As a biology student in UC's biology education degree program, you’ll find new and innovative ways to explore and appreciate the biological sciences while earning your secondary education certification. If you aspire to become a science teacher in middle school or high school settings, then pursue biology education with guidance from a skilled and enthusiastic faculty who have the expertise and experience to help you get the most out of your program.
In our state-of-the-art Correll Science Complex—featuring laboratories and classrooms equipped with the latest media, audio, and data transmission technology—you’ll interact with a dynamic group of people from the Department of Biology, learning the science you need to become a biology teacher.
Educational opportunities also exist outside the classroom. With specialized research through independent course work, field study, Presidential Scholar research, and study abroad programs, you’ll work on the practical skills to be the best science teacher possible. You can also gain valuable hands-on experience by assisting in labs and with faculty research, in addition to your biology university courses. Plus, each year, Beta Beta Beta, the biology honor society, sponsors guest speakers, field trips, and service projects.
- What is a Biology Education Degree?
- What Can You Do with a Biology Education Degree?
- How to Become a Science Teacher
- Curriculum and Degree Requirements
- Admission Requirements
A biology education major provides the training educators need to pursue career opportunities teaching science in public and private schools. Coursework of an accredited program for aspiring biology teachers offers the opportunity to gain a solid fundamental understanding of all sciences with a special emphasis in biological sciences—from cellular biology to genetics to biodiversity. In addition, students of these programs will gain a comprehensive education in age-appropriate lesson planning, classroom management, creating assessments, and other necessary skills for the middle school or high school science teacher.
Your biology degree with secondary education certification will qualify you for a career in education. You can pursue opportunities in high schools, where educators like science teachers earned a median average annual salary of $61,660 as of 2019, or in middle schools where the average annual salary for teachers came in at $59,660 that same year. Specific job opportunities can include:
- Biology teacher (9-12)
- Natural sciences manager
- Life scientist
- Biological scientist
- Lab assistant or technician
- Research assistant
Or should you decide to continue your education in graduate study, you can prepare for jobs in biology in a number of fields, including medicine, environmental studies, or biotechnology. Additional career opportunities include*:
- Physician’s assistant
- Physical therapist
- Osteopathic medicine practitioner
*A Bachelor of Science or Arts is considered a minimum degree needed for most positions. Many require a master’s degree and/or a doctorate.
Aspiring teachers will first need to check with the certifying board in the state they wish to teach, as each one may have slightly different qualification requirements. Some things, however, are almost universally required.
As with any STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) educator, a student wishing to teach biology in public school systems begins by earning a relevant bachelor’s degree. This degree’s major must explore scientific principles and understandings of the biological sciences. And it must offer coursework designed to help students understand how to teach young people. These programs will likely have a student teaching obligation for completion, a requirement for certification in most, if not all, states.
From there, new educators will likely need to pass a state test, apply for teaching certification, and then start applying for open biology teacher positions.
Major in Biology with Secondary Education Certification — 55 hours
Hours include the requirements for the B.S. with the following exception: BIOL 410, Teaching Practicum in biology and BIOL 231, Introduction to Environmental Science or BIOL 448, General Ecology are required.
Students seeking secondary certification must also take the required professional education courses as described in the Department of Education portion of this catalog. Students completing this degree will be required to report scores from the ETS subject area exam in biology prior to graduation.
Required Biology Courses: (17 hours)
- BIOL 133 Introduction to Population Biology
- BIOL 113 Introduction to Population Biology Laboratory
- BIOL 134 Introduction to Cellular Biology
- BIOL 114 Introduction to Cellular Biology Laboratory
- BIOL 246 Biodiversity
- BIOL 340 Genetics
- BIOL 495 Senior Seminar OR BIOL 498 Senior Thesis
Required Allied Math and Science Courses: (18 hours)
- MATH 132 College Algebra (or higher math course)
- CHEM 132 General College Chemistry I
- CHEM 111 General College Chemistry I Laboratory
- CHEM 232 General College Chemistry II
- CHEM 211 General College Chemistry II Laboratory
Remaining 7 hours selected from the following:
- PHYS 241 Physics I
- PHYS 242 Physics II
- PHYS 137 Physical Science
- PHYS 117 Physical Science Laboratory
- BIOL 231 Environmental Science OR GEOG 231 - Environmental Geography
- BIOL 116 Environmental Science Laboratory
Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees.
In order to be considered for admission to this program, click here to view the undergraduate, on-campus admissions information.
Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information.
In addition to the overall institutional accreditation statement above, the specialized accrediting bodies related to this degree are listed below.
KDE/EPSB – State Accreditation
University of the Cumberlands' School of Education is further accredited through Kentucky's Educational Professional Standards Board (EPSB), 100 Airport Road, 3rd Floor, Frankfort, KY 40601. (502) 564-4606. Fax: (502) 564-7080.
CAEP – National Accreditation
The School of Education at University of the Cumberlands (UC) is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) at the initial-licensure level and advanced-level. CAEP promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement. UC’s School of Education has earned national accreditation by demonstrating excellence in the areas of content and pedagogy, clinical experiences, selectivity, program impact, and capacity for continuous improvement.
CAEP Address: 1140 19th St NW #400, Washington, DC 20036
CAEP Phone Number: (202) 223-0077
Click here to view a list of the biology faculty.