Welcome to the School of Biological Sciences

Biology Teacher Education

Overview

The School of Biological Sciences at Illinois State University has a longstanding tradition in training biology teachers. Students complete a rigorous program that includes professional education courses as well as laboratory-intensive biology coursework. Students will become licensed to teach all high school science courses (biology, physics, chemistry, and earth science), including AP and honors biology.

Our students are in high demand upon graduation, and we have nearly a 100 percent placement rate.

Why Study Biology Teacher Education?

An emphasis on research and effective teaching methods prepares students well for life in the laboratory as well as the classroom. Students learn to run labs in secondary school classrooms and teach in both rural and urban settings.

Students gain classroom experience starting their sophomore year and are well-prepared for student teaching. Students can gain additional teaching experience by serving as Undergraduate Teaching Assistants for some of the non-majors laboratory sections. Students also have the opportunity to be involved in yearlong internships in Professional Development Schools in their last year in the program. Students experience one-on-one advising from a professional advisor who is a former high school biology teacher.

Related Majors

Careers

Related Skills

  • Good team and independent worker
  • Problem solving skills
  • Good mathematical background including knowledge of statistics
  • Knowledge of operating scientific equipment and posses good technical skills
  • Application of biological theories into practice
  • Communication skills
  • Creativity
  • Strong work ethic and professional behavior
  • Flexibility in thought and adaptive to new ideas
  • Understanding of laboratory procedures and familiarity with equipment

Related Fields

Education

  • Teaching: elementary, secondary, post-secondary
  • Non-classroom Education

Employers

  • Universities and colleges
  • Medical and other professional schools
  • Public and private schools, K-12
  • Museums
  • Zoos
  • Nature centers and parks

Strategies

  • Gain experience working with students through tutoring, part-time employment, interning, or volunteering. 
  • Learn to work well with all types of people. 
  • Develop excellent interpersonal and public speaking skills. 
  • Licensure is required for K-12 schoolteachers and varies by state. 
  • Master's degrees may be sufficient for teaching at community or two-year institutions. 
  • Ph.D. is needed for teaching opportunities at colleges and universities.

Career Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Renee Carrigan  110 Student Services Building  rdcarugl@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5864 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Margaret Parker  Julian Hall 210F  meparke@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-8581 

New Freshmen

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

New Transfer

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for fall transfer students is September 1-January 15. For the spring semester, the preferred filing period is from April 1-August 1. You are encouraged to apply early in the preferred filing period for best consideration for admission into competitive majors. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Minimum GPA

2.50

Middle 50% GPA

2.85 - 3.57

Required Courses

  • General chemistry I (CHE 140),
  • Finite math or calculus (MAT 120 or 145),
  • 4 hour course in biological sciences with lab,
  • Speech (COM 110), and
  • English (ENG 101).

Special note to students applying with over 75 earned hours: The School of Biological Sciences normally considers students with over 75 hours only if they have appropriate prerequisites completed.

All students transferring into the Biology Teacher Education program must complete certain non-academic requirements called Gateways. Generally, transfer students must complete all Gateway 1 requirements during their first semester at Illinois State.

Recommended Courses

  • Introduction to Psychology (PSY 110)

Additional Information

It is strongly recommended that students meet the Basic Skills Requirement prior to enrollment. Visit the College of Education's website for details on acceptable ACT or SAT scores which can be used to meet this requirement.

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone Note
Margaret Parker  Julian Hall 210F  meparke@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-8581  Program Coordinator/Advisor 
Cynthia Moore  Science Lab Building 422  cjmoor1@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-8161  Assistant Director 
Cecilia J. Lauby Teacher Education Center  Degarmo Hall 56    (309) 438-5029   

Illinois State Students

Middle 50% GPA

2.85 - 3.57

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Application Period

Applications are accepted and processed only during September through February. If you plan to apply and for the spring semester, be sure to apply by the end of September in order to be considered for admission to the major. If you plan to apply for the fall semester, you must apply by the end of February.

Major Requirements

If 45 or more earned hours: Grades of "C" or better in the following courses: CHE 140; MAT 120 or 145; a 4 hour course in BSC with lab; COM 110; ENG 101.

Due to the progressive nature of the degree program, The School of Biological Sciences does not typically admit students who have completed 75 hours or more to the Biological Sciences Major. Please plan accordingly and apply before you have earned 75 credits in order to be considered for admission to the major. Students who have majored in disciplines which require similar first and second year courses, such as Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, Chemistry or Medical Lab Sciences, or students who transferred as Undeclared students but took Biology, Chemistry and Physics at their community colleges will be considered on a case by case basis.

Freshmen interested in applying to the major can do so during the spring of their freshman year once their first semester grades have been posted. Applicants will be notified in time to register for the fall of their sophomore year.

All Biology Teacher Education students must complete certain non-academic requirements for becoming a professional teacher. These are called Gateways.

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone Note
Margaret Parker  Julian Hall 210F  meparke@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-8581  Program Coordinator/Advisor 
Cynthia Moore  Science Lab Building 422  cjmoor1@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-8161  Assistant Director 
Cecilia J. Lauby Teacher Education Center  Degarmo Hall 56    (309) 438-5029