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Physics & Astronomy

College of Arts & Sciences

There is a great demand for high school science teachers with undergraduate degrees in Physics. 

There are several routes by which you can become a high school teacher.

1) The standard route to a career in high school teaching is to obtain a Bachelor's degree with a major in Physics and a minor in Education.     As an Education minor, you will take teacher preparation courses at the same time you are taking the physics courses needed for the major.   Please contact one of the advisors for physics majors Dr. Mark Giroux (; 423-439-8684) or Dr. Beverly Smith (; 423-439-8418) to discuss this program.  You should also discuss this program with an advisor in the College of Education

2) A second option is to first obtain a Bachelor's degree in Physics, then obtain a Master of Arts in Teaching degree.  To learn about the ETSU Master of Arts in Teaching program, click here.

3) For strong students with a Bachelor's degree in Physics, it is sometimes possible to obtain a job as a high school teacher without having the minor in Education or a Master's in Education, as long as you have a Bachelor's Degree in the field you will be teaching, and are enrolled at least part-time in a teacher-preparation program.   This is called an "embedded" job.   To learn more about this option, click here and click on the link about the embedded job option.

For a current listing of teaching jobs available, click here and enter "Physics" in the box, along with the state you would like to live in.  If you see a job you are interested, contact them to discuss the embedded job option.  Whether this is a possibility will depend upon the school and the field.  Here is a second web site that lists teaching jobs: here.

You might also register at the Tennessee Teachers Job Connection web page.  If you enter your name in this web site, your information will be circulated to school districts that are seeking teachers.

4) It is possible to obtain a job teaching Physics at a private school with just the Bachelor's degree in Physics, without having taken Education courses and without being enrolled in an Education program.  One company that does placements of teachers in private schools is Carney, Sandoe, and Associates.  Note that there is no cost to submit an application through their site.  Another company that places teachers in private schools is the Southern Teachers Agency.

 5) Other programs to check out include:

The Teach for America Program
The Teach Tennessee Program
The MATCH Teacher Residency Program
The New York City Teaching Fellows Program
The American Museum of Natural History Masters in Teaching Program

These also do not require teaching certificates. 

6) Scholarships and other programs for physics majors wanting to become high school physics teachers include:

The Knowles Science Teaching Fellowships
Barbara Lotze Scholarships
American Indian Graduate Center Scholarships

Another program that may interest you is the Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program for students who become teachers.  The State of Tennessee also has a Student Loan Forgiveness program for teachers.

Another special program for people with Bachelor's degrees in Physics who want to become Physics teachers is the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship. This provides substantial stipends/fellowships for new physics graduates to attend  graduate programs in education to obtain masters degrees in teaching and teaching  certification.


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