESP 613  Evidence-Based Practices for Sec Inclusion 3
ESP 701  Introduction to Behavior Analysis 3
MSE 641  Orientation to 7-12 Ed. 3
MSE 642  Standards-Based Instruction in 7-12 Ed 3
MSE 643  Content Area Literacy in 7-12 Ed. 3
MSE 644  Instructional Strategies in 7-12 Ed. 3
MSE 645  Technology in 7-12 Education* 3
MSE 646  Assessments and Interventions* 3
MSE 647  Classroom Management in 7-12 Ed. 3
MSE 653  Methods of Science Teaching 7-12* 3
MSE 661  Student Teaching & School Law** 9
Total Graduate Credits 45

* Two-day on-campus July residency will be integrated into the summer MSE courses.

** Must earn a recommendation for student teaching.


Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements (Regular)  

  • 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
  • International Graduate Applicants

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
California University of Pennsylvania
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 physics experiment.

Land a Job Before Graduation

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

A chalkboard with math equasions.

Experienced Faculty

Learn best practices in physics education from experienced professors. All core secondary education faculty have doctorate degrees, and most have taught in public schools at the middle or high school level.

A Cal U student rides his bike on campus.

On-campus Summer Residency

Cal U secondary education graduate students meet on campus every summer for an intensive two-day residency. This enables face-to face instruction, interaction with peers and practice teaching sample lessons.

Physics Certification Faculty

Dr. Keith Hepner

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

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Dr. Connie Monroe
Professor and chair, Department of Secondary Education and Administrative Leadership

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

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Dr. Michael Perrotti
Coordinator of Graduate Secondary Ed Programs and Associate Professor

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Dr. Thomas Weisgarber
Assistant Professsor

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Dr. Joseph Zisk
Professor; director, Teaching and Learning Center

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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.