Secondary Education - Biology, Bachelor of Science in Education
Department of Biological Sciences
College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences
Students who wish to teach middle or high school Biology in the secondary schools (7-12) will find this degree essential. Firmly grounded in Biology, with significant work in teacher preparation through the highly acclaimed NAUTeach science and mathematics teacher certification program, the plan establishes the professional conduit for teaching this exciting 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).
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 diversity, liberal studies, 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 100 units of major requirements which includes at least 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):
Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.
|Minimum Units for Completion||120|
|Highest Mathematics Required||MAT 125|
|Additional Admission Requirements||Required|
|Student Teaching/Supervised Teaching||Required|
|University Honors Program||Optional|
|Progression Plan Link||Not Available|
Secondary Education in Biology
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 the Biological Sciences:
- Life processes in living systems including organization of matter and energy
- Similarities and differences among animals, plants, fungi, microorganisms, and viruses
- Ecological systems including the interrelationships and dependencies of organisms with each other and their environments
- Population dynamics and the impact of population on its environment
- General concepts of genetics and heredity
- Organizations and functions of cells and multi-cellular systems
- Behavior of organisms and their relationships to social systems
- Regulation of biological systems including homeostatic mechanisms
- Fundamental processes of modeling and investigating in the biological sciences
- Applications of biology in environmental quality and in personal and community health
- Bioenergetics including major biochemical pathways
- Molecular genetics and heredity and mechanisms of genetic modification
- Molecular basis for evolutionary theory and classification
- Advanced Competencies in the Biological Sciences
- Biochemical interactions of organisms and their environments
- Causes, characteristics, and avoidance of viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases
- Molecular genetics
- Issues related to living systems such as genetic modification, uses of biotechnology, cloning, and pollution from faming
- Historical development and perspectives in biology including contributions of significant figures and underrepresented groups, and the evolution of theories in biology
- How to design, conduct, and report research in biology
- General Supporting Competencies
- Chemistry: Biochemistry
- Physics: Light, Sound, Optics, Electricity, Energy and order, Magnetism
- Earth Sciences: Energy and geochemical cycles, Climate, Oceans, Weather, Natural resources, Changes in the Earth
- Mathematics: Probability, Statistics
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, TSM 102 and TSM 301W 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 350
- A minimum GPA of 2.5 in all content major coursework (must have taken at least 12 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
- 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)
Take the following 100 - 103 units including 41 units of Biology courses with a Grade of "C" or better:
Biology courses (41 units)
Additional coursework to complete 41 units in the major. The following rules apply to course selection (12 units):
Science Support courses (28-31 units)
Mathematics and Science Teaching Courses (31 units)
- TSM 350, TSM 404, and TSM 450, earning a grade of "B" or better in two of the three courses and earning a "C" or better in the remaining course. TSM 350, TSM 404 and TSM 450 may be repeated with a grade of “C”.
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 or NES Subject Knowledge test.
- All major coursework, with the exception of TSM 101, must be completed within 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 Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment or National Evaluation Series subject matter test and the National Evaluation Series Secondary Assessment Professional Knowledge.
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 of the academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. You may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.
We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you.
- 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.
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.
This degree plan is supported through the NAUTeach program.