Science teachers are some the most in-demand educators in the field. If you want to combine your love for teaching with your passion for physics, then Ball State’s major in physics teaching is the right option for you. You’ll graduate from our program equipped to excel as a high school and/or middle school teacher in physics.
The faculty in the physics and astronomy department were able to provide real world applications that gave me the confidence to be a successful teacher. The one-on-one, approachable faculty treated me the same way I strive to treat my own students. The close-knit community drove each other to become the finest, well-rounded scientists.
—Matt Flori, program graduate (2017)
What You Will Learn
A major in physics teaching will result in a secondary licensure to teach physics, as well as certification to teach middle school science.
You will cover coursework in topics like:
What It’s Like to Earn a Major in Physics Teaching at Ball State
Undergraduate students have the opportunity to participate in independent study and research, working one-on-one with faculty mentors. You’ll get to conduct research in areas such as the simulation of galaxy collisions, astrobiology, and observation of variable stars.
Through research projects, you gain valuable professional skills and experience working with modern technical facilities and equipment. These include the College of Science and Humanities supercomputing cluster, a new 20-inch diameter telescope in the observatory, and more.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy is also a member of the SARA consortium that operates three research-grade telescopes located in some of the best sites in the world: southwest Arizona, Chile, and the Canary Islands. Our students (and occasionally high-school students) often make observations with these telescopes and become authors on published scientific papers.
Careers in education and outreach are fostered through the Charles W. Brown Planetarium on campus.
Our department offers nine scholarships to students seeking bachelor's degrees, as well as employment opportunities.
Our students have worked as lab assistants and in the Charles W. Brown Planetarium, which features a 52-foot diameter dome – the largest in Indiana.
Our Society of Physics Students (SPS) is an active, student-run club that engages in a number of social and outreach programs.
The SPS organizes cooperative events with organizations on campus, including our annual “Clash of the Sciences” demo competition between physics and chemistry student groups.
As part of your senior capstone experience, you will pursue scientific knowledge on a topic of your choice and hone technical skills that will be attractive to employers in many fields.
We offer research opportunities in:
- astronomy and astrophysics
- computational nanoscience
- condensed matter physics
- medical physics
- nanomaterials and devices
- nuclear and radiation physics
- particle physics
- physics education
Special Initiatives and Scholarships
Ball State is part of the Physics Teachers Education Coalition (PhysTEC), an initiative to give future teachers hands-on learning, mentors, and success in real-world classrooms. We are also participants in the Hoosier STEM Academy. Both of these programs provide financial support for in-service and preservice physics teachers in training.
As a student in our teaching program, you’ll get the best of both worlds. You’ll take your content courses with our department’s professors, giving you the benefit of learning from experts directly in the field. And you’ll take classes on pedagogy—the art and science of classroom instruction—from both department faculty and with our nationally renowned Teachers College’s faculty. Learn more about the Teachers College.
This program consists of 89 credits in physics, chemistry, mathematics, and education courses.
- Major: 89
- Common Core: 34
- High School Physics: 16
- High School/Junior High/Middle School Education: 42
- University Core Curriculum: 36
A few of the classes you will take include:
- SCI 395 Intro to Teaching Science
- SCI 396 Science Methods and Materials
- EDMU 205 Multicultural Education
- EDPS 251 Growth and Development for Sec. Ed.
- EDPS 390 Educational Psychology
For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.
Paying for Your Education
On top of the dozens of funding options offered through Ball State’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, our department awards scholarships to our own students. Find a scholarship.
Apply to Ball State
Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all applications on an individual basis. Applying is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application.
One of the best ways to understand why Ball State stands out is to come see it for yourself. You can schedule a visit through our Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Make sure to tell them you’re interested in our program. Or if you’d like to speak with someone in our department directly by phone or email, please contact us.