Welcome to the Secondary Education Program

Welcome to the Secondary Education program in the Watson College of Education! Teaching high school is an incredibly rewarding profession that allows you to have an influence on students' development at a crucial stage in their lives.

This program will prepare you to teach high school (9th-12th grade) in a variety of education settings, including traditional high schools, and small "alternative" high schools in urban, suburban, and rural environments.

Distinctive Features of the Secondary Program:
  • Small class sizes offering personal attention and guidance
  • Extensive field experiences integrated throughout the program
  • Excellent relationships with public school teachers and schools
  • Dedicated secondary faculty
  • Opportunities for international experiences
  • Programs leading to teacher licensure are offered in the fields of biology, chemistry, geology, English, anthropology, history, sociology, political science and mathematics*

There are two main options for students seeking high school teacher licensure in the core subjects of English, mathematics, science and social studies: Secondary Undergraduate and Secondary MAT programs. Below is a list of the main features of each program to help clarify which program you may be suited to:

Undergraduate Program

  • A two-year program designed primarily for students who are also taking coursework at UNCW for their undergraduate degree.
  • Students have field experiences all four semesters.
  • As only half the hours each semester are for education, students are able to explore whether teaching is the right career choice. Students who enroll in the licensure program but then decide to withdraw are still able to graduate with an undergraduate degree in their content area.
  • English, mathematics and social studies students can generally complete the requirements for teacher licensure and the requirements for their major close to 124 hours. Students seeking science teacher licensure have to take more hours and may prefer to complete their undergraduate degree and then enroll in the one year Secondary MAT program. We recommend that science students who are interested in teaching talk with one of the two science education advisors, Dr. Reid Griffin or Dr. Kubasko.

(Student Learning Outcomes
*Additional courses may be required. Please refer to the Advising Information page.

Secondary Education, Bachelor's/Master's Combined Program

The combined program in secondary education is designed to provide qualified students the means to complete the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, science, history, English, or a related field, and a master’s degree in secondary education in a period of five years (including one summer). The key feature of the program is that students take 3-6 credits of graduate coursework that will count for the student’s undergraduate and graduate program. Students will apply to take the 3-6 hours of graduate credit in fall of their senior year to begin graduate coursework in the spring semester. Students will apply to the Graduate School in the spring of their senior year to continue the program. The MAT cohort begins summer 1, so students must be fully admitted before then.

This program is designed for students currently in the B.A. or B.S. programs in mathematics, science, history, English, or a related field. 

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program

  • There is currently one MAT option:
    • On campus, one-year program
  • Designed for students who already have an undergraduate degree in English, history, mathematics, science, or related fields
  • At the completion of the program, students earn a teaching license in grades 9-12 in a content area
  • A focus on strong content preparation, effective curriculum design, working with diverse populations, and leadership development