BA in Physics (Teacher Preparation)

Units required for Major: 80-82

Program Description

Physics is the most fundamental science and underlies our understanding of nearly all areas of science and technology. In a broad sense, physics is concerned with the study of energy, space, and matter, and with the interactions between matter and the laws that govern these interactions. More specifically, physicists study mechanics, heat, light, electric and magnetic fields, gravitation, relativity, atomic and nuclear physics, and condensed matter physics.

The BA degree is recommended for students who are interested in teaching Physics in high school or who want a liberal arts education with an emphasis in Physics. Physics majors are encouraged to take additional mathematics and to develop skills in the use of computers.

Currently there is a serious need in public school education for well-educated science teachers. Physics majors who have an interest in teaching should see the credential advisor in the Department (Dr. Vera Margoniner) to plan an academic program and to explore ways to get involved in teaching-related activities such as tutoring, grading, and working in the schools.

Currently there is a great need for K-12 teachers educated in science. Changes in State Board of Education Standards and increasing interest in Biological Sciences have created significant demands for students with this credential. Biological Sciences majors who have an interest in teaching should contact one of the credential advisors in the Biological Sciences Department, Melanie Loo.

Note: 

  • It is also possible to obtain admission to the Professional Education Program by passing a series of subject-matter examinations specified by the CTC in lieu of this Science Subject Matter Program. For information about this option contact the Teacher Preparation Program Office, Eureka Hall 216, (916) 278-6403.
  • Due to policy changes from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and the federal No Child Left Behind mandate, the Science Subject Matter program was under review at the time of this catalog printing and is subject to revision. As a result it is important to consult a credential advisor for current details.

Minimum Grade Requirement

A grade of at least a "C-" and an overall GPA of 2.7 in all courses in the Science Subject Matter Program are required for admission to the Teacher Education Program.

Note: It is recommended that all coursework for the Subject Matter Program be completed before starting the Teacher Education Program. At least 15 units of the coursework or equivalent work experience must be current, i.e., completed within the past six years.

Program Requirements

Required Lower Division Courses (52 Units)
ASTR 4BIntroduction to Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology3
BIO 1Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology5
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry I5
CHEM 1BGeneral Chemistry II5
GEOL 10Physical Geology3
GEOL 10LPhysical Geology Lab1
MATH 30Calculus I4
MATH 31Calculus II4
MATH 32Calculus III4
MATH 45Differential Equations for Science and Engineering3
PHYS 11AGeneral Physics: Mechanics4
PHYS 11BGeneral Physics: Heat, Light, Sound, Modern Physics4
PHYS 11CGeneral Physics: Electricity and Magnetism4
PHYS 30Science and Pseudoscience3
Required Upper Division Courses (20-21 Units)
PHYS 105Mathematical Methods in Physics3
PHYS 106Introduction to Modern Physics3
PHYS 110Classical Mechanics3
PHYS 115Electronics and Instrumentation3 - 4
or PHYS 145 Optics
PHYS 124Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics3
PHYS 135Electricity And Magnetism3
PHYS 175Advanced Physics Laboratory2
Elective Upper Division Requirements (8 Units)
Select 8 units of upper-division coursework chosen in consultation with physics advisor 18
Physics Colloquium Attendance
Fulfill a minimum attendance requirement 2
Total Units80-81
1

 See list below for a list of Department approved electives.

2

Majors must fulfill a minimum attendance requirement at Department Colloquia. Students should consult with the Department for details.

Elective List

PHYS 115Electronics and Instrumentation 34
PHYS 116Advanced Electronics and Instrumentation3
PHYS 130Acoustics3
PHYS 136Electrodynamics of Waves, Radiation,and Materials3
PHYS 142Applied Solid State Physics3
PHYS 145Optics 33
PHYS 150Quantum Mechanics3
PHYS 151Advanced Modern Physics3
PHYS 156Classical and Statistical Mechanics3
PHYS 162Scientific Computing: Basic Methods3
PHYS 163Scientific Computing: Modeling, Simulation, and Visualization3
PHYS 195Teaching Internship1 - 2
PHYS 196 Series
PHYS 197Laboratory Teaching Assistant1 - 2
PHYS 199Special Problems1 - 3
ASTR 150Dark Matter and Dark Energy3
MATH 105BAdvanced Mathematics for Science and Engineering II4
3

If not used to satisfy other requirement of the degree (Example: PHYS 115 or PHYS 145 are required for the Bachelor of Science. If both are taken, one will count as an elective).

