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Secondary Education, BSE - Biology

Biology Teaching Degree

High school biology teachers have the opportunity to engage young minds in science as a way of knowing the natural world when they are just beginning to understand the scope of natural systems. Use your Secondary Education BSE in Biology from the University of Central Missouri to inspire a love of discovery and the natural world in generations of students.

UCM will show you how to become a biology teacher who makes a difference in students’ lives. Study how to teach biology using effective educational theory and practice your new skills with extensive time in local schools. At the same time, use the latest teaching technology to support the modern classroom. You’ll be able to give your future students the techniques and tools to transform their curiosity into science inquiry. 

Biology teachers from our accredited four-year degree program rise above the norm. You’ll become a science educator who knows what science is, how children learn science and how to teach science effectively. You’ll understand adolescent development and psychology and can adapt lesson plans to meet diverse student needs. Biology teachers from our program energize their classrooms with a “minds-on, hands-on” approach to learning.

Thrive with personalized attention

Welcoming and inclusive, UCM provides an outstanding environment for future biology teachers. Our small class sizes allow us to customize content to help you reach your goals. You’ll also develop close mentor relationships with our faculty and work collaboratively with your peers.


After completing this degree, you will be eligible to apply for educator certification in grades 9-12 Biology through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

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Educating teachers since 1871

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Hands-on, experiential learning


NSTA-accredited degree program

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Small class sizes

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Professional development opportunities

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Affordable biology teaching degrees

What you will study

The University of Central Missouri’s science education courses provide a balance of minds-on and hands-on learning. You’ll learn how to provide students with this same balance when you teach biology in your own classroom. 

Coursework for our Biology Teaching degrees covers educational theory and practice and dives deep into the content area. You’ll also take an array of general arts and sciences classes to ensure you receive a well-rounded undergraduate education.

Over the four-year program, you’ll gradually spend more time doing field work, gaining valuable experience that will build your confidence when it comes time to teach biology on your own. 

In your classes, you’ll study topics such as:

  • Life-Span Development: Study theories of human development, the ways in which growth is the same across individuals and how it differs. 
  • Genetics: Explore modular and classical genetics in the classroom, as well as in the lab. Your experiments will use Mendelian genetics and DNA technology. 
  • Secondary Teaching and Behavioral Management: Better understand how students learn and how to teach biology while managing adolescent behavior with compassion in the classroom. Grow your lesson planning and component teaching skills.


Excellence in Biology Education

  • Science Education program is accredited by the National Association of Science Teachers (NSTA).
  • Continuously recognized by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Longer than any other public institution in Missouri.
  • Top 15% of Most Focused Colleges for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • One of the Most Focused Bachelor's Degree Colleges for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • One of the Most Focused Colleges for Secondary Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 4.5% of the Most Popular Colleges for Secondary Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 5% of Most Popular Bachelor's Degree Colleges for Secondary Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 10% of Best Value in Education (College Factual, 2021)


Unique learning opportunities for biology teachers

Learn how to teach biology in UCM’s supportive environment, rich with opportunities for participation in real-world classrooms. Experience first-hand the difference that a hands-on, minds-on approach makes to the learning process.

  • Networking: While you’re learning how to become a biology teacher, you’ll have many opportunities to engage with local educators and school administrators. This strong network often leads to jobs for UCM graduates with biology teaching degrees. It can also be a source of support, not just during your college years but throughout your career.
  • Student groups: Join honor societies, the Student Missouri State Teachers Association and scientific clubs. Groups like these extend your network of peers and are a great resource for professional development opportunities. For example, members have presented research at local, statewide or national meetings.
  • Local classrooms: As a student teacher, you’ll spend more than 100 hours observing and practicing how to teach biology in local schools as a lead-up to your final semester.


What can you do with a Biology Teaching degree from UCM?

Earning your Secondary Education BSE in Biology is the biggest step in how to become a biology teacher in Missouri high schools. The University of Central Missouri’s teaching degrees are designed to prepare you for the final step, applying for educator certification through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). 

With your BSE and certification, you’ll be fully qualified to teach in any high school science classroom in the state. Biology teachers, with their broad base of scientific understanding and ability to teach a wide range of high school science classes, are often sought out by school districts even before they graduate from UCM.

Some high school biology teachers choose to return to the University of Central Missouri’s respected education program and pursue another degree. UCM’s graduate Biology Teaching degrees position you to be more competitive for a wider array of jobs and open more doors as your career matures.

More on career paths with a biology teaching degree

Use our interactive tool to discover how the job market for biology teachers has historically performed, what it may look like in the future, what biology teachers typically earn and more.




Financial assistance options for your Biology Teaching degree

At the University of Central Missouri, we believe that Biology Teaching degrees should be affordable for our students. We’ve kept our tuition low and our standards high for 150 years and counting. We award financial aid to over 92% of our students and have been recognized nationally for our commitment to low student debt. 

We offer many university-wide options to finance your Biology Teaching degree, such as scholarships, assistantships, awards and grants. 

Learn more about scholarships for future biology teachers at the UCM Scholarship Finder.


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Take your degree further.


Leverage your undergraduate education in how to teach biology with graduate studies that can help expand your teaching career opportunities:

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Explore programs related to biology.


If you decide not to teach biology, many other science-related undergraduate programs at UCM are available for your consideration:

Student Learning Outcomes

You will use the knowledge and skills obtained in this program to:

  • Interpret and interrelate important science concepts, ideas, and applications in the fields of licensure.
  • Recognize and employ science-learning approaches for all students. Plan for engaging all students in science learning by setting appropriate goals that are consistent with theories of learning as well as national science standards.
  • Create safe science lab environments for students.
  • Conduct preliminary data collection and present evidence of student science learning as a result of the instruction.
  • Propose educational research study about challenges of learning science in science classroom settings.
  • Participate in research and professional development opportunities in both areas of science and science education.



UCM is the longest continuously CAEP accredited public institution in Missouri


UCM’s Science Education programs are recognized by National Association of Science Teachers (NSTA)


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