College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences


Physics Education Track

The Physics Education option is available for those who are interested in a pursuing a teaching career. There is a great demand for qualified science teachers in California. Students who successfully complete this track may be eligible to begin their teaching careers immediately after completing their B.S. as intern teachers, employed by a school, during the period in which they are enrolled in a credentialing program. This track includes prerequisites for the Masters of Education (M.Ed.) program offered by the UCR Graduate School of Education (GSOE), where qualified students can simultaneously earn a Masters degree, in addition to their California teaching certification, in one year (including the summer). Students in the Physics Education option will be advised by physics faculty and by UCR Science and Math Initiative (SMI) advisors.  Students interested in intern teaching or in the GSOE M.Ed. program should meet with a GSOE advisor.

The program requires 76 units at lower division (27 in Physics, 15 chemistry, 24 math, 4 computer science, 6 education), a minimum of 41 units of upper division Physics courses, 8 units of upper division Education courses, and 40 units of breadth requirements, for a total of 165 units. Compared to the Standard BS degree, 16 units of upper division physics are replaced by 14 units of Education courses. The schedule below is shown with 195 units with 8 general electives.  Note that you must complete a minimum of 180 units to be eligible for graduation.  Students who wish to take more than 216 units must receive permission from the associate dean.

Choose two upper division education courses from the following list to satisfy the requirements:

  • EDUC 105 :  Introduction to Science Pedagogy (very highly recommended)
  • EDUC 109(S) :  Education in a Diverse Society
  • EDUC 110(S) :  Learning Theory and Psychology in Education
  • EDUC 116(S) :  The Exceptional Child
  • EDUC 174(S) :  Reading and Writing in the Content Areas
  • EDUC 175(S) :  Language Development in Content Areas


Sample course plan for Physics Education Track (B.S. degree only)

This sample course plan begins with the physics 41ABC series, which is strongly recommended.  Please see this web page for alternative introductory physics options.


Freshman year

Phys 41A (8 units) Phys 41B (8 units) Phys 41C (8 units)
Math 9A (4 units) Math 9B (4 units) Math 9C (4 units)
English 1A (4 units) English 1B (4 units) Breadth, Elective, or CS 10 (4 units)
Phys 39 (3 units) S/NS    
Total units 19 Total units 16 Total units 16

Sophomore year

Phys 130A (4 units) Phys 130B (4 units) Phys 132 (4 units)
Chem 1A/1AL (5 units) Chem 1B/1BL (5 units) Chem 1C/1CL (5 units)
Math 10A (4 units) Math 10B (4 units) Math 46 (4 units)
Breadth 1 of 6 (4 units) Educ 3 (3 units) Educ 4 (3 units)
Total units 17 Total units 16 Total units 16

Junior year

Phys 135A (4 units) Phys 135B (4 units) Physics Elective  (4 units)
Phys 156A (4 units) Phys 156B (4 units) Breadth 3 of 6 (4 units)
Elective (4 units) Educ 105 (4 units) UD Education elective (4 units)
CS 10A or CS 9P (4 units) Breadth 2 of 6 (4 units) Breadth 4 of 6 (4 units)
Total units 16 Total units 16 Total units 17

Senior year

Phys 139L (5 units) Phys 142W (5 units) Elective (4 units)
Elective (4 units) Breadth 6 of 6 (4 units) Elective (4 units)
Breadth 5 of 6 (4 units) Elective (4 units) Elective (4 units)
Elective (4 units) Elective (4 units)  
Total units 17 Total units 17 Total units 12
Total units: 195 including 7 general electives


Links and contact information for the physics education track





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