Department of Biological Sciences

BS in Biology: Teacher Certification in Life Sciences Concentration

The Department of Biological Sciences offers a BS in Biology: Teacher Certification in Life Sciences Concentration for prospective teachers at the undergraduate level. This track is offered in partnership with the School of Education and Human Development and is designed to provide prospective teachers a strong academic foundation in Biological Sciences.

All students interested in pursuing this concentration must formally declare their entry by completing the declaration procedures found on the Office of Educator Preparation web site at, passing Praxis I scores, subscription to Tk20, and two recommendation forms are necessary to complete the declaration process.

Students must maintain a high level of academic achievement. Minimum academic requirements are as follows:

  • A grade of C or better in all University Core and major coursework.
  • A grade of B or better in all professional education coursework.
  • An overall GPA of 3.00 or better.

Prior to admission to the professional internship year, students must pass the Praxis II exam and demonstrate satisfactory progress toward the State of Maine Core Teaching Standards.

Because this BS in Biology with a Concentration in Teacher Certification in Life Sciences 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 of these requirements overlap so that the overall credit requirement for this concentration is 115 minimum, depending on any readiness  requirements that must be met in your first year, and the specific 200 level or above Biology courses taken. 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, understanding and collaborating with families.

USM Core Curriculum (including pre-internship education courses):

  • EYE 108, Culture, Identity and Education, or EDU 100, Exploring Teaching as a Profession
  • College Writing - ENG 100 (3 cr.)
  • Cultural Interpretation (3 cr.)
  • Quantitative Reasoning - MAT 152 (4 cr.)
  • Creative Expression (3 cr.) (THE 102 or 170 recommended)
  • Socio-Cultural Analysis - HRD 200 Multicultural Human Growth & Development (3 cr.)
  • Science Exploration (4 cr.)
  • Ethics - EDU 310 Purpose of Schooling in a Democracy (3 cr.)
  • Thematic Cluster - EDU 305 Foundations of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity, SED 335 Students with Exceptionalities in General Education, and SED 420 Multi-Tiered Systems of Educational Support (9 cr.)

Professional Education Internship Requirements:

  • Teaching methods in area of major: EDU 401 Secondary Science Methods (3 cr.)
  • EDU 441, Seminar I (3 cr.)
  • EDU 442, Seminar II (3 cr.)
  • Year-long education internship (9 cr.)

Tk20 Subscription:

All undergraduate and graduate students who matriculate into an Educator Preparation program or pathway in USM summer 2013 or later are required to subscribe to the Tk20 online data management system. The subscription allows students to use the system for assessment, advisement, field-experience and career portfolio management. The subscription fee of $103 covers some of the expenses related to the administration and assessment of the program. For loan purposes, it will be eligible for consideration as part of costs. The subscription is a one-time payment and must be made by each student during the first semester of program or pathway matriculation (check with individual programs and pathways for specific subscription timelines). Subscription instructions are posted on the Office of Educator Preparation web site: 

Please note Professional Education Council Policy:  In order for USM’s Education Preparation Unit program completers to be recommended by the institution to the state for certification or licensure, the candidate must provide evidence of meeting all certification requirements including proficiency on the standards relevant to his/her 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).

For the purposes of field placements in schools during the educational cluster and internship year, students are required to complete and show documentation of the fingerprinting process outlined by the Maine Department of Education: 

Year 1 Credits
Fall semester  
     BIO 105 Biological Principles I: Cellular Biology 3
     BIO 106 Laboratory Biology 1.5
     CHY 113 Principles of Chemistry I 3
     CHY 114 Laboratory Techniques I 1
     ENG 100 College Writing 3
     EYE  Entry Year Experience - EYE 108 Recommended 3
Spring semester  
     BIO 107 Biological Principles II: Evolution, Biodiversity and Ecology 4.5
     CHY 115 Principles of Chemistry II 3
     CHY 116 Laboratory Techniques II 1
     HRD 200 Multicultural Human Development 3
     MAT 152 Calculus A 4
Year 2  
Fall semester  
     BIO 109 Biological Principles III: Functional Biology 3
     BIO 201 Genetics 3
     CHY 251 Organic Chemistry I 3
     CHY 252 Organic Chemistry Laboratory 2
     MAT 220 Statistics for Biological Sciences 4
Spring semester  
     Cluster 1 - EDU 305 Cultural Diversity 3
     Cultural Interpretation 3
     BIO 203 Ecology 3
     BIO 217 Evolution 3
     BIO Area Requirement 3-5
Year 3  
 Fall semester     
     Cluster 2 - SED 335 Students with Exceptionalities in General Education 3
     Creative Expression 3
     BIO Area Requirement 3-5
     PHY 111 Elements of Physics I or PHY 121 General Physics I 4
     PHY 114 Introductory Physics Laboratory I  1
Spring semester  
    Cluster 3 - SED 420 Multi-tiered Systems of Educational Support  3
    EDU 310 What is the Purpose of Schooling in a Democracy?  3
    BIO Area requirement 3-5
    PHY 112 Elements of Physics II or PHY 123 General Physics II  4
    PHY 116 Introductory Physics Laboratory II  1
Admission to Professional Year  
Year 4  
Fall semester  
    EDU 401 Methods  3
    BIO elective(s) 2 lecture course electives or 1 lecture/lab sequence 200-level or higher 4.5-6
    EDU 441 Seminar  3
    Internship  3
Spring semester  
    BIO Capstone  3
    EDU 442 Seminar  3
    Internship  6