MA in Physics Areas of Study

The WGU Master of Arts in Science Education (5–12, Physics) program content is based on research on effective instruction as well as national and state standards. It provides the knowledge and skills that enable teachers to teach effectively in diverse classrooms. The M.A. in Science Education (5–12, Physics) program content and training processes are consistent with the accountability intent of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The degree program is focused on the preparation of highly qualified teachers. As described in the federal legislation, a highly qualified teacher is one who not only possesses full state certification, but also has solid content knowledge of the subject(s) he or she teaches. The hallmarks of our program include: (a) appropriate and rigorous subject-matter preparation, (b) research-based pedagogical course preparation, and (c) clinical field experiences in which teacher candidates are supervised by trained coaches.

General Science Content

Integrated Natural Sciences
Integrated Natural Sciences covers the subject area of natural sciences, including the use of the scientific method to derive conclusions based on research. Topics covered include astronomy, geology, environmental science and ecosystems, and organisms.

General Chemistry I and Lab
In this course students will attain a solid understanding of fundamental chemistry concepts and a reasonable ability to solve chemical problems. Topics include measurement, elements and compounds, properties of matter and energy, the periodic table and chemical nomenclature, quantities in chemistry, chemical reactions, the modern atomic theory, and the chemical bond. Laboratory work focuses on using effective laboratory techniques to examine the physical and chemical characteristics of matter.

General Chemistry II and Lab
In this course students will attain a solid understanding of fundamental chemistry concepts and a reasonable ability to solve chemical problems. Topics include the gaseous state, the solid and liquid states, aqueous solutions, acid-base models, oxidation-reduction reactions, reaction rates and equilibrium, nuclear chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. Laboratory work focuses on using effective laboratory techniques to analyze chemical processes in real-world contexts.

Precalculus and Calculus
Precalculus and Calculus provides instruction in precalculus and calculus and applies them to examples found in both mathematics and science. Topics in precalculus include principles of trigonometry, mathematical modeling, and logarithmic, exponential, polynomial, and rational functions. Topics in calculus include conceptual knowledge of limit, continuity, differentiability, and integration.

Physics Content (Grades 5-12)

Physics: Mechanics
This course introduces foundational concepts of mechanics, including motion, gravitation, work and energy, momentum and collisions, rotational motion, static equilibrium, fluids, and oscillation.

Physics: Waves and Optics
Physics: Waves and Optics addresses foundational topics in the physics of waves and optics. Students will study basic wave motion and then apply that knowledge to the study of sound and light with even further applications to optical instruments. They will also learn about thermodynamics and theories governing the physics of gases.

Physics: Electricity and Magnetism
This course addresses principles related to the physics of electricity and magnetism. Students will study electric and magnetic forces and then apply that knowledge to the study of circuits with resistors and electromagnetic induction and waves, focusing on such topics as: Electric charge and electric field, electric currents and resistance, magnetism, electromagnetic induction and Faraday's law, and Maxwell's equation and electromagnetic waves.

Modern Physics
This course provides a broad overview of foundational concepts of modern physics such as relativity and quantum theories and their applications, including atomic physics, nuclear physics, solid-state physics, and particle physics. Students will also cover the application of modern physics to cosmology.

Physics: Content Knowledge
Physics: Content Knowledge covers the advanced content knowledge that a secondary physics teacher is expected to know and understand. Topics include mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics and waves, heat and thermodynamics, modern physics, atomic and nuclear structure, the history and nature of science, science technology, and social perspectives.

Science Education

Science, Technology, and Society
This course engages students in the study of the nature, processes, and applications of science and technology and arms them with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand explain important science concepts. The course addresses the historical evolution of scientific ideas, scientific inquiry, as well as how science is used to inform decision making on current issues.

Science Teaching and Learning
This course focuses on how to teach science and on preparing preservice science educators to teach science in a way that is accurate, current and engaging. Topics include models for teaching science through inquiry, evaluation of alignment to standards, effective use of learning communities, formative assessment strategies, and safety responsibilities.