2020-21 Catalogs

BS in Biology - Secondary Teacher Education

The Department of Biological Sciences offers a B.S. in biology with a concentration in secondary teacher education at the undergraduate level for prospective teachers. This track is offered in partnership with the School of Education and Human Development and is designed to provide prospective teachers with a strong academic foundation in Biological Sciences.

Because this B.S. in biology - secondary teacher education concentration is a joint program between the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Science, Technology, and Health and the USM Teacher Education program within the School of Education and Human Development, there are requirements from both colleges that must be met as well as the university Core Curriculum requirements. Many requirements overlap so that the overall credit requirement for this concentration is 115 minimum, depending on any readiness requirements that must be met in the first year, and the specific Biology courses taken at the 200 level or above. If possible, students should consider taking education elective courses that will support them to become better teachers including, but not limited to, topics such as literacy, technology, and understanding and collaborating with families.

USM Core Curriculum (including pre-internship education courses)

  • EYE 108 Culture, Identity and Education (recommended) (3 cr)
  • EDU 100 Exploring Teaching as a Profession (required) (3 cr)
  • College Writing - ENG 100 (3 cr)
  • Cultural Interpretation (3 cr)
  • Quantitative Reasoning - MAT 152 Calculus A (4 cr)
  • Creative Expression - THE 102 Acting for Non-majors or THE 170 Public Speaking (recommended) (3 cr)
  • Socio-Cultural Analysis - HRD/SBS 200 Multicultural Human Development (required) (3 cr)
  • Science Exploration - BIO 107 Biological Principles II: Evolution, Biodiversity, and Ecology (4.5 cr)
  • Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship - EDU 310 Purpose of Schooling in a Democracy  (recommended) (3 cr)
  • Core Electives - EDU 305 Foundations of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (required), SED 335 Students with Exceptionalities in General Education (required), and SED 420 Multi-tiered Systems of Educational Support (required) (9 cr)
  • Diversity and International met with EDU 305 and EDU 310, respectively
  • Engaged Learning met with EDU 100, EDU 222, EDU 305, EDU 445, and SED 335 (required)

Major Requirements

A grade of C- or higher is required for all courses listed below.

All of the following are required:
     BIO 105, 106 Biological Principles I: Cellular Biology and Laboratory
     BIO 107 Biological Principles II: Evolution, Biodiversity, and Ecology
     BIO 109 Biological Principles III: Functional Biology
     BIO 201 Genetics
     BIO 203 Ecology
     BIO 217 Evolution

One lecture/laboratory combination from each of the following three areas:

AREA 1: Organismal Biology
     BIO 231 Botany
     BIO 291 Ornithology
     BIO 309 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
     BIO 335 Entomology
     BIO 351 Invertebrate Zoology
     BIO 353 Vertebrate Zoology
     BIO 361, 362 Parasitology and Laboratory
     BIO 405, 406 Animal Behavior and Laboratory

AREA 2: Ecology
     BIO 337 Marine Ecology
     BIO 383 Plant Ecology
     BIO 415, 416 Microbial Ecology and Laboratory
     ESP 303, 304 Wetlands Ecology and Laboratory
     ESP 341 Limnology
     ESP 412 Field Ecosystem Ecology

AREA 3: Cellular and Functional Biology
     BIO 305, 306 Developmental Biology and Laboratory
     BIO 311, 282 Microbiology and Laboratory
     BIO 321, 322 Neurobiology and Laboratory
     BIO 401, 402 Animal Physiology and Laboratory
     BIO 409, 410 Cell and Molecular Biology and Laboratory

In addition to BIO 105, 106, 107, 109, 201, 203, 217, and one lecture/laboratory course from each of the three stipulated areas, biology majors are required to take either two additional biology lecture courses or one biology lecture/laboratory course, with prefix numbers of 200 or above.

The biology major must also satisfactorily complete all of the following:

Chemistry (14 credits)
     CHY 113, 114 Principles of Chemistry I and Laboratory Techniques I
     CHY 115, 116 Principles of Chemistry II and Laboratory Techniques II
     CHY 251, 252 Organic Chemistry I and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I

Physics (10 credits)
     PHY 111, 114, 112, 116 Elements of Physics I and II and Laboratory
       or PHY 121, 114, 123, 116 General Physics I and II and Laboratory

Mathematics (8 credits)
     MAT 152 Calculus A
     MAT 220 Statistics for the Biological Sciences

In addition, students must fulfill the University Core Curriculum requirements, including a Capstone course in the major.

Secondary Teacher Education Requirements:

In addition to meeting all major and Core requirements, the following teacher education requirements must be met.

The Secondary Teacher Education Pathway is designed to prepare middle and high school teachers, grades 7-12 (K-12 for foreign language teachers), who are knowledgeable of the content they will teach and who have the skills to apply that knowledge to classroom teaching. Secondary education students major in the discipline they plan to teach and take a series of teacher education courses that satisfy their University Core Curriculum requirements as well as fulfill requirements for Maine teacher certification in their discipline. These courses introduce students to aspects of teaching and learning and provide hands-on field experiences in schools and community agencies where they can make connections between theory and practice. At the time of degree completion, students will have met the degree requirements for a major and for initial teacher certification.

Program Declaration and Withdrawal

All students must formally declare their entry into a teacher education pathway by completing the Declaration and/or Dropping of Undergraduate Teacher Education Pathway Form through the registrar’s office. The form is located in the forms section of the Office of Registration and Scheduling Services.

