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Chemistry Secondary Education Degree Program

In coordination between the Chemistry Department and the School of Education, the Chemistry Secondary Education degree program trains students to become exceptional Chemistry teachers. TCNJ has teacher training down to a science–with a 150-year track record, as the first-ever teacher training school in New Jersey, TCNJ’s School of Education excels at preparing students for the classroom. Students on this degree path also enjoy the full benefits of our nationally recognized Chemistry Department, which is consistently top-ranked for our number of Chemistry graduates.

In the Chemistry Secondary Education degree program, students complete a full chemistry major while also pursuing secondary education certification. Our program is distinctive for:

  • Science-first curricula. From content knowledge to teaching methods, the Chemistry major is the central component of our teacher education program. Our teachers train as chemists, then integrate that knowledge with a mastery of the most effective ways to teach their discipline.
  • Research-based scholarship. Working side by side with Chemistry professors, students have the opportunity to conduct original research and pursue scholarly projects. Our graduates understand their subject—and teach it—as an exciting process of discovery rather than a dry collection of facts.
  • Extensive fieldwork. Classroom experiences start in the sophomore year and culminate in a senior-year placement in a middle school or high school as the lead teacher of a Chemistry class. Our graduates aren’t just exposed to classrooms—they are experienced at leading classrooms.

Is this program right for me?

Do you enjoy tutoring other students and figuring out the best way to teach and encourage others? Were you inspired by your passionate high school Chemistry teacher? Chemistry teachers have the opportunity to guide students in their discovery of science and their understanding of the natural physical world. Our students choose the Chemistry Secondary Education degree program because they have a scientific curiosity they can’t help but share.

The employment outlook for Chemistry education students is excellent. Our graduating classes routinely achieve perfect 100% pass rates on the Praxis examinations for certification. Many of our teacher candidates receive multiple job offers. Graduates are qualified to teach grades 6–12 with state teaching certification at the secondary level. However, since graduates complete a full, rigorous Chemistry major, they also have the necessary preparation to enter a career in chemical industry or pursue an advanced degree in science or health-related fields.

How do I enroll in this program?

Non-matriculated students interested in a career in Chemistry education can apply to TCNJ and choose the Chemistry Secondary Education degree program as their major. Current TCNJ students can fill out a Change of Major form to apply to this degree program.

Current Chemistry majors who are interested in education are encouraged to enroll in EFN 299: Schools and Communities. Taking this course will allow students to consider the complex dynamics of a classroom and better gauge their interest in switching to the secondary education degree track.

While this course is part of the teacher-preparation sequence for the Chemistry Secondary Education major, it also fulfills the liberal learning requirement for a Behavioral, Social or Cultural Perspectives course as well as the Race & Ethnicity civic responsibility.

In order to fulfill all of the necessary requirements, students are encouraged to choose the Chemistry Secondary Education degree program no later than their sophomore year at TCNJ.

What are the degree requirements?

The Chemistry Secondary Education degree program includes all of the courses required for a Chemistry major, with nine additional education courses. With careful planning, involving co-advisors from both the Chemistry Department as well as the School of Education, all of the degree requirements can be fit into a four-year plan.

For more information regarding the degree requirements for Chemistry Secondary Education, please see the Chemistry Bulletin. Information regarding the required Education courses can be found on the School of Education website.

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