Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022

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

College of Natural and Health Sciences

Contact: Mitchell E. McGlaughlin Ph.D., School Director

Location: Ross Hall 2480

Telephone: 970.351.2921

Website: www.unco.edu/nhs/biology

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.

In accordance with University Policies, coursework earned more than 10 years prior to the date of matriculation to UNC may not be used to satisfy any major or minor requirements. Any exception to this policy is at the discretion of the academic program. The school's transfer advisor can be reached at 970.351.2921.

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.

The program consists of three parts:

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

Program Description:

This program leads to State of Colorado licensure in secondary science. Students receive training in biological sciences content and pedagogy plus a wide range of additional support science content. They should have an interest in teaching and have evidence of working successfully with young people. Undergraduates entering this program should have a strong interest in Biological Sciences and have completed general high school science and mathematics requirements. Given the technical nature of some required courses, additional preparatory coursework may be required for students with limited previous STEM experience.

Students will meet licensure requirements of the Colorado Department of Education for teaching secondary science (grades 7-12).

Upon completion of this program, students will also be able to continue their education in graduate programs in the biological sciences. Prior to Student Teaching, students must pass the PRAXIS Science Examination.

Program Admission Requirements:

Academic Good Standing

Program Requirements:

  • The State of Colorado has mandated that institutions of higher education assess student outcomes resulting from their college education. The School of Biological Sciences requires that all undergraduate students entering under this Catalog meet the following conditions in addition to meeting the graduation requirements of the University:
  • In the senior year of study all undergraduates will take a standardized assessment administered by the School of Biological Sciences to assess the effectiveness of the curriculum.
  • Junior and seniors with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher are permitted to take 500-level courses. Any 500 level BIO prefix courses will be applied to Biological Science Advanced Study requirements. Consult with faculty advisor to ensure courses are appropriate.
  • NOTE: Students completing a major in Biological Sciences and a minor in Chemistry are exempt from the university policy that a maximum of 12 credit hours can be shared between a major and minor. A student must still complete a minimum of 6 upper-division UNC credits (300-400) or UNC approved Study Abroad credits in the minor.

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.

  • GPA> 2.50
  • 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 120 credits as outlined, the program recommends the below LAC courses that also count toward the 63 required major credits. 

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

Written Communication — 6 credits

SCI 291 (3) is recommended to fulfill Intermediate Written Communication requirement and will fulfill both LAC and major requirements. 

See Written Communication courses

Mathematics — 3 credits

STAT 150 (3) is recommended to fulfill Mathematics requirement and will fulfill both LAC and major requirements. 

See Mathematics 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 & Physical Sciences — 7 credits

BIO 110 (4), BIO 111 (4), CHEM 111 (4) and CHEM 111L (1) are recommended to fulfill Natural & Physical Sciences requirement and will fulfill both LAC and major requirements. 

See Natural & Physical Sciences courses

See Liberal Arts Curriculum

2. Required Major — 63 credits

Take all of the following courses (55 credits):

BIO 110Biology: Atoms to CellsLAS1LASL


BIO 111Biology: Organisms to EcosystemsLAS1LASL


BIO 210Cell Biology


BIO 220Genetics


BIO 351Microbiology


BIO 360Ecology


BIO 465Evolution


CHEM 111Principles of Chemistry ILAS1


CHEM 111LPrinciples of Chemistry I LaboratoryLAS1LASL


CHEM 281Fundamentals of BiochemistryLAS1


CHEM 281LFundamentals of Biochemistry LaboratoryLAS1LASL


GEOL 201Physical Geology


PHYS 220Introductory Physics ILAS1LASL


PHYS 221Introductory Physics II


SCI 291Scientific WritingLAW2


STAT 150Introduction to Statistical AnalysisLAX1


Physiology, choose one of the following courses (4 credits):

BIO 350Human Physiology


BIO 354General Plant Physiology


Earth Sciences, choose one of the following courses (4 credits):

AST 100The Sky and PlanetsLAS1LASL


MET 205General MeteorologyLAS1LASL


OCN 302Geological and Biological Oceanography


AST 100 and MET 205: (LAC )

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 taken concurrently)

STEP 363Clinical Experience: Secondary


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


ET 449Integrating Technologies into Secondary Education Pedagogy


SCED 441Methods of Teaching Secondary School Science


EDRD 340: may be taken outside of Phase III

Phase IV (14 credits).

STEP 464Secondary Student Teaching


4. University-Wide Credits — 0 credits*

*Note: Students must apply the 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.