Science Education


The science education major provides a broad introduction to the major fields of science, specialized coursework in two selected fields, and educational theory and practical work designed for future science teachers. The program is designed to prepare outstanding candidates to enter teaching credential programs after completion. Students earn a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree. They do not earn a teaching credential; this must be completed later.

There are six combinations of specialization possible: physics + chemistry, physics + biology, physics + Earth sciences, chemistry + biology, chemistry + Earth sciences, and biology + Earth sciences. All six pathways include a set of core courses in science and mathematics, a sequence of three Cal Teach seminar courses with required school-based internships, and two upper-division Education courses. In addition, the student has to take courses in each of the two specializations chosen. 

For more information about the science education major, please see the program description under the registrar's website.

Cal Teach is one home base for all students in this major, no matter the choices for specialization. Cal Teach provides the required sequence of middle and high school-based internships and associated courses.

Degrees Offered

  • B.S.

Study and Research Opportunities

Science education majors are encouraged to gain experience in lab and/or field research, and to pursue upper-division coursework emphasizing their own particular areas of scientific interest. Faculty instructors of introductory coursework and Cal Teach staff can provide guidance in selecting upper-division courses and pursuing lab research opportunities.

Departmental advising is provided by the Physics Department.

Information for First-Year Students (Freshmen)

Because of the broad based nature of the major, with introductory courses in physics, chemistry, and mathematics, there is considerable flexibility in what courses are taken in the first two years, as long as enough courses required for the major are completed. However, it is simplest to follow the appropriate major planner in the General Catalog; students should consult with the physics undergraduate advisor if they want to do something different.  

Departmental advising is provided by the Physics Department.

Information for Transfers

The Physics Department welcomes applications from community college students who have completed the necessary coursework to transfer to our program. Community college students must have completed the articulated equivalents of a minimum of ten, ideally twelve, of the courses required for the major (in the pathway they wish to pursue) before coming to UCSC in order to graduate in a timely manner.


  • K-12 Teacher


Awards, Honors, and Recognitions

Honors in the major are awarded to graduating students whose academic performance demonstrates excellence at a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or above. Highest honors are awarded to those students whose performance demonstrates the highest level of excellence and results in a GPA of 3.8 or above. The program faculty reserve the right to withhold honors and highest honors based on other criteria such as an incident of academic dishonesty.

Department Website

General Catalog Information

More Information

Physics Department Office:
Interdisciplinary Sciences Building, Rm 211 


University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064