Major in Secondary Education (SECED)

Students may pursue teacher certification through a major in Secondary Education (SECED) with an option in science education (SCIED). We offer certification in Biology, Chemistry, Earth & Space Science, Environmental Education, General Science, and Physics.

Incoming freshmen can be admitted to the College of Education (the home of Curriculum & Instruction and the Secondary Education major), but admission to the SECED major typically follows the 4th semester of undergraduate studies. The “Entrance to Major” process has a number of prerequisites, which are spelled out in detail elsewhere. Please consult:

In addition to the "common prerequisites," there are a number of science-specific course prerequisites for entrance to the SECED major. These are listed on the second page of the SECED Major Curriculum Checksheets for Biology, Chemistry, Earth & Space Science, Environmental Education, General Science, and Physics. They vary somewhat, depending on your science option. Because student teaching is a requirement of the SECED major, students majoring in SECED must student teach before they can receive their bachelor's degree.

More information regarding the undergraduate major in secondary education is available in the "Undergraduate" section of this website.

Undergraduates also have the option to pursue certification with a double major in Secondary Education and a relevant science (such as Biology in the Eberly College of Science).

Other Pathways for Undergraduate Teacher Education

Penn State undergraduates are not required to major in SECED in order to pursue teacher certification. You have the option of majoring in Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Geosciences, or many other majors. Bear in mind, however, that completing all of the requirements for Pennsylvania certification in four years—whether you major in SECED or in a science—requires very careful planning.

Undergraduates majoring in science subjects can elect to receive their bachelor's degree first, and then complete student teaching as part of a master's degree in Education or a relevant science.

Finally, it may soon be possible to formally combine undergraduate and graduate studies through an IUG (Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate) program option. For more information, see our Certification Options page.