Physics Teaching

Physics Teaching

The physics teaching major at the University of Northern Iowa – housed within the Department of Physics – combines a broad education in science with UNI’s outstanding teacher preparation program.


Students majoring in physics teaching will take physics and math courses, along with professional education courses and intensive field and student teaching experiences. They have access to scholarships specific to their major as well as summer research opportunities to work with physics faculty. They also have opportunities to be engaged in outreach efforts for high school physics students through the State of Iowa Physics Competition hosted by the department each year.  


What sets science education at the University of Northern Iowa apart from every other institution in the state is the fact that classes are taught by science faculty with educational expertise, who work specifically with science teaching majors. In addition, all of the secondary science teaching majors are housed within science departments. This makes for a seamless integration of science content and teaching methods, especially those specific to science teaching and supported by current research. 


With excellent faculty, experiences, and resources; graduates of the program are well prepared to be leaders and innovators in their future teaching careers.

The University of Northern Iowa Department of Physics has been nationally recognized for exemplary professional development programs.

Program Certificates:


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Field Experience

As a physics teaching major, you will have three field experiences in which you will explore, define and sharpen your skills as a future classroom teacher.  Your teaching experience will be capped off with student teaching which can be done in Iowa, throughout the United States or overseas.

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Educator Prep

Students in UNI’s educator preparation programs acquire more than 700 hours of hands-on classroom experience before graduation. This is done through more than 350 school district partnerships, 9 Iowa student teaching centers, and one out of state & international student teaching center that coordinates all out of state and international student teaching placements.

Photo of a student presenting research
Research Opportunities

Physics teaching majors are encouraged to participate in our research programs. This participation often leads to opportunities to make presentations at research conferences as well as to co-author articles for publication in refereed research journals. Most importantly, we believe, is that this experience is extremely useful for promoting the careers of future scientists, teachers, engineers, doctors, and the careers of the many other professions pursued by our graduating students.


96% of last year's UNI graduates are employed or continuing their education


Physics Teacher

Research Assistant

Lab Assistant

Test Engineer

Quality Engineer

New Product Engineer

Manufacturing Engineer

Design Engineer

Product Development Specialist

Software Engineer

Business Analyst


Have questions or want more information? Fill out the form below and someone from the department will contact you directly. To receive general university information from UNI’s admissions office, please click on ‘Request More Info About UNI’.

Paul M. Shand
Department Head
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