The concepts of physics are basic to matter, energy and all phenomena. They help us understand how the world around us works, from cell phones to tsunamis, anatomy to cathedrals and DNA to black holes. Physics is the basis for modern technology, and for the tools and instruments used in medicine, engineering, manufacturing and other sciences.
Through Appalachian State University’s Physics (BS) – Secondary Education degree, you will receive the guidance and instruction to harness these concepts and share that knowledge as a teacher of high school physics, math, chemistry and even biology – the primary focus being physics. The program combines the strengths of the Department of Physics and Astronomy with the rigorous teacher preparation in Appalachian’s Reich College of Education. Graduates of the program are in high demand for teaching positions in North Carolina and across the country.
In addition to receiving a well-rounded course of study in pure physics, you will shadow Physics and Astronomy faculty members in classrooms and labs, and have the opportunity to work with them on research and other creative projects. Combine all that with access to top-notch resources including the Dark Sky Observatory on campus, millions of dollars worth of electron microscopes and an atmospheric physics research station funded by NASA and Appalachian’s Department of Physics and Astronomy is an extraordinary place to learn and grow.
Employment: Students who graduate from this program go on to teach at schools in North Carolina, including Eastern Guilford High School, Lake Norman High School, Mitchell High School and East Forsyth High School.
Core courses include:
- General Physics I & II or Analytical Physics I & II
- Intermediate Physics I & II
- Physics Laboratory Techniques and Data Analysis
- Modern Physics
- Physics Instruction Practicum
- Instructional Assistance
- Methods of Experimental Physics
- Plus courses in biology, geology, chemistry, mathematics and additional teacher preparation courses
No minor is required for this program though it is optional to add one.
Engagement Outside the Classroom
The Physics and Astronomy Club – Members of the club are dedicated to educating the public on various topics of physics and astronomy. Throughout the year they plan and take part in social activities, service-oriented projects and community outreach efforts.
Membership in the club links students to the following international organizations:
The Optical Society (OSA) – An international scientific society dedicated to advancing the study of light.
International Society of Optics and Photonics (SPIE) – A not-for-profit international professional society dedicated to advancing scientific research and engineering applications of optics and photonics through international conferences, trade exhibitions and continuing education programs.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
Admission to Appalachian’s Teacher Education Program is required.
- Graduates of this program receive excellent academic and technical preparation to enter the job market or graduate school.
- The American Physical Society lists Appalachian’s Department of Physics and Astronomy as 3rd in the U.S. for the production of BA/BS degrees (among Masters Comprehensive Institutions), and in the top 20 of Masters granting institutions for the fraction of women earning MS degrees.
- Students have opportunities to work with faculty mentors whose research specialties include materials and surface physics, optics, microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, organic semiconductors, physics education, robotics, asteroids and the physics of stars.
Number of Students
Method of Delivery
On campus only
Some of these jobs also require education beyond the bachelors’ degree.
- Secondary School Teacher, Physics
- Adult Education Teacher
- Curriculum Specialist
- Education and Training Administrator
- Educational Administrator
- Educational Researcher
- Employee Training Instructor
- Grant Writer
- Instructor, College/University
Dr. Michael Briley