Undergraduate Major with Certification

Secondary Education (BA)

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 through Widener’s undergraduate secondary education certification program. You’ll learn the ins and outs of being a teacher through the College of Health and Human Services' Center for Education while majoring in your chosen content area in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Students have the option to pursue grade 7-12 Pennsylvania teaching certification in biology, chemistry, Earth and space science, English, mathematics, physics, and social studies (history), as well as pre-kindergarten to grade 12 certification in Spanish.

Program Options

Students interested in obtaining Pennsylvania secondary education certification requirements would also pursue one of the following majors while completing their education course requirements:

*Students interested in pursuing a bachelor's degree in biology, chemistry, or physics also have the option to complete the education coursework required to complete certification and should consult with their advisor to develop a plan.

**Spanish teaching certification qualifies students to teach pre-kindergarten through grade 12.

View the Loading... for general curriculum and coursework requirements for the Pennsylvania Instructional I Teaching Certification.

View curriculum requirements for your chosen teacher certification subject area(s):

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.

Each state/jurisdiction has requirements that candidates must meet in order to obtain licensure and/or certification to teach. It is the student’s responsibility to seek appropriate guidance before beginning any academic program. If you intend to seek certification outside of Pennsylvania, the University recommends that you contact the appropriate state licensing agency to obtain specific licensure/certification requirements per state and the most up-to-date information.
To view Widener’s licensure eligibility by state/jurisdiction, please visit the Center for Education: Program Licensure page.

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.

Study Abroad Student

Experience the World & Study Abroad

Prepare to be a well-rounded educator with global experience and diverse cultural perspectives. You can seamlessly integrate a study abroad experience during the semester of your student teaching.

Once you're back home, you'll realize the skills you learned abroad are in high demand in the education field.

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.

Clubs & Organizations

Secondary Education majors have the opportunity to join various clubs and organizations across and outside of campus to expand their network, including the Widener Student Education Association (WSEA), the Secondary Education Affinity Group, and many more


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."

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."

Dana Olanoff
Chair, Mathematics Department

"My role as a mathematics teacher is to help students make sense of mathematics and develop conceptual understanding. I do this by helping students become actively involved in their learning through solving new and challenging problems rather than passively absorbing information."

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."

Richard Hopkins
Associate Professor

"Students become historians by "doing history" – they learn to think critically about the past, to develop research questions and conduct research, . . . and to have fun! History is an endlessly fascinating inquiry into the human past that can yield essential insights into the human present."

Reisboard, Dana_22SP
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."

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.

Outlook & Outcomes

Potential Careers

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

Recent Employers

  • Chichester School District
  • Interboro School District
  • Penn Delco School District
  • Ridley School District
  • Widener Partnership Charter School

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

To visit Widener is, more often than not, to fall in love with the place. To fit your timeline and schedule, we offer a variety of ways to get to know us.

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.

Get in Touch