Subject Matter Authorization in Introductory Science

Subject Matter Authorization in Introductory Science

Classroom Program


24 months


45 Units

UCR Extension

Science is an exciting, evolving field, with new discoveries and inventions at every turn. If you have a passion for the discipline and would like to share it with students, join our program to add to your existing credential and start hypothesizing, experimenting and discovering.

This program is NCLB compliant and authorizes you to teach science curriculum designed for grades 9 and below; giving you the necessary subject matter competency through coursework alone, versus having to take the CSET, as long as you do not want to teach a specific science content area (i.e. biology only).

This authorization can be added to any of the following valid California teaching credentials: Single Subject, Multiple Subject, Standard Elementary, Standard Secondary or Special Secondary.

Designed For

Teachers holding a valid Single Subject, Multiple Subject, Standard Elementary or Standard Secondary Teaching Credential who are interested in teaching Science.

What You'll Learn

  • An interdisciplinary approach to biological sciences
  • Fundamental concepts of chemistry
  • Hands-on approaches to geology through on-site field exploration and classroom activities.
  • Physics concepts including energy, electricity, magnetism, heat and waves.

What You Can Do With This Certificate

Teaching positions are available in both private and public schools.

“Pursuing an Authorization in Science really boosted my career. This program conveniently offers courses on Saturdays, online and during the summer. Instructors offered authentic scientific experiences through hands-on activities, collaborations, and field trips.”

Shawnee Vasher

Eighth Grade Science Teacher
Moreno Valley Unified School District
Moreno Valley, CA

Earning the Certificate

Prior to enrolling, please ensure that you meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited institution
  2. One of the following valid California teaching credentials:
    • Multiple Subject
    • Single Subject
    • Standard Elementary
    • Standard Secondary
    • Special Secondary

Completion Requirements

  • Successful completion of 48 units with a grade of C or better. This must include a minimum of 8 units in each of the following four areas: Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Geosciences and Physics.
  • The coursework must include a one-year sequence of courses in at least two of the listed subject areas, and at least one course must include a laboratory component.
  • Upon program completion:
    • Student must notify the Credentials Office via email or via phone (951) 827-1661.
    • Upon verification that all requirements have been met, the Credentials Office will mail the student a checklist with the appropriate recommendation paperwork.
    • Student completes the recommendation paperwork and mails it back to the Credentials Office with a $70.00 check or money order made payable to "CTC."
    • Student pays the UCR Extension $50.00 "Credential Filing Fee-Education" to Student Services by calling (951) 827-4105.
    • The Credentials Office then recommends the student to CTC. A C19 letter is mailed to the student as verification of recommendation.
    • CTC can take up to six months to process recommendations. Please review CTC's website to verify issuance. You will not receive a document in the mail as the CTC has gone completely paperless.

UCR Extension only submits recommendations to CTC on behalf of students who have completed all of the coursework through UCR Extension.

For more information see How to Earn a Certificate

Certificate Courses

Our certificate programs are designed to be flexible, allowing you the option to take just a few courses or to earn the complete certificate. If choosing to complete the certificate, we recommend you get the most out of your experience by following the suggested completion path below.

Quarter 1

Biological Sciences and Lab


3 units

Demonstration labs and lab work in biological sciences and basic elements of cell and population biology, anatomy and physiology. Emphasis on the common characteristics of all living systems and the integration of chemistry, physics and simple statistics through an interdisciplinary approach to biological sciences. Topics include: structure and function, endocrinology and physiological mechanisms, electron microscopy, waste, the senses, movement, growth, reproduction and genetic engineering.

Chemistry I: Introduction to Chemistry


2 units

Introduction to the fundamental concepts of chemistry. Topics include structure of matter, chemical bonding, states of matter, chemical reactions, and chemical energy. Demonstrations and experiments for engaging students are presented.

Quarter 2

Principles of Geology for Educators

GEO X480

4 units

Principles of geology for educators, including earth materials, landforms, resources, plate tectonics, fossils, earth history, structure and field localities. Includes specific reference to successful methods of teaching geology and earth science to students. Participants will explore a geological site and gain hands-on field experience in geology.

Introduction to Concepts of Physics


4 units

Introduction to the fundamental concepts of physics. Topics include energy, electricity and magnetism, and heat and waves. Demonstrations and activities that engage students' interest and participation in classroom activities. This course is aligned with the state and science standards.

