Offer the universe to your future students: that’s what we do.

Teaching physics is a high-demand field. Our world needs teachers to provide all students with an appreciation of science and how it benefits society. This is especially true in physics, the most fundamental of the physical sciences.

Physics describes and explains not only what goes on in our immediate surroundings but also in the minute world of atoms and elementary particles and the vast world of stars and galaxies. Physics teachers can help provide the knowledge that students need to understand and appreciate the world in which they live, and to show the many scientific ideas upon which modern technology is built.

What You'll Do

  • Understand the impact of physics and engineering concepts on everyday issues in a global, economic, environmental, and social context.
  • Have substantial and increasingly challenging teaching experiences in schools
  • Be prepared to integrate technology in teaching

What Can You Do with a Physics Education Degree?

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time. 

Employment Opportunities of Recent Graduates

  • Physics Teacher
  • General Science Teacher
  • Chemistry Teacher
  • Biology Teacher
  • Earth Science Teacher
  • Educational Administrator
  • Science Supply Salesperson
  • Textbook Sales Representative
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Hallsville High School, mathematics teacher
  • Parkway West High School, physics teacher
  • Cape Central High School, science teacher


Physics Education Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree.

Outcomes & Careers

  • $69k

    Secondary School Teacher

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a secondary school teacher is $ 69,480.

  • $59k

    Laboratory Technician

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a laboratory technician is $59,130.

  • $101k

    Postsecondary Physical Sciences Teacher

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a physical sciences postsecondary teacher is $100,810.

What You'll Study

Degree Map

B.S. Ed. in Physics Education students will study in the state-of-the-art, first-rate learning environment provided by the recently renovated Magill Hall of Science while gaining hands-on experience and training using a variety of lab equipment, chemical instruments, and tools in laboratory courses. Undergraduate research is also an option. Expectations from students includes completion of a minimum of 120 credit hours, completion of the General Education program, and completion of 39 senior division hours (300-599).

"Critical Courses" are italicized and bolded. Data shows that students who have completed this course in the first two years and have earned the noted grade are most likely to complete this program of study.

Education Courses- 47 Hours Required

A grade of ‘C’ or better is required in education courses, with the exception of ED280 which requires a
grade of ‘B’ or better.
  • ED280 Introduction to Education as a Profession (3)
  • EF400 Student Teaching Seminar (1)
  • EX390 Psychology and Education of the Exceptional Child (3)
  • PY222 Development of the Adolescent (3)
  • SE307 Content Literacy Methods for Middle and High School (3)
  • SE320 Techniques of Teaching Science (3)
  • SE350 Pedagogy 1: Principles of Effective Teaching (3)
  • SE355 Field Experience II (3)
  • SE365 Pedagogy 2: Secondary School-Interdisciplinary Methods and Technology (4)
  • SE380 Advanced Field Experience (3)
  • SE385 Pedagogy 3: Advanced Methods of Middle and Secondary Teaching (3)
  • SE390 Instructional Interventions for Middle and Secondary Students with Special Literacy Needs (3)
  • SE465 Student Teaching (12)

Physics Education – 59-62 Hour Major - No Minor Required

Required Courses:
  • PH230/030 General Physics I (5)
  • PH231/031 General Physics II (5)
  • PH345 Experimental Methods I (3)
  • PH360 Modern Physics (3)
  • PL425 Scientific Reasoning (3)
Choose 3-4 Hours From:
  • BI332 General Ecology (4)
  • EV360 Recycling & Waste Mgt (3)
  • GO305 Environmental Geoscience (3)
  • GO372 Earthquakes & Society (3)
Choose 3 Hours From:
  • BS108 Biology for Living (3)
  • BS218 Biologic Science: A Process Approach (3)
Choose 5-7 hours*:
  • CH181 Introductory Chemistry I (5)
  • CH184/185 General Chemistry I and Lab (4)
  • CH186 Foundations of Inorganic Chemistry (3)
Choose 3 Hours From:
  • GO110 Physical Geology (3)
  • GO318 Earth Science: A Process Approach (3)
  • GO320 Oceanography (3)
  • GO418 Meteorology (4)
Choose 3 hours at the 300-599 level:
  • EPxxx
  • PHxxx
Choose 9 Hours From:
  • CS101 Introduction to Computer Programming (3)
  • EP100 Introduction to Engineering (3)
  • EP240 Circuit Analysis I (3)
  • EP261 Engineering Mech: Statics (3)
  • EP262 Engineering Mech: Dynamics (3)
  • EP263 Mechanics of Materials (4)
  • EP305 Digital & Analog System Design (3)
  • EP310 Microcontroller & Embedded Systems (3)
  • EP340 Electronic Circuits (3)
  • EP462 Materials Science (3)
  • PH328 Energy (3)
  • PH341 Optics (3)
  • PH370 Mechanics (3)
  • PH371 Electrodynamics (3)
  • PH400 Topics in Physics & Engineering (3)
  • PH473 Quantum Mechanics (3)
  • PH475/476 Literature of Physics (1-2)
  • PH478/479 Undergraduate Research (1-2)
  • PH490/491 Independent Study in Physics (1-2)
  • PH570 Mathematical Physics (3)
Additional Requirements:
  • EP405 Engineering in Science Education (1)
  • MA140 Analytic Geometry & Calculus I (5)
  • MA145 Analytic Geometry & Calculus II (4)
  • MA244 Analytic Geometry & Calculus III (4)

