PhysTEC Programs

PhysTEC Programs

Physics Teacher Mentors

Each student in our Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Program is assigned a high school physics teacher as a mentor.  Our teachers have diverse experiences and are each excellent practitioners.  They provide feedback to UTAs on classroom performance, and advice on teaching and teaching careers.  

Current and former teacher mentors:

Master UTAs


Master UTAs are the students leaders in our program. They have completed at least one semester as a UTA, taken the Teaching and Learning Physics Seminar, and are taking Education courses and actively exploring physics education. In addition to coop and/or lab session teaching, they also mentor new UTAs. Master UTAs have shown great initiative. For example, they established and ran physics problem solving sessions in North Campus dorms for freshman.

UTA Program Details and Application

The UTA program involves three related activities requiring a total time commitment of roughly 7 hours per week. UTAs are assigned to one of the Physics Department's calculus-based introductory courses (e.g., PHYS 1112, 2213, 2214, 2207, 2208, 1116, 2217, 2218, also PHYS 3316). They co-teach cooperative learning sections and/or labs  with a graduate student TA and/or staff course study halls, for a total of 2 contact hours per week, and attend a seminar on teaching and learning physics. They are also encouraged to attend the weekly course staff meeting.

Master of Arts in Teaching

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is a graduate curriculum of professional education designed to meet the New York State standards for teacher certification. Students preparing to teach physics in the MAT program complete additional coursework in their content area(s), one off-campus semester of student teaching,  and successfully pass required New York State examinations. Graduates are eligible to apply for New York State initial certification (grades 7-12) to teach one or more of the content areas emphasized in the program.

Cornell Teacher Education Program

The Cornell Education Studies program prepares teachers to work in a variety of educational settings and with a range of students. To complement their core subject knowledge acquired through a major (e.g., in Physics), students develop a broadly based knowledge of the art and science of teaching in secondary schools. Coursework and fieldwork in local educational settings integrate the practical and theoretical aspects of education.

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Program


  • Help your peers learn Physics.
  • Improve your own understanding.
  • Develop teaching skills.
  • Become an undergraduate leader!