Secondary Education (Certification)

Prepare for a fulfilling teaching career through Widener’s undergraduate secondary education (grades 7-12) certification program, where you’ll learn how to teach adolescents while gaining mastery in your chosen subject area.

Program Overview

Prepare for a fulfilling teaching career in grades 7-12 through Widener’s undergraduate secondary education certification program. You’ll learn the ins and outs of being a teacher through the Center for Education while concurrently majoring in your chosen content area in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Our program makes you eligible to earn grade 7-12 Pennsylvania teaching certification in Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, English, Mathematics, Physics, Social Studies (History), and Spanish.

Widener University's Center for Education is proud of its 2016 NCATE accreditation award and is prepared to meet the renewed rigor and relevance of excellence by seeking accreditation based on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Standards in 2023. CAEP accreditation eligible programs take steps to maintain gapless national accreditation for educator preparation.

Major Options

You'll major in the College of Arts & Sciences subject area of your choice, all while working toward your Pennsylvania Instructional I teaching certification in Secondary Education 7-12.

View the academic catalog for major options within the humanities, social sciences, and sciences through the College of Arts & Sciences.

Earn certification in your chosen subject area(s): Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, English, Mathematics, Physics, Social Studies (History), and Spanish.

View the Loading... for curriculum and coursework requirements for the teaching certification.

Eight education courses are required for secondary certification, including appropriate courses in teaching methods for the selected certification area.

In addition, students must adjust his or her subject-matter academic work to meet the requirements for a full-time, 14-week student teaching experience during the senior year. This student teaching experience, open to seniors only, is under the supervision of a professor from the teacher education program and also experienced teachers from local cooperating schools.

Admissions Information

Once enrolled, the following requirements must be completed before admission to the undergraduate teacher certification program:

  • Satisfactory score on the SAT, ACT, or Basic Skills Tests
  • Completed Application to Teacher Certification
  • Completion of Electronic Portfolio up to and including Transition Point 2.
  • Attainment of minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Castle Branch Account for Federal and State Criminal clearances.

Program Highlights

Our undergraduate program in secondary education gives you the skills and preparation to teach adolescents in grades 7-12 in your chosen subject area.

Nursing education students

Strong Content Area Foundation

Gain a strong teaching foundation by earning a degree in your chosen content area through the College of Arts & Sciences while you learn how to teach adolescents through your course studies at the Center for Education. Plus, we’ll guide you through the requirements for secondary education certification in your particular subject.

Social Work Class

Small Class Sizes

Our class sizes are small, giving you the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with faculty at both the Center for Education and the College of Arts and Sciences. Our faculty are committed to engaging students in the learning process through active, hands-on learning, which optimizes your learning experience to meet your personal and professional goals.

Well Prepared Graduates

You'll develop field experience gradually throughout your college experience, starting with one-on-one tutoring and small-group instruction and culminating with whole-class instruction through a semester-long student teaching placement. By the time you graduate, you’ll feel comfortable and confident in the classroom. Furthermore, the Pennsylvania teaching license is portable and readily accepted in other states surrounding Widener. 


Our professors invest in your success through close mentoring and continual feedback. Get to know our secondary education faculty.

Xiaobao Li
Associate Professor

"I have authored or co-authored 15 publications in top-tier education journals and am honored to be a highly rated online professor of Widener students."

Dana Reisboard
Associate Professor

"My teaching focuses upon cognitive processing and application. In this regard, critical literacy complements the cognitive learning process. Critical literacy is the ability to actively read a text that promotes an understanding of social concepts and human relationships."

Essence Allen-Presley
Assistant Professor

"I believe classroom culture should include opportunities to create community through social justice values, respect, and equality for everyone. Teachers must include students' needs and interests, their knowledge from personal experiences, interactions, opportunities to explore hands-on activities, social-emotional regulation through positive behavior supports, and self-constructed inquiry and knowledge through questioning."

Richard E. Thurlow
Associate Professor

"My interests include brain development, literacy development, and applications of technology in research and instruction. My greatest excitement in teaching comes from the way that working with graduate students spills over to my teaching of undergraduates and vice versa."

Nadine McHenry

"Learning to be a teacher requires discipline and hard work. Learning to be great teacher requires passion and a deep dedication to the many and diverse children that we serve."

Your Inside Track to Success

Your Inside Track to Success

With a Widener degree, you will take the inside track to a noble career as a teacher. You will shape the education and growth of future generations.

Recent Employers & Industry Connections

  • Chichester School District
  • Interboro School District
  • Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast Catholic High School
  • Penn Delco School District
  • Ridley School District
  • Widener Partnership Charter School

Outlook & Outcomes

Potential Careers

  • Middle or high school teacher
    • (Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Science, Math, Physics, Social Studies/History, Spanish)
  • Teacher leader

Industry Growth

Employment of high school teachers is projected to grow 8% from 2016 to 2026. Rising student enrollment should increase demand for high school teachers.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Need for Secondary Teachers

Schools report that they have difficulty filling teaching positions for certain subjects, including math, science, and English. This means teachers with certification in those subjects have better job prospects.

Take the Next Steps

Join a leading university dedicated to your success.

Visit Us

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View Tuition and Fees

When comparing costs, we encourage you to look beyond sticker price. Because Widener is a private institution, we’re able to offer financial assistance that brings our exceptional education within reach.

Financial Aid

Our financial aid team takes the guessing game out of applying for financial aid. To determine your financial aid package, including scholarships and grants, apply and complete the financial aid process. You might be surprised at how much we can offer in assistance.

Next steps to apply

Applying online has never been easier—and it’s free! We also accept the Common Application. Take the next step toward joining the Widener Pride.

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