Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022

Earth Sciences B.S. – Secondary Teaching Emphasis - Licensure: Science (Grades 7-12)

College of Natural and Health Sciences

Contact: Timothy Grover, Ph.D., Department Chair

Location: Ross Hall 3235

Telephone: 970.351.2647

Website: https://www.unco.edu/nhs/earth-atmospheric-sciences/ 

Advising Information:

Students must consult with their assigned major advisor each semester prior to registering.

To find your advisor, log into ursa.unco.edu; go to 'Student' tab and click 'View Student Information' link. If no advisor is listed, contact the major program for advisor information.

The program consists of four parts:

  1. Liberal Arts Curriculum (LAC) Credits
  2. Required Major Credits
  3. University Wide Credits
  4. Professional Teacher Education Program (PTEP) Credits

Program Description:

The Secondary Education emphasis offers you the opportunity to combine teaching with your passion for the natural world. The course work and experiences in the emphasis are designed to provide you with a broad background of the four earth science disciplines (astronomy, geology, meteorology and oceanography) and supporting sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics.  Within the last year of the program, pre-service teachers are provided opportunities to apply the knowledge learned within the coursework and apply it to practices within the classroom.  Graduates of this program are prepared to teach earth science in grades 7-12.

Program Requirements:

Content courses are taught in science disciplines in the College of Natural and Health Sciences and the College of Education provides the required courses in the Secondary Professional Teacher Education Program (STEP). 

You must pass the PRAXIS exam in order to obtain your teaching certificate. Graduates of this program are prepared to teach earth science in grades 7-12 and will have satisfied all the requirements to receive Secondary Science/Earth Science Licensure from the Colorado Department of Education.

Every UNC student must meet the requirements in order to graduate with a bachelor’s degree: earn a minimum of 120 semester credit hours; possess a minimum of a 2.50 cumulative grade point average; have at least 31 credit hours in courses designated as Liberal Arts Curriculum; meet all degree requirements in the student’s major field of study. Each major and/or emphasis may have additional requirements necessary for graduation. Students must consult with their major advisor to receive information on any additional graduation requirements.

PTEP Program Requirements:

Teacher candidates who complete an approved content degree and the UNC professional teacher education program, as well as pass the appropriate Colorado Department of Education designated PRAXIS exam (if applicable), will be eligible for recommendation from UNC for a Colorado Department of Education teaching license.

If you are seeking licensure in your program area, the following items are required to complete your program.

  • Completion of Application for Initial Admission to PTEP
  • Completion of Full Admission to PTEP
  • Completion of Application for Student Teaching
  • Completion of content specific PRAXIS test prior to Student Teaching
  • Candidates may not take extra courses with Student Teaching without prior approval from the Program Coordinator and the STE Director.
  • All PTEP Field Experiences and methods courses need to be successfully completed prior to Student Teaching.
  • Student Teaching outside the supervision of UNC Faculty may or may not be approved.
  • Teacher Candidates will not be placed in a school where they were once students or where they have a close relative attending and/or working.
  • Teacher education and educator preparation licensure programs do not accept Professional Teacher Education Program (PTEP) or field based courses that are more than ten years old. PLEASE NOTE: Teacher Candidates have the right to petition this policy at the discretion of the program coordinator.

Please work with your content advisor to determine when these requirements will be completed throughout your program.

Degree Requirements — 120 Credits

1. Liberal Arts Curriculum — 31 credits

To complete the degree in the 120 credits outlined, the program recommends the below LAC sources that also count toward the 57 required major credits.  

Any coursework completed outside the recommended list below may extend the program length.

Mathematics — 3 credits

MATH 124 (4) is recommended to fulfill both the Liberal Arts Curriculum and major requirements.

See Mathematics courses

Written Communication — 6 credits

It is recommended that students take ENG 122 (3)  and SCI 291 (3) as their LAC Written Communication requirements to successfully prepare for and pass standardized testing for certification, but these courses are not specifically required for the major.

See Written Communication courses

Arts & Humanities, History, Social & Behavioral Sciences, U.S. Multicultural Studies, and International Studies — 15 credits

To complete the LAC in the minimum number of credits, be sure to choose at least one course with an IS designation and one course with an MS designation.

Select any courses to fulfill this requirement from the currently approved LAC course list.

See Arts & Humanities, History, and Social & Behavioral Sciences courses

Natural and Physical Sciences — 7 credits

BIO 110 (4), CHEM 111 (4), CHEM 111L (1), CHEM 112 (4), CHEM 112L (1), or PHYS 220 (5) are recommended to fulfill Natural and Physical Sciences requirement and will fulfill both the LAC and major requirements. 

See Natural & Physical Sciences courses

See Liberal Arts Curriculum

2. Required Major — 57 credits

Course selection may vary, depending upon the educational background of the student, with approval of the advisor.  Science and math support courses, required to meet CDE Licensure in Secondary Science, are to be selected in consultation with the major advisor.

AST 301Classical Astronomy and the Solar System


BIO 110Biology: Atoms to CellsLAS1LASL


BIO 111Biology: Organisms to EcosystemsLAS1LASL


CHEM 111Principles of Chemistry ILAS1


CHEM 111LPrinciples of Chemistry I LaboratoryLAS1LASL


CHEM 112Principles of Chemistry II


CHEM 112LPrinciples of Chemistry II Laboratory


GEOL 201Physical Geology


GEOL 202Historical Geology


GEOL 390Colorado Geology


MATH 124College AlgebraLAX1


MET 205General MeteorologyLAS1LASL


MET 452Paleoclimatology


OCN 200General OceanographyLAS1LASL



OCN 301Physical and Chemical Oceanography



OCN 302Geological and Biological Oceanography


PHYS 220Introductory Physics ILAS1LASL


PHYS 221Introductory Physics II


For the Ocean Sciences requirement, take ONE of the following:  OCN 200OCN 301, or OCN 302.

3. Required PTEP — 38 credits

Phase I (5 credits taken concurrently).

STEP 161Observation and Analysis of Secondary Teaching I


EDF 366Conceptions of Schooling: Context and Process


Phase II (8 credits taken concurrently)

STEP 262Observation and Analysis of Secondary Teaching II


EDSE 360Adaptation, Modification, and Integration of Curriculum for the Secondary Exceptional Learner


PSY 349Educational Psychology for Secondary Teachers


Phase III (11 credits)

STEP 363Clinical Experience: Secondary


EDRD 340Academic Language/Literacy Development in the Content Areas at the Secondary Level


SCED 441Methods of Teaching Secondary School Science


ET 449Integrating Technologies into Secondary Education Pedagogy


EDRD 340: maybe taken outside of Phase III
ET 449: to be taken concurrently with SCED 441 to satisfy CLD requirement

Phase IV (14 credits).

STEP 464Secondary Student Teaching


4. University-Wide Credits — 0 credits*

*Note: Students must apply recommended courses to both the liberal arts curriculum requirements and the major requirements to complete this degree program in 120 credit hours. Students may have an increased number of university wide electives to apply to this degree depending on the number of credits applied to both the LAC and the major. See your advisor for details.