Units required for the Subject Matter Program: 80

Program Description

Physics majors who intend to pursue a single subject teaching credential must complete a BA in Physics including courses in the Science Subject Matter Program which is described in more detail under the heading "Science Subject Matter Program" in this catalog. Upon successful completion, this program fulfills the subject matter competence requirement and qualifies students to enter the Teaching Credential Program in the School of Education. The science teaching credential with a concentration in Physics allows candidates to teach all four of the natural sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Geoscience, and Physics) at the general science level and Physics at an advanced level in high school.

The Science Subject Matter Program, with concentrations in either Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Geosciences, or Physics, leads to a BA degree in the area of concentration and meets the latest subject matter requirements of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) for subject-matter preparation of teachers of Natural Science at the general science level and in the student's area of concentration at the advanced high school level. In order to obtain a California Teaching Credential, a program of professional Education preparation is required in addition to the Subject Matter Program. A typical credential might read, for example, SCIENCE: Concentration Chemistry.

Special Features

  • At Sacramento State all four science departments have strong BA and BS programs supported by an active faculty and with modern laboratory facilities. The departments are committed to the education and development of new science teachers and have a solid record of providing professional activities and support for local experienced teachers through the work of the Center for Mathematics and Science Education.
  • This subject matter program is based on the concept that, if well educated science majors pursue teaching careers in K-12 education, science instruction will improve. To this end, the Sacramento State Science Subject Matter Program embodies the following features. The program:
  • emphasizes breadth in all four of the sciences. All credential candidates will complete a full year or more of laboratory-based science in each of the natural sciences.
  • requires depth of study in one of the natural sciences. All credential candidates must complete the BA requirements in one of the natural sciences. Through deeper study of science, credential candidates become learners in the discipline and develop the ability to be creative teachers and models for their students.
  • emphasizes laboratory and field work so that credential candidates learn to use the many tools of science including computers. This will enable them to develop laboratory programs and structure field experiences for students in their schools.
  • emphasizes science for all students. The departments recognize the need to have programs which address the needs of underrepresented groups in science; women, African-Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanics. The SEE (Science Education Equity) Office and the Center for Mathematics and Science Education encourage and enable these student groups to be successful in science and to consider careers in education.

Notes:

  • Credential candidates who complete this subject matter program in the sciences will have gained the confidence and ability to do science. They will understand that science is not just a collection of facts to be memorized but a creative and dynamic process which when applied can lead to understanding and appreciation of the natural world. This attitude will be reflected in their classrooms and will make them good models for pre-college students.
  • Science majors who intend to pursue a teaching credential should see a faculty advisor or the department chair in the department of their academic major. It is recommended that they do so early as it is critical that their science coursework be carefully planned and coordinated with the professional teacher preparation program. In addition, students are encouraged to become involved with education related activities like grading, assisting in labs, tutoring K-12 students, visiting schools, and actually teaching; all experiences that can be arranged through your advisor and the Center for Mathematics and Science Education.

Program Requirements

Required Lower Division Courses (51 Units)
ASTR 4BIntroduction to Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology3
ASTR 6Astronomical Observation Laboratory1
BIO 10Basic Biological Concepts3
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry I5
CHEM 1BGeneral Chemistry II5
GEOL 10Physical Geology3
GEOL 10LPhysical Geology Lab1
GEOL 12Historical Geology3
MATH 30Calculus I4
MATH 31Calculus II4
MATH 32Calculus III4
MATH 45Differential Equations for Science and Engineering3
PHYS 11AGeneral Physics: Mechanics4
PHYS 11BGeneral Physics: Heat, Light, Sound, Modern Physics4
PHYS 11CGeneral Physics: Electricity and Magnetism4
Upper Division Courses (29 Units)
PHYS 105Mathematical Methods in Physics3
PHYS 106Introduction to Modern Physics3
PHYS 110Classical Mechanics3
PHYS 115Electronics and Instrumentation4
PHYS 124Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics3
PHYS 135Electricity And Magnetism3
PHYS 175Advanced Physics Laboratory2
PHYS 191Senior Project2
Select 6 units of electives 16
Total Units80
1

Elective courses must be selected in consultation with the credential advisor.