College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences2014-2015

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Secondary Education - Chemistry, Bachelor of Science in Education

This degree prepares you to teach middle or high school chemistry (grades 7-12). It is firmly grounded in chemistry content, with significant work in teacher preparation through the highly acclaimed NAUTeach science and mathematics teacher certification program. This plan will prepare you to teach this relevant, exciting, and increasingly marketable subject.

This program is nationally recognized by the National Science Teachers Association.

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 - Chemistry?

You don't need to decide between teaching or becoming a chemist, you can do both by teaching chemistry to high school students. If this sounds like a fulfilling career,  allow our program to guide you toward certification and  prepare you to shape the lives of future scientists. You'll emerge from this major with the skills necessary to reach a wide range of students, and you'll enjoy a diverse and collaborative learning environment that is focused on student learning and success.

Note: You must apply and be accepted to the NAU Professional Education Program's teacher education program in addition to being admitted to the university.  

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Secondary (middle or high school) chemistry teacher
  • Science department chair

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Curriculum specialist
  • School administrator
  • 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 91 units of major requirements which includes 31 units of Mathematics and Science Teaching requirements.

  • Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements

  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units

Candidates in this program are required to demonstrate content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and skills, professional knowledge, and professional dispositions to be eligible to enter student teaching or internship placements. Content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge or skills, professional dispositions are demonstrated through candidate performance on key assessments embedded in the following course(s):

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 137
Additional Admission Requirements Required
Student Teaching/Supervised Teaching Required
University Honors Program Optional
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan
Student Learning Outcomes

Secondary Education in Chemistry
Outcomes align with Standards from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, the National Science Teachers Association, and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium

  • Design instruction that develops all students’ abilities to meet academic standards
  • Reflect on teaching practices including the creation of a classroom environment based on respect and rapport that fosters a positive climate for learning, equity, and excellence.
  • Create and maintain a learning climate that supports the development of all students’ abilities to meet academic standards.
  • Implement and manage instruction that develops all students’ abilities to meet academic standards.
  • Assess learning and communicate results to all students, parents and other appropriate professionals with respect to all students’ abilities to meet academic standards.
  • Collaborate with colleagues, parents the community and other appropriate agencies to design, implement, and support learning that supports all students’ abilities to meet academic standards.
  • Review and evaluate personal performance in order to improve teaching practices through reflection.
  • Develop and nurture current professional knowledge of the teaching/learning process.
  • Provide evidence of student learning through the design and implementation of instruction that makes use of effective communication techniques, is based on student prior knowledge, actively engages students in the learning process, and provides timely high-quality feedback.
  • Reflect on the roles and responsibilities and adhere to legal and ethical requirements of the profession.
  • In collaboration with other professionals, participate in the design, implementation, and assessment of individual education programs.
  • Provide evidence of meeting the Arizona Professional Teaching Standards by taking the AEPA Secondary Professional Knowledge exam.
  • Core Knowledge in Chemistry:
    • Fundamental structures of atoms and molecules
    • Basic principles of ionic, covalent, and metallic bonding
    • Periodicity of physical and chemical properties of elements
    • Laws of conservation of matter and energy
    • Fundamental of chemical kinetics, equilibrium and thermodynamics
    • Kinetic molecular theory and gas laws
    • Mole concept, stoichiometry, and laws of composition
    • solutions, colloids, and colligative properties
    • Acids/ base chemistry
    • Fundamental oxidation-reduction chemistry
    • Fundamental organic chemistry and biochemistry
    • Nature of science: Fundamental processes in chemistry
    • Applications of chemistry in personal and community health and environmental quality
    • Fundamentals of nuclear chemistry
    • Historical development and perspectives in chemistry
  • Advanced Competencies in Chemistry
    • Principles of electrochemistry
    • Transition elements and coordination compounds
    • Molecular orbital theory, aromaticity, metallic and ionic structures, and correlation to properties of matter
    • Advanced concepts in chemical kinetics, equilibrium, gas laws, and thermodynamics
    • Lewis structures and molecular geometry
    • Advanced concepts in acid/ base chemistry, including buffers
    • Major biological compounds and reactions
    • Solvent system concepts
    • Chemical reactivity and molecular structure including electronic and steric effects
    • Organic chemistry including syntheses, reactions, mechanisms, and aromaticity
    • Green chemistry and sustainability
    • How to design, conduct, and report research in chemistry
  • General Supporting Competencies
    • Biology: Molecular biology and Ecology
    • Earth Science: Geochemistry; Cycles of matter; Energetics of Earth systems
    • Physics: Energy; Properties and functions of waves, motions and forces; Electricity; Magnetism
    • Mathematical and statistical concepts: Statistics: Use of differential equations; Calculus


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admisssion to NAU are required.

  • To be eligible for admission to the teacher education program, candidates must meet the following requirements and apply for the program online.

    30 units of coursework which includes:

    • TSM 101 and TSM 102 with grades of "C" or better
    • Program Mathematics Foundations requirement with a grade of "C" or better
    • The English foundations requirement (ENG 105 or equivalent) with a minimum GPA of 3.0. (If your English GPA is below 3.0, you may take an approved writing course to achieve the 3.0 GPA.)
    • Completion of or enrollment in TSM 300, Knowing and Learning
    • A minimum GPA of 2.5 in all content major coursework (must have taken at least 6 units) AND one of the following grade point average requirements:
      • A cumulative 2.5 GPA in Liberal Studies courses
      • A cumulative 2.5 GPA in all courses
    • You must be declared in this major
    • Completion of a teacher-education orientation for Secondary Education
    • Submission of a copy of your State-approved Identity-Verified Print (IVP) fingerprint clearance card, obtainable through the Arizona Department of Public Safety (602-223-2279)
Major Requirements
  • Mathematics and Science Teaching Courses (31 units)

    • TSM 300 with a grade of "C" or better (3 units)
    • TSM 495C (12 units)
    • TSM 496C with a grade of "B" or better (1 unit)
  • Note: Together, TSM 496C and TSM 495C meet Northern Arizona University's senior capstone requirement.

    In order to be approved for student teaching, you must complete the following 15 units, earning a grade of "B" or better in four of the five courses and earning a "C" or better in the remaining course.

Teacher Preparation
  • In all of our teacher education programs, you are required to apply for, and complete a student teaching or internship experience. Applications are due one year prior to the student teaching semester. In addition, a minimum number of units of practicum is required, which involves supervised field experience with a practicing teacher.

    Before being accepted to student teaching, the following criteria must be met:

    • Admission to the teacher education program
    • NAU GPA must be at least 2.5, with a GPA of 2.5 in all teacher preparation courses, with no grade lower than a "C"
    • Complete all plan requirements.
    • Take the appropriate AEPA Subject Knowledge test.
    • All major coursework, with the exception of TSM 101, must be completed within the six years prior to student teaching.
    • All candidates must demonstrate social and emotional maturity consistent with professional standards of classroom instruction as well as adequate physical health for teaching.
  • Arizona Teacher Certification

    In order to obtain an Arizona teaching certificate you must pass both the appropriate National Evaluation Series subject matter test and the National Evaluation Series Secondary Assessment Professional Knowledge.

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
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability

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