Secondary Education - Chemistry, Bachelor of Science in Education

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences

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 accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

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

  • 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 93 units of major requirements which includes 33 units of Teacher Preparation coursework 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 student (or candidate) performance in all Major Requirement Courses.

Please note that students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Students may transfer up to 74 units of credit from an accredited community college. 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
AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-S Recommended
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan

This program may lead to licensure.

Purpose Statement
The NAUTeach program equips secondary mathematics and science students (or teacher candidates) with the knowledge and practices necessary to teach diverse learners in ways that are rigorous, equitable, and responsive to all students. Our program provides a challenging undergraduate progression plan solely designed to prepare mathematics and science teachers for grades 6-12. The program emphasizes the teacher candidates ability to develop research-based pedagogy through a STEM focused, field intensive, rigorous curriculum. Undergraduates are highly supported by Faculty who specialize in mathematics and science education research and who have years of professional classroom experience. Our program is designed for students, with strong skills in mathematics or science, seeking certification to teach biology, chemistry, physics, Earth sciences, general science, or mathematics at the secondary level. 
The NAUTeach program, modeled after the successful UTeach program at the University of Texas,  provides opportunities for you to:

  • graduate in four years. Students earn a Bachelor of Science in education in their field of study;
  • earn dual degrees. Students have the ability to earn degrees both in specific fields of science or mathematics and in teaching science or math;
  • have early classroom teaching immersion. Students are in the K-12 mathematics or science classroom teaching and observing from the first semester and throughout the NAUTeach program to prepare for their capstone student teaching experience;
  • work cooperatively in a STEM focused center. Course of study partnered with the department of Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, and Physics;
  • experience “student-centered” instruction. Course structure supports deep student understanding of concepts related to teaching, science, and mathematics;
  • develop numerous STEM based lessons and a full STEM based unit. Students teach numerous STEM lessons and a STEM unit at local secondary schools, which build towards a capstone student teaching experience that utilizes the full range of skills and experiences;
  • engage in educational dialogue and planning. Students plan lessons that promote deep content knowledge, analytical reasoning, creative thought and use of appropriate teaching strategies;
  • use technology to enhance learning. Students experience technology throughout NAUTeach courses and develop lessons that model technology use in 6-12 classrooms;
  • earn scholarships, internships and loan forgiveness. Numerous financial opportunities exist for secondary mathematics and science education majors.
  • inspire future scientists, engineers, and mathematicians to change the world. 

Student Learning Outcomes

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
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

    • Be a declared Secondary Education major in this program.
    • Completed Teacher Preparation Course TSM 101 with a Grade 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).
    • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5
    • Complete and submit IVP Fingerprint Clearance Card; Youth Suicide Prevention Training; Professional Dispositions Modules; Equity Survey; and a Professional Responsibility Survey
Transfer Block
  • Students may transfer up to 74 units of credit from a Maricopa community college.

Major Requirements

  • Teacher Preparation Courses (33 units with a grade of “C” or better, except where noted*)
Teacher Preparation
  • Teacher education programs require a student teaching or internship experience. A minimum number of practicum units are also required, which involves supervised field experience with a practicing teacher. These required experiences are embedded in the major requirements courses. 

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

    • Admission to the Professional Education Programs (PEP).
    • GPA and course grade requirements for degree program as stated in Additional Admission and Major Requirements.
    • Complete all BSEd requirements.
    • Pass the appropriate AEPA or NES Subject Knowledge test prior to student teaching.
    • Completed online Student Teaching application one year prior to student teaching.
    • Fingerprint Clearance Card issued by DPS with expiration date no earlier than the end of the student teaching term must be on file in the Professional Education Programs (PEP) (copy of front and back).
    • All major coursework, with the exception of TSM 101 must be completed within the six years prior to student teaching (TSM 495C and TSM 496).
    • Successful completion of required state and university training modules.
    • All candidates must demonstrate professional and ethical standards of practice as described in the Model Code of Ethics for Educators and adhere to NAU’s and PEP’s Student Code of Conduct.
    • All outstanding NAUTeach and PEP Alerts must be resolved per improvement plan.
    • Attend mandatory Student Teaching Orientation.
  • The NAU Teach program was intentionally designed to lead to licensure or certification in the state of Arizona. As part of that program design, you must pass the Secondary Professional Knowledge Exam that aligns with certification requirements in the state of Arizona. 

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 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.

  • It is highly recommended that you take POS 220 (3 units) either as one of your electives or to meet one of the liberal studies requirements.

Additional Information
  • Be aware that Arizona state teacher certification requirements leading to an Institutional Recommendation may change at any time, and may impact program of study requirements.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information, see course information contained in the course catalog or your advisor.