The University of Houston provides different pathways through the teachHOUSTON program for students to get a bachelor degree in physics and get certified to become a secondary physics teacher. Students will take teaching courses through the teachHOUSTON program to learn about physics pedagogy, access to a support and mentoring community of preservice and in-service high school physics teachers in local districts and early field experience.

The teachHOUSTON program coursework requires completion of 15 credit hours of courses and 6 credit hours of field teaching. Depending on the point of entrance to the program students can take the courses through the traditional pathway or expedited pathway within 9 months.


Choose Your Path

Teacher Preparation Programs

Bachelor’s Degree in Physics with a Physics Teaching Certification

You are eligible to join the teachHOUSTON program as early as freshman year by taking the Introduction to STEM Teaching course to explore your interest in teaching. If you are in your Junior or Senior year with at least 3 semesters till the end of your degree you are still eligible to join. Seniors can be eligible to become certified upon graduation within 9 months through the expedited certification pathway. Learn more about the Physics Department and the Bachelor’s Degree in Physics with a Physics Teaching Certification.

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Course Requirements

  • Core physics courses: You will learn about mechanics, thermodynamics, optics, modern physics, statistical mechanics, electromagnetic theory, and quantum mechanics while also gaining valuable laboratory skills.
  • Physics Education courses: Experts in Physics education research will teach you about the pedagogical content knowledge.
  • Courses in the teachHOUSTON program: You will be introduced to STEM teaching and learn about multiple classroom strategies including culturally responsive teaching and inquiry-based instruction.

See the detailed degree plan here


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The Noyce Scholarship Program

teachHOUSTON students are eligible to apply for Noyce Scholarship Award. Students should be in their Junior or Senior years. The award amount is $6000 per semester for up to 4 semesters to support the costs of completion of the certification requirements.


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Teaching Experiences

  • You will get student teaching experience in your final semester for 14 weeks in a high school physics classroom. During student teaching students will be mentored by an experienced high school physics teacher and a university supervisor to promote their teaching practices.
  • You can engage in field experiences embedded in your teachHouston coursework as early as your first semester.


  • Master Teachers: The graduates from teachHouston are currently teaching in local districts. These experiences teachers can support you by providing mentoring and access to classroom observations.
  • Student organization: The Society of Physics Students Chapter at The University of Houston engages students in outreach and educational activities and promotes a community of students
  • Student tutors at the Physics Department Learning Center provide tutoring to support undergraduate students with their physics learning.

Alternative Teacher Certification Program (ACP) for STEM

On Campus

This pathway is designed by teachHOUSTON at the University of Houston for:

  • Senior physics students and post-baccalaureate students who are seeking a physics degree and a certification for secondary physics teaching.
  • College graduates with a physics background who are seeking a certification for secondary physics teaching.

The length of the program is 9 months. This program prepares teachers equipped with culturally responsive teaching strategies at the secondary STEM teaching level through the teachHOUSTON program. Participants will gain knowledge in content and pedagogy and learn about different teaching strategies including class management and teaching in student-centered environments. Participants will be supervised by a teacher mentor and a university faculty to gain teaching experience in secondary classrooms.

Alternative Certification

Course Requirements

  • Fall Semester (12 hours)
    • Introduction to STEM Teaching
    • Knowing and Learning
    • Classroom Interactions
    • Multiple Teaching Strategies
  • Spring Semester (9 hours)
    • Student Teaching
    • Student Teaching Seminar
    • Classroom Management


The program in partnership with districts has placed the graduates from the program in teaching positions. The in-service teachers who are now experienced teachers can provide mentorship and community support to students through the program during student teaching, and after the program upon starting teaching careers.

Teaching Experiences

  • Students will gain 60 hours of field-based experience by observing classrooms of in-service teachers in the Fall semester
  • Students will be prepared for student teaching by learning about the basics of inquiry-based teaching in the Fall semester.
  • Students will practice teaching in the Spring semester of the program to apply their gained teaching knowledge in secondary classrooms for around 70 days.

Two certification tests of TExES Pedagogical and Professional Responsibilities exam and content certification exam should be completed by the start of the Spring semester in the student teaching semester.


Funding can be available for prospective students through funding agencies.

Our Team

Dr. Rebecca Forrest

Instructional Professor
Department of Physics

Donna Stokes

Professor and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Affairs and Student Success, NSM
Department of Physics

Paige Evans

Co-Director and Clinical Professor teachHOUSTON
Department of Mathematics
College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics