STEM Education Tracks at The W

Teacher Certifications in Secondary Education provide prospective teachers with the attitudes, content, pedagogical knowledge and skills necessary for a teaching career in middle or high school. The curriculum immerses students in either the Biology, Physical Science, or Mathematics content area, balancing preparatory pedagogical courses with direct application of knowledge and skills through meaningful field experiences.

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We offer excellent preparation for teaching biology at the secondary (7-12) level.,%20BS%20-%20Secondary%20Education%20Certification
We offer excellent preparation for teaching mathematics at the secondary (7-12) level.,%20BS%20-%20Secondary%20Education%20Certification
We offer excellent preparation for teaching physical science at the secondary (7-12) level.

Alternate Route Certification

We have partnered with The W's School of Education to create a clear pathway to licensure for students who are interested in teaching, but did not start a Teacher Certification program early in their college career. The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is a graduate education degree and an alternative initial licensure program which provides those who complete this program an opportunity to teach in Mississippi schools. Some students may qualify to be admitted to the Accelerated MAT program while completing their bachelor’s degree. Students who qualify may also complete a regular Biology, Chemistry, or Mathematics degree before applying to the MAT program.

Master of Arts in Teaching Program

Rows of empty student desks in a classroom


Because the secondary education program has additional requirements, the number of free electives in a student’s curriculum is limited. Students interested in secondary education certification should declare their major early in order to get proper advising so they progress through their curriculum in a timely fashion. Your advisor will know when required courses are usually offered and can help you decide which electives will allow you to fulfill the required distribution of courses. Without proper advising, you may spend more time earning your degree.

Students should complete most of their education and major requirements prior to their senior year. In the fall semester of their senior year, students must complete any remaining requirements and take the Methods and Materials of Teaching course in their discipline. Then in the Spring semester students complete their degree with the Student Teaching Semester.

Want to Be a Teacher?

If you are interested in learning more about teaching certification in one of our STEM disciplines, please contact:

Dr. Brian Burnes (Biology or Physical Science)
PHONE: (662) 329-7360

Dr. Bonnie Oppenheimer (Mathematics)
PHONE: (662) 329-7376


There are various STEM scholarships offered by the Department available to current Biology, Mathematics, or Physical Science secondary education majors. Most of these scholarships are available to all students except those students who are full-ride Centennial Scholars. Amounts awarded are generally in the $500 to $2000 dollar range.

Minimum Grades

Students must earn a C or higher in the general education classes PSY 206 Human Growth and Development, COM 101 Oral Communications, and MA 113 College Algebra (or higher math). They must earn a C or higher in ED 300 Education as a Profession, ED 306 Introduction to Exceptional Learners, ED 351 Educational Measurement, and ED 360 Educational Psychology, and they must earn a B or higher in ED 302 Art and Science of Teaching.

Teacher Education

To be admitted to the Teacher Education program, students must pass the Praxis Core exam or earn a 21 or higher on the ACT and complete 44 hours with a 2.75 GPA or higher, and pass a criminal background check. All biology teachers must also pass the Praxis II Exams (Content Area).

Educator Preparation Program Progression

Once admitted, students will successfully complete the appropriate Methods & Materials in Teaching course, and then they qualify to begin their teacher internship semester, when they will enroll in ED 401 Classroom Management and ED 409 Observation and Directed Teaching in Secondary Education Grades 7-12.