UTeach Professional Development Sequence

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Professional Development Sequence

This page describes the courses you take about teaching in STEM areas. UTS and EDC courses are combined with a course on the history of math and science (HIS 329) and a Research Methods course for teaching (BIO, CH, or PHY). These courses are taken in combination with courses in the STEM area you are interested in teaching, such as chemistry or math. See our page on certifications for a list of those courses.

The following courses include field-based experiences: UTS 101, UTS 110, EDC 365D, EDC 365E, EDC 651S. This means you and a teaching partner will spend time on a local campus observing an experienced educator and presenting lessons developed with the support and guidance of experienced and dedicated UTeach Professors of Practice. 

If you have chosen the Teaching Option, these courses are already part of your degree. 

Transcripted Certificate

All of the courses listed below are required to complete the BSA with the UTeach Secondary Certificate. These courses can be added to your audit for any degree, starting with the 2016-2018 catalog. UTeach advisors are happy to talk to prospective students who want to learn more about how to fit UTeach CNS into their undergraduate degree.


If you already hold an undergraduate degree or if you're graduating this semester, you can earn secondary STEM certification through UTeach. See our degree-holder page for details.

Step 1 and Step 2 (UTS 101 and UTS 110)

Two 1-hour courses.

Step 1

In Step 1, you will observe and teach science or mathematics lessons in local elementary classrooms and obtain firsthand experience with planning and implementing inquiry-based lessons. In Step 2, you will observe and teach in middle school classrooms. During each course, you will observe several lessons and prepare and conduct three of your own with a partner.

UTeach master teachers introduce you to the theory and practice behind excellent inquiry-based STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) instruction and guide you through the process of designing and preparing to teach lessons. Mentor teachers at the schools where you practice will demonstrate effective teaching techniques and classroom management skills and provide thoughtful feedback and coaching after your teaching experiences.

Working alone or in pairs, students create three science or mathematics lessons from modules developed with the support of the National Science Foundation. UTeach students then develop the lessons further using the 5E model. Working with UTeach Master Teachers, students refine and improve lessons based on feedback from both Master Teachers and mentor teachers at the school where the lesson will be taught. The mentor teacher observes the lesson being taught and provides written feedback to each student or pair of students to help them improve as the semester progresses.

Course Components:

  • Course is taught by master teachers—experienced, successful classroom teachers who have joined the university faculty.
  • Students observe exemplary teachers and obtain field experience by planning and teaching three mathematics or science lessons in local elementary schools with diverse student populations.
  • Students receive mentoring from high quality classroom teachers, as well as instructor feedback based on field observations.
  • Course emphasizes using the 5E Instructional Model.
  • Key instructional approaches include classroom discussion, lesson demonstration, student reflection, collaboration, and peer coaching.

You will also be introduced to the portfolio project.

Step 2

In Step 2, students continue developing the lesson planning skills they learned in Step 1 as they become familiar with exemplary middle school mathematics and science curricula. After observing a lesson being taught in a local school district classroom, students work alone or in pairs to plan and teach three inquiry-based lessons to sixth, seventh, or eighth graders. Middle school classrooms are selected both for the diversity of the student body and the quality of the classroom teachers, who serve as mentors for the Step 2 students assigned to them.

The Step 2 course emphasizes writing high quality 5E lesson plans with a focus on the importance of using appropriate questioning strategies throughout the lesson. Students discuss the unique attributes of adolescent students and strategies for teaching in the middle school environment. They learn to align lesson plans to district curriculum and how to develop and administer pre- and post-assessment instruments. For their final product, students analyze and modify one of the lessons they taught, taking into account the results of the assessments, their reflection on how successful the lesson was, and feedback from their mentor teachers and the course instructor who observed the lesson.

Prerequisites: A University GPA of at least 2.2. You must earn a C- or better in Step 1 before taking Step 2. Seniors and degree-holders may take both Step courses in the same semester. Talk to your UTeach advisor for details and permission to register.

A young man wearing glasses focuses intently on a computer.

Knowing and Learning in Mathematics and Science (EDC 365C)

One 3-hour course.

Find Knowing and Learning under EDC, not UTS. In the course schedule, EDC is located between CLS (Cultural Studies) and CZ (Czech).

This course expands your understanding of current theories of learning and conceptual development and encourages you to examine you own assumptions about learning. You will also critically examine the needs of a diverse student population in the classroom.

You will use materials from this course to continue building your portfolio.

Prerequisites: Seniors and degree-holders may take this course concurrently with UTS101 and UTS110. Talk to your UTeach advisor for details and permission to register.

