College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences2012-2013

Department of Biological Sciences

Secondary Education - Biology, Bachelor of Science in Education

Students who wish to teach Biology in the secondary schools will find this degree essential. Firmly grounded in Biology, this plan includes significant work in teacher preparation, which establishes the professional conduit for teaching this exciting subject.

This program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).


What Can I Do with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education - Biology?

Create the high school biology classroom of the future. In this degree plan, you'll learn how to explain the complicated concepts your students need to understand to succeed. This degree will help you develop the skills you need to be a secondary education teacher with comprehensive expertise in life sciences. Because of your knowledge, your students will tackle the environmental, health, and ecological challenges that lie ahead.

You'll also have the opportunity to complete fieldwork, laboratory exercises, and practicum experiences for your professional preparation. You'll learn advanced approaches to teaching and curriculum in a rigorous, diverse, and collaborative atmosphere. Earning this degree will help you move forward in your teaching career as well as enhance your students' educational experience.

Note: If you want to major in Secondary Education - Biology, you must apply and be accepted to the College of Education's teacher education program in addition to being admitted to the university.

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Science teacher
  • Curriculum specialist
  • Tutor

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Counselor
  • School psychologist
  • Curriculum specialist
  • Superintendent

University Requirements

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's liberal studies, diversity, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • At least 71 units of major requirements  
  • At least 33 units of teacher preparation requirements
  • Be aware that you may not use courses with a BIO prefix to satisfy liberal studies requirements
  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units

Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Major GPA 2.5
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 125
Additional Admission Requirements Required
Student Teaching/Supervised Teaching Required
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
  • If you are completing an undergraduate program in secondary education, you must meet the following admission requirements.

    • 30 units of coursework
    • Enrollment in TSM 300, Knowing and Learning
    • TSM 101 and TSM 102 with a grade of "C" or better
    • MAT 125 or MAT 125H, MAT 136 or MAT 136H, or equivalent with a grade of at least "C" for the Mathematics foundation requirement
    • Complete at least 3 units of content major work
    • A minimum grade point average of 2.5 in all content major course work
    • A grade of at least "B" for the English foundation requirement (ENG 105 or equivalent). If you don’t receive a 3.0, you may complete an additional English writing course, at the 200-level or above, with at least a "B," to meet this requirement.
    • A declared science or mathematics B.S.Ed. major
    • Copy of fingerprint clearance card or verification of application of fingerprint card
Major Requirements
    • Additional coursework to complete 40 units in the major. The following rules apply to course selection (12 units):

Teacher Preparation
  • You must complete the following 33 units of professional courses to qualify for certification to teach biology in Arizona and most other states. To meet our standards, you must meet or surpass the following grade requirements:

    • In order to be approved for student teaching, you must complete these five courses, earning a grade of "B" or better in four of the five courses and earning a "C" or better in the remaining course.
  • Note: Together, TSM 496C and (TSM 495C or ECI 495C) meet Northern Arizona University's senior capstone requirement.

    For the teacher-preparation portion of the plan, you must have an academic advisor in both your major department and in the NAUTeach program.

  • AEPA Requirements

    In order to obtain an AZ teaching certificate, you will need to pass the following exams:
    • AEPA Subject Knowledge Exam
    • AEPA Professional Knowledge Exam
General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit. 

    You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)

  • Please note that you may take as an elective POS 220 (or POS 110 and POS 241), which satisfies the state and federal constitution requirement for Arizona certification, or you may meet the requirement by demonstrating proficiency on a special exam.
Additional Information
  • Please be aware that, for the B.S.Ed. degree, you must have the following:
    • A grade of "B" or better for the English foundation requirement (ENG 105 or equivalent) (If you don’t receive a 3.0, you may complete an additional ENG writing course, at the 200-level or above, with at least a "B," to meet this requirement.)
    • A grade of "C" or better for the mathematics foundation requirement
    • A grade point average of at least 2.5 in all of your Northern Arizona University coursework in order to student teach. This requirement applies to all B.S.Ed. majors at Northern Arizona University.
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

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