Physics Teaching Major

The University of Northern Iowa is home to an exemplary teacher preparation program, and the Physics Teaching program is no different.

Our program combines a broad education in physics with UNI’s outstanding educator preparation program, giving you the chance to take classes in both the Physics Department, and our award-winning College of Education.

Because we understand the value of learning by doing, each of our physics teaching majors will gain 750 student teaching hours before graduation, and leave with all of the certification needed to start teaching right away.

Students around a table examining some instruments.

Top Program

UNI is home to a nationally-recognized teacher preparation program.


Of UNI graduates are employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation.


Hours of classroom teaching experience before graduation.


Find out More About Physics Teaching

Fill out your information here and we'll be in touch!

Contact us directly at:

UNI Department of Physics
University of Northern Iowa
215 Begeman Hall
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614-0150

Phone: 319-273-2420

Google Analytics

Becoming a Teacher

What’s the process?

  • Begin major content: Start building your foundation in your chosen area of teaching​.
  • First field experience: Spend 30 hours working with PK-12 students to get a closer look at teaching as a career​.
  • Get admitted to teacher education: Apply to the UNI Teacher Education Program after declaring your major, completing initial course credit – then celebrate at the induction ceremony! 
  • More courses and more field experience: Gain knowledge, responsibility and experience as you teach your first lessons during 25 hours of Level 2 field experiences in local schools, followed by up to a full week immersion in Level 3.​
  • Student teach: It all comes together in your final semester of 16 weeks of student teaching in Iowa, nationally, even internationally.
  • Graduate, and get your license to teach: Get your diploma, and we’ll assist you through the licensure process with the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners.

What sort of classes will I take?

  • Learning and Motivation in Classroom Contexts: Examination of the influence of cognitive, motivational, and socio-cultural factors on students' learning in classroom contexts, with an emphasis on implications for classroom instruction and improved student achievement.
  • Physics: Theory and Simulation: Calculus-based course covering the more advanced topics in introductory physics. Topics include Newtonian mechanics and applications, Maxwell's equations and applications.
  • Field Experience: Field experience in which students are actively involved in preparing and teaching lessons in physics classrooms. Teacher candidates will spend a minimum of 30 hours in the classroom.

What I enjoy most about physics is the fact that it challenges you, and helps you exceed your own expectations.

Taylor Walters
Physics Teaching alumna
Student and an instructor examining a machine.

Hands-on Learning

Our department prides itself on the close interaction between faculty and students both inside and outside the classroom. Personalized attention, combined with research opportunities and independent laboratory projects, allows students to work with sophisticated equipment and to gain research experience at the undergraduate level.

Students have opportunities to work with faculty in such research areas as magnetic properties of materials, computational materials science, biological physics, statistical physics, optical spectroscopy, low-dimensional structures and surfaces, and physics education.