Master of Science in Physics with a Physics Teaching Emphasis

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University-Commerce has introduced a new online Master of Science in Physics with a Physics Teaching Emphasis, based around six new online Master's courses. The degree is designed to support the teaching of physics in high schools by reinforcing content knowledge and introducing teachers to modern topics in physics and astronomy in a way that can be easily transferred into the high school classroom. Most high school students will never encounter physics ideas discovered later than 1865 - despite the fact that our modern world has been shaped by the revolutions in physics that occurred in the 20th century! These courses are designed to allow teachers to explore topics in physics at an advanced level, with mathematical rigor, thus providing teachers with insight into how modern physical theories actually work. At the same time, the courses aim to give access to the knowledge and tools that will enable teachers to introduce students to the most exciting modern developments in topics such as quantum theory, particle physics and astrophysics. When students next ask about the next big physics news to hit the popular media - like the Higgs boson, dark matter or quantum computing -  you will have access to the information and tools to really convey accurately the meaning and excitement of the field, and inspire students to take up learning the concepts further.

The Master of Science in Physics with a Physics Teaching Emphasis and its core courses are unique in the state of Texas, offering rigorous physics content knowledge combined with a focus on the important pedagogical, scientific, and mathematical skills, as well as the important concepts and ideas, that are relevant not only to professional physicists but to students at all levels and to society as a whole.

Enrollment in the Master's degree will enable teachers from all over Texas to come together online and discuss the challenges and opportunities that arise in teaching physics, and share teaching ideas and strategy.

The courses and degree are designed for the following people:
  • Middle/High school physics teachers who wish to reinforce their content knowledge and who want to explore modern topics in physics and bring the excitement of those topics into their classroom.
  • Middle/High school physics teachers with physics/physical science certification who wish to earn a Master's degree to be eligible to teach dual enrollment courses/community college courses.
  • Teachers with another science certification, who with to certify in 7-12 physical science or 7-12 physics/mathematics.
  • People with a Bachelor's in a science subject who wish to obtain high school teacher certification in 7-12 physical science or 7-12 physics/mathematics.

Testimonials

Head shot of Stephanie Strike"I am really enjoying taking upper level physics for my Masters in Physics for Educators program. The professors in this program work hard to make sure that we understand the content so that we can pass that information on to our students. These classes not only challenge us to learn higher levels of physics but also teaches us ways to incorporate these concepts in our own classroom." – Stephanie Strike

Head shot of Jennifer Oramous

"The Physics for Educators Masters at Texas A&M Commerce has been a great experience. Not only have I extended my personal knowledge, my classroom has seen the benefits of the knowledge I have gained. I feel more equipped and confident to answer the questions my students present to me. I have gained a depth of knowledge in my subject that has prepared me to teach at a higher level." – Jennifer Oramous

Head shot of Josh Proctor

"The Physics for Educator’s Master’s Program has greatly improved my mathematical and conceptual understanding of many areas of physics. The classwork challenges me every week, and it allows me to be more confident in challenging my own students in the same way. My experience is these classes has vastly expanded the depth to which I teach Physics in the classroom." - Josh Proctor

The Courses

The Master's degree comprises the following 6 required core courses, offered entirely online. We plan on offering 2/semester during Fall and Spring, allowing completion of a Masters in as little as 18 months.

  • The Quantum Universe for Educators
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics for Educators
  • Mathematical Methods for Educators
  • Classical Mechanics for Educators
  • Thermodynamics for Educators
  • Electricity and Magnetism for Educators


The core courses will teach you the subject matter at an advanced level, while also investigating the fascinating history of physics, examining the impacts on society and highlighting the many ways you can bring the subjects alive in the high school classroom.

Students and professor in class

Watch an introductory video for the Quantum Universe for Educators course:



The courses require a Math background up to Calculus III/Differential equations. For those students who do not meet the prerequisites, the Mathematical Methods for Educators is designed to fulfill that requirement, and would be taken before the other courses. We intend to offer this course every year, providing a simple and regular entry path onto the program.

In addition to the 6 core courses, a research literature and techniques course (in physics or science education) and 5 more science education or science courses are required. A selection of recommended online science education courses will be made available, allowing the Master's to be completed fully online. You may also use up to 4 courses (12 credit hours) from a previous Master's degree in science or science education towards this degree.

Details of the degree can be found in the graduate catalog under Master's in physics with teaching emphasis:

http://catalog.tamuc.edu/grad/colleges-and-departments/science-engineering/physics-astronomy/physics-ms/

For additional information, please contact Dr. Newton.