Academic Requirements

The minimum academic requirements to be a student in good standing in the Secondary Education Pathway are as follows:

  • A grade of B or better in all professional education coursework.
  • A grade of C or better in content courses required for the area of teacher certification.
  • An overall GPA of 3.0 or better.

Failure to maintain the above requirements may result in program dismissal. Appeals may be made in writing to the Director of Educator Preparation.


Upon declaring the Secondary Teacher Education Pathway, a student becomes a pre-candidate. The pre-candidacy phase of the program is the first three years of the program prior to the professional internship. Pre-candidacy coursework is as follows:


     EDU 310 Purpose of Schooling in a Democracy* (3 cr)
     EYE 108 Culture, Identity and Education (3 cr)
     SED 300 Ethics and Youth with Exceptionalities (3 cr.)


     EDU 100 Exploring Teaching as a Profession* (3 cr)
     EDU 222 Foundations of Language and Literacy Development* (3 cr)
     EDU 305 Foundations of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity* (3 cr)
     HRD/SBS 200 Multicultural Human Development (3 cr)
     SED 335 Students with Exceptionalities in General Education* (3 cr)

* Course includes required service learning or practicum hours in a partner school or community setting to give pre-candidates hands-on experience with students and create connections between theory and practice. These formal placements are arranged by the Field Experience Coordinator in the Office of Educator Preparation. Other education courses may require observation experiences in field settings that students arrange on their own. Students are required to be fingerprinted prior to starting a course that includes a field experience placement.


Candidacy takes place in the fall semester of the third year or when a student has completed the pre-candidacy teacher education coursework and has made satisfactory and sufficient progress in their major. Candidacy is the process pre-candidates go through to be admitted to the professional level courses and internship. To be eligible for candidacy, pre-candidates must be in good academic standing,  passed the Praxis Core, and provided evidence of their Criminal History Record Check.

See USM’s Professional Licensure and Certification Notice located on the Office of Registration Services website for more information.

Pre-candidates are required to complete and show documentation of the fingerprinting process outlined by the Maine Department of Education.

Pre-candidates must complete the Candidacy application in Tk20 (more information below) as well as provide a current resume and two letters of recommendation. The candidacy application is due on January 31 of each year. Upon review, eligible pre-candidates will be invited to participate in a 30-minute internship admission interview.

Professional Internship

The professional internship is a full-year experience that fulfills Maine’s student teaching requirement and provides secondary education teacher candidates the opportunity to apply what they are learning in their teacher education courses in a more sustained and in-depth setting. The first semester internship is the equivalent of 20 hours per week in a partner school district, and the second semester internship is a full time, five days per week experience in a partner school. Students take the internship courses concurrently.


     EDU 414 Improving Teaching in Content Areas Through Literacy for All Students Including Those with Diverse Abilities and Backgrounds (3 cr)
     EDU 442 Seminar in Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (3 cr)
     EDU 445 Internship in General Education (9 cr total, 3 credits first semester and 6 credits second semester)
     SED 420 Multi-Tiered Systems of Educational Support (3 cr)

Content Area Methods Course:

Choose one of the following (3 cr):
     EDU 401 Secondary Science Methods for All Students Including Those of Diverse Abilities and Backgrounds
     EDU 402 Secondary English Methods
     EDU 403 Foreign Language Methods
     EDU 404 Secondary Social Studies Methods for All Students Including Those of Diverse Abilities and Backgrounds
     MME 434 Secondary Mathematics Methods

Content Requirements

Secondary Teacher Education Pathway students (grades 7-12) need a minimum of 24 credit hours in the content areas they plan to teach. It is recommended that those interested in teaching at the middle level complete coursework in a second content area (e.g. English, mathematics, social studies or science) to become highly qualified to teach an additional content area. Finally, students should consider taking additional education courses, which will support them in becoming more well-rounded teachers, in topics such as literacy and technology.


Tk20 by Watermark is the comprehensive web-based, assessment management and reporting system used by all students in Educator Preparation programs at USM. All undergraduate and graduate students who matriculate into an Educator Preparation program at USM and are accepted as a candidate for their internship and student teaching year are required to subscribe to Tk20. Students use Tk20 to provide evidence they have mastered state and professional standards for their profession. The subscription fee of $103 covers some expenses related to the administration and assessment of the program. For loan purposes, Tk20 is eligible for consideration as part of educational costs. The subscription is a one-time payment and must be made by each student after they have passed their candidacy process and before the first semester of their internship year. Subscription instructions are posted on the Office of Educator Preparation website.

Professional Education Council Policy: In order for USM’s Education Preparation Unit program completers to be recommended by the institution to the Maine Department of Education for certification or licensure, the candidate must provide evidence of meeting all certification requirements, including proficiency on the standards relevant to her/his state-approved professional program, and this evidence must be compiled and assessed within the context of the Unit’s data management system (i.e., Tk20).

Recommendation for Certification

Graduates who successfully complete all the Secondary Teacher Education Pathway requirements are eligible for recommendation for teacher certification in Maine. To be recommended for certification, students must complete the Recommendation for Certification form. Students who fail to meet the academic or professional requirements for the Secondary Teacher Education Pathway or choose not to pursue teacher certification may withdraw from the pathway and graduate with their major.

NOTE: Course requirements are subject to change based upon changes in teacher certification regulations.