Some requirements may be fulfilled by coursework in major program.

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences – 6 hours
  • Constitution Requirement – 3 hours
  • Written Communication – 6 hours
  • Oral Communication – 3 hours
  • Natural Sciences – 7 hours (from two disciplines, one to include a lab)
  • Mathematics – 3 hours
  • Humanities & Fine Arts – 9 hours (from at least two disciplines)
  • Additional requirements – 5 hours (to include UI100 for native students)
  • Civics examination

Freshman Year    

Fall Semester (17 Hours)     
  • UI100 (1) 
  • CH181/081/001* (5) 
  • CS177/Physics elective (3)
  • EP100 (3)
  • MA140 (5) 
Spring Semester (18 Hours)     
  • BS218 or BS108 (3) 
  • EN100 (3) 
  • MA145 (4)
  • PH230/030 (5)
  • General Education (3) 

Milestone: Maintain 2.75 cumulative GPA

Sophomore Year    

Fall Semester (18 Hours)  
  • MA244 (4) 
  • PH231/031 (5) 
  • PY222 (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
Spring Semester (18-19 Hours)    
  • ED280 (3) 
  • Environmental Science (3-4)
  • Physics Elective (3)
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Milestone: Maintain 2.75 cumulative GPA, Passing score MoGEA, Complete MEP

Junior Year    

Fall Semester (18 Hours)    
  • EX390 (3) 
  • PH345 (3)
  • PH360 (3)
  • SE350 (3) 
  • Geoscience elective (3)
  • General education (3)
Spring Semester (17 Hours)     
  • EP405 (1)
  • PL425(3)  
  • SE307 (3) 
  • SE355 (3) 
  • SE365 (4)
  • Physics Elective (3)

Milestone: Passing Mo Content Exam; GPA in major 3.0

Senior Year    

Fall Semester (15 Hours)     
  • SE320 (3) 
  • SE380 (3) 
  • SE385 (3) 
  • SE390 (3) 
  • General Education (3)
Spring Semester (13 Hours)  
  • EF400 (1)
  • SE465 (12)

Milestone: Passing score Mo Content Exam, MoPTA, 2.75 cumulative GPA, 3.0 GPA in Education courses; 3.0 GPA in content courses

A “Milestone” signifies a significant stage for a student in the completion of a degree.

Get Funding for Your Education

Missouri’s opened the door to a more educated workforce. We want to help you walk through it. If you’re an adult learner and a Missouri resident returning to college, learn about the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant. It’s a statewide financial aid program that can be used to pursue a certificate, degree or industry-recognized credential in a high need area in Missouri. This major is eligible for the Fast Track grant.

Become a Redhawk.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.

TEACH Grant Program

Science teachers are in high demand across most of the United States and particularly in Missouri. Because of this there are forgiveness programs for different types of Federal loans in return for teaching science in a high needs school district (most in Missouri). In addition, students may be eligible to participate in the TEACH grant program which can pay up to $16,000 in college costs over four years and has a similar loan forgiveness program.


Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation Logo

Alumna Named Alan Shepard Technology in Education Winner

Southeast Missouri State University alumna Kaci Heins, director of Space Center University® in Houston, will be honored with the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award. She was selected for the award for her work developing innovative mission-based content and immersive education programs such as Space Center University®, Stars & STEM, and other programs.

Rhodes Hall 306
Mailing Address

Department of Chemistry and Physics
One University Plaza, MS 6400
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701