Teaching Certificate Science 7-12

Prepare for a rewarding career as a secondary (grades 7-12) science education teacher with the Pitt School of Education Instructional I certificate program in Science Education. This rigorous two-semester program provides a thorough foundation for teaching and pairs challenging coursework with simultaneous experience in the classroom to support candidates in developing the disposition, knowledge, and experience to thrive in diverse school settings. 

We prepare science teachers for state certification in the following areas:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth and Space Science
  • General Science
  • Physics

Quick Facts

  • Program Duration: 8 months over two semesters (Fall and Spring) 
  • Time Commitment: Full time (can be completed over a longer period of time on a part-time basis)
  • Term of Enrollment: Fall 
  • Application Deadline: Rolling; Priority given to applications received by January 15. 
  • Course Requirements: 30 credits  


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Program Details

The Instructional I Certificate program in Science Education offers students a rigorous course of instruction in teaching grades 7-12, combining methodological course-work and practical experience student teaching in a public-school classroom. In our program, students select one of the following areas of specialization in science: Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, General Science, or Physics. 

Our program is focused on research-based best practices that support all children to learn and is committed to fostering practices that further social justice. 

Candidates graduate satisfying the requirements to earn a Pennsylvania Instructional I Certificate.

View Program Curriculum >>

Degree Requirements

Student Teaching: During the school year, candidates complete student teaching in a local public school under the supervision of a mentor teacher. In the fall term, students spend approximately 10 hours per week observing and working with their mentor teacher. In the spring term, students iare in their school sites daily from bell to bell (35-40 hours per week), culminating in a two-week takeover of their mentor teacher’s full responsibilities. Student teachers observe, analyze, and practice teaching skills in the grade levels and subjects of their mentor teacher. 

Certifications

The Instructional I program in Science Education satisfies the requirements for a Pennsylvania Instructional I certificate in Grades 7-12 in either Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, General Science, or Physics pending:

  • Earning a passing score on the national PRAXIS II Exam in the science subject area
  • Completing the PA Statewide Evaluation Form for Student Professional Knowledge and Practice (PDE 430); and
  • Demonstrating satisfactory performance in courses and the student internship

Prerequisites Requirements

The Instructional I program in Science Education has the following requirements for all applicants:

  • Foundations of Special Education 
  • 30 hours of experience working with K-12 children (preferably adolescents). Typical experiences include work at summer camps, tutoring, community involvement, or other volunteer or paid work with children.  
  • Interview with a program faculty member following application submission. 

Based on subject area, there are additional prerequisites for applicants.

Biology Applicants
  • A minimum of 38 credits of college-level coursework in Biology or related fields (e.g., Biochemistry, Environmental Science, etc.) with at least 9 of these credits at the upper level (junior/senior) and/or research internships; 
  • Foundations of Biology I and II (with labs); General Chemistry I and II (with labs); Organic Chemistry I (with lab); Calculus I (not included in 38 credit total) 
  • Evidence of coursework (or equivalent academic or professional experiences) in Molecular or Cellular Biology, Genetics, Biochemistry, and Environmental Biology or Ecology (single courses may satisfy multiple areas; a portion of a course that substantially addresses one of the areas may also be accepted. In either of these cases, further information (e.g. syllabi, course documents) will be required to make a case for approval)
Chemistry Applicants
  • A minimum of 38 credits of college-level coursework in Chemistry or related fields (e.g., Biochemistry, Geochemistry, etc.) with at least 9 of these credits at the upper level (junior/senior) and/or research internships;
  • Foundations of Biology I (with lab); General Chemistry I and II (with labs); Organic Chemistry I and II (with labs); Introduction to Physics I; Calculus I and II (not included in 38 credit total);
  • Evidence of coursework (or equivalent academic or professional experiences) in Analytic Chemistry or Instrumental Analysis; Physical Chemistry; Biochemistry, Environmental Science, or Geochemistry;  (single courses may satisfy multiple areas; a portion of a course that substantially addresses one of the areas may also be accepted. In either of these cases, further information (e.g. syllabi, course documents) will be required to make a case for approval).​
Earth and Space Science Applicants
  • A minimum of 38 credits of college-level coursework in Earth and Space Science or related fields (e.g., Physics, Geochemistry, etc.) with at least 9 of these credits at the upper level (junior/senior) and/or research internships;
  • General Chemistry I and II (with labs); Introduction to Physics I (with lab); Calculus I (not included in 38 credit total);
  • Evidence of coursework (or equivalent academic or professional experiences) in Astronomy; Physical Geology; Historical Geology; Oceanography; Earth Systems Science or Meteorology; Environmental Science; and Geological Laboratory Techniques;  (single courses may satisfy multiple areas; a portion of a course that substantially addresses one of the areas may also be accepted. In either of these cases, further information (e.g. syllabi, course documents) will be required to make a case for approval).
General Science Applicants
  • A minimum of 38 credits of college-level coursework in the natural sciences and/or mathematics (at least 9 credits at the upper level (junior/senior) and/or research internships 
  • Foundations of Biology I and II (with labs);
  • General Chemistry I and II (with labs); Organic Chemistry; Introduction to Physics I and II; Physics Lab; Calculus I (not included in 38 credit total)
  • Evidence of coursework (or equivalent academic or professional experiences) in Molecular or Cellular Biology, Environmental Biology or Ecology, Geology, and Astronomy (single courses may satisfy multiple areas; a portion of a course that substantially addresses one of the areas may also be accepted. In either of these cases, further information (e.g. syllabi, course documents) will be required to make a case for approval).  ​
Physics Applicants
  • A minimum of 38 credits of college-level coursework in Physics or related fields (e.g., Biophysics, Mathematics, etc.) with at least 9 of these credits at the upper level (junior/senior) and/or research internships;
  • Introduction to Physics I and II (with labs); General Chemistry I and II (with labs); Calculus I, II, and III (not included in 38 credit total);
  • Evidence of coursework (or equivalent academic or professional experiences) in Mechanics (above introductory level); Electricity and Magnetism (above introductory level); Optics; Wave Motion; Ethical, Human, and/or Environmental Applications of Contemporary Physics; (single courses may satisfy multiple areas; a portion of a course that substantially addresses one of the areas may also be accepted. In either of these cases, further information (e.g. syllabi, course documents) will be required to make a case for approval)

Career Pathways

Alumni of the Instructional I Certificate in Science Education are employed as high school and middle school science teachers in public and independent schools in Pittsburgh, across Pennsylvania, and around the country. 

Many graduates of the program continue their education while they are teaching by enrolling in our online MEd program. This positions them to become teacher leaders.