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​CSPG 40 - Earth & Space Science (7-12)

​Instructional Area Code 8440
Modified: May 25, 2023

Earth & Space Science describes the study of the earth and other planets as comprehensive physical systems, incorporating solid, liquid, gas, and radiation constituents, as well as exhibiting interactions with other systems. It includes planetary evolution, gravitational physics, atmospheric evolution, volcanism and crustal movement studies, global energy systems, organic systems and ecologies, oceanography, fluid dynamics, orbital mechanics, radiation physics, and the study of planetary and satellite systems.

Grade Level Scope of Certificate

A person holding a valid Pennsylvania certificate for Earth & Space Science is qualified to teach all earth & space science courses, in Grades 7 through 12.  A person holding this certificate is also qualified to teach this content in the sixth (6th) grade. (See CSPG #104 - Exp​ansion of Secondary 7-12 Certification to Sixth Grade).

Certification Assignment

An educator holding a valid Pennsylvania certificate for Earth & Space Science is qualified to teach courses such as: earth and planetary science, geology, hydrology, oceanography, astronomy, climatology, atmospheric science and meteorology, paleontology, cartography, geomorphology, geochemistry, geophysics and seismology, general science, and environmental science. 

Certificate Clarification

Educators holding the following Pennsylvania certificate(s) may continue to teach Earth & Space Science in grades 7-12:

  • Comprehensive Science (8430) – discontinued in 1994
  • Physical Science (8460) – discontinued in 1997
  • Geography (8840) – discontinued in 1996 

Special Considerations

An educator certified in this field may:

  • Provide professional development related to their collegial studies;
  • Serve in the role of mentor or advisor; and
  • Assist students in understanding how to read content area materials.


A PA certified earth & space science teacher is not certified to teach biology, chemistry, or physics.


Program Specific Guidelines for Certification

22 PA Code: Chapter 4: §4.22(c)(3), §4.23(c)(3)

Chapter 49: §49.11, §49.81, §49.85(a)(4)

PA Public School Code: §1202, §1212, §1604

Other CSPG’s for Reference

General Science

This revision supersedes all earlier CSPG’s carrying this number and/or addressing this subject. Previous printing dates on this subject: 3/75, 1/87, 7/87, 12/90, 6/92, 7/04, 6/05.

Summary of Changes

Date of Revisions
​Major Changes to CSPG #40
  • ​Updated terminology and formatting