Watson College of Education

Secondary Education Program

Welcome to the Secondary Education undergraduate 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. And, North Carolina has a high need for high school teachers, especially in science and math.

The Secondary Education program provides a pathway for undergraduates to earn a North Carolina license to teach students in grades 9-12.

Distinctive Features of the Secondary Education Undergraduate 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

Additional Information about the Undergraduate Licensure Program

The Secondary Education program is a two year licensure program designed for students who are also taking coursework at UNCW for their undergraduate degree. Students will complete half the hours each semester in their content area and half in education. Students will also have field experiences all four semesters.

English, mathematics and social studies students can generally complete the requirements for teacher licensure and the requirements for their major in 124 hours. Students who are interested in science teachers licensure should talk with one of the two science education advisors, Dr. Reid Griffin or Dr. Kubasko.

Admissions: Steps to Becoming a Teacher

Admission to UNCW and the Watson College of Education is a two-step process. The first step is admission to the university. The second step is admission to the Watson College of Education (WCE). Students typically apply to WCE during their sophomore or junior year at UNCW. Transfer students typically apply during their first or second semester at UNCW.


High School Seniors and Transfer Students

  • Apply for admission to UNCW
  • Visit the Watson College!
  • Consider applying for the Education Living Learning Community to meet other pre-education majors and get a jump-start on field placements and enrichment experiences

Freshman or Sophomore Year
Before you declare your major

  • Create goals and make course selections that compliment your major/licensure
  • Arrange for experiences that will help you confirm your goals and interests. These could include meeting with faculty and students in the Watson College, attending events at the college, joining student organizations, studying abroad or volunteering

Sophomore Year
Pre-major status

  • Collaborate with your Watson College Advisor to ensure success
  • Review course requirements, sequence and pre-requisites to revise course map
  • Continue to arrange experiences that will help you confirm your goals and interests
  • Apply for admission to Watson College

Junior Year
Admitted to the Watson College

  • Begin education coursework
  • Begin classroom field experience including tutoring high school students
  • Continue assessing your skills, strengths and interests
  • Network with professors, students and teachers who work in your field

Senior or Final Year

  • Complete a semester long internship in a high school observing and teaching
  • Apply for graduation, pass licensing tests and apply for licensure
  • Attend job fairs, seek Career Center support to perfect your resume and interviewing skills and apply for jobs