Classroom Interactions (EDC 365D)

One 3-hour course.

Find Classroom Interactions under EDC, not UTS. In the course schedule, EDC is located between CLS (Cultural Studies) and CZ (Czech).

This course allows you to see how theories explored in Knowing and Learning play out in classrooms. You will design and implement instructional activities informed by your understanding of what it means to know and learn in STEM areas, and you will then evaluate the outcomes of those activities. You will also consider frameworks for thinking about equity issues in the classroom and larger school settings, learn strategies for teaching students of diverse backgrounds equitably, and use technologies to build relationships among teachers and students.

Expect to dedicate some out-of-class time to video transfer, lesson planning, and working on your portfolio.

Prerequisites: C- or better in UTS101, UTS110, and EDC365C and a University GPA of at least 2.5. If you have less than a 2.5 GPA, talk to your UTeach advisor to discuss your options.

Project Based Instruction (EDC 365E)

One 3-hour course.

Find Project Based Instruction under EDC, not UTS. In the course schedule, EDC is located between CLS (Cultural Studies) and CZ (Czech).

In this course, you will aim to master new technologies for problem-based investigations in STEM field classrooms, teaching project-based lessons to high school students. You will also discuss the use of assessment to improve student learning. The field component includes two observation days and three teaching days. Unlike previous field experiences, the teaching days in PBI run consecutively, which means that you should plan for two Fridays (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) and two Saturdays (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

Expect to dedicate some out-of-class time to video transfer, lesson planning, and working on your portfolio.

Prerequisites: C- or better in Classroom Interactions and a University GPA of at least a 2.5. Students with less than the required 2.5 GPA file an appeal for permission to take the course. See your UTeach advisor for details.

Research Methods

One 3-hour course: BIO 337-2 or CH368-1 or PHY341-7

Students develop and carry out four independent inquiries and learn to combine skills from STEM areas in order to solve research problems.

This course meets the criteria for the following flags required for all undergraduate degrees at the University of Texas at Austin: Independent Inquiry, Writing, and Quantitative Reasoning.

Much of the work generated in this course can be incorporated into the portfolio.

Students must appeal to register for this course a third time regardless of whether it was taken as BIO, CH, or PHY.

Prerequisites: Students with upper-division standing may take Research Methods after Step 1 and Step 2. These are the only prerequisites that apply to UTeach students. Additional prerequisites published in the course schedule may vary with topics other than UTeach Research Methods. Talk to your UTeach advisor if you have questions about meeting prerequisites.

Perspectives on Science and Mathematics

One 3-hour course: HIS329U or PHL329U

Faculty in History or Philosophy introduce students to the historical, social, and philosophical implications of STEM fields through investigations of five significant episodes in science history.

Faculty will also guide students on the use of material from this course in their ongoing portfolio project.

This course carries a writing flag and satisfies the university requirement in social and behavioral sciences (starting with the 2012-2014 catalog). 

Prerequisites: Students with upper-division standing may take Perspectives after Step 1 and Step 2.

Apprentice Teaching and Seminar (EDC 651S and UTS 170)

One 6-hour course and one 1-hour course. Students take this course after completing all other coursework, including content coursework. Students who intend to take one other course with EDC 651S and UTS 170 must submit a petition. Talk to your UTeach advisor about how to submit a petition. Call 512 232 2770 to make an appointment.

Students are immersed in the schools to prepare them to confidently assume a teaching position. In the seminar, students reflect on their student teaching experiences and examine contemporary critical issues in education.

Requirements during this semester can be found on the Apprentice Teaching page.


  • EDC 365E with a grade of C- or better
  • Research Methods with a grade of C- or better
  • Perspectives with a grade of C- or better
  • A passing score on the preliminary portfolio
  • A cumulative UT GPA of 2.5
  • An application. Apply here: https://pds.education.utexas.edu/.
    • Spring Apprentice Teachers must apply by October 1. 
    • Fall Apprentice Teachers must apply by March 1.
  • Attend an orientation session in the semester before you intend to Apprentice Teach. For further details and to sign up for the mandatory Apprentice Teaching orientation, students must reply to an email from the Student Teacher Coordinator, Pamela Powell.

Students who do not meet the 2.5 GPA requirement must submit a petition and earn a passing score on the Pre-Admission Content Test. Talk to your UTeach advisor about how to submit a petition. Call 512 232 2770 to make an appointment.

Additional courses for middle school certification

Two 3-hour courses.

Students seeking middle grades certification must also complete the following courses before Apprentice Teaching:

  • EDP 350G: Adolescent Development OR both Psychology 301 and 304
  • EDC 339F: Adolescent Literacy