Quarter 3

Introduction to Science


4 units

Introduction to science with applications for teaching chemistry, geoscience, physics and biological science. Course includes:

  • Contact-based science instruction for implementing state science content standards
  • Investigations and experimentation
  • Safety
  • Strategies appropriate to different ways students learn

Environmental Science and Ecology for Educators


3 units

Through an interdisciplinary approach to environmental science and ecology, this course explores scientific principles, concepts and methodologies that demonstrate the interrelationships of the natural world. Participants learn to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, evaluate the relative risk associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them.

Quarter 4

Chemistry II: Structure of Matter and Chemical Bonding


3 units

Fundamental concepts of the structure of matter and chemical bonding. Topics include energy and matter, atomic structure, the periodic table, groups of elements, chemical formulas and bonding, chemical reactions and equations, the mole and stoichiometry. Demonstrations and hands-on activities appropriate for the classroom are presented. This course is aligned with both the state and national science standards.

Introduction to Astronomy for Educators

GEO X481.1

1 units

An overview of the principles and techniques of astronomy with emphasis on methods for teaching astronomy. Topics include the nature and process of scientific investigation; basic concepts of astronomy, including the nature of the planets, the sun, stars, and galaxies; and methods and tools of astronomy.

Quarter 5

Concepts of Physics: Mechanics


3 units

Fundamental concepts of mechanics. Topics include:

  • Experimentation and investigation
  • Motion in one and two dimensions
  • Forces and the law of motion
  • Work and energy
  • Momentum and collisions
  • Totational motion and the law of gravity
  • Rotational equilibrium and dynamics
  • Fluid mechanics

Demonstrations, experiments, and computer simulations appropriate for secondary classrooms are presented. This course is aligned with both the state and national science standards.

Topics in Biological Sciences


2 units

Topics in biological sciences that demonstrate the interconnections among physical, biological, earth and mathematical sciences. Topics include: characteristics of living systems, biological classification, the cell, photosynthesis, food and respiration.

Quarter 6

Chemistry III: States of Matter, Chemical Reactions and Nuclear Chemistry


3 units

Fundamental concepts of the states of matter, chemical reaction, and nuclear chemistry. Topics include gases, liquids and solids, solutions, acids, bases, salts, reactions of acids and bases, oxidation and reduction, electrochemistry, and applications of nuclear chemistry. Demonstrations and hands-on activities appropriate for the classroom are presented. This course is aligned with both the state and national science standards.

Weather and Climate

ERT X406

3 units

Weather information that not very long ago was found only in professional forecast offices is now widely available online. The challenge for the non-professional is to find the data and make sense of it. This course takes you through the first steps of understanding atmospheric processes and the science of weather forecasting. Topics include air pressure, clouds, precipitation, thunderstorms, tornadoes, tropical weather systems, the atmosphere's planetary circulation, weather radar, weather analysis and forecasting. In-class exercises examine interesting weather events as they develop. The course includes a study program, "Online Weather Studies," developed by the American Meteorological Society Education Program, that utilizes real-time weather data to support the learning experience.

Quarter 7

Concepts of Physics: Electricity and Magnetism


3 units

Fundamental concepts of electricity and magnetism. Topics include:

  • Electric forces and fields
  • Electrical energy and capacitance
  • Current and resistance
  • Circuit elements
  • Magnetism
  • Induction and alternating currents
  • Atomic physics.

Demonstrations, experiments and computer simulations appropriate for secondary classrooms are presented. This course is aligned with both the state and national science education standards.


ERT X405

2 units

Study of oceanography, including theories and principles of biological, geological and physical aspects. Topics include: minerals, currents, wave motion, pressure, erosion, topography of the ocean floor, water cycle and marine ecology. Demonstrations of how oceanography can be incorporated into classroom situations.

Quarter 8

Chemistry IV: Physical Chemistry and Organic Chemistry


3 units

Fundamental concepts of physical chemistry and organic chemistry. Topics include heat in chemical reactions, chemical equilibrium, solubility and precipitation, rates of reaction, thermodynamics, carbon and its compounds, classes of organic compounds, and the chemistry of life. Demonstrations and hands-on activities appropriate for the classroom are presented. This course is aligned with both the state and national science standards.

Botany for Educators


3 units

This course introduces botany as the relationship between the structures of plants and their functions. Topics include plant classification, growth and development, photosynthesis, genetics, ecology. The emphasis is on flowering plants.

“My students always tell me that they've enjoyed learning new science concepts, and love having new hands-on, inquiry-based lessons to take back to their classrooms. I really love working with other adults. It's very special to get to laugh and share and learn with other teachers. I learn just as much from them as they do from me!”

Tracy Lawrence

Science Teacher
Riverside Unified School District
Riverside, CA

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