BA in Physics Followed by MS (or MAT) in Education 

with NYS  Secondary Physics Teacher Certification (4+1)

This program leads to a  BA in Physics in four years,  followed by a 1 year program in the  Warner School of Education, leading to a MS (or MAT) in  Education with NYS  Secondary Physics Teacher Certification. All course work required for the two certification processes for teaching of physics in NY state is completed in the MS program (unlike other programs that lead to certification in 4 years with a BA, and then require that students return to school to complete their MS within three years, to complete the second phase of certification). The advantages of this (4+1) program are the following:

(A) All course requirements for both the first and second certification are satisfied at one time.

(B) By taking four education courses during the first four years, students complete the MS program in one summer and two semesters beyond the BA degree (instead of the two summers and two semesters that are usually needed). These four education courses are transferable to the MS program.

(C) Undergraduate students can take both their education courses as well as their required teaching practice during their junior and senior years.   Therefore sampling the experience of high school teaching before deciding about the 5th year of the MS program.  Students therefore have the choice of leaving after four years with a regular BA or BS degree, to pursue other career options.

  1. Although not required, it is recommended that students who want to become high school teachers take  PHY 123  (instead of PHY 143) since PHY 123 covers a broader range of topics.
  2. In order to sample the experience of teaching early on,  it is recommended that students apply to the Teaching Internship Program (PHY388, PHY389) during the Spring of their first year.
  3. It is recommended (but not required)  that undergraduates satisfy their social science 3-course cluster requirement in the area of Psychology. For example, S1CSP008  (Personality Psychology), as teachers need to communicate effectively with students and parents.  (This cluster is satisfied by  the following courses:  Psychology CSP161 ,  Motivation and Emotion CSP262 , and  Gender Difference in Communication CSP192Q)
  4. It is recommended (but not required)  that undergraduates in the program satisfy their humanities 3-course cluster requirement in  the area of verbal and written communication.  For example  H1ENG016 (Media, Culture and Communication),  as teadchers need to  communicate with  with students and parents,  as well as write a variety of reports.  (This cluster is satisfied by the following courses: Media Communication  ENG118  , Debate ENG135 , and  Public Speaking  ENG134)

A total of 128 credits is required for a BA degree.  Four courses taken as overload during the first four years can be applied towards the MS degree.

For the MS degree,  NYS requires the following additional credits (beyond the 128 credits for the BA):

(a)  39 MS credits for grades 5-9 certification  (including EDU429),  or
(b)  39 MS credits for grades 7-12 certification  (including EDU486),  or
(c)  42 MS credits for grades 5-12 certification (including both EDU429 and EDU486).

For the MAT (Masters of Arts in Teaching), an additional 12 credits of Physics courses are required. (e.g. graduate students students who have taken the first year graduate courses in Physics have already sastified this requirement. Therefore, all graduate students can also get an MAT if they take 1 additional year of education courses for NYS certification).  For a certification including teaching students with disabilities, four additional courses are required.

An example of the Grade 7-12  program appears below (for individulized program consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Physics, Prof. Nick Bigelow   ( nbig@lle. , and the Director of Science Education in the Warner School,  Prof.  April Lynn Luehmann   (

First Year
Fall Spring
MTH161    or MTH171 - Calculus I (4 credit) MTH162 or MTH172 -- Calculus II (4 credit) 
Primary Writing (4 credit)  or PHY 141 -- Honors Mechanics 3 Primary Writing, or PHY 121 -- Mechanics 3
Elective: e.g. Cluster Course No. 1 (4 credit) e.g. ENG118     (Media Communication ) 
or  PHY 143 -- Honors Modern Physics, 4
Elective Elective: e.g. Cluster course No. 4 (4 credit) e.g. Gender Difference in Communication CSP192Q (it this cluster is chosen)
  (Apply to Physics Teaching Internship/Phyiscs Workshop Leader Program)
Second Year
Fall Spring
MTH164 -- Multidimensional Calculus  (4 credit) MTH165 -- Linear Algebra & Diff. Eqs. (4 credit)
PHY 142 (or 122-- Electromagnetism (4 credits) with lab PHY 123 -- Modern Physics (4 cr)  5
or  PHY 237 -- Quantum Mech. of Physical Systems (4 cr)  
Elective: e.g. Cluster Course No. 2 (4 credit) e.g. Public Speaking ENG134 Elective
Elective:  e.g.  Cluster Course No. 5  (4 credit), e.g. Psychology CSP161
PHY388 or PHY388a  (2 Credits) Teaching Internship or Workshop Leading - overload for BA requirement (1/2 course 1) PHY389 or PHY389a (2 Credits) Teaching Internship or Workshop Leading- overloead for BA requirement (1/2 course 1)
Third Year
Fall Spring
PHY 217 -- Electromagnetism I PHY 237 -- Quantum Mech. of Physical Systems 5
or Elective if PHY237 taken in second year
MTH 281 -- Fourier Series
MTH 282 -- Intro. Complex Variables
PHY 235 -- Classical Mechanics  Elective
EDU elective -  Tranferable for  MS degree. See examples  1 EDU elective -  Trasferable for  MS degree. See examples   2).
Elective (4 credit overload for BA requirement) Course 2
Elective  (4 credit overload for BA requirement) Course 3

(by April of this semester need to notify Warner School Re. Field Experience for fall of senior year).
Fourth Year
Fall Spring
PHY 243W -- Advanced Laboratory (Upper Level Writing)
Elective: e.g.  Cluster Course No. 6 e.g. Motivation and Emotion 
EDU 416  (grade 7-12) - 3 credits  Field Experience in Secondary School
(transferable to MS program)
PHY 2XX (5th physics upper level course required for BA, e.g. PHY227 or PHY218 or PHY246 or specialty) 
EDU434 Theory/Practice in Teaching and Learning  Science (transferable to MS program)
Elective: e.g.  Cluster course No. 3 e.g. Debate ENG135 Elective

Elective (4 credit overload for BA reqruiement) Course 4
By end of 4 years, students receive a  BA in Physics.  If students wish to continue for an MS in Education, they should apply for admission to the Warner School.  The four EDU electives above are transferable for MS degree in education.
Fifth Year
Complete MS program in Education in summer after 4th year and in Fall and Spring semesters of Fifth year. (MS with NYS  Secondary Physics Teacher Certification,)

1 Recommended EDU course in Fall: chose one from  EDU404 (if not taken in Spring)  EDU447, EDU415, or EDU498. See

2 Recommended EDU course in Spring: Chose one from EDU404(if not taken in Fall), or EDU 442,  See:

3Students who have had an introduction to differential and integral calculus in high school are encouraged to take PHY 141 in the Fall instead of PHY 121 in the Spring.

4PHY 143 is open to freshmen only, except by permission of the instructor ( PHY 123 is more approriate for high school teachers)

5Students who have taken PHY 143 in their freshman year should take PHY 237 in their sophomore year, and consider PHY 246 for their junior year. Students who have not taken PHY 143 in their freshman year should take PHY 123 in their sophomore year andPHY 237 in their junior year.

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University of Rochester
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Bausch & Lomb Hall
P.O. Box 270171
600 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, NY 14627-0171
(585) 275-4351
(585) 273-3237
This page was last updated Thu, Jan 10, 2002; 9:31:33 AM
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