Secondary Education in Math Education, B.S. (7-12)

The Mathematics Education teaching option in the Secondary Education major prepares students to be middle- and high-school teachers qualified to teach mathematics in grades 7-12, including:

  • Middle grades mathematics (e.g., general seventh- and eighth-grade mathematics)

  • Pre-Algebra

  • Algebra

  • Geometry

  • Trigonometry

  • Functions

  • Calculus

This option enables graduates to meet all of the academic requirements for the Instructional I certificate for teaching at the secondary-school level, which is issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

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The Mathematics Education program is a four-year undergraduate degree that requires 132 credits and leads to a bachelor of science (B.S.) in Secondary Education.

Students typically take general education courses and meet Entrance to Major (ETM) requirements during their first two years and apply to the program during their fourth semester. The program features approved courses that help meet all requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).

Students are required to complete a set of courses in the Mathematics Department where they develop essential understandings in the disciplinary field of mathematics that are necessary for the effective teaching of middle and high school mathematics.

Throughout the program, Secondary Education students gain valuable classroom experience as a student-teacher. All Penn State candidates for teacher certification (PK-4, 4-8, 7-12, and K-12) are required to observe and teach in settings that include diverse populations, students with special needs, and students of different ages as an integral part of the undergraduate education major. These experiences are referred to as field experiences. All field experiences are handled through the Curriculum and Instruction Field Experience (CIFE) Office.

As early as their third semester, students participate in an introductory field experience course (C I 295B). This experience is intended to introduce students to classroom observation, educational issues, and teaching as a career.

Students also take part in a mid-level field experience course (C I 495C). This is the next step in field experiences where students spend more time in classrooms with mentor teachers. Students have the opportunity to plan and teach lessons, spending multiple days within the classroom.

The culminating field experience in the teacher education curriculum is student teaching. Each student-teacher is engaged in full-time teaching responsibilities for at least a fifteen-week period under the guidance of a certified, experienced mentor teacher and a full-time university supervisor.

Student-teaching opportunities are provided at a variety of locations depending on the specific certification program. They are available across town and across the globe.

  • Students also have the opportunity for student teaching experiences through the Professional Development School (PDS), which is a partnership with the State College Area School District.

  • Students can student teach in the U.S. at participating school districts across Pennsylvania and in South Dakota.

  • Another student teaching abroad possibility is a short-term option where they complete 12 weeks of full-time teaching in Pennsylvania, followed by 5 to 7 weeks student teaching at an international site. Students have the opportunity to choose one of sixteen countries for a supported teaching experience (Australia, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Turkey, and Wales).

We offer teacher education options for undergraduates majoring in Secondary Education.  The following certification requirements are common to all routes to certification -- undergraduate and graduate options alike.

  • If you are currently seeking certification as an undergraduate Secondary Education major in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, complete the course requirements described on the curriculum check sheet that you received when you were admitted to the major.

  • If you plan to seek certification as an undergraduate Secondary Education major, please note that there are requirements for the major such as the General Education requirements that are specific to undergraduate degrees. In your first and second years, we strongly encourage you to complete as much math course work as possible; in particular, do not postpone required courses that are only offered once a year. Your adviser can help you choose the right courses. 

  • Please note that you will need a minimum GPA of 3.0, pass certain State-required PRAXIS exams, be in at least 4th semester status, and be formally admitted. 

Many US states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map.