Secondary Education

The Secondary Education program prepares effective high school teachers that excel in helping students learn and grow. Combined with field experience and student teaching, you'll gain the deep subject matter knowledge and real-world teaching experience needed to succeed. Our students spend an extensive amount of time inside secondary classrooms working with students and learning from practicing teachers. You’ll graduate well-prepared to land your dream job. 

This major is coordinated by the Department of Education.

A degree in Secondary Education gives you the foundation to become a secondary school teacher in mathematics, biology, chemistry, general science, English, history/social studies, world languages, including French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Latin.

At RWU, all of our Secondary Education students double major in a discipline related to their area of certification. With small class sizes, individual attention from faculty and specialized training in educating high-needs youth, our program provides you with the skills to become a certified secondary school teacher.

The scope and sequence of our program is designed to match current theories and practice in Secondary Education and is deeply rooted with our mission in social justice. This means the professional teacher education you receive at RWU is on the cutting edge of current educational research and practice.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the University Core Curriculum requirements, secondary education majors must complete Level I: Exploring the Profession Coursework, Level II: Preparing to Teach Coursework, subject specific coursework, and Level III: Performing in the Classroom Coursework. All students are required to have field experiences in a variety of settings, including experiences in urban schools.

Success After Graduation

Placement of 2022 Grads

Our 2022 graduates found success in employment or in graduate school within 6 months of graduation.

Gain Hands-On Teaching Experience

Percentage of elementary and secondary education majors who get direct experience working in classrooms in local schools starting their first year.

4 + 1
Accelerated Master’s Degree

Our education students have the opportunity to efficiently earn a master’s degree in Special Education with only one additional year of study.


In addition to the University Core Curriculum requirements, secondary education majors must complete Level I: Exploring the Profession Coursework, Level II: Preparing to Teach Coursework, subject specific coursework, and Level III: Performing in the Classroom Coursework. All students are required to have field experiences in a variety of settings, including experiences in urban schools.

See course requirements

To read more about our academic offerings, or to view full course descriptions, please refer to our University Catalog.

Four Years of Classroom Experience

In the RWU Department of Education there is a simple philosophy: The best place to teach a student how to be a teacher is inside a K-12 classroom. It's why all four years our students spend an extensive amount of time inside elementary and secondary classrooms working with students and learning from practicing teachers.

First-Year Experience 

It starts your freshman year. As part of coursework, secondary students visit middle and high school classrooms with professors for observations. On these visits, RWU students get to see the theories and methods they are learning in their courses come alive. 

Second Year Experience 

Sophomore year, students continue in advanced coursework and are placed in secondary school classrooms for an entire year under the supervision of a host teacher. During this field experience, secondary students observe, work with small classes of students, and teach whole-class lessons.

Junior Year Experience 

The junior year experience reinforces putting theory into practice. Secondary students continue with advanced coursework designed to have them teach in their specific discipline. Juniors also complete field practicums that let them apply what they are learning in their courses to real classrooms. Through this, RWU students gain the experience they need to teach effectively in classrooms of their own.

Senior Year Experience 

Senior year is the pinnacle of RWU's teacher preparation program. Students complete their student teaching experience where they take all the skills they have developed and apply it in a middle or high school classroom to show they are ready to be effective teachers upon graduation.

Learning Outcomes

The RWU Secondary Education program is designed to meet the learning outcomes as articulated by the Rhode Island Professional Teaching Standards.

Learning Outcomes

School Placements

We place students at a number of local schools for classroom-based experiences. We partner with schools and their staff to ensure a quality and meaningful experience for both our students and the students at our partner schools. Partner schools run the gamut from urban and suburban schools. Cities and towns where the schools we partner are located include:

  • Bristol-Warren, Rhode Island
  • East Providence, Rhode Island
  • Fall River, Massachusetts
  • Middletown, Rhode Island
  • New Bedford, Massachusetts
  • Pawtucket, Rhode Island
  • Portsmouth, Rhode Island
  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • Tiverton, Rhode Island


All teacher education programs at Roger Williams University are approved by the Rhode Island Department of Education. Under the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) agreement, our graduates are eligible for certification in Rhode Island and all other states with the exception of Alaska, Iowa and Minnesota.

RWU discloses that the Master of Arts in Special Education and Bachelor of Arts in Education do not satisfy all educational requirements for licensure as an elementary or secondary public-school educator. Certification and licensure requirements are set by the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), and students interested in learning about RIDE requirements, including state reciprocity policies, should enquire via the RIDE website or the students’ resident state websites for the most current information on licensure requirements for educators.


Because of the broad spectrum of school settings and experiences RWU students explore through four years of field experiences integrated into your curriculum, our graduates are highly skilled and highly valued. Recent RWU graduates have been hired by the following schools and school districts in the following locations:


  • Argosy Collegiate Charter
  • Global Charter
  • Mount Hope High School
  • Dedham High School
  • Fall River Durfee High School
  • Las Vegas Public Schools
  • Pawtucket Public Schools
  • Portsmouth Middle School
  • Portsmouth High School
  • Providence Public Schools
  • Somerset High School
  • Warwick High School
  • Blair Academy
  • Franklin Academy
  • The American School in Switzerland (TASIS) Dorado, PR
  • Wilbraham and Monson Academy

States & International

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington, DC
  • Overseas: South Korea and Japan

Graduate Study

Education never stops. Certified teachers have the opportunity to earn a Master of Arts in Literacy Education from RWU leading to advanced certification as a Reading Specialist (K-12).

And for those who want to earn a master's degree in another subject, our students have found themselves in programs at the following schools:

  • Brown University
  • Boston University
  • Boston College
  • Drexel University
  • Lesley University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Merrimack College
  • Simmons College
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Massachusetts/ Amherst & Lowell
  • University of Rhode Island
  • Rhode Island College
  • Overseas: University of Edinburgh, NUI in Galway, University College in Dublin

Juris Doctor/Bachelor's 3+3 Accelerated Program (J.D.)

Earn your bachelor’s and juris doctor degrees in six years through RWU’s Three-Plus-Three Law program. You’ll get a jump-start on your J.D. by integrating law courses into your undergraduate studies and completing undergraduate requirements in your first year of law school. Accepted students will take first-year courses in the School of Law along with legal electives to fulfill undergraduate fourth-year requirements. Interested students must indicate their intent to pursue a 3+3 pathway early in their undergraduate studies for curriculum planning and advising.

Learn More About the 3+3 Program

A statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We uphold the inherent dignity of youth. In doing so, we believe equity is central to the endeavor of educating, and that representation AND justice must work in tandem to improve outcomes for marginalized learners.

As a Department of Education, we seek to prepare up-and-coming teachers who:

  • are committed to active social justice and anti-racism
  • engage in humane interactions with all youth, in service of their well-being
  • collaboratively work towards equity in our communities by listening, engaging, and exhibiting humility and courage in equal measure.