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Certification in Secondary Education

As a biology teacher at the high school level, you’ll be in great demand—and you’ll make a lasting difference.

Teaching is a great way to combine your interest in biology with a passion for influencing the next generation. As a biology major at Elmhurst, you can earn a license to teach science at the high school level by completing a specified course sequence in both the biology and education departments.


In addition to the mathematics and chemistry requirements, biology majors who wish to qualify for licensure in secondary education must take BIO 200, BIO 201, BIO 315 and one additional course in both botany and zoology chosen from among the five biology electives, and complete at least one course chosen from the following:

  • PHY 111 Introductory Physics I or PHY 121 General Physics I

Students must also complete:

  • EDU 104 Cultural Foundations of Education in the United States
  • PSY 210 Introduction to Psychological Science (prerequisite for SEC 311) 
  • SEC 100 Introductory Seminar to Teaching as a Caring Profession (.25 credit) 
  • SEC 300 Intermediate Seminar for Teaching in Diverse and Inclusive Schools (.25 credit) 
  • SEC 223 Education of PK–12 Learners with Exceptionalities
  • SEC 311 Educational Psychology
  • SEC 319 Methods and Best Practices in Middle and Secondary Education
  • SEC 421 Theory and Practice for Developing Academic Literacies in K-12 Classrooms
  • SEC 450 Advanced Seminar in Teacher Collaboration and Professional Practice (.25 credit)
  • SEC 455 Student Teaching in Secondary and Middle Schools
  • SEC 463 Natural Science: Special Methods (Fall Term only)

Students who want to gain approval to also teach at the middle school level must take EDU 360 The Middle School: History, Philosophy, Organizational Structures and Best Practices. See the Education Department chair regarding any additional requirements.

Students must apply for admission to the secondary education licensure program in the Department of Education. Students are required to pass the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) to be admitted to the secondary licensure program, the state content area test in science (with a biology designation) prior to student teaching, and the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) prior to program completion.

Students should keep in close contact with both biology and education departments in order to complete the requirements for the major and teacher licensure.

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