Paths to Physics Teaching

There are several ways to prepare to teach high school physics in North Carolina. The PhysTEC project focuses on producing future teachers who have a strong background not only in education but in physics. There is a state and national shortage of such physics teachers and good science teachers are always in demand in public, charter and private schools. Compared to other states North Carolina schools lag in qualified high school physics teachers. Physics is available regularly (at least every other year) to a significantly lower proportion of high school seniors. The state ranks in the lowest six out of 50 states in this category.

At NC State you can become a qualified high school physics teacher by:
1) Earning a B.S. in Science Education and a Concentration in Physics – Curriculum Guide/Plan of Work
2) Earning a B.S. in Science Education and a Minor in Physics
3) Earning a B.S. in Science Education and a B.S in Physics
4) Earning a B.S. in Science Education and a B.A. in Physics

Most state-supported schools require a professional educators license.

As you can see, there are two parts to the preparation of a teacher – learning the subject well and learning how to teach. If you came to NC State interested in science and technology you already have a start on the learning the subject part. Notice that it is even possible to complete an Engineering degree and also the needed physics and education requirements.

If you want to learn more about the process to become a high school physics teacher please contact Dr. P. E. Simmons ( in the Department of STEM Education or Dr. Colleen_Countryman ( in the Department of Physics.

Additional information about teaching science in North Carolina
The Science House, a learning outreach program of NCSU
The North Carolina Science Teachers Association
The North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Science Curriculum