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Non-traditional Pathways to Science Certification

Penn State undergraduates are not required to major in Secondary Education (SECED) in order to pursue teacher certification. You have the option of majoring in Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Geosciences, or many other majors.

Bear in mind that completing all of the requirements for Pennsylvania certification in four years—whether you major in SECED or in a science—requires very careful planning.

Undergraduates also have the option to pursue certification with a double major in Secondary Education and a relevant science (such as Biology in the Eberly College of Science).

If you plan to seek certification while majoring in a Qualifying Scientific Discipline, you must complete the Education Requirements and the Option 2 requirements listed in the Common Certification Requirements.

Please note that you will need:

  • a minimum GPA of 3.0, and
  • to pass certain state-required PRAXIS exams,and
  • to be in at least 4th semester status,and
  • to be formally admitted.

Please contact us if you have questions.

We do not recommend postponing completion of your bachelor's degree in a science major in order to finish certification requirements. It usually makes more sense to finish your undergraduate degree in four years and, if necessary, complete certification requirements as a graduate student.