Area of Focus
  • Science & Math
Degrees Offered
  • B.S.
Academic Division
  • Physical and Biological Sciences
  • Physics

Program overview

The science education major provides a broad introduction to the major fields of science, specialized coursework in two selected fields, and educational theory and practical work designed for future science teachers. The program is designed to prepare outstanding candidates to enter teaching credential programs after completion. Students earn a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree. They do not earn a teaching credential; this must be completed later.

Drawing of Earth's magnetic field

Learning Experience

There are six combinations of specialization possible: physics + chemistry, physics + biology, physics + Earth sciences, chemistry + biology, chemistry + Earth sciences, and biology + Earth sciences. All six pathways include a set of core courses in science and mathematics, a sequence of three Cal Teach seminar courses with required school-based internships, and two upper-division Education courses. In addition, the student has to take courses in each of the two specializations chosen.

For more information about the science education major, please see the program description in the General Catalog.

Cal Teach is one home base for all students in this major, no matter the choices for specialization. Cal Teach provides the required sequence of middle and high school-based internships and associated courses.

Study and Research Opportunities

Science education majors are encouraged to gain experience in lab and/or field research, and to pursue upper-division coursework emphasizing their own particular areas of scientific interest. Faculty instructors of introductory coursework and Cal Teach staff can provide guidance in selecting upper-division courses and pursuing lab research opportunities.

First-Year (Freshman) Requirements

Because of the broad based nature of the major, with introductory courses in physics, chemistry, and mathematics, there is considerable flexibility in what courses are taken in the first two years, as long as enough courses required for the major are completed. However, it is simplest to follow the appropriate major planner in the General Catalog; students should consult with the physics undergraduate advisor if they want to do something different. 

Departmental advising is provided by the Physics Department:

Students doing field work together outdoors

Transfer Requirements

This is a screening major and is intended for students who are interested in teaching science in high schools in the state of California. For more information, please see the program statement for this major in the UCSC General Catalog.

Six of the introductory courses in this major are required prior to transfer,  by the end of the spring term for students planning to enter in the fall. An additional four courses are recommended to ensure timely graduation.

Student explaining scientific principles in front of a blackboard

Internships and Career Opportunities

  • K-12 Teacher

Program Contact



apartment Interdisciplinary Sciences Building, Rm 211
phone (831) 459-3744