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​CSPG 56 - Physics 7-12

​Instructional Area Code 8470
Modified: June 8, 2023

Physics is the scientific study of matter and energy, including the formulation and testing of the laws governing the behavior of the matter and energy continuum.

Grade Level Scope of Certificate

A person holding a valid Pennsylvania Physics certificate is qualified to teach physics courses in grades 7 through 12.  An educator holding this certificate is also qualified to teach this content in the 6th grade. See CSPG 104 Expansion of Secondary (7-12) Certification to Sixth Grade.

Certification Assignment

An educator holding a valid Pennsylvania certificate for physics is qualified to teach courses such as: physics, biophysics, physical science, general science, environmental science, astrophysics, nuclear physics, and chemical/atomic/molecular physics. Physics includes instruction in areas such as classical and modern physics, matter, energy, heat, thermodynamics, kinematics, gravitational forces/fields, optics, electricity and magnetic forces/fields, mechanics, nuclear processes, wave properties and sound, relativity and quantum theory, quantitative methods and laboratory methods, forensic science, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses. (Other Instructional certificates may teach STEM courses based on course content and the type of credit being given.) 

An educator holding this certificate is also qualified to teach this content in the 6th grade. See CSPG 104 Expansion of Secondary (7-12) Certification to Sixth Grade.

Certificate Clarification

  • Educators holding the following Pennsylvania certificates may continue to teach physics in grades 7-12:

    • Comprehensive Science (discontinued in 1994)
    • Physical Science (discontinued in 1997)
    • Physics and Mathematics (discontinued in 2003)

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.

Restrictions

A Pennsylvania certified physics teacher is not certified to teach biology, chemistry, or earth and space science courses. 

References

Program Specific Guidelines for Certification.

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

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

Chapter 49: §49.11, §49.81, §49.85

This revision supersedes all earlier CSPG’s carrying this number and/or addressing this subject. Previous printing dates on this subject: 2/61, 3/75, 8/76, 2/82, 1/87, 7/87, 12/90, 6/92, 7/04, 12/14.

Summary of Changes

​Date of Revisions
​Major Changes to CSPG #56
​6/8/2023
  • ​Added forensic science.
  • Updated formatting. 
​12/1/2014
  • Added staffing information for teaching STEM courses
  • Clarified content of the CSPG.
  • Added information about teaching sixth grade content with a 7-12 content certificate from CSPG #104.
​7/1/2004
  • CSPG #56 – Physics
    • CSPGs divided into five individual science CSPG categories.
    • Definitions of science categories were removed.
    • Physics course assignments: physics, biophysics, physical science, general science, astrophysics, nuclear physics, and chemical/atomic/molecular physics.
    • Content includes: matter, energy, heat, thermodynamics, kinematics, gravitational forces/fields, optics, electricity and magnetic forces/fields, mechanics, nuclear processes, wave properties and sound, relativity and quantum theory, quantitative methods and lab methods.
​6/1/1992
  • ​CSPG #33 – Science Certification
    • Defines in detail sciences subject content area at specific levels (introductory/intermediate/advanced) and lists appropriate certificates.
​3/1/1975
  • CSPG #33 – Science Certification
    • Categorized by High School Sciences and Junior High (Middle) School Sciences and Specialized Science Labs.
    • Physical Science certificate may teach: physics, chemistry, physical science, earth and space science courses.
​2/1/1961
  • College Certificates in Secondary Academic Subjects
    • 24 credits for a single certificate area; 40 credits for a comprehensive area.
    • Comprehensive Science: 40 credits and:
  • at least eight credits in biology, chemistry and physics;
  • at least six credits in earth sciences: astronomy, geology, meteorology; and
  • at least three credits in mathematics.
    • Earth and Space – 24 credits.
    • General Science – 24 credits.
    • Physics and Mathematics – 36 credits (12 in each of the two areas).