Majors, minors & more
Earth and Space Science Teaching
College of Arts and Sciences
- Offered as:
The earth and space science teaching certificate at WSU prepares you to teach geology and related sciences in middle school and high school classrooms in the State of Washington.
To earn teacher certification in earth and space science, you will need to complete a bachelor’s degree in earth science (geology) and also complete professional education course work through the College of Education to earn teacher certification. The College of Sciences and the College of Education work together to help coordinate your major courses with the teacher education core requirements.
- Strengths of the program
WSU offers the state's only teacher education program that provides practical classroom teaching opportunities in every region of Washington. You get practical experience teaching a diversity of young students that mirrors today's classrooms.
Benefit from the resources of a major research university:
- Study diverse subjects: for instance, the evolution of the biological kingdom through geological time, how to prospect for gold, field instrument operation, and geologic feature interpretation.
- Learn from professors who have worked professionally with petroleum and mining companies, the U.S. Geological Survey, and state agencies and can provide connections for student research projects.
- Study at numerous nearby field sites such as the Columbia River Basalt plateau, the Idaho and Wallowa batholiths, the Cascade volcanics, and local groundwater sources.
- Learn from geology experts in volcanology, sedimentology and stratigraphy, hydrogeology, and subsurface water contamination.
You can join a math, science, and engineering community residence hall at WSU Pullman—share classes with your neighbors, study together, get free tutoring, and use the hall's computer lab.
Expand your experience through the department’s close and progressive ties with the Department of Geology at the University of Idaho.
- Featured courses
To see the complete sequence of courses for the earth and space science teaching certificate, see the College of Education student resources page.
See the earth sciences fact sheet for more detailed information on the major and its core courses.
Secondary education core
These courses prepare you for secondary-level teaching.
Writing and Research
Learning and Development
Initial Practicum Experience
Curriculum, Instruction, and Content Literacy Methods
Teaching English Language Learners for Secondary Teachers
Secondary Methods of Educational Technology
Adolescence, Community, and School
Classroom Assessment, Secondary Students
Special Education, Transition, and Classroom Management for Secondary General Education Teachers
After completing the prerequisites, download an application packet and follow the admission process to enroll in the professional education program.
Courses for the teaching endorsement
The teaching program is integrated with the earth science major. When you choose the teaching option in the earth science major, your core courses will build knowledge of geological science and help prepare you to teach it.
Here's a sample of the courses you'll most likely take in the teaching track.
Introduction to Geology and Physical Geology
Evolution and Earth History
Water and the Earth
Mineralogy and Crystallography
Special Problems in Geology
General science core:
General Physics I & II
Principles of Chemistry I & II
Principles of Astronomy
Intro to Meteorology and the Atmospheric Environment
Methods of Teaching Science
The earth science major includes electives like these that further your knowledge of science in history and society — and prepare you to teach your own science classroom.
Upper division elective: Geomorphology or Oceanography recommended
One from each of the following groups:
Mathematics for Life Scientists
Science in Western Civilization through Newton
Science in Western Civilization from Newton to Einstein
Technology and Social Change to 1950
Society and Technology
Domain of the Sciences
Elementary Statistics in Psychology
Introduction to Statistical Methods
See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
- Scholarships and financial aid
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs.
For all students at WSU
Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
To get all the financial help WSU can provide, start by doing these two things:
- Complete the University's general scholarship application so you can be eligible for scholarship consideration.
- Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) so WSU can consider you for aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) based on financial need.
Click here for more info about WSU scholarships and financial aid
For teacher education students
The College of Education distributes funds from 13 endowed scholarships to approximately 100 teacher education students every semester. Some of the scholarships with multiple recipients include the College of Education Alumni Association Scholarship, the Louise H. Meyer Scholarship, the Don and Julia Lee Scholarship, and the Claude Simpson and Peggy Simpson Yates Scholarship.
For more information about these scholarships, call the College of Education at 509-335-7843 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For students in earth sciences/geology
Three undergraduate scholarships awarded by the Department of Geology are the Lyle and Lela Jacklin Scholarship, the Harold E. Culver Memorial Scholarship, and the Myron and Marie Huckle Scholarship.
Information about financial assistance is available from the Office of Student Financial Aid (phone 509-335-9711) and the Office of Scholarship Services (509-335-1059).
- Campus organizations and activities
The Educators Club, Kappa Delta Pi, and the Alhadeff Future Teachers of Color are pre-professional organizations run by education students for education students. All future teachers are invited to join and participate.
- Suggested strengths, interests, and preparation
Students should take two years of a foreign language in high school, which will also meet a WSU graduation requirement.
Take four years of high school math if possible.
Future teachers should care about children and have the desire to make a real difference in the world.
- Careers in teaching
Earth and space science teachers may teach in public or private schools worldwide. The earth and space science teaching certificate qualifies you to specifically to teach in the Washington state school system. Further study opens up possibilities as a coach, counselor, principal, or other administrative positions in schools.