University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

At UTRGV, you will learn to teach physics through the nationally recognized UTeach model. UTRGV UTeach is the secondary teacher preparation program for science and mathematics majors at UTRGV. There is a critical need for highly qualified mathematics and science teachers in the lower Rio Grande Valley, across the state, and nationwide in the USA.


B.S. in Physics with Concentration in Educational Physics

UTeach integrates a rigorous physics major, research experience, acquisition of effective teaching techniques, field teaching experiences, and teacher certification with a four-year program. Earn the Physics/Mathematics 7-12 certification while earning a B.S. in Physics. Learn more about the physics department.

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: You will learn how to engage your students in the scientific modeling process and learn to conduct research. These courses provide you with knowledge specific to teaching physics.
  • UTeach course sequence: Join fellow future STEM teachers in learning about best practices in STEM teaching including inquiry-based lesson design and project-based instruction. We use a nationally recognized curriculum that uses innovative approaches and instruction specifically designed to train science and mathematics teachers. Learn more about UTeach:

Detailed Degree Plan

Noyce Scholarship Program

Future STEM teachers at UTRGV are eligible to apply for the Noyce Scholarship program. Noyce scholars will earn their STEM degree plus teaching certification for free. Scholarship support includes tuition/fees, room/board, books/supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses. You will have the opportunity to travel to science education conferences and complete paid summer internships. Scholars are issued a laptop for educational and teaching purposes.

Learn more here

Teaching Experiences

  • Early field experiences: Observe and teach in local school districts in four of the UTeach courses: Inquiry Approaches to Teaching (Step 1), Inquiry Approaches to Teaching (Step 2), Classroom Interactions, and Project Based Instruction. You will be able to try out teaching as early as your first semester!
  • Apprentice teaching: In your final semester, you will teach fullt-time in a local high school for a minimum of 15 weeks. Field experiences are supervised by UTeach RGV Master Teachers.


  • Master teachers: Your instructors are all exemplary teachers who formerly taught science or mathematics in public schools. They will be your coaches and mentors.
  • Faculty and staff: We form a tight-knit community of support.
  • Student organization: Our student organization has two chapters and participates in campus and community activities. Students actively tutor and coach each other in the student workrooms.
  • Support in induction years: During your first two years teaching following graduation, we will continue to support you.

How to apply

Our Team

Liang Zeng

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Elizabeth Goldberg

Associate Professor
Department of Physics & Astronomy

Tim Sears

UTeach Master Teacher, Edinburg campus
Associate Professor of Practice
Department of Biology

Pamela Groves

Science Master Teacher
UTeach program

Omar R. Elizondo

Associate Professor of Practice
UTeach Science Master Teacher
Faculty Fellow in Educational Technology
UTRGV Science Bowl Regional Coordinator

Nicolas Pereyra

Associate Professor
Department of Physics & Astronomy