Quick Facts

General Education Requirements:
46 hours
Required Courses: 88 hours
Total: 134 hours

Full Program Requirements

Study to be a Biology Teacher Near Chicago

Train the next generation of scientists, doctors, nurses, and other medical and research professionals with a biology teaching degree. At Governors State University, you can receive the training, knowledge, and certification you need to become a biology teacher. Explore the laboratory experience, classroom discussions, and faculty mentorships you’ll receive as a student at GovState.

Why Study Biology Teacher Education?

Biology and other science teachers help encourage another generation of scientists and researchers. Promote excitement about STEM fields in middle and high school classrooms. If you love teaching young minds and wish to work with older, more experienced students, receive a master’s degree to teach biology to future college students. Continuing your education is a great way to keep up with current research and provide your students with even more resources in the sciences.

The United States Department of Education, for the last six years, has pointed out a national shortage of science teachers, including biology teachers. Source: "Designated Teacher Shortage Areas," Illinois State Board of Education

Don’t let this shortage limit children’s access to quality education in the sciences. Work with passionate educators in Chicago’s Southland to gain the tools and knowledge necessary to work with students. Some students may be hesitant to learn more about biology, but you can help them fall in love with this crucial field.

Create an environment of learning in any classroom setting. Work with students who are reluctant learners, shy learners, or bright pupils to pass on your knowledge of and excitement about the sciences. Some biology teachers can focus on a specific subdiscipline, while others are hired as generalists to teach the basics of biology, chemistry, and physics in high school classes.

Developing Expertise 

As a student in the GovState biology program, you will encounter the natural world, decipher its codes, and understand its complexities. As a student of education, you also learn how to teach valuable skills and understanding to the next generation of scientists, researchers, and environmentally aware citizens.

Gain classroom skills necessary to work with students in the real world. Manage classes, lead discussions, and design a curriculum that inspires and empowers young learners. Your biology teacher degree program helps you prepare for the professional teaching examination program in Illinois.

Part of your teacher training is a student teaching opportunity. This puts you in an actual classroom and helps you put your knowledge of teaching strategies and classroom management to practice. This gives you the confidence you need to work with students in middle and high school environments in Chicago and throughout Illinois.

What does it take to be a great teacher? Your Bachelor of Science program also covers teaching theories and principles of teaching science in a classroom setting. Explore various theories of learning, classroom management, and curriculum-building practice. Hone these essential skills before stepping foot in a classroom or taking the Teacher Performance Assessment.

Don’t wait until you’re hired as a teacher to practice standing up in front of a classroom full of students, but receive the practical experience and theoretical knowledge necessary to excel as a biology teacher.

You’ll also need to have an in-depth grasp of your subject area. A degree program in biology education trains you to be a teacher without compromising on your quality biology education. Learn more about general biology, microbiology, physics, zoology, botany, ecology, anatomy, and more. You’ll have the opportunity to focus on your preferred specialty with elective courses, but a program at GovState offers you the broad subject knowledge you need to confidently teach and answer questions about biology in a classroom setting.

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Outstanding Preparation 

The curriculum for the undergraduate major in biology with a teacher education concentration provides you with a strong background in the basic concepts of molecular, organismic, and population biology.

The sequence of coursework is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and leads to an initial secondary certificate in biology. You can also obtain an endorsement for teaching in middle school.

To be recommended for an Illinois State Board of Education teaching certificate, you must present evidence of having passed the Test of Academic Proficiency (formerly Basic Skills), Subject Matter Knowledge and Assessment of Professional Teaching examinations of the Illinois Certification Testing System.

A teaching license approved by the Illinois State Board of Education certifies you to teach in classrooms in Chicago and the rest of the state. Find out if your teaching certificate has reciprocity to other states or learn about the steps needed to obtain a certificate in another state to launch a teaching career around the nation.

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Jobs & Salaries You Can Get With a Biology Teacher Education Degree

Because this career track is in high demand, you can find many roles your degree qualifies you to teach in. Whether you pursue a position in a secondary school, college, or research setting, here is the average salary per year data post-secondary teachers and high school teachers, as documented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May, 2023:

  • High school science teacher: $83,920
  • Junior College professor: $86,310
  • College or university professor: $106,100
  • Scientific research teacher: $187,240
  • Trade school teacher: $68,390

These figures are mean wages for professionals across the nation. Work with your advisor and mentors at GovState to learn more about your career prospects and find the right steps to take to launch your dream career. Connect with extracurricular opportunities at our small campus that may not be available at a larger one. GovState offers a tight-knit community where you can get to know your professors and they can help you take the right steps in your career.

It isn’t all about the salary. Many high school science teachers will tell you that the thrills of education are what it’s all about. If you wish to give back to your community and inspire young people just like you were inspired by a cherished teacher, then you’ll likely find many open positions as a high school biology teacher in your area. A shortage of science teachers means that this field is a great place to look for a secure career.

Program Fact Sheet

Student Handbook

Please see the Student Handbook in Secondary Education and Secondary Education Programs in Biology, Chemistry, English and Mathematics page for additional information.

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Find out if a BS in teaching biology is right for you. Apply now  and learn more about admissions requirements for a biology teacher education degree. Discover financial aid opportunities and scholarships that help you take the next step in your career at Governors State University.

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For more information, please contact:

Natalie Coleman
University Lecturer

<b>Full Program Requirements</b>

Full Program Requirements

You can find the complete guide to graduation requirements for your degree in our catalog.

<b>Program Faculty</b>

Program Faculty

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<b>How to Apply</b>

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<b>All Academic Programs</b>

All Academic Programs

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