Secondary Education Certification

Secondary Education Certification Master of Arts Teaching (M.A.T.) - Biology

About Biology 7–12 Teaching Certification

From anatomy to zoology, spark scientific imagination.

Embark on a rewarding teaching career. This comprehensive graduate program at California University of Pennsylvania results in Level I teaching certification and a master's degree in biology education. Designed for professional biologists, but open to bachelor's degree holders in any field, it combines core courses in pedagogy with teaching instruction specific to life science.  

You'll graduate ready to teach biology to grades 7-12 in Pennsylvania and beyond.

Cal U takes a time-honored approach to teacher education. 

  • Founded as a teacher's college, Cal U has a 160-year reputation of producing top-quality educators.
  • Cal U's teaching programs are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In addition, Cal U education programs have been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, and we are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
  • Secondary education students gain extensive real-word teaching experience in Pennsylvania

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS: BIOLOGY CERTIFICATION

Flexible Schedule: A combination of online courses, on-site field experiences and a two-day, on-campus summer residency gives biology education graduate students the flexibility to continue working while earning their degree.

Top Accreditation: This graduate degree program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Cal U's education programs have also been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, and we are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). See CAEP reporting measures of program impact and outcomes.

LEARN MORE ABOUT APPLYING 

5 
semesters are needed to complete Pennsylvania level I secondary education certification and obtain your master's degree ­- four semesters of classes and one semester of student teaching.
$64K 
average annual salary for secondary education teachers in Pennsylvania. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
icon undergrad for degree

Degree Benefits

Graduate degree courses in biology education will give you mastery of the latest practices and theories in teaching science while deepening your expertise of biology and related disciplines. You'll also gain extensive hands-on experience through fieldwork and student teaching.

  • Study science and biology curriculum development techniques and how to use the Standards Aligned System (SAS).
  • Learn top strategies in classroom management.
  • Master classroom technology for teaching biology.
  • Deepen your knowledge of genetics, chemistry, anatomy, ecology and other scientific disciplines.
  • Gain real-world classroom experience.
icon undergrad for degree

Graduate Outcomes

Graduates of this master's degree program are prepared to teach biology or life science in middle and high schools. They also thrive in many other biology-related careers. Cal U biology education alumni teach in dozens of schools across the country and hold positions as science program coordinators, evaluators and curriculum specialists.

 

Curriculum, Admission Requirements and Related Programs

Rigorous biology education courses will deepen your scientific knowledge base while equipping you with the latest theories and practices in biology and life science education. This professional graduate degree program is delivered online, on-site at assigned field experiences and on campus during a two-day residency. All students are required to have current school clearances to participate in field experience and sign up for courses.

Curriculum

 


Course Credits
Freshman Year  
First Semester 14
BIO 120  General Zoology 4
ENG 101  English Composition I 3
MAT 199  Pre-Calculus 3
PSY 100  General Psychology 3
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar 1
   
Second Semester 16
BIO 125  General Botany 4
ESP 210  Special Education Foundations and Collaboration 3
English Course 3
Math Course 3
General Education Course (Art) 3
   
Sophomore Year  
Third Semester 17
BIO 215  Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology 4
CHE 101  General Chemistry I 4
PSY 206  Adolescent Psychology 3
SEC 210  Introduction to Secondary Education 3
SEC 220  Standards-based Education in Secondary Education 3
   
Fourth Semester 17
BIO 248  General Ecology   4
CHE 102  General Chemistry II 4
EDU 310  Teaching in a Multicultural Society 3
EDU 333  Technology in Teaching and Learning 3
ESP 311  Assessment and Positive Behavior Interventions 3
   
Junior Year  
Fifth Semester 13
BIO 305  Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy OR BIO 306 Human Anatomy 4
SEC 310  Instructional Strategies in Secondary Education 3
SEC 350  Content Area Literacy 3
SEC 360  Technology Integration in Secondary Education 3
   
Sixth Semester 14
BIO 318  Genetics 4
BIO 328  Human Physiology  OR  BIO 486  Comparative Animal Physiology 4
SEC 400  Classroom Management 3
SEC 420  Assessments and Interventions in Secondary Education 3
   
Senior Year  
Seventh Semester 17
EDU 350  Supporting English Language Learners
ESP 413  Evidence-based Practices for Secondary Education 3
HSC 315  First Aid and Personal Safety 4
PHY 121  General Physics I
4
SEC 395  Teaching of Science 3
   
Eighth Semester 15
SEC 460  Professional Practices in Secondary Education 3
SEC 461  Student Teaching Practicum 12
Total 122

VIEW COHORT SEQUENCES

Admission Requirements


Regular Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.80 or higher (Students with a GPA below 2.80 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution


Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements:
    • Bachelor's degree with a GPA under 2.80 will be reviewed for a decision

Provisional Admission:
Applicants who have provided unofficial documentation of test scores, prerequisite courses, transcripts or lack of letter(s) of recommendation may be admitted provisionally.

This policy also applies to undergraduate students who apply for graduate admission pending bachelor degree completion. Upon receipt of all official documents, a student will be changed from Provisional Admission to either Regular Admission or Conditional Admission. Provisional Admission students may take classes for one term but will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid.

Program Requirements

    • Depending on the area of certification chosen, the department will provide guidance if any foundation undergraduate courses need to be completed before applying for student teaching
  • Clearances:  Students are responsible for updating clearances annually through the Office of Field Experience.  In addition, clearances must be on file before applying for student teaching  - Acts 24, 34, 114, and 151

How to Apply:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
California University of Pennsylvania
Box 91
250 University Ave. 
California, PA 15419 

For additional information:
Email: gradschool@calu.edu   
Phone: 724-938-4187

Out of State Students:
All students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania are responsible for securing and following the certification requirements in the state in which they intend to apply for certification.

Related Programs

 

High school professors work outside.

Experienced Professors

Learn best practices for teaching science from professors with real-world experience, such as Dr. Joseph Zisk who has taught high school biology and was a district-wide K-12 science and technology superior.

A science teacher in front of a biology lab.

Land a Job Before Graduation

If offered a teaching job while enrolled in the secondary education master's degree program, biology education students can apply for the Teacher Intern Certification program. This allows you to work full time as a teacher before certification, and use your job to fulfill field placement requirements.

A Cal U student rides his bike on campus.

Course Spotlight: Methods of Science Education

Biology can be a daunting subject for middle and high school students. In this course you'll learn proven methods for teaching scientific concepts that will help your students understand and absorb key principles while igniting their wonder for the natural world.

 


Biology Certification Faculty

Dr. Keith Hepner
Professor

hepner@calu.edu

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Dr. Marcia Hoover
Professor; field coordinator, Department of Secondary Education and Administrative Leadership

hoover_m@calu.edu

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Dr. Connie Monroe
Professor and chair, Department of Secondary Education and Administrative Leadership

monroe@calu.edu

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Dr. Susan Morris-Rutledge
Associate Professor and ESL Program Coordinator

morrisrutledge@calu.edu

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Dr. Michael Perrotti
Coordinator of Graduate Secondary Ed Programs and Associate Professor

perrotti@calu.edu

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Dr. Thomas Weisgarber
Assistant Professsor

weisgarber@calu.edu

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Dr. Joseph Zisk
Professor; director, Teaching and Learning Center

zisk@calu.edu

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Please Note: All students who will be seeking licensure/certification outside of Pennsylvania should consult the State Authorization web page for more information.